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Kuroko no Basuke – 22

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「死んでも勝つっスけど」 (Shindemo Katsussu kedo)
“I’ll Win Even If It Kills Me”

The biggest draw of this episode is no doubt the anticipated match-up between the two Generation of Miracles members, but before getting to the star attraction – and raging about that cliffhanger –some highlights deserving of attention: Midorima, the importance of motivation, Kuroko, and Kasamatsu, the captain with something to prove.

I don’t believe I touched on this before, but Midorima runs on very dichotomous philosophies. The idea of relying on fortune, or fate, to dictate outcomes is a direct counter to the idea of becoming the master of one’s destiny – or to put it in less (or more) cheesier terms, relying on our own abilities to pave our path. The latter way of thinking rejects the notion of a predestined course of action, which is why it’s so interesting to see both philosophies firmly present in one person. He’s a firm believer of his own strength, which breeds a confidence that borders on arrogance – but part of that hubris stems from his obsessive reliance on superstition. While these two beliefs are highly contradictory and should cancel each other out, with Midorima they gel together to create a layered character rife with interesting quirks. His lucky items of the day never fail to bring a comedic element to the show, but they also lend a deeper depth to Midorima’s personality that makes for fairly fun analysis.

It also brings into question what his motivation in playing basketball is. Playing “to win” is too simplistic a reason, and one Midorima has been far too conditioned to do to qualify as a legitimate reason. A clear goal is important in anything a person does, and judging by how he – and the rest of Shuutoku – is so firmly focused, each teammate, as individuals, have something they want to work for – a common goal that forces them to put aside their differences and play as a team. I say this because basketball, at its core, is very much a team sport. Sure, it’s possible to get by with individual play, but somewhere along the line it either becomes one of two things: meaningless or not enough. With Aomine, it’s obviously the former. With Midorima, interestingly enough, it’s harder to tell. His style is solely based on individual strength and uses so little of his teammates that it’s obvious neither of those outcomes really apply to him. What’s more is that for someone so convinced of his own abilities, Midorima chose a sport centered around teamwork – with other people, ensured victory goes from absolute to a maybe. Shuutoku may be strong, but the only thing Midorima will ever be sure of is his own abilities. That kind of self-confidence doesn’t extend to his teammates, and strictly from a statistical point of view, they’re essentially decreasing his chances of victory. Looking at it that way, basketball should never have been a sport he chose – with so many unknown variables to consider, it’s unfavorable for him to play if he’s playing solely to win. In the same vein, it’s interesting Midorima chose to continue play basketball after Teikou, the only team that ever guaranteed him victory. Obviously, there’s something else that motivates him, something Teikou couldn’t give him; whether or not that’s a sufficient method to test his abilities or something else is unclear, but what is clear is that simple “victory” isn’t really the reason why Midorima plays basketball, whether he realizes it or not.

But Midorima does have a clear-cut motivation, which is something Seirin lacks. Like Izuki says, while their team has one half of the equation complete – teamwork – they don’t have the focus, the drive that brings a clarity to their actions. To be fair, some members of the team do have it, namely Hyuuga, Kagami, and recently, Kuroko. But contradictory to their emphasis on team effort, their focus is very much individual – each of their desires to win diverges from the core of what makes them so strong and hence scatters their focus. Part of it has much to do with the fact Seirin is a green team, and although it hasn’t been explicitly stated, it’s been implied even the senior players don’t have a very extensive history in basketball. While Seirin certainly doesn’t play for shits and giggles, they lack that cohesive focus that distinguish those who really want to play from those who play simply because it seems logical. If they want to advance to the finals of any championship, what Seirin needs is that singular drive to define why they play.

With each Seirin member starting to find their focus, it’ll be interesting to see what Kuroko brings to the table with his new style. Like someone pointed out last week, it most likely has to do with what Midorima said, but how Kuroko achieves it will be a real treat to see.

And finally, the star attraction: Kaijou vs. Touou. Or Kise vs. Aomine. The episode’s theme of motivation runs particularly strong in Kaijou, between Kasamatsu and Kise. The captain’s goals are crystal clear and he plays to achieve it – there’s a seriousness to his style and a constant pressure he puts on himself to become better that makes him the captain that his team needs. His past failures give him the drive that defines him as a player and inspires his fellow teammates to play the same way. It’s not the same as having a personal motivation though, and while noble, I’m not sure Kise’s newfound desire to win no matter what will be enough to vault him over Aomine. One glaring flaw – that stems from his personality, not shoddy writing – with Kise’s character is that he doesn’t have a defined sense of self. His actions are firmly rooted in terms of other people. To put it in simpler terms, Kaijou’s ace is like an eager puppy all set to please those around him. It’s rare to see him act on a self-centric desire; with such a diluted sense of self, Kise is seriously limiting his own growth, and preventing himself from finding the drive he needs. This match against his former “mentor” will be his time to shine though, and I imagine it’ll force him to finally find that personal ambition instead of chasing the vision of somebody else’s dreams.

