Kuroko’s Basketball Episode 16

Let’s Go

Seirin isn’t doing so hot against Touou’s “opening act,” that is, without having Aomine there yet. Their initial plan was to score as many points as possible before the big star showed up, but Touou doesn’t make it easy. Not only are they an offensive team, but they have more of an individual style, which takes Seirin some time to adjust to. Even that “apologetic mushroom” has skill. But there has to be a slither of a chance that Seirin can win, even with Taiga’s injury and the fact that Touou typically scores in the mid 100s… Er, yeah, how are they going to pull this miracle off?

Kuroko’s “girlfriend” serves as a worthy rival to Riko. This battle of “a woman’s intuition” is gonna get ugly! As Touou’s manager, Momoi gathers information on opponents and can even predict their behavior. Although this causes a lot of trouble for Seirin at first, her data on Taiga and Kuroko isn’t nearly as complete, since Taiga is new and Kuroko is unpredictable. Once again, it’s up to those two to save the day, eh? At any rate, I really want them to teach Aomine a lesson…just like every other arrogant GoM member that comes along. xD

Kuroko’s Basketball Episode 15

Don’t Make Me Laugh

Kuroko’s Basketball retuuuurns! Due to popular demand from…two people, I decided to blog this over Moyashimon Returns. Besides, I enjoy it more. A lot more. In fact, I just marathoned the past six episodes because it’s so fricken’ addicting. If all 26 were out already, I’d probably finish them in a day…

Quick recap: Episodes 10 through 13 mainly focused on Midorima and Taiga’s game, and episode 14 took a nice, lighthearted break. That last game was just…crazy. Midorima could shoot perfectly from anywhere on the court, so Taiga had to strengthen his jumping ability to block the ball, which wowed everyone. They thought he was hanging on strings. Meanwhile, Kuroko was overtaken by Takao who possessed the “hawks eye” view and could see right through his misdirection technique. After so much struggling, Taiga felt that he had to win the game by himself, jumping like a frantic bunny everywhere. Of course he was being stupid, and Kuroko had to cool him down again, but that was still a pretty intense moment. Kuroko’s biggest fear was that Taiga would become like those players from GoM…self-centered and only playing basketball to win, not to have fun. That is indeed GoM’s mentality, as Midorima merely wanted to take control of the game himself. Yes, his teammates were upset, but hey, he had to win. Taiga learned that it can only be through teamwork that victory is truly worth it. Oh and by the way…Kuroko can Falcon punch the ball now! ( o >_< )–O

I’m glad that Seiren won that game since it was dragged out for so long. I mean, I would have hated to see them go through all that just to lose. I think that every game has ended the same way so far, where both teams are about evenly matched in the last three seconds. Yeah, it’s cliche, but the games are so entertaining with all the action, clashing personalities, and “mind reading” that it doesn’t really bother me. At least with Midorima’s game, they threw in a little twist, as it looked like he was going to pull it off by outsmarting Taiga. Good thing Kuroko had his back! The show just couldn’t be that cruel to us…

Man, I love these characters so much…especially when they goof off in restaurants. I think it was in episode 14 when they found a little puppy that had the same eyes as Kuroko. It’s about time we had something cute and cuddly that scares the crap out of Taiga. =P

With the latest episode, Seiren has now entered the Inter-High Championships. The next GoM player they’re going up against is Aomine, who is even more annoying and challenging than the others. Back in the old days, he used to be Kuroko’s light. They were tight just like Kuroko and Taiga are now. But eventually, he became so strong that his love for basketball faded. There was simply no point in trying his best when his opponents gave up so easily. Now he just acts all egotistical by skipping practices, showing up late for games, and kicking his teammate in the stomach. Sheesh. To make things more interesting though, he plays the same basketball as Taiga. Seiren is going to have to kick it up ten notches…just like the amazing production values did.

By the way, that guy who constantly apologizes has got to be related to Ritsu Sohma from Fruits Basket…  Who would have thought that he could shoot so well, though. o_O Expecting many more surprises and interesting developments throughout Aomine’s game…even when he’s skipping out. -_-

Kuroko’s Basketball Episode 9

To Win

“Braggart,” “Baldy,” whatever you wanna call him…he deserves to be punished. *twitch twitch* It’s not that hard to root for Seirin when their opponents always act like jerks. Other than that though, I enjoyed this as always. Kuroko and Taiga do their best in the first half (no thanks to Taiga’s fowls), and then they get switched out, leaving the rest to the seniors who want…sweet revenge. And revenge is what they get.

I like that this episode focuses on the other players. I mean, it can’t be about Kuroko and Taiga all the time or else this would get boring. The seniors are clearly much stronger than the last time they played these guys, as they’ve practiced hard to hone their individual skills. Take for instance…Izuki-kun, who possess an “eagle eye.” Basically, he can see the entire court in an instant. Yeah, I had the same reaction as Taiga there… “Seriously?” But hey, it definitely makes his character memorable. As for those two goofballs…their specialty is just being goofy.

