「そんなもんじゃねえだろ」 (Sonna Mon Janeedarou)
“That’s Not It”
Da-yum, Midorima! You’re gonna give poor Hyuuga a heart attack if you keep up with those crazy shots – as if having his prized action figures broken weren’t punishment enough (subtle reference there, Production I.G.), he has to contend with shots like these?
Shuutoku vs. Seirin really got into full swing this week and it’s every bit as exciting and nail-biting as I thought it would be. Shuutoku isn’t crowned one of the three “Immobile Kings” without good reason, and the other players on the team swiftly showed their worth when the one weakness of Midorima’s shooting strategy became apparent. He may be the star of their team, but he’s not the only capable player, unlike Shinkyo where Dad was really the only player with any worth. The dynamics of the Shuutoku team continue to amuse me; the other players seem to actively despise Midorima’s “selfish actions” and the captain looks like he’s going to rip him a new hole should they lose the game. Not even the coach is up for catering to every single one of his whims, and I point these out as interesting since they’re a somewhat unexpected spin on the talented star player cliché. Often times a player like Midorima will get the golden treatment simply because of how talented he is (e.g. LeBron James), but that’s not the case here. It’s also a testament to his character – self-centered, aloof and calculating. It’s bound to cause friction within a team sport that has a clear hierarchy built into it: seniority, teamwork, etc.
Take Kise for example. He’s talented, but at the same time he’s also a very affable individual, and there’s no evidence of the same kind of animosity in Kaijou like there is in Shuutoku. Kagami and Kuroko are also very much team players; they’re certainly good, but they respect their seniors and know what they can ask of them and what they can’t. The difference in all of their personality is even clearer in the flashback and I like how it creates such a complex conflict in the present: it’s not just about which school wins and advances – it’s a match of game philosophy, about proving which ideology is right. Do you win as a team or as an individual? A classic dilemma in sports-related mediums, but there’s something about Kuroko no Basuke that brings a fresh spin to the old tale. Maybe it’s that nothing feels truly contrived? Sure, those magic passes are improbable and defies logic, but Seirin’s wins aren’t due to some sort of magic shounen power-up brought on BY THE POWER OF LOVE AND FRIENDSHIPTM; it’s hard work and smart strategies that bring them the win, and even then, their opponents still give them a run for their money. That’s what makes it so exciting, to see the match vacillate between each team so often like in an actual match.
The extra layer of conflict certainly makes the Ono vs. Ono vs. Ono more exciting to watch. Speaking of the three, I have to say each of the seiyuu are doing a remarkable job of bringing out the characters’ personalities and marking the urgency and importance of each moment. Ono Daisuke (Midorima) has never not been good, but it’s my first time hearing Ono Yuuki (Kagami) and Ono Kenshou (Kuroko) – they’re pitch perfect for their roles though, and the fit really helps bring key scenes to life. There’s nothing more annoying than being distracted by the seiyuu’s performance during a critical moment… not necessarily because they’re bad, but maybe because there’s probably another seiyuu out there you could stick into the role.
As of the moment though, it looks like Ono Daisuke is the one winning the three-way tug-of-war; Midorima can shoot virtually from anywhere, Kuroko is shut down for the time being by Takao, and Kagami is having a difficult time keeping up with Shuutoku’s ace. Even if Seirin does score, it’s as Midorima pointed out – he’ll be shooting 3-pointers while they can only manage 2-pointers. Unless they figure out a way to get Kuroko back in the game and block Shuutoku’s shots, Seirin is going to have a tough time making it out of this one with a victory.
P.S.: I would die if I was forced to break my figurines. I totally feel your pain Hyuuga, even though I found your manly tears to be very funny.
Terminology of the Day:
- Hang-time: How long a player stays in the air after jumping to make a shot, dunk, lay-up, etc. (Wikipedia)
- Back-tip: A transition move that requires one defender to tip the ball from the dribbler to another defender ahead, allowing the switch to offensive plays. (BasketballCoach.com)
ED: 「Start it right away」 by (Hyadain)