The Seirin boys wind down from their game against Kirisaki Daiichi in the latest episode of Kuroko no Basket.
What better way to celebrate a victory and recover from a rough game than to spend a day at the hot springs? That’s exactly Riko’s thought, it seems, as she gives the boys a day to relax before beginning practice again. The hot springs are a great way to relax their muscles after being so tense throughout their last game and after being beaten on so much by Kirisaki Daiichi.
Of course, this wouldn’t be Kuroko no Basket if there wasn’t some level of intensity in this episode. Fun and games of relaxation aside, the members of Touou Academy’s basketball team show up to try to intimidate Seirin. They basically all go on about how sure, Seirin has improved, but so have they, so Seirin still can’t beat them, yadda yadda yadda. This intimidation is made all the more pressing due to the fact that Seirin and Touou will be playing each other in the first game of the Winter Cup.
From a writing standpoint, this makes a lot of sense. Seirin and Touou played each other in the first season of Kuroko no Basket, so this isn’t a game that will have to be as drawn out as other games have been and will be. For example, as I’m pretty sure we can all assume Seirin will win the game with Touou, it will be more important to focus on games against teams we haven’t seen yet, like Yosen or Rakuzan. Honestly, at this point I feel like Touou’s ridiculous confidence is just bravado; they can’t honestly just assume they’re going to beat Seirin.
Obviously, though, Seirin will need more training before the Winter Cup. As Riko sends Kagami off to America (I hope we actually get to see what he’s doing for training over there), her father Kagetora offers to help Seirin train for free. Since Kagetora used to play for Japan’s national basketball team, if nothing else he should offer a morale boost for the boys. His training seems as unconventional yet effective as Riko’s, which makes sense as she learned everything from him. His goal is to help them develop their individual skills, because a great team is made up of exceptional individuals working together. This is pretty much what Riko has been doing with Kuroko and Kagami, especially the latter: focusing on honing their individual “special abilities” in order to make the team better.
I’m hoping we skip a bunch of the specifics about Seirin’s training, though, and move on to the Winter Cup at least by the end of the next episode. The season will be half over next episode, and I’d really like to see at least a couple of games of the Winter Cup before it ends.