What They Say:
Serins first opponent in the inter-high tournament is Shinkyo high, a middle tier school until last year. With the addition of a two meter tall, 87 kilogram player from Senegal, Shinkyo is a new threat to Serins championship hopes.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the first practice match taken care of and the team having gotten a better handle not only on themselves but everyone else on the team, they had some good down time afterwards as well, though not without its tension from the fallout with the team they fought against. In the end though, the Seirin team really has managed to bond well after dealing with Kaijo and one of thoes from the Generation of Miracles and are now confident about their future chances as the real matches in the inter-high tournament is about to kick into gear. It’s a bit overconfident, but you have to hope it stems from the fact that they are practicing as a team even if we don’t see these kinds of practices. I feel somewhat spoiled by Hoop Days and Slam Dunk in that it did focus on the team building through actual practices within the team.
The series is trying to play things a bit light again, which isn’t bad since we focused a lot on the serious young men bucking for position and confidence over the first five episodes. What happens in this one is that their manager assigns the team to get the special lunch time bread that comes out only once a month. It’s the usual kind of challenge we see but it’s filled with fun as there are so many big kids involved in the mix, including those that play American football, and so many others. It’s a rough moment for the rookies to be sure to go through such a thing but it highlights some of their skills. Kagami in particular is fun to watch as he gets to experience a true Japanese lunchtime rush, something he avoided by being in America all these years.
While we do get this fun, we also get some seriousness as well as the team is getting itself ready to deal with Shinkyo High, which has something different than most other schools with an American player. Kagami sort of counts in a way, but he is Japanese rather than American, he just spent some time there. Shinkyo’s player is actually American though which brings a different sensibility to things and to the Japanese players that will go against him. The lead-up to the match is fun as there’s some bravado between the players, but mostly we get to see that Kuroko is getting ticked by all of this and is really going to get into it. The match itself gets underway to good effect and sets the stage well. While it has some standout characters to varying degrees, the larger focus is on the Seirin team itself which is definitely welcome.
Kuroko’s Basketball doesn’t wait too long to get back into the actual game itself and that’s a big positive in its favor. Some shows can wait awhile between matches and do lots of silly character stuff while not giving the game itself the right attention. Here it feels like we’re getting the right amount of both, as the first half lets us see some of their school life but largely avoids their personal life. So when it shifts back into basketball, we get further evidence that this is the life that the series wants to focus on and I’m more than happy about that. It continues to be well animated, decently plotted and with some good game moves without going over the top or filled with overacting. It’s a very good real world type of show for the most part but with enough style to jump off the screen a bit.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.