Kuroko’s Basketball Episode 19

On To a New Challenge

Enter Kiyoshi Teppi, a cheerful fellow who is dubbed “weird” by his peers and has a tendency to create awkward silences around him. Some important things to know are: he is 193 centimeters tall (a little taller than Taiga) and weighs 81 kilos. Aside from his height, his strong enthusiasm for basketball dominates the room. Well, I underestimated Kiyoshi a little bit… He’s not just important to the team, he created it. Apparently, he was in the hospital for…something we don’t have details about yet, and now he’s just picking up where he left off. Ya’know, it’s been a while since this show made me giggle, but he brings the giggles back…plus the facepalms. I’m loving this guy already.

After the last game, Seirin is trying to get back into the groove of things. Strangely enough, Aomine and Kuroko’s “girlfriend” don’t react well to winning either. I guess Aomine is just disappointed with Kuroko, but it is interesting to know that Kuroko is affected the most by their loss. He’s still haunted by Aomine’s words, like he hasn’t changed a bit since middle school and his basketball can never win. On top of that, Taiga tells him after the game, “I don’t think we can win by just working together,” which certainly doesn’t help.

Kiyoshi pops up at the right place and time to help lift Kuroko’s spirits, explaining that his basketball isn’t wrong–he’s just inexperienced and that he’s still remarkable for specializing in one thing. Then he brings it on himself to work on Taiga… It seems that Taiga has reverted back to his old self, you know, the one that wanted to handle everything alone. I’m getting so tired of that. Somebody slap him again.

Okay, so there’s still one more chance for Seirin to make a name for itself this season. The Winter Cup! My only worry is if there will be enough episodes to cover it… I mean, I’d hate for the anime to end at a really good part… But until then, I’m looking forward to Taiga and Kiyoshi playing one-on-one in the next episode! Even something as minor as that makes this show addicting…

Kuroko’s Basketball Episode 18

No!!

Ouch… Well, you can’t win forever! Although I couldn’t put the possibility of Seirin winning behind me because of how crazy this anime has been, at least they’re being realistic here. Yeah, I want to see Aomine get beaten. Badly. But I figure that there’s another time and place for that. Kuroko and Taiga will probably have to beat the other guys from GoM first, since Aomine is considered to be the top dog. Taiga is definitely not backing down with all that rage… Question is, how can they improve to beat Aomine? Will Taiga be able to touch the ceiling next time? xD

At any rate, Seirin’s “never give up” attitude softens the blow of this crushing defeat. I don’t feel too sorry or upset for them, though that could be due to the lack of suspense in this episode, where losing is expected and at least they’re still trying their best. If this was more like the game against Midorima, then I would have felt a little mad if they lost. =P For now, they’ll just have to use this experience to become stronger and make a comeback later. Can’t wait for that episode!

I’ve also been wondering about who the new guy in the show’s opening is, and it looks like he finally makes an appearance in the next episode. I gather that he will become someone very important to the team, so I’m looking forward to his introduction.

Kuroko’s Basketball Episode 17

You’re All Ridiculous

Yep…this episode is crazy. After all the buildup to make Aomine seem so fearsome, we finally get to see what he’s made of. Well, in the eyes of Seirin, he’s some kind of monster from another planet. Not only is he fast and aggressive, he also displays tricky, awkward movements, which Taiga can identify as street basketball. Plus he can score when he’s already behind the backboard… Similar to their match against Midorima, the other players simply back off to let Aomine win the game. It’s obvious why Kuroko came to hate basketball… What’s the fun in that?

For most of the match, Taiga and Aomine go back and forth blocking each other from scoring. Realistically, I don’t see how a newcomer such as Taiga can adjust so much during a match that he keep up with, or beat, a pro, but he’s got a pretty good record so far. I suppose anything is possible in this anime, which is why I find it so entertaining. xD While Kuroko is on the bench for now, I still expect him to affect the outcome of the game. After all, he has something to settle with Aomine. If he can teach big meanie a lesson, then I will be very happy. Very happy indeed.

