Kuroko's Basketball 2 - Reviews

Alt title: Kuroko no Basket 2

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mahius's avatar
Mar 28, 2015

Kuroko no Basuke 2 is the 26 episode continuation of the critically acclaimed sports anime from 2012. It has everything a good anime needs, action, comedy, seriousness. Unfortunately my expectations for this are sky high which didn't bode well since this season added something I dislike to great anime series. Fan-service. The first season was an anime so enjoyable, that cycnics of the sports genre, people who didn't watch anime and anime lovers alike all enjoyed it. If you enjoyed season one, put on your seatbelts for a continuation of the adrenaline-filled rollercoaster that is this anime. If you haven't watched season one, then I recommend doing so before reading this review as it may otherwise contain spoilers for the events of the first season. I did write a review for season one last year, but a misclick caused me to lose it all and I was too upset to write it up again. If I ever get around to rewriting it, I'll put a link in this review.


Animation

Animation quality remains top-notch for season 2. Of course in this day and age quality shouldn't be a problem, I watched this in glorious 1080p. But what matters is style and I won't go easy on this. Of course the style continues from season 1 and at first glance it seems to be somewhat generic. There are little things that might annoy people, like Kagami's eyebrows. But further scrutinisation and you realise that somehow, despite overall appearances of the standard style, they still manage to have unique characters. Especially Kuroko, some of these character designs I have honestly rarely seen before. Behind the surface, the style really is unique, even if a handful of characters like Momoi, Kise and Riko seem familiar. Of course, being a fast paced basketball anime, it also manages to depict the action and speed beautifully. The motions are fluid and realistic. I may rant on the realism if I ever review season one. Might I also add the animation of the intro and outro sequences, the style there is unique and relevant. Sort of like snapshots and it made those sequences even better when combined with the sweet music. It shows off the action and fast-pace of the matches well too.

Being a cast of mainly male characters, there is reduced fan-service. Well there was in season one at least, they've gone wrong here. Episode 2 shows the return of Momoi and I'm sad to say that it had more pointless pervy bullshit in that one episode than the entirety of season 1 (cos season 1 was clean). They even point out Riko's normal chest to be small. As a sequel to great anime, I've been so let down by this lapse in maturity. There is then the character of Alexandra Garcia who also has a body like Momoi's and is unfortunately often nude. Who let hormonal teenagers on the season 2 animation team? At least this kept to a minimum throughout most of the anime, but I must take note of this demotion from the first season. The more I watched this anime, the more I lowered the animation score for the unjustified ecchi. Otherwise, this anime looks so good.

Sound

The awesome music continues in season 2 as the likes of my favourite Japanese bands GRANRODEO and OLDCODEX return with kickass rock tunes for the ridiculously cool intro and outro sequences. I had the intro/outro albums long before I started watching this season and as I started writing this section of this review I went and got the full soundtrack of this anime. But one thing, Kuroko's voice actor Kensho Ono also did an album (Fantastic Tune) for the second outro. Who'd have thought this voice actor would be so talented at rock vocals. I know this has been done before which a lot of Japanese anime voice actors, but this is the first one where it stands out to be fantastic, more than just a little gimmick.

If you don't like rock, don't worry since Kuroko no Basuke makes use of a variety of music in the anime itself. This includes serious orchestral music, more comical music for the funny scenes. This anime makes good use of music, the variety helps the atmosphere of the various scenes. Excellent sound design then. This anime is only available in Japanese, but features a little bit of English as its relevant to the characters and the story. Yes, the English isn't perfect since its mostly spoken in a Japanese accent but I'm grateful they went the extra mile to be faithful to the story. Towards the end, the spoken English is so terrible it made me cringe. Surprising since the English towards the start was decent.

Kagami is voiced by Yuuki Ono who voiced many minor characters in popular anime like Fairy Tail, the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, but also did a few major roles in less known but still decent anime like Kiyotaka Yoshino from Da Capo and the hidden gem Suisei no Gargantia as Kugel. Kensho Ono did that awesome outro tune of course, but actually hasn't done too much voice acting, a few notable roles like Slaine Troyard from Aldnoah Zero. Unfortunately, the cast for this anime is rather large so I may return and add only the voice actors of the newer characters if I ever do the review of season one. from the little I've researched, some of these folks have had many good voice acting roles in anime.

Characters

My only complaint about the overall cast is that it's getting a bit large. Too many important characters which makes writing this section of the review very long. Most of the returning cast remain the same. With minor differences. At the start Kuroko shows Momoi his new technique he's developed and some history is revealed with Teppei and Hyuga. But there is also the backstory of the only relation Kagami had. Might I also add that Aomine is a casual pervert who claims to like big boobs and points out what colour of panties Momoi is wearing. Oh but it gets worse, with the perversions of the whole Seirin team, with the exceptions of Kuroko, Teppei, Izuki and possibly Kagami.

Kiyoshi Teppei was a good player in middle school, he had the nickname of Iron Heart and was one of five players known as the 'uncrowned kings'. Unlike the Kieki no Sedai, the Uncrowned Kings were players from various teams, who would have been their own Generation of Miracles if they'd come about at the right time. They go into the history of the character, how he was injured in a match against the dodgy team Kirisaki Dai Ichi and why he wasn't around for most of the first season. His catchphrase is 'come, let's have some fun' which he says everytime they go into the game. An overall nice guy that even compliments the other team after a difficult match. He has major ties with Hyuga and his character is an especially awesome one. He believes in trying to be the best and that anyone can be good at basketball, if they enjoy it enough to put the time and effort into it. He greatly values his team-mates too and gets a lot of fun and enjoyment out of the sport. Awesome character, heck he might as well be one of my favourites.

