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Kuroko no Basuke – 20

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「なりたいじゃねーよ」 (Naritai Janee yo)
“I Don’t Want To Be”

In life, the only way to go is forward. Time to put your money where your mouth is, Kuroko.

It’s finally time for Kuroko to take center stage and shine on his own rather than constantly forcing himself to be a reflection of those around him – at times it seems as if he takes his role as a “shadow” too literally, blending into the background to a point where it becomes difficult to discern who he is. This episode implies Kuroko lost sight of that himself, after being so used to relying on others to put him to use. Just as Kiyoshi says, while Kuroko’s basketball helps bridge his teammates together, that also becomes a major hindrance if said teammates are ever unable to receive his passes or just stop passing, period. It’s a difficult issue to dissect, since even though the style is so inherently Kuroko, there’s actually very little of “Kuroko” present in it – it fluctuates too much depending on who his partner is, and this episode emphasizes the fact a partnership has to be a two-way street; just as Kagami is working to become stronger, Kuroko needs to do the same. Not only is it not fair to expect Kagami to carry all the burden, but Kuroko needed to have a solid desire of his own to improve. Without it, he would just be playing aimlessly, and eventually, the past would have undoubtedly repeated itself. I think this particular shot better encapsulates everything about Kuroko than I can attempt to convey in words. It’s not just that no one notices he’s there, but also that he’s just not integrated into the thick of the team. The isolation is partly self-imposed, but that doesn’t change the fact there’s no sense of true inclusion when it comes to Kuroko. There’s no real sense of who he is because Kuroko himself is stuck in limbo – mired in self-doubt and vascillating between what was, and what is.

This episode, however, finally pushed him in one direction. He’s leaving all of it behind by acknowledging he wanted to be recognized by his old teammates, a significant event since it’s the first time he has expressed a desire of his own. Consciously or not, he’s followed a pattern by choosing Kagami and continuing to play with his style, but he’s finally breaking that here. The conversation between he and Kagami was hands-down my favorite scene of the episode since it showcased a deeper level of understanding between them that wasn’t there before. Kagami in particular surprised me in terms of how much thought he put into the situation, already knowing there was an alternate reason behind Kuroko choosing him as his partner. It’s definitely a new layer of maturity he’s displaying, and it’s a testament to how strong their friendship is. They’ve come a full circle now, with Kagami snapping Kuroko out of his funk like a true bro.

Kuroko has always been an enigma, but after the match with Touou, his aloof demeanor has been slowly crumbling as he finally faced a wall he couldn’t immediately climb over. For the first time since joining Seirin, he was forced to entertain the fact that perhaps his style couldn’t beat his old teammates after all. This played more tricks on his psyche than was first evident – admitting his limits not only means he needs to improve, it also means that there was some merit in his ex-teammates all losing their trust in him. In essence, the title of the “phantom sixth man” is more important to Kuroko than he first realizes. Otherwise, why would it matter if the Generation of Miracles acknowledges his style or not? If he didn’t feel any residual bitterness or disappointment, why bother going to all those lengths to specifically prove to them his playing is worthwhile? Bitterness is probably too strong a word – I imagine Kuroko’s feelings range from frustration to bitterness, but it doesn’t quite reach or linger at the latter extreme. Perhaps “wounded” is a better word to describe his feelings. Distrust is a powerful force that can make or break a team – while the Generation of Miracles was able to stay a “team” because they placed victory above all else, for someone like Kuroko, who relies solely on teamwork and needs the cohesive environment it provides, the lack of faith in him is lethal. His MiraGen teammates probably didn’t intend the mistrust, as the desire to win is as natural as eating and breathing. But intended or not, it happened, and it’s an offense that doesn’t disappear easily; so it’s not surprising to finally hear Kuroko admit with his own words that his fixation with proving his own self-worth was what was driving his actions. I find his character development particularly well-done because all these hints were there – while not outright addressed, there have been many instances in previous episodes where Kuroko’s “true” motives were hinted at. This moment was a long time coming, and the best thing about it is that this is more about Kuroko trusting Kagami enough to admit these things rather than finally knowing why he decided to partner with Kagami. Because the signs were all there, the viewers can piece together the story themselves. But sometimes, it’s not about knowing the outcome – it’s about seeing how the characters get there, seeing how they choose to interpret each other’s actions and how they choose to solve the conflict at hand.

