The backstory on Seirin’s upperclassmen continues in the latest episode of Kuroko no Basket.
We get to see several things, including how the rooftop tradition started (a mixture of Kiyoshi’s and Hyuuga’s announcements). It’s really interesting that it was only after Hyuuga made his declaration that Riko decided to become the basketball team’s manager. The implication, too, is that it was the fact that Hyuuga gave up on winning that caused her to hate basketball in the first place.
In this background that’s been going on for the past couple of episodes, Kiyoshi shows us why his nickname is the Iron Heart. Last episode showed us that Seirin’s basketball team probably wouldn’t have been more than a dream, and definitely wouldn’t be what it is now, without Kiyoshi’s persistence in recruiting Hyuuga. This episode explores other facets of his role. For example, even though he’s the prodigy of the team, he understands that Hyuuga is the best fit for captain.
But of course, an analysis of this episode would be woefully incomplete without a discussion of Hanamiya Makoto and how much of a jerk he is. I’ve been trying really hard not to just write about him being a jerk, but there really isn’t a better word for him (that isn’t more emotionally charged, anyway). He is literally the antithesis of Kiyoshi, focusing on questionable tactics in order to win or just punish the other team for doing well. He’s so excited when Kiyoshi gets hurt (which was obviously done on purpose, let’s be honest), and then he turns around and threatens Hyuuga. He’s just the worst kind of player.
If this injury can serve a positive purpose, though, it is to help cement Hyuuga and Kiyoshi’s friendship. Hyuuga nearly gets into a fistfight with Hanamiya after Kiyoshi gets hurt, whereas earlier he was saying how much he hates Kiyoshi. And all of this leads into the inspiring exchange between Hyuuga and Kiyoshi in the hospital, when Hyuuga acts like the team captain Kiyoshi clearly intended him to be.