“To Win”

I suppose if nothing else, Kuroko no Basuke must stand as an inspirational tale about the endless rewards possible through hard work and practice.

I should probably have my head examined for ever thinking about realism in a SJ sports series, I know. I guess I’m just too much of a basketball team not to notice stuff, though, and when I see a team that’s blown out a year earlier suddenly decide they can afford to bench their two best players for the second half and still beat the team that blew them out, I can’t help but laugh. Seriously – no one gets that much better through one year of high school, no matter how much they practice. I was going to find it a bit of a stretch to see Seirin beat Seiho even with Kagami and Kuroko playing the entire game, to be honest, but this…

All right, I’ve vented – so on to the rest of the episode. Perfectly good basketball stuff, and the upside of that preposterous “rest the first-years” plot twist is that it allows us to see what the second-years can really do. Hyuuga we’ve seen in action plenty, but the others – Izuki and Mitobe – have basically been NPCs to this point. But they have game – Mitobe is athletic and offensively versatile, sporting a deft hook shot and strong defensive skills. And Izuki is – in Kuroko’s absence especially – the playmaker and lynchpin of the offense. Yes, he’s more than bad puns – he’s a floor general with real court vision. As for the two second-years who step up when Kagami and Kuroko head to the bench – are at least competent. Koganei Shinji can shoot from anywhere – but given that he rarely connects, that seems of dubious value – and Tsuchida Satoshi is a good rebounder – especially handy when Shinji is clanking shots.

Of course if these guys are that good – good enough to beat a team like Seiho – why would they take such a back seat to two first-years, even ones as good as K & K? And how is that just because these guys are second-years they can go 40 minutes without worrying about being tired for Shutoku, while the first-years need to rest for an entire half? Details, details – the most interesting element for me will be seeing how Kuroko does on the court without Kagami to play off of. His return is necessitated by the concussion suffered by Koganei, and he’s packing a grudge to boot – Kagami’s vendetta against Seiho’s big-mouthed first-year Tsugawa. It’s a grudge-match in general, with the second-years hungry for revenge for the rubbing Seiho gave them the year before.

Look, we all know who’s going to win this game – Midorima awaits in the next round – so it’s just a matter of how we get there. With the entire episode dedicated to in-game action there isn’t a whole lot of time for character development beyond the usual SJ icy glare, thought we continue to see hints that Kuroko is capable of getting pretty riled up at being taken too lightly. It certainly didn’t please him that Tsugawa had forgotten him despite playing against him, and Tsugawa’s motor mouth (which I don’t think is really malicious – just tactless) seems to be doing a good job motivating the entire Seirin side. Is Kuroko so pissed off that we might actually see him take a shot?




  1. Anyone notice the teaser/spoiler in the “see you later” eyecatch for an event that takes place around chapter ~100+? 😉 Makes me wonder if Production IG is planning to animate that far into the series…

    1. Well there’s a rumor circulating that Production IG will cover till the current tournament in the manga.

      But this is just a rumor, cuz Production IG seems don’t want to spoil us so they keeping quiet about this. (=_=)

  2. Stop thinking about realism. Also, be prepared as this is just the beginning and thankfully it hasn’t still gone to POT level of ridiculousness. Let’s remember Seirin is top 4 in Tokyo in its 1st year of participation. They’re not really weak and you’ll know soon. Production IG did a good job on the comedic skits like this one.

  3. Well, they were losing in terms of score differences after they benched K & K so i would say that they were losing to Seiho without K&K. And if i remember correctly, the basketball team they made at first year was kinda rushed in many aspect(A few months left before their matches last i remember). 1 year would have made some differences in tactics compared to the few months. Not to mention you have THAT coach (Riko) there. Seriously, she can bring you to hell and back with her power ups.

    On the side note, Show Spoiler ▼

  4. This episode was very fun to watch 😉

    Although, it’s too bad no “reputable” groups are releasing this because Crunchyroll’s translation leaves much to be desired… they aren’t even rendering Kagami’s awkward “respectful speech”.

    And, as was said before, this is just the beginning… believe me, it gets BETTER 🙂

    Probably, Production IG (or PIG, lol) will go as far as their game with Dai-chan (taking from the OP).

    But I can’t wait to see the next game when we see Midorima does *toot* LOL 🙂

  5. Considering that this is Shounen Jump sports series, don’t expect that things go like the normal basketball staff cuz if that’s the case it should have change publisher as we all know what SJ cater.

    Anyway, It is still normal compare to Prince of Tennis, I guess. At least no one sent flying all over the place just because they are hit by a ball. LOL

    Watching this expecting normal moves in a basketball games will makes to bored so better expect the unexpected cuz if you want to watch basketball without exaggerated moves then better go watch NBA. (^_^)

    Overall that was one of the best episode so far. XD

  6. Sports manga are NEVER realistic XD Prince of Tennis is famous for the ridiculous tennis XP
    This said,what i dislike of this serie is the great emphasis on the miracle generation,i mean,at the end it seems that every match is a generation miracle member vs member,as if the other players are just there to make numbers and totally unimportant,and that is not only ridiculous but also annoying,seriusly those guys didn’t have sempais before?I’d love to see them strugle more instead of strugling ONLY against their ex team mates…so much for saying “team work/Hardwork > individual” at the end only those super-amazing players matter in this anime .

  7. Yeah, I thought it was really weird for two benched seniors to suddenly play, and the other team didn’t get a huge lead… it was so unrealistic, but whatever, this anime is entertaining as heck! Can’t wait to get some Kuroko action!


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