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Kuroko no Basuke – 16

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「やろーか」 (Yarou ka)
“Let’s Do It”

Momoi could make a grade-S stalker with all her intel skills… she really could. I’ve always been fascinated by use of strategies and tactics in sports since it seems like there’s an insane amount of variables involved in it – not only does one have to take into account their own players, but the players on the opposing team. And opponents are changing all the time, so each time there’s a new match, it’s almost like starting from scratch. It honestly takes a lot of dedication and effort to research each team to the extent Momoi does, and craft a counter against each and every possibility. The sheer comprehensiveness of her data is a pretty good indication of how seriously she takes the sport, and like Midorima and Kise say, it’s on par with – or perhaps even greater than – the players’ love for basketball. It’s a subtle characterization that works well in showing the audience rather than outright telling them. Simply stating “Momoi loves basketball” is just plain lazy – this is a show about basketball. Obviously, the audience watches the show expecting the characters to love it. It’s how the series goes about defining that passion that matters, and even the fact she’s managed a team since her middle school days goes a long way in illustrating her dedication to the sport without broadcasting it on the 11 o’clock news.

I’m also pretty surprised by how well her character has been handled; this also extends to Riko as well. Anyone who has watched anime enough can become jaded at how… lacking some of the female characters are, to the point where it becomes so easy just to replace their existence with something else, like silence. Another difficulty lies in the fact it’s hard to seem competent in a setting where most of the plot focuses on heavily male-oriented roles – most of the time the girls are there to serve a specific purpose. Of course, that’s not always the case, but that’s the general trend and I didn’t think much of Riko at first. But she actually has an integral role and although she doesn’t get as much screen time as Kuroko or Kagami, there’s never a sense Seirin would be the same without her. That’s how one determines the relevance/importance of a character – if the show was to kill her off right now, how would it affect the characters? The makings of a character are very often recognized by envisioning a scenario without them rather than with them since taking them out of the picture allows the viewers to see the aftermath, the effects of their absence. Impact on plot is not such a good method to gauge a character’s importance since it’s a pretty shallow indicator to begin with – obviously their absence will impact the story, but if that is the sole result, the character essentially becomes meaningless. It could have been anybody, and the end results would have been the same.

But you can’t do that with Riko – whether it’s emphasized or not, she does have her own place in KuroBasu and it’s one that can’t be replaced by anybody. It really comes through in this episode, and how great is it that it’s hotheaded Bakagami that gets to acknowledge her importance? It’s significant coming from him not because he’s a main character, but because he’s a newbie. Second-years like Hyuuga already know the effort she puts into the team, how indispensible and hard-working she is. First-years like Kagami and Kuroko simply haven’t had as much time to notice Riko’s dedication. Kuroko is probably well aware, but it’s better the acknowledgment come from Kagami since he’s the block-headed type that can often take these sorts of things for granted, putting his own desire to play above everything else. His honesty has a profound effect when it’s used though, and him giving Riko the “good job” she deserves was good and satisfying.

Momoi’s characterization is pretty intriguing on many levels as it’s fairly easy to go the wrong way with her character. “Intel gathering” can have many connotations, one of which is “spying”, an act that is easy to demonize her for. That combined with her carefree, overly-enthusiastic attitude towards Kuroko could and should have been a recipe for disaster. Oh, and she’s the childhood friend of one of the main characters? S-line body? Run her through the Mary-Sue litmus! So it’s surprising and pleasing to see KuroBasu take a different route. She’s portrayed as competent and I can buy the portrayal – her characterization comes off natural and there’s no forcedness to the way the show does it; it’s not trying to paint her in a certain light. It’s disconcerting and irritating when a series doesn’t have enough confidence in its characters to tack on one random trait after another in an attempt to make them more likeable – it just should not happen. KuroBasu‘s greatest strength has always been its ability to churn out complex characters – whether they’re likeable or not is a completely separate issue, as it should be. The audience’s reception to Momoi’s character – like everyone else on the cast – will be different for everybody, but their opinion will be formed on the portrayal of her character as it is rather than a caricature of tacked on traits.

As for the actual match, it’s on par with what KuroBasu has offered so far. Seirin doesn’t get an easy out just because Aomine’s not there, but I don’t think anyone expected them to get the lead so easily. Touou has some interesting characters on their team though, and their dynamic has to be the most complicated out of all of Seirin’s major opponents so far. They’re not quite as well-coordinated (read: nice to each other) as Kaijou, but they’re not completely murderous to one another. Imayoshi in particular give off Ichimaru Gin vibes, and there’s definitely more to him than meets the eye… or in his case, a slit.