The animation is better here than usual, beginning with the very first scene of Shintarou shooting the ball. That was just…beautiful. Now imagine an entire match animated like that. *_*

Alright, now to give a little update about the blog. I’ve obviously returned to pick up Kuroko, and I’m also going to continue The Legend of Korra, hopefully tomorrow. Three or four episodes to catch up, no big deal! As for Alex…he’s just hiding in a refrigerator annnd Ace has dropped Lupin from the blog. He will be back later to review it. Hmm, I think that’s it, actually. Stay tuned for a Berserk review from me…unless someone beats me to it. D:

Kuroko’s Basketball Episode 8

Now That I Think About It

With one more episode and the start of one more match, Kuroko no Basuke seems to be getting better by the week. This was quite a great episode, so much that I can’t really find any points to criticize.

The game aftermath was short and far from boring this time around, as instead of silly, reused jokes, we got some team scouting, both on Seirin’s part and also Shotoku’s. Such attention to research is especially justified, for our protagonists’ semifinals opponent is none other than one of the three top teams in the area, Seihou. Not only that, their playing style is completely different than what you’d expect from a high school basketball team. As is later lampshaded by their captain, playing defense is usually regarded as the less appealing (albeit necessary) part of the game, more even so for teenage boys.  Doing something uncommon is already in itself a great advantage, since other teams won’t have trained to defeat the upcoming “abnormality”. But the issue is that Seihou doesn’t simply do something uncommon, they do it well. In fact, they do it rather perfectly. A good job was made in letting their strength be apparent in this episode, and that alone was enough to get me quite excited for the semifinals.

Said match begun in the later part of the episode and, as expected Seihou was quite the wall, keeping Seirin’s score a round zero for the first few minutes of the match. One interesting thing to note is how this time around, Seirin’s opponent is portrayed in quite a neutral light, contrasting with the antagonistically approach to “Dad”’s team . As I pointed out, the Generation of Miracles can’t be the only strong players out there, for that would be highly unrealistic. In this team, we have quite a talented player in the defense field, who’s even blocked Kise before. I actually took a liking to Tsugawa, as I found is nonchalant demeanor, as well as his slightly sadistic approach to basketball to be quite charming xD

It is later explained where part of their excellence in defense comes from, since maintaining such a degree of mobility during the entire game would be rather tiring, and thus, impractical. It seems that they use martial arts techniques to increase their physical resistance by enhancing their durability. Thankfully, Riko manages to decrease the feeling of intimidation and Seirin returns to the match with a different kind of motivation, specially Kagami, who wants to win this game for his seniors, due to Kuroko’s words on how important this game will be for them to overcome.  And when he finally has his golden scene, passing through Tsugawa, I realized something. Having a full-time man-to-man defense that never falters is great, but if it fails even once, it’ll have been broken. The reason for that is that you’re too close to each of the other team players, so they can block you for at least a bit if the situation turns around. Since there’s no one else covering any other part of the field, the path is completely open if someone can win on 1-on-1. As long as that condition is met, Seihou is beatable.

In the end, this made for a really interesting and enjoyable episode. More serious than the previous, but not voided of jokes either. In fact, we had some of the funniest ones yet, like the Kise’s scene with the horoscope, which was rather hilarious. (That should be a good test to Midorima’s beliefs in fate.) Not to mention when Riko tries to include some adulation in her motivating speech, by promising a reward to the players. Of course it seems like the poor girl has no sex appeal, much to her despair xD Jokes aside, I’m looking foward to see the continuation of this interesting match next week.

Kuroko’s Basketball Episode 7

You’ll See Something Amazing

And just as expected, the sole presence of basketball matches makes this episode way more enjoyable than last week’s.

The continuation of their showdown with “Dad” was pretty good, with some impressive blocks by Taiga and the usual awesome Kuroko passes, but lacked the excitement I was expecting and wasn’t all that great animation-wise either. Besides being arrogant, “Dad” also proved to be quite the immature guy, especially for someone who call’s anyone who’s shorter than him a child. I couldn’t help but giggle when he started calling Kagami “baka” in the end of the match.

After that, Seirin’s progress through the preliminaries goes as smoothly as can possibly be, even with Kuroko in the bench for the most part of the games. I got a tad bit disappointed at how they skimmed so fast with just a simply description of the games and a glimpse at the score board, but games against stronger teams are surely a more interesting issue, and everything in between just came to show how Seirin is actually an above average team, even without our phantom protagonist. I also thought it was a nice touch that they played against those bullies from the park that Kuroko, Kagami and Kise had totally crushed, just a few days earlier. The guys were so scared when they saw our main duo that they didn’t even play seriously. This series is finally getting back at its good hilarious moments xD

Kuroko’s eagerness to play was also a really interesting sight. We already know his love for basketball is above the simple winning factor and it’s always nice to have a character’s attitude back up the stated facts.

