What They Say:
Seirin’s game continues against Seiho with neither team giving up points. Kuroko and Kagami are pulled after the first quarter, to preserve their strength. Can their team mates bring home the victory?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The match between Seiho and Seirin is definitely an interesting one that’s made much more complicated by the overall situation. The two teams are definitely working some different approaches here that in the end do give each other a run for their money. Seiho has become a well honed machine over the years with its “martial arts” style approach to play. That initially sounded like it would be used badly, but the truth of the matter it’s more the whole “bend like a reed” kind of thing where it’s a different approach to flexibility and style rather than something goofy and unrealistic. It fits rather well in fact, giving us an impression of a team that has definitely put a lot of work into the physical in a way that kind of sidelines the actual game itself. There are strong players, but they’re working with the basics, just simplified and streamlined.
Seirin on the other hand is in a more curious place because o the way the team has changed. The focus on using Kagami and Kuroko is one that makes sense but could also be seen as a real risk. The two have a lot of ability and potential to them, but they’re still green in the high school sense by being freshmen, gifted as they are. To focus the team this year on them in their push to win big is a significant risk but it’s one that the coach and the seniors are willing to do. They have some very good moments against Seirin here, especially once they’re able to turn the tide back by using Kuroko’s lack of presence to good effect, but there’s the other issue as well. By having a back to back game, the pair are getting exhausted in the first half of the first game and are going to be useless by the time that the Shutoku game arrives. Especially since Seirin really is giving them a challenge.
This lets them take the bench for the second half so that the seniors can get back into the game in a big way. And it’s an important piece because there is some real history between these two that comes up more clearly during the game, giving everyone on Seirin’s side the impetus to really strive and go big. But this also exposes the weakness in the series and its adaptation as when Kagami and Kuroko hit the bench and the seniors take over, we barely really know them. The action is good, the plays are right and the context fits perfectly considering the way the two teams played the year prior. But with no real connection to most of the seniors, and with Hyuga being the only one you can really barely name, it lacks what it needs to really make it work. You take it in more through Kagami and Kuroko’s eyes than the context in which it should be.
While I continue to have some gripes with how underdeveloped most of the cast is, Kuroko’s Basketball continues to be a really fun and enjoyable series. The sports side is the main focus and the push to win and achieve greatness is strong in all of them. The show does its best to showcase as many players as it can overall, but its focus is definitely on the core two. This episode forces them out of the picture some and makes it clear the rest of the team has talent, and that they did really work to focus on their game in the year between seasons. It’s unfortunate that we don’t see if there are issues and dialogue about the shift in the teams focus with this season being about Kagami and Kuroko as it would add some welcome character material and draw in the rest a lot more. But with its intent to focus just on the game itself, it makes sense to eliminate that possibility and just go with the solid court action. I’m still digging this show a lot, but I can see so much more promise and potential for it.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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