I’ll leave off by saying Kise and Midorima should share some more screen time together – these two are pretty damn hilarious.

Terminology of the Day:

  • Double clutch: Technique where an airborne player fakes and switches shooting hands and attempts to shoot from the opposite direction (Google)

Random Corner:

  • I don’t yet know if it’s significant, but I find it pretty interesting there’s no “golden duo” in Touou like there is in Kaijou (Kise and Kasamatsu) and Shuutoku (Midorima and Takao). I’ll refrain from taking that point too seriously since it often feels like I’m being a nerd and reading too much into this show
  • This is the Japanese lunch time rush!
  • End cards: providing hope for shippers since episode 1
  • First world problems continue in Kuroko no Basuke: The Capping Edition

Full-length images: 2, 9, 13, 14, 27, 30.

 

ED2.2 Sequence

Kuroko no Basuke   ED2.2   01

ED2.2: 「カタルリズム」 (Katarurizumu) by OLDCODEX

Preview

Kuroko no Basuke   16   Preview 01 Kuroko no Basuke   16   Preview 02 Kuroko no Basuke   16   Preview 03

End Card

Kuroko no Basuke   16   End Card
July 22, 2012 at 7:36 pm
28 comments »
  • July 22, 2012 at 8:24 pmKayDat

    This is Japanese Lunchtime Rush!

  • July 22, 2012 at 8:33 pmgrey

    annddddd kise remains relevant!

    i loved the interaction between midorima and kise too! always nice to see the miragen interact with each other. they DID spend all that time together in middle school. it’s sad that they are all separated and don’t really see each other as good friends anymore.

    i also love how the miragen respect and acknowledge momoi. gives her so much cred. the females are really kickass in this show.

  • July 22, 2012 at 8:36 pmPtolemaios00

    This series is constantly up and down. As soon as the players get some hope, they are dashed by the next new development. In this case: right as Kagami gets taped up, pumped up and cheers up the coach, Aomine makes his grand entrance.

    Other thoughts:
    -Midorimicchi is so tsundere.
    -Next end card better be MomoiXKuroko…

    • July 23, 2012 at 12:46 pmBakaMochi

      Next end card better be MomoixKuroko

      With a popsicle stick? :3 Because it ain’t MomoixKuroko without that popsicle stick, haha.

  • July 22, 2012 at 9:57 pmIntricateRadiance

    I’m going to keep mentioning Kise, and how thrilled I am that he keeps appearing. My beautiful bishie. I’ll stop now.

    It sucks that we didn’t see a lot of Kuroko action, but I still loved this episode nonetheless. I loved that Kagami noted how important Riko was to the team, and how hard she works.

    Side note: I’m loving the interactions between Kuroko and Kagami, and in this episode, Kise and Midorima. I’m also sort of kind of starting to not like Momoi, but that could just be me.

    • July 23, 2012 at 12:48 pmBakaMochi

      Was it all the “JUST AS KEIKAKU”? Because it is a little hard to believe that every move can be predicted >__>

      Kise! They stuck him in the ED this week, even though he had no noticeable role. THESE PRODUCERS KNOW HOW TO MARKET.

      • July 23, 2012 at 9:11 pmPtolemaios00

        Some of the “Just as KEIKAKU” moments were kind of lame.

        Hyuuga can dribble now? Sorry Mushroom swings his hand downward a little…
        Silent guy’s hook shot? herpderp we block it.

        Some how it just seemed more impressive in the manga.

    • July 23, 2012 at 7:47 pmgrey

      i enjoy our mutual love for kise :D

      • July 23, 2012 at 9:37 pmIntricateRadiance

        Ohoho, me too. Kise’s just too pretty NOT to love. :D

      • July 23, 2012 at 10:51 pmBakaMochi

        Ah yes, Kise <3 He just caps himself LOL

  • July 22, 2012 at 10:34 pmEunichi

    I would love to have Momoi as my stalker lols. However, I wouldn’t like if she’ll be the likes of Yuno and the famous overly attached girl friend.

    Now on to the episode, I think the reason why there is no duo in Touou is because they play separately, in it’s true sense. In Kaijou and Shuutoku, there is a bit of team play.

    Also, I am surprised that no one has picked this up:
    there is some subtle context on the emotion or delivery of Riko when she said that she does not want send injured players.
    Maybe, my memory is somewhat hazy but this line of Riko had more depth in this episode than in the manga.

    Lastly, did anyone also notice that the pacing is faster or is it just me? The 20 minutes of this game is faster than that of Shuutoku. Maybe because they want to emphasize the part where Aomine plays.