The interesting part of the episode though, comes with the introduction of Shutoku. And as faithful as possible to the episode title, their match really was amazing. Flawlessly executed fundamentals are indeed the key to winning in any sport, not only basketball, and besides the description of that by Hyuuga and Riko, it really showed in the way the match itself, which they won with ease. That said, Shutoku doesn’t only have a solid team. According to Hyuuga, Otsubo is an “infallible” scorer, but now they have not one, but two infallible scorers, and at completely opposite fields at that. It seems Midorima lives up to his 100% accuracy reputation, as unrealistic as that number is, turning his back on the net and heading to defense position even before seeing whether he scored or not. (But once again, that’s seriously unrealistic, as are those baggy parabolic shots – does he have a calculator and angle adjustment device embed in his glasses or what? That’s the court, not physics class, for god’s sake.) Anyway, that combination makes them seriously overpowered, even more than the team that tripled Seirin’s score the previous year, so I can’t wait to see how well this Seirin fares against them. Kagami is already pretty excited about it, going as far as writing an autograph on Midorima’s hand xD

It also came as a surprise that the finals and semifinals are in the same day. They really want to wear out the poor boys… Well, as they very well said, that won’t be as much of a problem for bigger teams that can just rotate their players, but for Seirin’s small basketball club, things won’t be so easy. Fortunately, there’s nothing that Kagami loves more than a good challenge, and Kuroko seems to be fully sharing his excitement this time around, so they’ll definitely be in good shape and I have two potentially great matches to look forward to. I also want to see more of Midorima. The guy is, without a doubt, a great player, but he’s narcissistic and superstitious nature really rubs me the wrong way. Does he have a reason to believe that badly in fate? I mean, what would he do if he lost his lucky item of the day right before a game? He seems like someone who’d break if he misses a shot or someone who’d easily miss once his confidence is somehow shattered. Maybe I’m expecting too much from this anime, but I do hope we’ll get to learn more about him.

Kuroko’s Basketball Episode 6

Let Me Tell You Two Things

Hi there^^ I’m Dusk, one of the two new writers for meepinganime and I’ll be covering Kuroko’s Basketball and Fate/Zero from now on. I have a bad habit to write exaggeratedly long posts so if you find them boring blame it on Alex’s awful organization skills that fortunately allowed me a place in this blog xD

So, on to the episode itself.

No Generation of Miracles this week. Naturally, 5 people can’t be everywhere and there ought to be other strong opponents out there. This time, Seirin will play a rather average team which got a huge boost from the inclusion of a ridiculously tall foreign player.

The episode came off as somewhat disappointing after some really interesting character development last week. I mean, the first half was just outright pointless and rather silly as well. I know it was intended as comic relief, but the reuse of animation didn’t sit too well with me, and Kuroko’s lack of presence getting them the bread which seemed otherwise impossible to obtain was way too predictable.

Those 10 wasted minutes aside, we’re finally getting to the serious games as the workings of the Inter-High preliminaries are explained by Hyuuga. I have to say I was kind of happy when he said they had “fell one step short” the previous year, since there are plenty of sports anime featuring newly established teams making their way through tournaments, which is always exciting, but comes off as somewhat unrealistic.

Taiga’s reply to this explanation reflected his character all too well, and also makes one notice how a slight change in wording can mean so much. “Being chosen” makes it seem as if getting into the Inter-High is something decided by exterior factors, rather than the teams own effort and talent. Taiga put on them the role to decide – it’ll be their responsibility if they lose, but if they win, they’d do so by their own merit. And that’s quite a motivating declaration.

As for the basketball match, there wasn’t much development just yet, though I think they did too good of a job making the opposing team as unlikable as possible. The team captain and “Dad” (xD) are as pretentious as one can imagine and totally arrogant on top of that. It’ll feel good having their overconfidence crushed, as Kagami has actually already started doing this week. I do hope they don’t make each and every non-relevant team seem so antagonistic, though.

Overall, another nice episode, though the humor (which was pretty good at first) isn’t doing it for me anymore – specially not with Izumi’s lame puns. Also, using the OP song during epic moments is ok, but what’s with having it played during random training scenes? They have to stop overusing it. I’m still eagerly awaiting the next episode, since it’ll be hard for a well animated basketball match to disappoint me.

