What They Say:
After a narrow victory against Shinkyo Academy, Serin goes on to crush their next few opponents. With team spirits high, Serin watches one of Shutoku’s matches and realizes they are not ready.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Seirin’s had themselves a good game before this, one that really challenged them to step it up an figure out who they are, and the practices in between then and now are definitely helping them as they go up against Shinkyo and an American player on their team that’s pretty sizable. Kagami’s ability to try and stave him off is pretty fun to watch since they both have a similar method of play when you get down to it and Kagami has spent a lot of time going up against opponents like him and probably worse while playing in America. It’s fun watching him as he gets so serious and you have Senegal getting really miffed and frustrated by his inability to get past Kagami. It’s pretty well done even as it’s kept to short bursts so that we’re not spending a huge amount of time watching this particular game.
What I also like is that while they are playing towards a big win overall, they move through the matches rather quickly. The second and third rounds of real games are essentially given to a brief clip or two before we end up at the fourth game where the Seirein team is going against Meijin and they end up crushing them handily. The team has come together well but there’s something unnerving about that win as the other team was so meek when going through the rotation that you have to wonder what it was that was going on. The Seirin guys are pretty decent though in that they’re not taking it as a huge victory and are instead focusing on what’s coming next, a match against Shutoku, one of the real powerhouses to come out of the Generation of Miracles.
With Shutoku almost guaranteed to move on to the next round that Seirin will have to go against, the team comes to watch them play and there’s a lot to like with how it unfolds. The focus is less on the Seirin players but they do get to provide some commentary as they watch their future opponents. There is some fun that comes into play again as well with Kuroko and the whole Generation aspect with the player that ended at Shutoku, but it’s minimal overall and still feels like one of the forced aspects of the series. The Shutoku players are definitely polished and while it’s not completely done at ease, there’s a relaxed nature about their play overall which is easily reinforced by the score.
Kuroko’s Basketball does some welcome stuff here in moving through some of the early matches rather quickly and giving us a few highlights. We don’t get the sense that they’re getting cocky and overconfident which is welcome but there’s also a lot of pressure coming up with what they do have to play against. There’s a very streamlined approach to the story here in order to get us closer to the semifinals and the finals themselves and while I would have liked a little more breathing room to flesh the team out, to make them a bit more relatable than just Kagami and Kuroko, if the show is just as short as it’s planned to be, it’s pretty necessary so we can get them to the good stuff without too much trouble. There’s plenty to like here overall but it’s still not quite reaching what it could with a little more room.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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