Honestly, I think that reading the manga for this series has hurt my ability to fully enjoy the anime. This doesn’t normally happen, but this series just isn’t doing it for me the way it used to. It isn’t even the fact that some of the game outcomes are clear. I think it is the fact that so much time is spent on skill development and I already know what the characters are capable of doing. Oh well, that is a personal problem.
We are still in the middle of that game between Seirin and Shutoku. Things are heating up as Midorima has revealed his strategy in this game. He will mix in fakes and passes as he wear down Kagami and the rest of Seirin’s defense. The very proud Midorima has decided that he will not simply rely on his shots to win the battle. Passing is something that no one expected and it is clear that Seirin is in trouble. Takao is sealing Kuroko and the lead is starting to close. Luckily, Teppei was able to get everyone together from a mental standpoint. All they had to do was bench Kuroko and get into a scoring match with Shutoku. That was working great at first because Seirin is naturally a run and gun team. However, Shutoku does have ways to stop Seirin while Seirin is at a loss when it comes to stopping Shutoku. Even Midorima is starting to get free now that Kagami is getting worn out. Without that jumping power, Midorima will be free to shoot and win the game. The only way to stop this momentum is to bring Kuroko back into the game. He claims that his drive is ready, but only practical application will tell us if that is true.
Current Opinion of the Show:
I may not personally be enjoying this series as much as I should right now, but I know that this is definitely a great part of said series. Why is that? Well, we are starting to see the Generation of Miracles realizing that they cannot simply win like they used to. They are evolving and that makes them even more formidable. Midorima has added fakes and passing to his games. The fakes are honestly not something that he didn’t have. They were available, but Midorima never had reason to doubt his initial shot attempt before. This was born from a fear generated by a higher level of play coming from the high school opponents. The passing is also something that I doubt needed much work. Like they said, it is just something that was odd coming from Midorima. He is so proud that he would not pass the torch to anyone else regardless of the situation. However, Midorima realized that Kagami is a bad matchup for him and that something had to be done in order to avoid a second defeat at the hands of Seirin.
Kuroko finding a way to evolve is probably the most important thing in the entire series. Back at Teiko, Kuroko was ridiculously effective because he didn’t need to play the entire game and that made it so that other teams could not get used to the misdirection. On the high school level, they need Kuroko and the players are more accustomed to these gimmicks. Kuroko needs to add something to his game. His passes are great, but he is average at best as a ball handler. This keeps the excellent passer from being a point guard. The inability to shoot means that he can’t be trusted with the ball in his hands during crunch time. You can’t guarantee that someone else will be open when time is winding down. Hopefully, this new drive will allow for Kuroko to do something more with the ball in his hands than simply looking for an open man. Kuroko will always use misdirection, but it can’t make or break him like it does now. It would be great if he could shoot the ball though. Even if the drive is effective, it will simply lead to more passes. I am all about ball movement, but Kuroko can’t handle a ball stoppage right now. There is still some more growth that needs to come from Kuroko if Seirin plans to win it all.