While certainly not as explosive as the past two games, it still leaves me wanting more. 🙂
Honestly, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the game between Yosen and Seirin. It delivers everything it needs to when it comes to the training, comedy and twists of victory. Kagami and Tatsuya bring a more personal conflict to the court than the adversarial tension with Aomine. You can tell that these two respect each other like brothers, but ironically a show about becoming stronger portrays their struggle as a difference in talent. This even takes part in Murasakibara as he starts depending on his teammates once confronted by someone who’s talent rivals his own.
The problem is that despite the better pieces this formula had to work with, it all feels underwhelming. Part of this can be attributed to the Touou game being too good, but I just think this game wasn’t well-executed. As much as the theme of envious brothers is compelling, it’s barely integrated into the sport because he lacks the presence of someone like Aomine, someone who’s needed to drive this point home. Without that tension, the actual game should be engaging and full of surprise. Unfortunately, the game relies on the pattern and tactics of previous games like if it’s going through a checklist, which could be quite boring to watch.
However, there’s one change in the formula I definitely appreciate: Kuroko himself. We’ve seen a slow progression of Kuroko embracing the spotlight for the sake of the team, but this is the first time he’s ever been a presence on his own. The phantom shot uses misdirection in way that’s both surprising and familiar, while also giving weight to Kuroko’s words about defeating the generation of miracles. He’s no longer the shadow of the team, but a partner who leads the team to victory. And I’m a sucker for stories where the underdog finally gets his time to shine.
When I first started the fall season, I had no experience with Kuroko no Basket at all. If this sequel didn’t show up when it did, I’d probably have left it in my plan-to-watch list. But after finishing the first season in less than 2 weeks, it’s quickly become one of my favorite adrenaline rushes to fall back on. This season isn’t a phenomenal change from the first one, and it felt like the climax came too early. But much like Seirin does, it reaches new heights and never goes down. Until the inevitable 3rd season comes out, i’ll be waiting patiently.