「新しい挑戦へ」 (Atarashii Chousen e)
“To a New Challenge”

With every end comes a new beginning…

A trite sentiment, but one that holds a ring of truth. Of course it’s easier to start anew on a good note rather than attempting to re-gather motivation after walking away from a devastating loss. This is a crucial moment for Seirin, as what they choose to take away from their experience will determine how far they get in their coming matches. It’s no surprise first-years like Kagami and Kuroko are taking the losses harder than second-years like Hyuuga or Itsuki, as not only was the match against Touou a highly personal one, they haven’t had much experience dealing with defeat, period. For the senior Seirin members, this isn’t the first year where they failed to reach the Inter-High, so the psychological hit they took isn’t as severe as Kagami or Kuroko’s loss of self-assuredness.

In some ways, this episode was a step backward in terms of development for one particular character: Kagami. It is not, however, due to lazy writing or a plot ploy, but rather the natural direction his personality should flow. The difficulties a character-driven show has to face are numerous, and one of the most common hurdle creators have to jump over is the aftermath of a setback. How will the characters face their defeat? What will be their reactions? How will they overcome it in a manner that is natural and suitable to them? I don’t think I have to point out how often shows utterly fail at capturing the emotions involved in defeat and the subsequent “rebirth” properly – it happens more often than not. Kagami, in many ways, ended up resetting some of his growth; it’s victory over teamwork again, and this arises from his anger and frustration at being unable to overcome his own limits.

What’s different this time is that Kagami is externalizing. During the match with Shuutoku, his foray into assholery was solely driven by his desire to win and the complacency that convinced he was the only one who could make a victory happen. But with Touou, he genuinely believed in teamwork and wanted to prove their team’s philosophy was stronger than their opponent’s disparate, selfish principles. Not only that, there was also the issue of Aomine – about proving to the Touou ace andhimself that he was capable of defeating him and becoming the new “light”. It was a test of his and Kuroko’s partnership. And the more you believe in something, the bigger the disappointment is when things fall short. Kagami really did give it all in that last match, but it just fell short. The fact he was benched for part of that game and the rest of the ones afterward probably didn’t help – for a restless person like him, it’s just about the worst punishment they can have. It’s a constant reminder of his failure, how utterly weak he seemed in that one crucial match. I suspect that is what is driving his change now; his aggravation with himself is reflecting itself in the rough, “independent” play he exhibited this episode.

Kagami does need this step back though, since it’s natural for people to angst a little before picking themselves up again. No one emerges from every obstacle happy and enlightened right away. This is a moment for him to face his weaknesses and accept that he can’t go guns ablazing all the time. But most importantly, he needs to realize “limits” are meant to be surpassed. As Teppei says, they’re all high-schoolers, with a lot more potential than they realize. It might seem as if they’ve hit a ceiling now, but that’s not the same ceiling they’ll be hitting years – even months – later.

Kiyoshi Teppei (Hamada Kenji) is certainly an oddball, but a highly charismatic one that draws people towards him like a magnet. He might just be the one to snap Kagami out of his slump for a number of reasons: his personality and their similar circumstance. Teppei seems like one of those dogged types you can’t say “no” to, and he has been out of commission until now due to an injury. He most likely suffered the same kind of aggravation as Kagami did, which is why he’s in the best position to whip him back into fighting form – he probably understands the situation in a way nobody else can.

With Seirin really out of the Inter-High though, I have to start wondering where KuroBasu is headed next. Obviously the Winter Cup is Seirin’s new goal, but I highly doubt the show plans on cramming that into the remaining episodes. And maybe it was just my imagination, but the directing of this episode felt slightly… off-pace. The transitions between scenes weren’t as smooth, and while parts that really mattered were well done and fleshed out properly, some of the intercutting scenes felt slightly undercooked in a sense (particularly the remaining two games Seirin lost). I suppose since the underdeveloped parts aren’t necessary to the story I can’t complain too much, but it’s a notch below KuroBasu’s usual quality and I can’t help but wonder if this is due to the series nearing its end, necessitating the usual “cram as much as possible into the last few episodes” mentality. With no announcement of a second season (yet!), it’s possible the production team is gearing up for an anime-original ending if they can’t find a suitable place in the original material to leave off of. It’s around three weeks too early to make any judgments though!

Random Corner:

  • Kagami should take a page out of Midorima’s Book of Angsting – a darkened room doesn’t quite have the same effect as standing despondently in the rain, I’m afraid lol
  • Teppei is weird
  • And waddaya know? All those ED inserts actually tell a story (see below)!
  • Just realized, but Momoi looks a little like a Pokemon Trainer in that ED shot

Full-length images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 13, 14, 17, 21, 23, 24, 29, 34, 35.


ED2.5 Sequence

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

ED Inserts Compilation


End Card


  1. Bakamochi, I’ve found this post to be quite hilarious! especially your random corner!

    “his foray into assholery was solely driven by his desire to win” XD assholery lol that’s the first time i’ve heard that!

