“As Many Times As It Takes”
After a bit of a delay, we finally get the final episode of Kuroko no Basuke. But before jumping straight into the final impressions, can we all just admit that the past two episodes have been absolutely amazing? From the literal space jam to seeing a humbled and softer Akashi, this is definitely the final battle we’ve been waiting for ever since the Winter Cup started. So without further ado, let’s jump straight into the final impressions!
Being the third season of this fun to watch sports anime, there’s been a lot building up since we first watched Kuroko and Kagami hit the court. We’ve seen the internal struggles that our characters have been facing as well as the answers they’ve found to cope with them. Sure, there may have been some slow episodes along the way, but never was there ever a match where your heart didn’t start pumping. Full of special moves that kept getting more and more complicated, it was nice to see enough extra flair added to make them feel special in their own right. Luckily though, we never managed to hit full blown shounen territory. As this third season showed us, there’s just as much stuff to see and enjoy when you focus on the players and the team as a whole. With that, let me jump into some specific third season stuff since there’d be way too much to talk about if I tried to include the past two seasons.
Among all of Seirin’s players, I can’t get over just how freaking awesome Hyuuga was this season. He’s always been a very memorable character, but his actions during some of Seirin’s toughest games were simply awe-inspiring. He understands what it means to be the captain and leverages that weight in a way that benefits the team. What was pleasantly surprising though, was to see him stumble against Mibuchi. Uncharacteristically losing his cool after getting fumbled up multiple times, it almost felt like things were over when he was facing his fifth foul (which would get him kicked off the court if he got it). But not letting even the fear of getting kicked out stop him, he stood up to the problem at hand at took care of it like a boss.
At the same time we can’t forget about Kuroko. The titular character of the show, he’s been shining in ways that I didn’t think were possible for a shadow. Besides being the catalyst that’s constantly been unlocking more and more power within Kagami and the team as a whole, I love how he’s become the one who’ll keep the fire burning within everyone even after it’s been doused with water. If I had to pick my absolute favorite moment throughout the entire series, it has to be that moment when he managed to pick up the entire team after nearly breaking under Rakuzan’s insane pressure. Specifically talking about episode 70 (or S3E20), I think I’ve replayed that moment when the opening song that Kuroko’s seiyuu sang during the Teiko arc starts playing at least 30+ times. There’s just something about that moment where you realize that Seirin actually has a fighting chance so long as they just don’t give up. A feeling that keeps building up all the way to the point where you can’t help shed some tears when it hits you all at once.
That said, all of this wouldn’t have been possible without such a good ex-villain like Akashi. His character was shrouded in mystery for nearly two seasons and when we finally see him, he’s really unlikeable. Full of arrogance and not even humoring the idea he could possibly lose, his insane skills and horrible personality created the perfect environment for the final match. Pushing Seirin to the edge over and over, he was literally the reason why the match felt amazing, and was amazing to watch. But then to see him revert back into the likeable Akashi? The one that wasn’t a complete dirtbag and actually cared about his team? It’s like the show was giving us our cake, letting us eat it, and then gave us a second one to eat just because it could!
Overall, I really enjoyed this third and final season of Kuroko no Basuke. It’s quite funny when I think about it, because the only reason why I even covered the show was because I managed to marathon the past two seasons right before season three started. I’m glad I did though, because in the end it was all worth it. From the feels to seeing everyone realize just what “The Basketball Which Kuroko Plays” means, the whole thing was an intense rollercoaster that just didn’t know when to put the brakes on. Sure it might have a predictable formula, but why try to fix what’s not broken?
Thank you to everyone who’s been following the post for the past 2-cours! I hope you enjoyed the show as much as I did, and I can’t wait to see you when the next season starts! Also, for anyone who’s feeling down that there’s no more Kuroko left, there’s still a manga called Kuroko no Basuke: Extra Game which takes place a year after today’s events. Who knows, maybe it’ll get animated somewhere down the road? Catch you guys later!
Epilogue / Ending Sequence 4 (Lantana by OLDCODEX)