Saturday, August 15, 2015

Kuroko no Basuke Season 3

Hmm.. I am quite surprised that actually did not write anything about Season 2 although I finished watching it sometime in 2014. I guess Season 2 is too boring and unmemorable that I could not be bothered about it that much. That is quite sad considering that sneak peak at the end of season 1 seems promising with introduction of an old member who was injured and did not get any airtime during season 1. Yup, I am referring to Kiyoshi Teppei. Too bad his character is rather boring and his skills are rather boring too.

Season 2 marks the beginning of Winter Cup. There is a repeat of Seirin vs Shutoku as well as Seirin vs Touou which come way too close to the similar matches in season 1. While I admire 3-point shooters, 3-point shoot is not the most exciting thing when translated to anime. So I don't mind Midorima is that interesting. Kagami and Aomine's match is also boring as their skill set (beast instinct??) is just a matter who is faster. And gosh, I am sick of the Zone. The highlight for this season is the introduction of the next member of Generation of Miracles: Atsushi Murasakibara who is in Yosen together with Kagami's childhood friend, Tatsuya Himuro. The way Murasakibara speaks is very boring and irritating but I think his personality is quite interesting. The "conflict" between Kagami and Himuro, however, is way too childish. Which high school student will fight over: if you win from me then I shall not be your friends anymore?
Okay enough of season 2 but with that, I am not too hyped for season 3. I was looking forward to Akashi but his introduction at the season 2 makes him seem like a prick and a bad guy. I am glad that season 3 goes full throttle with all the excitement. A lot of focus and background of this season goes all the way back to Generation of Miracles' middle school days at Teiko. The first match features Kise and ex-member of Teiko basketball club that lost his position to Kise. We then move on to the semi-finals between Shutoku vs Rakuzan and Seirin vs Kaijo. Before the finals, there are 4 flashback episodes to Teiko days.

What makes season 3 special is the great combination of intense matches and the emotions/relationship between various characters, especially Generation of Miracles. Although I feel that the 4 flashback episodes are too long, they are very useful to understand the interesting relationship and personalities of the Generation of Miracles now. These episodes definitely change my mind about Akashi. He is not a prick. I can understand why he ends up behaving that way. Although I am not as bipolar as him, I also sometime swings from a prick to my normal self. I understand that sometimes you have to let your evil self surface to ensure things are under control. 

Right from the start, Kuroko no Basuke is unique as compared to other basketball series that usually focus on the relationship within the team of the main character. Kuroko no Basuke focuses on the rivalry of ex-team mates and provides a clear message: you don't have to be enemies to be rivals. It is definitely nice that the manga does not forget what he sets out to do at the very beginning because at the end of the series, the goal of having all Generation of Miracles back to their old self to enjoy basketball and realise the importance of teamwork is achieved.

By the last few matches, usually focus will be on the main characters. KnB takes a special twist that the usual subs gain more screentime. They not only play during the official matches, they score, and their growth in skills is shown. I like Koga so I am glad that give more opportunity for him to shine. Too bad that they did not give the same chance for Mitobe.

The final match of Seirin vs Rakuzan spans close to 10 episodes. Although in general I think the matches in KnB are rather lengthy, I am not complaining for the finals. Rakuzan players are given enough screentime for us to understand their skills and the tides keep turning as players take turn to lose hope etc. Usually nearing the end of a series, mangaka will be too lazy to keep up with new characters so again KnB is unique in this sense. Even Kuroko's long lost friend (who was introduced during the Teiko flashback) makes an appearance in the final to support Kuroko. Gosh.. That really made me cry. Haha.. However, despite Akashi's emo-ness that allows Seirin to catch up, I think Rakuzan should still win because they are the stronger team with 3 Uncrowned Kings as compared to Seirin.

I worried that the unique skillsets of each character will turn up the series to be more and more bizarre like Prince of Tennis. Although I love Prince of Tennis, I have to admit that some of the skills are supernatural like how Yukimura is able to remove his opponent's senses. KnB has more believable skillsets and no matter how skillful someone is, there is physical limitations such as fatigue or injury which make them unable to use their skills indefinitely. Initially I thought Akashi's ankle break is something similar to Yukimura. But after the explanation given, it sounds believable to have someone "loses his footing" in the middle of motion and have them fall down on their knees. That makes the skill very cool to have his opponents kneel in front him. It is even more cool that when he is in evil version, his Emperor Eye is used to see how his opponents will move while when he is back to his usual safe, he can use his Emperor Eye to predict how his team mates will move as well and that makes everyone in his team better.

I still dislike the Zone idea and now they introduce the True Zone. I was like "whaaa.....t???". Guardian of the second door to the True Zone... Whaa.....t the... ??? Anyway it seems that the most ideal state in a sports team is full trust and synchro with the rest of the team mates. PoT has this idea for the most ideal doubles pair and KnB has the same idea with the True Zone. It makes sense that Kuroko is the guardian of the door to the True Zone since he is the one always observing and thus can understand his team mates. But in the match, the True Zone is shown as if the rest is sync-ing with Kagami leh... Hmm.. I am confused.

Epilogues typically lasts few seconds to few minutes after the ending song of the last episode. KnB does this differently again with half of the last episode serves like an epilogue. The end also provides a closure to what happen to Generation of Miracles after all of this: they are back as friends and play together during Kuroko's birthday. T_T sob sob... I suck when it comes to this kind of thing sia... Haha... But then if you notice, in the locker room, the curtain is blown inside towards the room which is opposite to the wind direction that opens Kuroko's locker door. Oh well, it is obvious that they just want to show this photo:
The photo taken during Kuroko's birthday

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