    “Kagami should take a page out of Midorima’s Book of Angsting – a darkened room doesn’t quite have the same effect as standing despondently in the rain, I’m afraid lol” so true! roflmao

    “Momoi looks a little like a Pokemon Trainer in that ED shot” lol GOTTA CATCH THEM ALL! XD omg i couldn’t help myself. it’s true though, Momoi DOES look like a pokemon trainer in that ED shot!

    it’s great to always see some humor in these blog posts ^_^ i really enjoyed this post, simply because you wrote it so well and made me really laugh <3

  2. LOL Teppei is kinda awesome :D.

    It was rather sweet to see Aomine defend Kuroko’s honour like that in the locker room ;).

    Tetsu #2’s adorableness went through the roof this episode. Loved that he had his own little basketball uniform as well :).

  3. Firstly, I enjoyed your post! I think you got Kagami’s character down really well 🙂
    Also, yay Kiyoshi, weird but a loveable character! He’s one of the reasons why I sincerely want a second season, because I want to see his character shine in the anime. *cry* Seriously, all his character development only starts when the Winter Cup preliminaries begin, and with how many episodes are left there’s just no way the Winter Cup is shown! I’m sorry I just love this character a lot okay ;w;

    And I love the ending inserts because everyone getting together and having fun yes
    (I just love how Kiyoshi’s just like ‘Hi! :D’ while Aomine’s following behind him, and then Hyuuga-senpai is yelling at him)

    P.S. I know it was just ten seconds so you didn’t talk about it, but what did you think about Aomine’s scene at the beginning of the episode?

    1. Kiyoshi is random… but he looks like an epic addition to Seirin. It’s a great time to come back fro him really, since his oddball tendencies will offset the doom and gloom after 3 consecutive losses. And if that constitutes the Return of Bakagami, all the better!

      As for Aomine, I have to agree with zleihsh. To go into depth though, some part of Aomine did want to lose that match, for Kuroko to prove to him basketball still had meaning. It’s telling he never “tries” in any of his matches – while he’ll never outright throw a game, he never pushes himself either due to two things: his belief no one can stand up to him, and a hope that runs counter to that belief; he wants someone to prove him wrong. Kuroko couldn’t, which is why he lashed out at him in that match – I can’t be absolutely certain because my Japanese isn’t fluent, but going off the tone and wording of his sentence, his “Akashi was right” bit was extremely resigned and had the mood of someone who just had his ideals shattered (okay, maybe not that dramatic, but it was all I could think of lol).

      The scene in the locker room further supports that idea, since he does respect Kuroko as a player and probably still does consider him a friend. Frankly, I think Aomine knows the damage he’s caused. Shutting that guy up was his own way of angsting/showing he cared/is apologetic.

  4. The first part of this episode is better than the second one. It gave more action on what had been a monologue from Riko. I didn’t like the second one because something was off, yeah like what you have said, the direction. It was best seen in the execution of jokes. They felt flat. Also, I think, there’s a miscast in Teppei’s voice. His voice is too matured like Imayoshi’s (Touou’s captain). I didn’t feel the ‘let’s have fun’ upbeat but offbeat character in his voice.

    Maybe, the director is stressed on how he’ll wrap it in just 25 episodes. Hahaha

    No. 2 is so cute here…. ooohhh I’m becoming Panda-kun praising my ownself XD

  5. wow, this episode is really heavy on the emotions. i can’t say all the jokes fell flat (because it did make me laugh abit), but given the nature of this episode (more brooding from our two leads), it might be why the jokes don’t fall through. (if you’re feeling especially moody, it would be hard to get a smile out of you too.) seeing that Teppei is finally into the show, i’m looking forward to what he will do to make Kagami (and Kuroko) snap out of their slumps.

    locker scenes!
    Junpei’s back – would be fantastic if he turned around.
    Mitobe’s abs (!!) – Gochisōsama-deshita!!

    1. @ Eunichi:

      […] It was best seen in the execution of the jokes

      Oh yeah, that might’ve been it. Like naixil said, they were mostly still funny and I did laugh, but it did feel somewhat scattered. Not really that big of a complaint though, and I guess in retrospect the disparity between funny (Teppei) and moody (rest of the cast) really highlights the characters’ mindset. Maybe the awkwardness was done on purpose! O:


      […] I’m looking forward to what he will do to make Kagami (and Kuroko) snap out of their slumps.

      I’m pretty interested in seeing how that one-on-one will go, too :3 I think Teppei said it’s for the starting position, so they have a lot at stake.

      Junpei’s back – would be fantastic if he turned around.

      Dammit, I know! I was totally waiting for him to turn around! LOL I guess we can always watch the first episode again where Riko tells them all to strip XD

  6. As usual, great post.
    Those two matches after Touou were I think skipped as well in the manga. It just showed that the team really was in a slump after that big match.
    And finally Teppei appears. His personality is really carefree but somehow his voice doesn’t match his energy. Maybe it’s just me.
    So where will they stop in 6 episodes? I want to see a lot of stuff to be animated this season, like Show Spoiler ▼

    But that’s asking for too much. I can remember vaguely some events but I think I won’t reread the manga. Besides being a pain to read again, I want to be surprised a bit.
    2nd season is a possibility with the high sales(16k!!) but the chapters are a bit low(latest is 177) so we may not see one after a few years. Oh well, here’s hoping.