Kuroko’s Basketball Episode 5

Your Basketball

Er…Kise cried? *feels bad now* D: Well, not really, but he’s suddenly way more likeable in this episode, especially when he teams up with Kuroko and Taiga for a little street basketball. They sure show those punks. Ironically, the animation is much better here compared to the big important games. Ah well, I was grinning all the way, having my fun. :3

The female coach is up to her usual sadistic ways, forcing her players to consume an ungodly amount of steak under thirty minutes just so they can get the steak for free. Of course, that challenge means nothing to Taiga, who saves the day for them. xD Seeing all the players hang out like this finally gives us a chance to know ‘em and their personality quirks. Fun fun!

Once again, Kuroko explains to Kise that he left his previous team because he hated basketball back then. Or rather, there seemed to be something missing, like the player’s sincere passion for basketball. It’s not all about winning, so that’s why he’s attracted to Taiga’s strong spirit. Kise predicts that they’ll break up eventually when he turns into a bratty member of the Generation of Miracles…but hopefully that won’t happen.

As expected, I don’t like the new guy, Midorima…or that creepy frog of his. I definitely want to see his butt get whooped. >:3

Kuroko’s Basketball Episode 4

Take Care of the Counter Attack!

This might be getting more ridiculous with the sparkly power ups and excessive talking, but hey, it’s all good fun! The game is completely driven by surprises, as Taiga and Kuroko deliver a bunch of tricks to beat Kise. Some unexpected things happen, like Kise accidently hitting Kuroko hard enough to make him bleed/faint. o_O But because of that, the other players finally get some attention: Hyuga Junpei, the multiple personality clutch shooter, Mitobe Rinnosuke, the hardworking unsung hero, and etc. Plus, the re-energized Kuroko is able to return to help make that miracle win. I don’t care that it’s cheesy, I’m just glad to see Kise lose. That is some crazy hard effort for a mere practice game. And uh oh, here comes the narcissistic, green-haired glasses boy from the Generation of Miracles whom I will probably want to see get beaten even more. :3

If there’s one thing I’m getting picky about, it’s the music. It started out great, but playing the OP song during game? Meh. xD

Kuroko’s Basketball Episode 3

It’s Better If I Can’t Win

Taiga breaks the hoop in the first 30 seconds… Heh, that’s what you get for underestimating a non-star team lead by a female coach. *smirk* I love how both teams begin by showing off what they’ve got, not wasting a single moment. It’s a pretty fast-paced game, which becomes hard for even Kuroko to keep up with. They seem evenly matched at first, but the gap finally appears towards the end of the game lead by Kise’s team. Taiga’s greatest strength would have to be that losing makes him happy, hence the episode title. What’s the point if there aren’t any challenges? =P …I wish I could feel that way about everything. >>

What really interested me was Kuroko’s weakness. He’s not really magical or anything, as his invisibility wears off after a while. Plus, he’s not physically strong enough to keep up with the fast pace of the game. They can’t always rely on him. I wonder how they’re going to turn things around. Even though Kise is very familiar with Kuroko’s style, Taiga says that Kuroko is his greatest weakness. He just can’t imitate his invisible trick better…not with his super star status and screaming fangirls.

The animation isn’t anything too special here. It just looks cool when sweat flies in the air. xD

Kuroko’s Basketball Episode 2

I’m Serious

What strikes me as unique is that the show is called Kuroko’s basketball, yet he’s not really leading the series. We learn more about his ‘character’ from what others think about him, rather than heaps of inner dialogue, flashbacks, or from constant following of his school life. When it comes time to play a game, it’s all about Taiga. That leaves a bit of mystery around Kuroko. Like, what are the aspects of his life, personality, and motivations that the others don’t know? Maybe a huge shocker! Or maybe I’m starting to expect too much? ^^! By the way, is anything capable of provoking emotion in this guy? *lifts up a picture of an abandoned puppy* What, no tears? Awww…

I think maybe by the third episode, Kuroko’s disappearing/reappearing act is going to lose its humor unless tried on a new character. I got a real kick out of it at first, but now I always know when to expect it, and the reactions are the same, so it’s not as funny. They even reused a scene, where Taiga sits in front of him at the burger shop and chokes on his food. Well, at least there’s other humor. I’d say the funniest scene was when the coach made all the new members yell about their basketball dreams on the school rooftop. Taiga did it with ease, but the guy after him…when was he ever going to shut up? xD

And surprise surprise, a member of the Generation of Miracles suddenly appears. Enter Kise Ryota, a model with an insincere modest attitude. Did anybody else think he looked like Light Yagami at first? His specialty (for all I know right now) is imitating others’ moves yet performing them better. Taiga gets a taste of that in a quick one-on-one match, then Kuroko gets invited to join his team, though he politely declines. Coming up next is a practice game between them. I sure wasn’t expecting one so soon. Even if it results in a miracle win for Kuroko’s team at the last second, I’m probably still going to enjoy it. The characters are just too much fun. xD