決まってらあ – It’s Obvious
The Seirin vs Yosen match progresses into the third quarter and gosh was it exhilarating! Although the previous episode ended with what seemingly looked like a lead up to Himuro’s (Taniyama Kishou, who is also the vocalist of Granrodeo, the artist responsible for the kuroko OPs) shining moment, it was Kiyoshi (Hamada Kenji) who stole the episode.
As the team’s big brother figure, Kiyoshi has proven himself to be a reliable and steady member of the Seirin team. Not only does his talent for the game make him one of Seirin’s indispensable players, his very presence gives the team much needed encouragement, especially during the most crucial of moments. This episode is a testimony to that, as Kiyoshi cements himself as Seirin’s pillar of support. Playing centre on defence and point guard on offence, he was fulfilling the role of two players on the court. As if having one position is not tiring enough, two positions against such strong opponents really takes a toll. However, big brother did not once waver, as determination, an overwhelming sense of responsibility and sincere dedication to his team pulled him through despite his knee injury. Yes, his knee injury! He is really, truly a 立派なアニキ! The desire to protect his team is so admirable; it makes me go ‘aww’ whenever I watch him play.
Kiyoshi’s passion for the game was not only evident to viewers throughout the entire episode; it shone through and the other players were also made aware of it. One player in particular, was highly affected by Kiyoshi’s spirit, so much so that it really got on his nerves. That’s right, I’m referring to Murasakibara (Suzumura Kenichi, better known for his role asドS king Okita Sougo in Gintama, and for me, foifoi in Winter 2013’s Senyuu). Talented a player as he is, Murasakibara is so lazy and simply can’t be bothered with things like ‘training hard’, ‘working to get better’ and ‘doing one’s best’. Basketball is something he is naturally good at, and he sees no point in putting in the extra effort. With such a mind-set, it is quite understandable how an enthusiastic player like Kiyoshi would frustrate him.
Murasakibara, being Yosen’s resident titan, is infamously dubbed the ‘Shield of Aegis’. His impenetrable fortress of defence gave Yosen a stellar no-points-let-in record at the Winter Cup, not until this current match against Seirin. Of course, that is old news seeing as we are already in the third quarter of the match, but point is Seirin has definitely stepped on more than a few of his toes so far. The result? A very, very incensed Murasakibara. At the end of the episode, we see that they had definitely awakened the slumbering beast. And oh boy, it was quite terrifying. Definitely, what added to Murasakibara’s intimidating factor was Suzuken’s spine-tingling performance. In my opinion, he is probably the seiyuu who does the scariest angry-voice I have heard so far. His enraged tone, coupled with the way he so cuttingly enunciated his words honestly gave me the chills. Brava Suzuken, brava.
Alright, so although Kiyoshi stole the spotlight this episode, it is not to say that Himuro did not get any screen time at all. He most certainly did. And even Aomine (Suwabe Junichi, man with the sexy voice) was impressed by his skills. As Riko explained, Himuro is a player who goes strictly by the book, perfecting the orthodox play to a tee. His is the exact opposite of Aomine’s formless play. Having heard Riko’s explanation, I could not help but recall a certain tennis player from Prince of Tennis who uses such a method – Shiraishi, the tennis player who plays ‘Perfect Tennis’. Coincidentally, his is voiced by Hosoya Yoshimasa, aka Seirin’s captain. Witnessing the contrast between Himuro’s perfect basketball and Aomine’s formless play, I could not help but wonder – whose style would I prefer? On one hand, perfecting each ordinary method, taking each move to the highest possible quality is the ideal. But on the other hand, formless play just seems so fluid, so free. One follows the rules, while the other has absolutely no care for the rules. It is a tough choice!
In any case, being three episodes into this match, the game is more than underway. We have passed the halfway point and the end of the match is in sight (that, and the fact that there are only, sadly, four more episodes to this season). Although I have a pretty good idea which team is going to win (I have not read the manga, by the way), I am very interested in what other viewers think. Hence, in following my fellow writer, Tsurara’s, lead, please let me know what you think in the poll~
On a separate note, I have been following Kuroko since season 1 but have not written about it at all. As this is my very first sports entry, I was rather overwhelmed with a whole lot of the different elements of the series as well as in just this one episode itself. There are far too many seiyuus in Kuroko that I am so very fond of. Hence, my view is definitely subjective. Reviewing this episode has been a challenge, but a very enjoyable one nonetheless. Of course, I find taking over the coverage of this week’s episode a valuable opportunity, as it serves as good training for my coverage of next season’s Haikyuu!
And before finishing my guest-writing post, I would like to add that the music for this season of Kuroko is simply astounding. Season 1’s soundtrack was not much to write home about, but Yoshihiro Ike definitely did an amazing job with season 2’s music. The exemplary use of the string instruments to build up excitement and tension really adds to the overall heart-racing, adrenaline-pumping effect that this sports series offers. If you haven’t already noticed, do look out for how the music all the more enhances each scene. Till next week~