KuroBasu is really hitting a new high each time they put a character through the wringer; Kuroko just shone this week, along with Kiyoshi. The Seirin ace is really something, subtly pulling the strings to set things in motion. In that vein, I feel Hyuuga got to shine in his own way, exercising some of those captain muscles that have been getting a little soft as of late. On the court, he’s capable and has the ability to command his team. But that does not a good captain make. A truly good captain can lead his teammates outside of the court, to encourage them and set them straight when they go astray – he does that here, and his scene with Kuroko is probably a close second in my favorites of the episode. It feels right that he’s the one to send Kuroko on his way, and it was a short but sweet display of Hyuuga’s capabilities as a leader and a senior.

Random Corner:

  • Now it’s Midorima’s turn to be relevant.
  • SPOT THE MISSING BODY PART.
  • D’aww, Kise… no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to beat the battleship that is AoKuro or KagaKuro.
  • On a really, really random note, the convention I went to on Friday was a disappointment in many ways, but I did manage to score some decent loot! But seriously… come on Madoka; you aired what, four or five seasons ago? Get out of cons already.
  • Important!

  • I’d like to take this section to thank the commenters – you guys have been absolutely wonderful at keeping the spoilers under the tags. Thanks a lot! :D

Full-length images: 7, 10, 11, 12, 22, 27.

 

ED2.6 Sequence

Kuroko no Basuke   ED2.6   01

ED2: 「カタルリズム」 (Kataru Rizumu) by OLDCODEX

Preview

Kuroko no Basuke   20   Preview 01 Kuroko no Basuke   20   Preview 02 Kuroko no Basuke   20   Preview 03

End Card

Kuroko no Basuke   20   End Card
August 19, 2012 at 3:45 pm
32 comments »
  • August 19, 2012 at 5:01 pmAkuamari

    I’m really liking kiyoshi’s character lol he’s so weird and funny! and i’m excited to see how kuroko develops this new style of his~

  • August 19, 2012 at 5:11 pmAhomine

    Like the ending sequence picture
    Think it’s cute how kise wanted the same color slip as kuroko
    LOL takao.
    Cant wait for the next episode and its’ ending picture

  • August 19, 2012 at 5:36 pmrandom viewer

    It was nice to see the first-years play than just be a bench-cheering group. And what a great episode to showcase Kuroko’s and Kagami’s strengthened resolve to beat the GoM. I really remember those episode where character development kicks the story in the back. Winter Cup should be exciting :)

    • August 20, 2012 at 4:40 pmBakaMochi

      Yeah… there are more than 6 people on the team, after all! XD Hopefully after the new training session, they’ll get used more often!

  • August 19, 2012 at 5:39 pmNoSicko

    Very insightful, Bakamochi.

    That “talk” that Kagami and Kuroko had at the end was probably one of the best moments of the whole show so far. This was a great episode (not in an adrenaline-rush-’OH SNAP! HOW’D HE DO THAT?!’ way, but more of in an epic-speech/conversation-resolution way.)!

    • August 19, 2012 at 7:49 pmBakaMochi

      Mmhmm. That conversation was really, really good. Finally, a deeper look at how Kuroko thinks – it certainly did change the way I perceive him. Now that he and Kagami are on the same page again, hopefully the magic will be back by the Winter Cup.

  • August 19, 2012 at 5:41 pmNoSicko

    P.S.: They took the intro.. to the intro away. WHY?! JUST WHY?!

  • August 19, 2012 at 5:54 pmJapanese Lunch Time Rush

    Kuroko was ridiculously moe this week.

    • August 19, 2012 at 7:52 pmBakaMochi

      Kuroko is the epitome of male moe. No joke. And then I remember Haruyuki, who’s also been touted as the new male moe. Lol. Just L. O. L.

  • August 19, 2012 at 6:12 pmzleihsh

    Tako:What kind guy is he?
    Midorima:It was similar to the recent Touou game
    Tako:You ended up going to see the championship league! “I don’t want to seet it,” my @ss!
    Midorima: I simply live nearby.
    Tako: You live far away! And in the opposite direction! I know!