Kuroko’s Basketball Episode 16

Let’s Go

Seirin isn’t doing so hot against Touou’s “opening act,” that is, without having Aomine there yet. Their initial plan was to score as many points as possible before the big star showed up, but Touou doesn’t make it easy. Not only are they an offensive team, but they have more of an individual style, which takes Seirin some time to adjust to. Even that “apologetic mushroom” has skill. But there has to be a slither of a chance that Seirin can win, even with Taiga’s injury and the fact that Touou typically scores in the mid 100s… Er, yeah, how are they going to pull this miracle off?

Kuroko’s “girlfriend” serves as a worthy rival to Riko. This battle of “a woman’s intuition” is gonna get ugly! As Touou’s manager, Momoi gathers information on opponents and can even predict their behavior. Although this causes a lot of trouble for Seirin at first, her data on Taiga and Kuroko isn’t nearly as complete, since Taiga is new and Kuroko is unpredictable. Once again, it’s up to those two to save the day, eh? At any rate, I really want them to teach Aomine a lesson…just like every other arrogant GoM member that comes along. xD

Kuroko’s Basketball Episode 15

Don’t Make Me Laugh

Kuroko’s Basketball retuuuurns! Due to popular demand from…two people, I decided to blog this over Moyashimon Returns. Besides, I enjoy it more. A lot more. In fact, I just marathoned the past six episodes because it’s so fricken’ addicting. If all 26 were out already, I’d probably finish them in a day…

Quick recap: Episodes 10 through 13 mainly focused on Midorima and Taiga’s game, and episode 14 took a nice, lighthearted break. That last game was just…crazy. Midorima could shoot perfectly from anywhere on the court, so Taiga had to strengthen his jumping ability to block the ball, which wowed everyone. They thought he was hanging on strings. Meanwhile, Kuroko was overtaken by Takao who possessed the “hawks eye” view and could see right through his misdirection technique. After so much struggling, Taiga felt that he had to win the game by himself, jumping like a frantic bunny everywhere. Of course he was being stupid, and Kuroko had to cool him down again, but that was still a pretty intense moment. Kuroko’s biggest fear was that Taiga would become like those players from GoM…self-centered and only playing basketball to win, not to have fun. That is indeed GoM’s mentality, as Midorima merely wanted to take control of the game himself. Yes, his teammates were upset, but hey, he had to win. Taiga learned that it can only be through teamwork that victory is truly worth it. Oh and by the way…Kuroko can Falcon punch the ball now! ( o >_< )–O

I’m glad that Seiren won that game since it was dragged out for so long. I mean, I would have hated to see them go through all that just to lose. I think that every game has ended the same way so far, where both teams are about evenly matched in the last three seconds. Yeah, it’s cliche, but the games are so entertaining with all the action, clashing personalities, and “mind reading” that it doesn’t really bother me. At least with Midorima’s game, they threw in a little twist, as it looked like he was going to pull it off by outsmarting Taiga. Good thing Kuroko had his back! The show just couldn’t be that cruel to us…

Man, I love these characters so much…especially when they goof off in restaurants. I think it was in episode 14 when they found a little puppy that had the same eyes as Kuroko. It’s about time we had something cute and cuddly that scares the crap out of Taiga. =P

With the latest episode, Seiren has now entered the Inter-High Championships. The next GoM player they’re going up against is Aomine, who is even more annoying and challenging than the others. Back in the old days, he used to be Kuroko’s light. They were tight just like Kuroko and Taiga are now. But eventually, he became so strong that his love for basketball faded. There was simply no point in trying his best when his opponents gave up so easily. Now he just acts all egotistical by skipping practices, showing up late for games, and kicking his teammate in the stomach. Sheesh. To make things more interesting though, he plays the same basketball as Taiga. Seiren is going to have to kick it up ten notches…just like the amazing production values did.

By the way, that guy who constantly apologizes has got to be related to Ritsu Sohma from Fruits Basket…  Who would have thought that he could shoot so well, though. o_O Expecting many more surprises and interesting developments throughout Aomine’s game…even when he’s skipping out. -_-

Kuroko’s Basketball Episode 9

To Win

“Braggart,” “Baldy,” whatever you wanna call him…he deserves to be punished. *twitch twitch* It’s not that hard to root for Seirin when their opponents always act like jerks. Other than that though, I enjoyed this as always. Kuroko and Taiga do their best in the first half (no thanks to Taiga’s fowls), and then they get switched out, leaving the rest to the seniors who want…sweet revenge. And revenge is what they get.