Random Corner:

Note:

Really, really sorry for the lateness – moving has been hectic.

Full-length images: 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 23, 26, 27, 28, 34, 35.

 

ED2.8 Sequence

Kuroko no Basuke   ED2.8   01

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

Preview

Kuroko no Basuke   22   Preview 01 Kuroko no Basuke   22   Preview 02 Kuroko no Basuke   22   Preview 03

End Card

Kuroko no Basuke   22   End Card
September 5, 2012 at 1:20 am
23 comments »
  • September 5, 2012 at 1:38 ambelatkuro

    I feel honored by being mentioned slightly in this post. Or at least I think it’s me. It’s either that or I will embarrass myself with this. Oh well.

    Great post again. Though you missed out on Kagami’s revelation here but I guess the post would get longer if you fit it. I dunno if it was intentional or not but I.G. was definitely showing in the past episodes that Kagami jumps with his right foot and those are the high jumps. I can’t find any screenshots in the past episodes here but I definitely remember in their match with Aomine that Kagami was jumping from the free throw line with his right foot but got blocked. Props to them if they did it intentionally.

    And finally, the match I’ve(or should I say all) have been waiting for. You got it about Kise and his style and self but just wait and see how this gets addressed in the match.
    Can’t wait for it.

    P.S. Megame team in the ED! That’s a tough team, Imaiyoshi, Midorima and Hyuuga. I also wear glasses but I remove them when I play.
    P.P.S. KnB DVD/BD volume 2 sold 20k! And it was out of stock apparently. It will have higher sales next week then if that happens. Give us season 2 I.G.!
    P.P.P.S. Don’t mention it about the lateness. Real life comes first.
    P.P.P.P.S. Mochi, blog Psycho-Pass next season. The character design is from KHR artist. It’s also Production I.G. Plus I heard it’s the new show written by Urobuchi Gen. Do it :P

    • September 5, 2012 at 11:08 amBakaMochi

      That was you so you’re safe XD

      Yeah I felt like I should mention it, but then the post was at 1000 words already LOL. Woe is me! Yeah I’m pretty sure they did show him jumping off his right foot and I feel like it was mentioned a couple times before too O:

      P.S. It’s too bad we’ll never see this match animated QQ How much do you want to bet they stuck Kagami and Aomine on the same team?

      P.P.S. They sell out REALLY fast. Not sure what the numbers on the 3rd/4th volume is though, but I’m sure they’re looking good XD Second season please!

      P.P.P.S. Aww thanks!

      P.P.P.P.S. LOL. Guns and UroGen? GUARANTEED RECIPE FOR ZETSUBOU. I’m still recovering from Fate/Zero, haha! Although the character designs are going to look reaaaaaal nice :D

  • September 5, 2012 at 3:14 ammistress_kisara

    As usual I enjoyed this episode! Finally it’s Kise vs. Aomine it’ll be interesting to see if he is able to copy Aomine’s crazy moves! I’m pretty sure Kaijou has come a long way since their practice match with Seirin.

    And LOL at Kuroko who’s making fun of Team Megane!

    • September 5, 2012 at 5:24 amNita

      Yes, Kuroko makinf fun of that group was amazing, and so cute.. lol

    • September 5, 2012 at 5:24 amFrog

      I imagine it went like this:
      Kise *while LOL’ing at Megane trio*: “Hey, hey, Kurokocchi! What would you do if you had glasses?”
      Kuroko: “I suppose I would look like this.”
      Kise and Izuki: LOL.

    • September 5, 2012 at 11:10 amBakaMochi

      KuroBasu is always enjoyable XP I accidentally spoiled myself a little regarding this match, so there’s one moment I’m really looking forward to seeing animated. Kise!

      And I think there were some pictures of megane Kuroko floating around imageboards, actually…

      • September 5, 2012 at 2:19 pmgrey

        i knew you would give in and read the manga at some point! :D

        one of us! one of us!

  • September 5, 2012 at 7:23 amnaixil

    Shin-chan is such a softie. he can not give Bakagami the hint, but he did anyway.

    lots of Kise is great, but i still feel cheated out of my manservice. where are all the abs?!

    hope moving is going on well for you Mochi. =)

    • September 5, 2012 at 9:20 amzleihsh

      If you like abs, the check here:
      I got this from google

      http://www.fanpop.com/spots/kuroko-no-basuke/images/31052447/title/kise-kuroko-photo

      …..and our lively blond

      http://www.zerochan.net/1129356

      I wonder if too HOT can be a crime….