    Oh Midorima! XDDDDDDDD

    • August 20, 2012 at 6:54 amzleihsh

      Oops! I mean “Takao” not “Tako” LOL

  • August 19, 2012 at 6:40 pmgrey

    Okay, so i’ve commented on how i’ve recently caught up to the manga now. I was kind of curious as to how my experience with the anime would be like now that i know what’s going to happen next..

    can i just say that wow, the anime is truly one amazing adaptation of the manga. i think a lot of that has to do with the directing. the part where kuroko is explaining how the miragen used to depend on him, and then separate was an AMAZING scene and really heartbreaking.

    • August 19, 2012 at 7:54 pmBakaMochi

      You and me both. I actually paused and marveled at how good the directing was in that scene. I was even going to talk about it in the post, but it seemed kindda out of place LOL.

  • August 19, 2012 at 7:01 pmleongsh

    Teppei is a lot smarter than he lets on. Voicing his thoughts and doing the things that needed to be done to get them moving. There’s more to him but will let those who are just following the anime discover in time.

  • August 19, 2012 at 7:39 pmEunichi

    I have to be a mood breaker since these points are still not raised.

    The one-on-one has more impact in the manga than the anime. In the one-on-one battle, Kiyoshi bets his no. 7 shirt, or the role of being ace, not just the starting position (ref. Chapter 54). That is why Hyuuga and the other original members were so shocked why he did that. It’s NO. 7! However, it did not move Kagami. That’s also one of the reasons why he made the freshmen as the starters in the match in this episode. That is not a good way in discerning who is the ace now that Kiyoshi’s back, though. Kiyoshi’s very odd but he’s really deep. ~Let’s have fun~

    As you can see the plays of Kiyoshi in this episode, he plays as a center and at the same time as point guard by looking at his for a better route even while he is under the court. (ex. He passed to Hyuuga while he is about to shoot it because Hyuuga would have a better chance giving Seirin points). In contrast, Izuki plays as a regular point guard.

    Like what you have seen in the previous matches, Seirin’s defence is not good since they don’t have a good center. I’m sorry to Mitobe but that’s the truth he cannot really guard the basket well. Now that they have a very good center to their crumbling defense, Seirin’s power level just skyrocketed.

    • August 19, 2012 at 8:06 pmBakaMochi

      Oh… I wonder why that took it out? O:

      Seirin needs to play a match stat to show-off their new power up. Since Kiyoshi’s back though, does that mean Izuki is no longer the play-maker? Or is what Kiyoshi does a little different?

      • August 19, 2012 at 8:50 pmEunichi

        I wonder too. I don’t know the reason why they said that it’s just for starter position. It’s not a mistake in the manga,though, since the one scanned was the tankoubon.

        I don’t want to spoil anything but think of these points in the preview: riko’s sarcastic ideas – summer vacation – midorima.

        If you want to spoil yourself, I think the chapters that will be covered based from the preview are 58 to 60. That is one chapter shy from those that are covered in this episode, 54-57.

    • August 20, 2012 at 12:10 amAhomine

      Kiyoshi bet the ACE position not the no. 7. XD

      • August 20, 2012 at 12:26 amEunichi

        …or the role of being ace…

        I think you have missed that part in my comment. I think most of the time ace players (more commonly in anime or manga world) wear jersey no. 7. That is why I implied it as if he was betting the no. 7 jersey.

      • August 20, 2012 at 12:30 amEunichi

        I am still correct. Please take a look at this: The freshmen said: “…Betting the uniform…” (Taken from mangafox)

        Please give me your reference that it is not the shirt or the jersey or the uniform?

      • August 20, 2012 at 4:49 amAhomine

        Kiyoshi never said his betting his uniform and I know you never said that too. I just said that Kiyoshi bet the ace position. If you read the Japanese manga version its the ACE position Kiyoshi bet not the jersey.