I like that this episode focuses on the other players. I mean, it can’t be about Kuroko and Taiga all the time or else this would get boring. The seniors are clearly much stronger than the last time they played these guys, as they’ve practiced hard to hone their individual skills. Take for instance…Izuki-kun, who possess an “eagle eye.” Basically, he can see the entire court in an instant. Yeah, I had the same reaction as Taiga there… “Seriously?” But hey, it definitely makes his character memorable. As for those two goofballs…their specialty is just being goofy.

The animation is better here than usual, beginning with the very first scene of Shintarou shooting the ball. That was just…beautiful. Now imagine an entire match animated like that. *_*

Alright, now to give a little update about the blog. I’ve obviously returned to pick up Kuroko, and I’m also going to continue The Legend of Korra, hopefully tomorrow. Three or four episodes to catch up, no big deal! As for Alex…he’s just hiding in a refrigerator annnd Ace has dropped Lupin from the blog. He will be back later to review it. Hmm, I think that’s it, actually. Stay tuned for a Berserk review from me…unless someone beats me to it. D:

Kuroko’s Basketball Episode 8

Now That I Think About It

With one more episode and the start of one more match, Kuroko no Basuke seems to be getting better by the week. This was quite a great episode, so much that I can’t really find any points to criticize.

The game aftermath was short and far from boring this time around, as instead of silly, reused jokes, we got some team scouting, both on Seirin’s part and also Shotoku’s. Such attention to research is especially justified, for our protagonists’ semifinals opponent is none other than one of the three top teams in the area, Seihou. Not only that, their playing style is completely different than what you’d expect from a high school basketball team. As is later lampshaded by their captain, playing defense is usually regarded as the less appealing (albeit necessary) part of the game, more even so for teenage boys.  Doing something uncommon is already in itself a great advantage, since other teams won’t have trained to defeat the upcoming “abnormality”. But the issue is that Seihou doesn’t simply do something uncommon, they do it well. In fact, they do it rather perfectly. A good job was made in letting their strength be apparent in this episode, and that alone was enough to get me quite excited for the semifinals.

Said match begun in the later part of the episode and, as expected Seihou was quite the wall, keeping Seirin’s score a round zero for the first few minutes of the match. One interesting thing to note is how this time around, Seirin’s opponent is portrayed in quite a neutral light, contrasting with the antagonistically approach to “Dad”’s team . As I pointed out, the Generation of Miracles can’t be the only strong players out there, for that would be highly unrealistic. In this team, we have quite a talented player in the defense field, who’s even blocked Kise before. I actually took a liking to Tsugawa, as I found is nonchalant demeanor, as well as his slightly sadistic approach to basketball to be quite charming xD

It is later explained where part of their excellence in defense comes from, since maintaining such a degree of mobility during the entire game would be rather tiring, and thus, impractical. It seems that they use martial arts techniques to increase their physical resistance by enhancing their durability. Thankfully, Riko manages to decrease the feeling of intimidation and Seirin returns to the match with a different kind of motivation, specially Kagami, who wants to win this game for his seniors, due to Kuroko’s words on how important this game will be for them to overcome.  And when he finally has his golden scene, passing through Tsugawa, I realized something. Having a full-time man-to-man defense that never falters is great, but if it fails even once, it’ll have been broken. The reason for that is that you’re too close to each of the other team players, so they can block you for at least a bit if the situation turns around. Since there’s no one else covering any other part of the field, the path is completely open if someone can win on 1-on-1. As long as that condition is met, Seihou is beatable.

In the end, this made for a really interesting and enjoyable episode. More serious than the previous, but not voided of jokes either. In fact, we had some of the funniest ones yet, like the Kise’s scene with the horoscope, which was rather hilarious. (That should be a good test to Midorima’s beliefs in fate.) Not to mention when Riko tries to include some adulation in her motivating speech, by promising a reward to the players. Of course it seems like the poor girl has no sex appeal, much to her despair xD Jokes aside, I’m looking foward to see the continuation of this interesting match next week.