“He has no physical strengths. He cannot do anything by himself. Despite that, he wore the same uniform as the rest of us at Teiko, and lead the team to victory.” – Midorima Shintaro
Seirin vs. Shutoku is still getting started and both teams showing their outmost skills just to score against the other team. Although with Kuroko’s improved pass from one side of the court to the other, they manage to shut down Midorima’s three-point shots. But that didn’t stop Shutoku from getting more points. As Takao started marking Kuroko, it just so happens that Takao can shut down Kuroko’s passes by intercepting the entire ball coming to and from him.
Not only Kuroko has been shut down, also, Midorima’s shots’ range is also not that close to the basket.
Gosh, does every episode of this series have to give me more shock than normal? I can’t believe Production I.G just seriously stuffed almost all of the good things in one episode. Not to mention, you have to encounter them every episode.
So, Kuroko can do those shuttle-like long passes from one side of the court to the other. And not only that – it was stylish in a way. I personally liked how he manage to do that long pass (even though it was only once) with spinning his body and shock Midorima at the same time. With that shot, Midorima and his crazy-arced three-point shots were shut down but this didn’t stop Shutoku’s pursuit.
Shutoku’s coach suddenly changes Kuroko’s mark into Takao who happens to be the fastest player of the team – although that wasn’t really the plan on stopping Kuroko. Even though Takao has some trouble with noticing Kuroko, he’s able to lock on Kuroko in various ways he can with the help of his Hawk Eye. Takao’s Hawk Eye is somewhat like Izuki’s Eagle Eye (see episode 9 review for the explanation) only Takao’s ability can see through the court wider than that of Izuki’s. Not only he can see the player’s movements and positions, he can see player’s eyes. So it doesn’t matter if he sees Kuroko or not but as long as he sees Kuroko’s teammates on court and see an opening for a pass, Takao can use that to track down Kuroko in the court, thus stopping the ball going to or from Kuroko, shutting the phantom down. With Kuroko’s immobility on court, he couldn’t do his usual passes with Takao, stopping them.
The episode also reveals Hyuuga’s, Seirin’s Captain, ability for shooting under pressure. He’s also known as the “clutch shooter” of Seirin due to the reason that he can shot any ball under pressure or in a pinch and it’ll go in perfectly. Not only that, he can even be pissed off while doing the shot as well. Hyuuga went to a terrible training just to be able to keep his shots in while under heavy pressure. Riko did advice to keep on shooting under pressure to keep himself be used to the feeling and make sure the ball gets in. How to do that? Simple. All Hyuuga has to do is give up his precious favorite figures while doing shots. Thus, every time he misses a shot, and even if it is on practice, he has to say good-bye to his lovely figure collection because they will be broken down. Apparently, this was a pretty good idea. And I love how Hyuuga agreed to this, crying on the floor. Perhaps, in order to improve, you have to make sacrifices and by means of sacrifices, something of large value, of course. XD
So, let us talk about Midorima again. Yes, Midorima and his crazy-arced three-point shots that you could even laugh at it for not being possible in real life. OH COME ONNNNN I KNOW IT’S NOT POSSIBLE BUT WHAT THE HECK – IT’S MIDORIMA. HAHAHAHAHA Anyway, it just so happens that in this episode, we get to know the range limit of Midorima’s shots that awed everyone in the stadium especially the Seirin team because, not only he can shoot those crazy-arced three-point shots with such speed, he can do it in a huuuugee range. And when we are talking about huge range in a basketball anime where Midorima is concerned, don’t just think of the center line – THINK ABOUT THE WHOLE COURT. So, okay, on the first half of the episode, Midorima’s shots were shut down by our hero, Kuroko with his long pass to the other side of the court. Because of this, Midorima has to go with the flow and taking it slowly to show what else he can do in the court. So – yeah – basically, he can do more and better than we have imagined. Since he can already shoot his balls with an impossible range of the whole court, Seirin is in a really big pinch especially that Kuroko’s passes are also still impossible to get back because of Takao.