「『勝利』ってなんですか」 (Shouritte Nan Desu Ka)
“What is ‘Victory’?”
I. Love. This. Show.
There are actually so many great elements to KuroBasu; tropes aren’t magically reinvented or anything, but they’re certainly used and incorporated in such a way none of it feels too overdone. I also have to point out that the humor in the show is seriously done well. It’s just there, worked into the dialogue and the appropriate moments – it feels reminiscent of the seamless executions in some of the more lauded shows like Rinne no Lagrange, where something was just funny in one moment and serious the next in the same scene. One prime example of the humor in the Shuutoku arc is Midorima’s obsession with superstition – he’s such a straight-laced guy but when you see him with that ridiculous raccoon, calling it his “lucky item” in that deadpan voice nonetheless, I certainly can’t help bursting out in laughter. Of course, what’s funnier is his team’s reaction to it: “Let’s break it”. Very subtle hatred in this team.
Even though the show veers off into comedy territory once in a while, the laughs don’t diminish the tension in any way, and the sheer intensity on the court was more evident than ever. Both teams are right on each other’s heels in terms of being able to adapt to each situation: Seirin may be able to exploit Midorima’s weakness, but they have to keep in mind that he’s not the sole player on the Shuutoku team. Their captain Ootsubo (Satou Kensuke) is just as intense as Midorima, and it continues to keep Seirin on their toes as the match wears on. It’s a great game of tug-of-war and what’s even greater is seeing how each player reacts to it. Midorima obviously isn’t used to having his shots countered and while I love the guy, it’s going to be freaking awesome to see him fall a few pegs.
The biggest surprise for me though was Kagami’s reaction to the match – it’s a great call-back to Kuroko’s conversation with Kise, where the latter warned Kuroko about the possible shift in Kagami’s ideals in the future: what then? It’s a valid question to ask and while I thought it was a point that would be examined in upcoming episodes, I had no idea the show would address it so soon and in such an intense manner. You can’t fault Kagami for wanting to win, but damn if he didn’t seem like an ass for it. It’s doubly disappointing since the reason Kuroko left his old team was in search for a victory that included a sense of satisfaction and achievement for everyone on the team. But the Kagami of this episode is one that would’ve traded teamwork for absolute victory, and if that was the philosophy of all the Generation of Miracles members, it’s easy to understand why Kuroko derived no joy in playing with them. Kise is probably one of the more milder members, and I feel even Midorima doesn’t come close to exuding the kind of cold self-centeredness the rest of the Generation of Miracles are probably capable of giving off. With Kise and Midorima (particularly with Kise) it was more about wondering why Kuroko left; victory is still a factor, but the root of the problem is centered more around Kuroko – winning just naturally came hand-in-hand with proving themselves as the teammates he should be playing with.
Seirin’s team is more lax when it comes to victory – there’s still a desire to win, but they obviously are of the mentality that it’s better to do it as a team than as a one-man show. I’m impressed they handled Kagami’s outburst so level-headedly, since it probably isn’t the easiest to hear your junior tell you that you’re basically useless; it’s a show of maturity and sensibility that really mark them as proper seniors. The best part about Kagami’s frustration though, is probably Kuroko’s punch – I didn’t know he had it in him! It’s rare to see Kuroko express any emotion at all, least of all anger, so imagine my pleasant surprise when Kuroko brought out his game face in preparation for the last quarter! I’m definitely stoked for whatever he has in store for his opponents, and hopefully we’ll be back to seeing those crazy magical passes between him and Kagami – Angry!Kagami is awesome, but I much prefer Bromance!Kagami.
tl;dr: @SaberMochi – Funny, but intense as always; let’s see you bring your A-game Kuroko! #kurobas (I probably messed this up somewhere… but I promise to get the hang of it soon!)
P.S.: An iPhone, Kise? Really? Don’t you know Androids are the way to go?
P.P.S.: What’s your sign, baby? Lol. I love the unintentional fujoshi baits in this show.
Terminology of the Day:
- Box-and-one: A mix between zone defense and man-to-man defense, the strategy is often used against teams with a dominant scorer where the idea is to force that player to score against their marker while all the other offensive players are checked by the defense (Wikipedia)
- Screen: Also known as a pick, it involves an offensive player blocking a defender in order to free a teammate (Wikipedia)
ED: 「Start it right away」 by (hyadain)