        Sorry for replying so short to lazy to reply that’s why. I’m not so sure how that was translated but Kiyoshi never bet his jersey no. It’s the ace position his betting in the one on one. In the anime he said ACE as well (Japanese) I never heard him say jersey no. (Not so sure about the subbed though cuz I watched it without subbed) XD

      • August 20, 2012 at 7:05 amEunichi

        Yes, Kiyoshi never said it was the uniform. If we’re going with that, then I’m wrong I’m sorry. In the anime, I heard ‘start… kakete’ so I thought there was nothing wrong in translating it as he is betting his starting position. I’m still not that good in Japanese so maybe I’m wrong and there was something lost in the translation.

        Also, if we’re going with the link I provided above. The freshmen deducted that he is betting the jersey no. So that’s why it got stuck in my mind that’s he’s really betting the jersey no. However, if we go by the statements of Kiyoshi then he really never said that. But I’m still not completely wrong or mislead others as I included the phrase, ‘or the ace position.’

        I’m sorry. It’s just that your statement implied that I’m wrong so I felt the need to explain that I am not completely wrong. If that wasn’t your intention, then it’s ok.

      • August 20, 2012 at 8:03 pmAhomine

        Your not wrong, I was just confuse, so I need to checked it with you but my reply was too short and didn’t explain anything.

        Sometimes, they change the translation depending on the sentence so not so sure how that was translated in the Manga. But in the Japanese I remember Kiyoshi said his betting the ace position which is why in the game against Yousen Hyuuga implied that Kagami is Seirin ACE. (Sorry for the spoiler, not so sure if you read that far already).

        As for the freshmen statement I’m pretty sure they are talking about the ACE position too. Sometimes it can be translated as “Uniform” cuz of the ace no. but in Basketball there’s no rule about having a specific no. for ACE right? unlike soccer that if your jersey is no. 10 that means your the ace. In basuke only the captain no. can easily be identify which is no. 4.

        Anyway, I really thought I mis-heard it when I watch the episode that’s why I reply to your comment. Not saying that your wrong but clarifying it. Cuz in the channel where I watch Kuroko theres no sub so not too sure how that was sub. (^_^)

  • August 19, 2012 at 11:53 pmnaixil

    Bakagami and Kuroko’s bromance confession! we finally see Kuroko step up as the real protagonist of the show.

    can’t wait for beach episode! can’t wait for Riko’s “training session”. she looks positively S in the preview.

    @mochi: there’s a 3 films coming up for Madoka. if that isn’t a reason to milk it as much as K-ON, i don’t know what is. too bad i’m not a fan though.

    • August 20, 2012 at 4:37 pmBakaMochi

      Never mind the three movies, there are two manga spin-offs LOL. I mean, I love the series and all, but of the three, only one contains original material. .___.

  • August 20, 2012 at 9:02 ambelatkuro

    Teppei is the man with the plan…sort of. Really hard to see if he was planning something or just winging it. But he did set a change with Kuroko. Speaking of which, that conversation with Kagami was just amazing. The direction was just smooth. Now he’s motivated to become stronger. Which means it’s time to discover and improve on things. And what better way than the summer training.
    I’m still feeling uneasy about the remaining five episodes and where it will end. I want to see Teppei play and show his center/point guard skills which is a big help for Seirin in terms of offense and defense. And of course Kuroko and Kagami’s improvements. Best not think about it and just watch it unfold I guess. But still…:/

    Oh god, Riko looks scary in that last pic in the preview.

    • August 20, 2012 at 10:31 amzleihsh

      That’s because next ep is about her cooking…….LOL
      Did you see everyone’s reaction?! This will be funny. XDD

      • August 20, 2012 at 4:39 pmBakaMochi

        She looks positively frightening. Hopefully no Seirin members were hurt during the making of the next episode.

      • August 20, 2012 at 7:29 pmzleihsh

        According to the Manga, well….let’s just say Hyuuga will be a very brave gentleman. XDDDDDDD

      • August 20, 2012 at 7:52 pmnaixil

        oh Hyuuga, you’re such a dear. this is why you should be with Riko. hohoho.

      • August 20, 2012 at 9:48 pmBakaMochi

        There was that pairing-ish end card! There is hope!!!!

  • August 21, 2012 at 2:48 ammainavidesu

    Off Topic (just sharing)

    Kuroko no Basuke DVD/BD the first volume finally broke 20k in sales.

    Total sales is 20,524.00

    I think this sales is more than enough for us to have another season! :)