Let’s jump right into things.
The boys are back, gayer than ever! Wait, I mean… no, that’s exactly what I mean! We open up the second season’s first episode with sweaty practice matches, with an introduction of the main players by two members from the press. We get lovely shots of all of our favorite boys, all sweaty and dripping with sweat and breathing heavily and… wow, is it hot in here, or is it just me? (It’s me.)
And of course, the last part of the introduction is Kuroko: the sixth man who always gets noticed last. Perfect end to the perfect start of the perfect opening song, and let me explain to you why I am glad I waited to watch the opening song until it actually premiered. (And maybe some of you already noticed these things before me because you watched the opening before I did! Good for you!)
First, let’s look at team dynamics. We already know from the last season how much of a team Seirin has grown, and if you’re unfamiliar with the series, let me stop you right here. Go watch the first season, or read the manga, because from here on out, I will be talking in these reviews as if you all already know what happens. This means I won’t be tagging spoilers unless the series strays a little from the manga, but I have a feeling it won’t be the case.
Anyway, onto teamwork dynamics. If you remember from the first season, Kuroko wasn’t able to catch up with the team at all. He was left in the dust, to run by himself, which more or less reflected Seirin as a whole at this point. But look at our babies now! Look at them! LOOK AT THEM. THEY ARE RUNNING TOGETHER. Even Riko, who used a moped/motorcycle thing during their first practice runs is now running with them, and even beating them! You go, Riko! Four for you, Riko! But let’s look again at Kuroko! Not only is he able to catch up, but everyone is at the same pace. They’re together, as a whole, as a group, as a team. They’re all on the same page, they’re all on the same wavelength, and they’re all here for the same purpose: to win.
Look at them. They’re sweaty, exhausted, but the fun has just started! They’re ready for more challenges, more sweaty team-building activities, and just— they’re all so perfect. Look. Look at them.
Now, let me compare the top scene with a flash from the past. Here we have the Generation of Miracles. Even though they are sitting together, take note of each position of each member. Notice how Kuroko is standing the farthest away from the Generation of Miracles. The ideals and goals of the Generation of Miracles of “winning over teamwork is best” is something Kuroko can’t fathom; he can’t follow them and not only is he ostracized from the rest of the group, but it’s almost as if he is not even there. The rest of the Generation of Miracles are off to one side, with Momoi as the divider between Kuroko. (Side note: I absolutely love the use of Momoi’s loyalty to both the Generation of Miracles and Kuroko; she’s set perfectly between the GOM and Kuroko; the symbolism can’t be more perfect than this!)
Look back up at where Kuroko is now with Seirin. They’re together, all bunched up, there are no active gaps between the players, and not one of them is standing alone. For Seirin, the day is just getting started; the sun shines brightly on their future. But let’s look at the Generation of Miracles. The sun for them is setting; they have no more future together as a team the way they are now.LOOK AT DAT UNIFORM! (You’re gonna be hearing me say that a lot this season, by the way.) LOOK AT DEM ARMS. WOW. DAT SWEAT. LOOK AT DAT SWEAT. WOW. I wish I knew how to handle balls as well as Kuroko does. /kicked
The first episode is literally the introduction of Kagami’s Japanese/Korean drama plot line. As put so eloquently by my friend on twitter,
“Himuro and kagami meeting each other again and kuroko trying to help them along is literally like, ex bf praising his new bf whose current bf uses his experience with his ex bf to make amends with ex bf’s ex bf meanwhile ex bf has a new bf, meanwhile new bf cheats with pocky, etc.”
And that’s it. That’s the whole show.
If anything, the amount of Engrish and shota in this episode is enough to make me overlook the jdrama/kdrama plot lines and try to remember that this show is about basketball… or was it? What was it that Kuroko plays? Hearts? I… I don’t remember.
BUT WE FINALLY GET TO SEE A LITTLE BIT MORE OF MUKKUN! Which was short lived. Ahem. No irony intended.
So without further ado, that’s the end of my review for this first episode. I’ll take that cold shower now, thanks.