    • July 23, 2012 at 12:53 pmBakaMochi

      Yeah… you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone that can put up with a certified yandere like Yuno. Batshit crazy, that one.

      I’m assuming Riko’s whole conversation with Kagami is supposed to be foreshadowing, maybe for that unnamed, mysterious Seirin player that shows up in the OP/ED?

      And yes! I thought the match went by pretty fast, too! I’ve actually been pretty interested in how the show plans on dividing up the rest of the episodes, assuming S2 is a no-go. Seems like there’s… a lot of material to cram in to 9 episodes then…

      • July 24, 2012 at 5:18 pmEunichi

        Yeah, if they sped this match up then they have cram in too many materials because if they don’t then this season won’t have a good ending. If they don’t want to rash, then they just want to sped it up to Aomine’s part; making the pacing return to the normal match cycle of time where a second takes 15 seconds or so. Yeah, i’m still hang up with that longest 3 seconds of a game lol

  • July 22, 2012 at 10:36 pmRigelin

    Kise: “Midorimacchi?”
    Midorima: “How’d you know it was me?”

    Hmm aside from the green hair, let’s go with the strange object only Midorima would ever walk around with.

  • July 22, 2012 at 10:40 pmmainavidesu

    For me Momoi is a character you won’t like but you won’t hate either (It’s just me don’t take it seriously). Though looks like she can teach someone how to properly stalk other people. LOL

    The best part of the episode is Midorima and Kise’s scene. They made this episode entertaining even though most part is quite sad due to Seirin losing and Kagami being bench for a while due to his injury. (=_=)

    • July 23, 2012 at 1:02 pmBakaMochi

      XD I get what you mean – her portrayal feels pretty natural though (I guess you could also it seems “neutral”?), which was the part I was happy with. I don’t feel anything in particular for Momoi either, just that she can definitely do her job properly LOL

      Bakagami is Bakagami Q__Q Heal your legs, fool!

      I definitely didn’t think Midorima could be the other half of a comedic duo with anyone aside from Takao, but I changed my mind after this ep.

  • July 22, 2012 at 11:59 pmrandom viewer

    http://randomc.net/image/Kuroko%20no%20Basuke/Kuroko%20no%20Basuke%20-%2016%20-%20Large%2020.jpg
    That would be deadly if it was to the face…face-palm.
    I miss the dog already. In the end, it comes down to Kagami’s and Kuroko’s teamwork to say the least.

    • July 23, 2012 at 3:09 pmBakaMochi

      I’m kind of wondering why they don’t put the other first-years on, but considering that this is an important game, I do see the reason behind it.

      The show does come up with a lot of excuses though to put Kagami and Kuroko in the center. And they’re all plausible excuses so the audiences can’t even complain. LOL.

      • July 23, 2012 at 8:50 pmrandom viewer

        Again those first years become cheer-leading support characters just like in Prince of Tennis. They can’t hope to even go into the play-matches when I don’t even see them practicing.
        I guess if the game isn’t won by the main characters (Kagami and Kuroko taking the win) it won’t satisfy the viewers. I just didn’t think every game match would be like that so far.

  • July 23, 2012 at 12:26 am-blacksheep

    and so we’ll finally see Aomine play next episode… XD

  • July 23, 2012 at 12:39 amhaizaraa

    Midorimacchi is kinda cute, hahaha.

  • July 23, 2012 at 5:46 amnaixil

    need more Junpei in clutch-time mode. need more of his “apologetic mushroom” comments, even if they don’t make sense at all. seriously, what’s an apologetic mushroom anyway??

    • July 23, 2012 at 8:45 amIntricateRadiance

      I laughed so hard at the “apologetic mushroom” comment Hyuuga gave. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t stop laughing.
      This show amuses me greatly.

      • July 23, 2012 at 3:11 pmBakaMochi

        Haha glad I wasn’t the only one who found it funny! I dunno what it means either, but oh well~

        And sadistic Hyuuga in clutch-mode is the greatest thing ever… need more!

    • July 23, 2012 at 8:26 pmverdant

      “Apologetic mushroom” makes me think of some rubbery guy who apologizes all the time, haha!

  • July 23, 2012 at 3:24 pmFT5Havok

    That end card <3 I wish they end up together.

  • July 24, 2012 at 8:20 ammistress_kisara

    Kise please keep showing up every episode :P

  • July 25, 2012 at 3:35 amMormegil

    As soon as Aoimine showed up, my initial though was, “Welp. They’re screwed.”
    Nice ending to the episode. I liked how he nonchalantly made his entrance.

    I don’t usually save screencaps, but I had to make an exception for the end card. Thanks for posting it!