「逆襲よろしく!」 (Gyakushuu Yoroshiku! )
“Take Care of the Counterattack!”

In this week’s edition of Kuroko, we learn that there are actually five players on a basketball team.

I’ll be honest – I could have blogged KnB yesterday, but I really didn’t want to think about basketball after seeing Derrick Rose go down with an ACL tear during the meaningless final minutes of the Bulls playoff opener against the 76ers. That depressed me on so many levels, because he’s one of the most exciting players in basketball and the playoffs are lessened by his departure. But especially because now we’ll never see if the Bulls’ team-first attitude and character could break through against Miami’s superstar-driven one-on-one approach. With Rose out, the Heat are an overwhelming favorite to cruise through the East to the NBA finals.

But a blogger must soldier on, and fortunately KnB delivered probably its snappiest and most entertaining episode yet. The basketball is still classic “Jump” fantasy, with dunks everywhere, insert songs and dramatic pauses in the action for characters to explain exactly what they’re doing (I guess the 5-second rule isn’t in effect here) but the action was fast and furious, and as well-animated as you’d expect from the team at I.G.. And we got to meet the rest of of the Seirin starters properly at last – calm cool and witty Izuki Shun (Nojima Hirofumi), the silent Mitobe Rinnosuke (???) and “jack of all trades, master of none (Taichi? Is that you?) Koganei Shinji (Eguchi Takuya). Not only that, but Captain Junpei finally makes his presence felt, proving himself a terrific outside shooter and a bulldog in the clutch.

All of this unsung heroism is made necessary when Kuroko is laid out by a blow to the head from Kise after Seirin’s clever “one-two” defense on him allows Kuroko to steal the ball. An interesting question – was that truly inadvertent, or did Kise clock Kuroko on purpose? It seemed accidental but Kise was obviously getting pretty pissed off at the time it happened – I suppose we’ll never know for sure. In any case, with Kuroko groggy and bleeding, the others have to carry the team for the second and third quarters while he recovers behind the bench. Between Junpei’s marksmanship and Kagami’s defense on Kise they manage to keep it close until Kuroko can rouse himself for the final six minutes, leading to a dramatic (and highly improbable) finish.

There’s another interesting couple of developments here, though. It appears (though I’m not 100% sure) that “copycat” Kise has figured out Kuroko’s style, though too late to help win this game. And then there’s the arrival of Ono Daisuke (this series has more Onos than Yoko’s family reunion) on the scene as Midorima Shintarou. He’s another member of the Generation of Miracles, a fan of horoscopes, and he’s tapped one of his new teammates to transport him to the practice match of his old teammates via bicycle rickshaw (in one of those nice touches that makes I.G. stand out, they bring back Sakai Noa – Kouki from Usagi Drop – to provide the voice of the little boy gawking at the sight). Whether he arrived in time to see the end of the match I don’t know, but I’m sure he’ll be playing a major role, possibly as the next antagonist for Seirin.

But more importantly – what the heck is up with that end card??




  1. I’m REALLY liking this anime. Every time, every single time, Kuroko gets his hands on the ball, I freak out and almost fall out of my chair. I never thought I’d say that about a sports anime. 🙂

  2. I thought Kise was copying a certain *spoilers* monster for a second there.

    Great episode and fantastic finish. I remembered when games were this short in the beginning, but somehow I don’t mind the longer games later on either.

  3. But more importantly – what the heck is up with that end card??

    That’s what they call fanservice for fujoushi, I suppose!

    This episode made me rofl endlessy, can’t wait for more Midorimacchi!

  4. I COMPLETELY DIDN’T NOTICE THAT END CARD. XD I think I choked laughing when I clicked the link. I do know I usually don’t pay attention once the ending credits start rolling (or maybe Crunchyroll just didn’t show that part? I don’t remember). It’s oddly adorable which is something that I’m somewhat perturbed to be saying so I guess they did a good job?

    The sentence actually felt weird while I was typing it out.

  5. I am loving this anime.. im not one for sports story lines but this show has changed my mind and it is now my next top favorite for this season. Great episode!! and im really loving the music during the games can’t wait for the ost to come out for this show.

  6. It makes me happy that this ignored work in Jump is finally getting some attention but that end card…I’m a bit conflicted about what it attracts…

    Anyways the episode had some ultra fast pace game with little focus on conventional basketball plays but rather focusing on specific shots and plays that may not be to some basketball enthusiasts but I still like it.
    The music is still amazing. The CG ball and hoop looks weird though.
    With Midorima appearing, the match between the 3 Onos should be fun.

  7. While not exactly relevant, you ever notice how in most basketball anime, the main characters are always “shocked” that they need 5+ players for a team? I still don’t get that. Did they never even realize that? Did they not read the rules? Have they never seen any games, or did they think that all games are some weird combination of numbers like we were having practice games? It just….baffles me.

    Ah well, please ignore my bitching. I just kinda noticed that recently. 😛

    P.S. As a Chicagoan, no Derrick Rose on the Bulls hurts my heart. ; ^; He’s so much fun to watch!
    P.P.S. This is why I can’t watch sports anime- I always find how Japan plays the games slightly baffling, making me miss half the show. Like I made it through Moshidora OK, but watching some of the baseball things they do just confuses me to no end. I dunno. My preference, I guess.

    1. What a crappy way for our season to end…

      My favorite current sports manga is actually tennis, but not that one… Baby Steps is about the most realistic sports shounen out there, and it features a kid who takes what I think of as a very Japanese approach to the game. I sincerely hope it gets an anime – maybe if Nishikori Kei has some more success there’ll be a tennis boom.

  8. Another great episode of knb. OMG that “see you next week” pic is so adorable. On my own opinion that pic isn’t bad at all cuz I see then as brothers in there rather than what couple? Well love how they entertain us this week.

    @platinum: the reason why sports manga’s are hard to understand sometimes is because most of the rules or moves are exaggerated to attract the readers. Besides authors have some rules to gollow in making those mangas as well.

    Anyway guess it can be help sometimes but glad your still giving sports anime a change.

  9. LOL, a little shounen-ai and all of a sudden the sports shounen gets a ton of comments!

    The funny thing is, fujoshi tend to love sports shounen and other types, too – there’s rarely any hetero romance, and usually a couple of guys at least that will pass for bishies.

  10. As a native Chicagoan I cant watch anything basketball related anymore and I actually feel sick. So I’m off to catch up on all the other series and hoping to drown my sorrows away lol. Keep up the good work, you are a bigger man than I.

  11. The character designer is Yoko Kikuchi, the very same person for ‘Junjo Romantica’ and ‘Sekai-ichi’.
    If you were wondering why some characters look more bishie than ‘necessary’, or why some end-cards look… erm, ‘odd”, now you know why. (y)

    K Hanabashi

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