    1. Yeah, Teppei’s voice really sounded off based from his personality.

      About the ending…
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Ahhh, why are there only a few episodes left. Can’t they extend it, even just 1 episode?

    2. maybe they could have the second season like how the Bakuman anime is doing it. (to anyone who’s interested, Bakuman third season this Fall!) so if all ends well, with fantastic BD/DVD sales, we could highly hope for a second season come Spring 2013. *major cross fingers*

    3. Hmm… I haven’t read the manga, so I don’t have thorough grasp on either of Teppei’s or Imayoshi’s characters; hence I can’t really say much about the suitability of their seiyuu. As strictly an anime-only viewer, they’ve sounded okay though. Was there an alternate casting you guys were thinking of based on their personality?

      1. Well I’m usually like this with all the shows I watch that I’ve read the source. When the voice doesn’t match what I imagined when I am reading the chapter, I usually complain. My complain is that his voice is a bit too…mature? Deep? Lacking some energy? I can’t put it into words. I’ll probably get used to it after a while so yeah.

        Now that I think about it, I also think Murasakibara is also a miscast. I imagined a much deeper voice from the GoM center and from what I saw of his character in the manga. From the few times he spoke it’s a bit different from what I thought.
        Hmmm, maybe they should have exchanged Hamada Kenji with Suzumura Kenichi? I feel he can bring out Teppei’s character better. But this is me ranting on something that’s already been done and I have no power to change. It’s fun though 😛

      2. Ooh… I think I’m beginning to see where you guys are coming from. Shame ’cause SuzuKen can do goofy/mature pretty well. In that vein, Tomokazu Sugita is probably a good choice, too. They probably chose Hamada Kenji to lend a more mature air to Teppei’s character XP

        On the topic of seiyuu, apparently Yuusa Kouji voiced Midorima in the Drama CD’s – I’m sure as all hell glad they didn’t cast him in the anime LOL.

        And don’t worry. Ranting about futile things is fun :3 I do it all the time watching ragey shows LOL

  7. Thanks for the ED Inserts Compilation. I didn’t realize there was a story going on there. I can’t wait to see more. The story gets really interesting with every new character introduction.

    random viewer
  8. i have succumbed into catching up with the manga series. it’s awesome. i was planning on doing it after the anime series is finished but i just couldn’t wait any longer. (especially since it’s summer and i have nothing better to do.)

    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. I’m trying really hard not to either… I’m also trying really hard not to read the Wiki lol It’s so tempting though because sometimes I feel like I’m really off-base with some of my “analysis”/tl;dr’s, haha.

      1. gurl don’t worry about that since we know your perspective is anime only. so it’s refreshing to read those opinions.

        but omg at the same time, you really must read it afterwards lol

  9. I’m sorry guys it seems that I’m wrong. Here’s the correct list of arcs that may be included in this season. I’ll enclose it in spoiler tag.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    I’m not saying that an anime original ending would impede a second season since the sales is (very) high. It’s just to fill the 1 episode left. However, there is a high probability that there wouldn’t be as inferred in the spoiler above, so be calm guys. It’d be better though if there are 26 rather than 25.

    Why did they include Murasaki and Akashi in the op and ed? There’s really no sane way to show them in the 6 episodes left. The only probable way to show them is the flashback arc.

    It seems that every episode there is a talk about the ending. I feel guilty bringing it up 3 or 4 episodes ago.

    1. Ahhh don’t feel guilty! It’s probably my fault for bringing it up in the post XP

      But hmm…
      Show Spoiler ▼

    2. O.O where did you got this?

      anyway, seeing this actually clarified my guess of where this season will probably end… thanks for that, and I was surprisingly right. lol. and that last arc is probably the one I’m looking out for the most 😀

      1. The poll? I think I was browsing the wikia for the characters’ heights and I just stumbled on it, along with the two character polls. Did you know Midorima’s rolling pencil is actually considered to be a character? XD

  10. Teppei’s first appearance really brighten the mood. I personally like his voice, since as a very odd person he needs an odd voice as well? hahaha.
    Also, thanks for the ED inserts compilation!

    And few questions/speculations
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Teddy Bear
    1. Show Spoiler ▼

      1. Show Spoiler ▼

        It’s like the producer was saying: “You wanna see them in action, then buy the BR/DVDs! ”
        Anyway, we have the fujoshis backing us to have another season.

      2. Show Spoiler ▼

        Teddy Bear
  11. Off Topic (just sharing)

    KuroBasu DVD and Blu-ray dominating the Spring season anime line-up, selling 19,156 copies now.

    Second place is Accel world selling 9,891 copies, then followed by Hyouka selling 9,455 copies.

    above are the 1st volume only. 🙂

    With this I guess Production I.G. don’t have excuses anymore for crappy animation. XD

    1. Wow i’m surprised Fate/Zero isn’t on that list o.o granted it’s like 400 bucks but…. Its! Fate! Zero!

      But da-yum those are high numbers…. And the didn’t even offer preorder bonuses! O:


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