      ~have fun~

    • September 5, 2012 at 11:15 amBakaMochi

      @naixil: Thanks! :) It’s going relatively well-ish!

      Well… there was… a split second shot of Bakagami. But! But! I was waiting for an opportunity to use this picture I found in the ED1 a while ago, and here it is – classy to the max. Production I.G. is capable of using their brains once in a while lol.

      @zleihsh: Wow XD Aomine following in the footsteps of Kagami?

    • September 5, 2012 at 7:36 pmnaixil

      @zleihsh and @Mochi: both of you just made my day so much brighter. (。♥‿♥。)

      Production I.G., more of those gorgeous shots please!! m(_ _)m

  • September 5, 2012 at 2:22 pmgrey

    okay, they adapted less of kaijou vs touou than i thought! the next episode better be a full on adaptation of that arc, and then maybe the final episode be a .5 adaptation then whatever else. doesn’t seem like enough time to get the full effect of it but whatever i’ll take it! they drew kise so nicely this week.

    also, OMG @ that teikou team picture. AKASHI! first time they’ve showed his face. i’m surprised they do show his whole face. i actually screamed when that shot came up on the screen.

    • September 5, 2012 at 11:10 pmBakaMochi

      I find it so upsetting that they’re showing the rest of the GoM without any news of a second QQ

      But… Kise was especially pretty this week yes

      • September 6, 2012 at 1:52 pmgrey

        So true. They’ve tried to keep them relatively hidden, especially Akashi. (Like in the whatever shots and in the op/ed)
        It was quite a shock to see him, it’s unfair! I need more now! I highly doubt this won’t be getting a second season tbh, the BD/DVD sales are doing beyond good.

      • September 6, 2012 at 2:04 pmgrey

        O joy! Looks like an OVA is announced! And it’s adapting bonus chapter 62.5.

  • September 5, 2012 at 2:53 pmrandom viewer

    Pictures of the past really add to my enjoyment of the Generation of Miracles. I can’t wait for the episode where they all come together like this again…maybe without the uniforms:
    http://randomc.net/image/Kuroko%20no%20Basuke/Kuroko%20no%20Basuke%20-%2022%20-%20Large%2011.jpg
    In the meantime, while we wait for the upgraded KurokoxKagami Duo to happen, let’s enjoy the next match-up of KisexAomine.
    P.S. Midorima is so “nice” to help Kagami practice.

    • September 5, 2012 at 11:13 pmBakaMochi

      I wonder if any off the BD extras animate the GoM days… That would be really nice!

  • September 5, 2012 at 5:14 pmRigelin

    Am I the only one who has realized that Kagami could also do a floater? Instead of spending the extra effort and doing a double clutch, why not just do a floater? Now it’s a good idea to perfect his left hand coordination, but he could simply also do a right handed floater instead of dunking. If he can jump over everyone, then no one can stuff him, and if anyone blocks it as it approaches the basket it’s goal tending. And if anything it takes less energy than dunking.

    Anyone else agree with me?

    • September 5, 2012 at 11:29 pmBakaMochi

      Hmm… I’m not really sure since i’m not abasketball expert but looking at the description on wiki it sounds like it may have something to do with Kagami’s size and position?

  • September 6, 2012 at 1:45 pmNoSicko

    Wow Bakamochi. DAT INSIGHT!

    Kise vs Aomine is gonna be awesome!

  • September 6, 2012 at 2:53 pmRasen

    I don’t think Midorima runs on opposing theories per se. It’s more similar to “God helps those who helps themselves.”

    He does everything within his power to succeed, but the final result is up to chance. You can prepare for a test all you want, but if you get violently ill the day of the exam…To take an example from Kuroko in the match against To-ou, the To-ou team may have had the game all sewn up, but a meteor strike would have given the match to Seirin.

    Or at least that’s my take on it.

    • September 8, 2012 at 1:13 amBakaMochi

      Hmm… Yeah… But Midorima’s obsession with the horoscope is a little different from that line of thinking I think. For example what if the horoscope dictated his luck was the worst? I’m interested in something like that actually happening since it’ll throw him for a real loop – fate has decided the outcome already but if Midorima really has done all he can to ensure he wins, he should still see the fruits of his labor regardless.

      • September 8, 2012 at 7:28 amzleihsh

        About Midorima’s horoscope, yea there is one about his bad luck day in the novel, and it was a really unlucky day too. Poor guy…..