There was also some backstory of the captain Junpei Hyuga and how that tied into the formation of the Serin team. He actually bleached his hair blonde at the start of high-school and this was in order to escape his past with Basketball and start afresh.

Tatsuya Himuro is Kagami's childhood friend and a unique looking character due to his long fringe and a mole. Back when Kagami was first trying to get to grips in America, this guy helped him out and introduced him to the world of basketball. Arguably his first friend over there, though they treat the relationship more like a brotherly one and Tatsuya is referred to as the older brother. The rings worn around their necks signify this and are a keepsake from the day they vowed to be brothers. As far as basketball skill goes, Tatsuya taught Kagami all he knows and the two were on even footing. By the time Kagami left America, their record of matches won against each other was a draw. But the last match they played, something occured that broke them apart. Tatsuya is now distant from Kagami and the times since haven't helped.

Related to these two characters is the new addition of Alexandra Garcia, a blonde American woman (though she doesn't sound a think like it with her accent) who used to be a professional womans basketball player. She had to stop playing due to medical issues and took up Kagami and Tatsuya as her apprentices teaching them basketball. Her age is estimated to be in the late 20s, given she was a young woman who met the two guys when they were just boys. Unfortunately, I have no more good things to say about this character. She has a curvaceous body, much like Momoi and is introduced sleeping in just her underwear, almost nude. She often walks around nude, which doesn't bode well considering where she is staying and Kagami often tells her off for doing so. She also seems to have a kissing obsession, claiming she only kisses girls and children. Contradiction right there considering her first kiss of the anime. And might I add that kissing children in the way she does would be seen as predatory and borderline pedophillic. What started off as a decent character ended up as one of the things that brought this anime down. I would have hated this character less if they just had her as Kagami's girlfriend older than him, who also taught him basketball, but you know relationships are non-existent in anime aimed at adolescent perverts.

Atsushi Murasakibara is the abnormally tall (even taller than Kagami) fourth member of the Kiseki no Sedai (generation of miracles). The purple guy, he has a sweet tooth and loves to snack on unhealthy food. He seems like a very lax individual but can be creepy and often likes to tell people that he will crush them. He doesn't actually enjoy basketball but is very talented at it nonetheless, which is the only reason he plays. He is very tall and has a long wingspan, making his preferred and specialised role in defense all the easier, often not having to jump to block shots. This coupled with his long legs and good reflexes make him an inpenetrable wall and difficult to score a basket against. He hates people who aren't good at the game and play because they enjoy it and have fun. He especially gets annoyed by the likes of Teppei, to the point where this relatively docile character breaks his nerves and... well just watch to find out. He also seems to take orders from the old captain of Kiseki no Sedai, Akashi, despite the fact that they are in different schools, therefore on different teams too.

Another of the new characters is Makoto Hanamiya, a smart sadistic player who was also said to be one of the Uncrowned Kngs. This guy is the closest thing this anime series has to an evil character and is revealed to be so naturally brainy, that he aces exams without revision.. His team plays dirty, specialising in fouling and bashing around the other team. This would normally get noticed by the referee, but the buggers have perfected their dirty play so that players are always blocking the referee's view. If this was football, this team would have a record of red cards. At one point it's mentioned that every team that they played against had their star players and aces injured. Somehow, Shutoku remains unscathed, but then again, they are one of the 3 kings and have a Kiseki no Sedai player, Midorima on their team.

Kagetora Aida, Rika's dad actually features in this anime. Turns out he was such a skilled basketball player, he even played for the Japanese national team. Of course, we knew he was a personal trainer specialist from season one, so he's here to impart some wisdom and to help the boys train. Pretty cool that a very minor from season 1 makes it into the fore. But as it turns out, there's a reason why his daughter is a bit violent. This guy is a complete dumbass in all other respects. First thing he does is threaten to shoot any boy, that has seen his daughter nude, through the head. He even has a gun he waves around at this point. He then exclaims he is the only one allowed to see his daughter nude and mentions the fact that Rika said she wanted to marry her dad when, back when she was an innocent child. I feel like this guy pervs over his daughter too much and there is no mention of a wife. I usually complain about the single mother trope, but here is a guy that brings single dads down with his BS. The BS pervyness of the other characters was pushing it, though it was understandable since they are teenage boys. This guy just makes me feel disgusted. How could such a good anime like Kuroko no Basuke stoop so low.

Story

The story continues from season one. After their defeat at the hands of Touo Acedemy in the Interhigh tournament, the Seirin Hugh team us gearing up for the Winter Cup tournament. This isn't a spoiler, but just as the first season revolved around the Interhigh tournament, this season focuses on the Winter Cup. As before, the early episodes deal with the prep and preliminaries. I'd absolutely recommend watching season one before this as there are big spoilers for it, this being the sequel and all. But here comes the first disappointment, the pacing.

The pacing of this second season is way off. One could argue season one went a bit too fast, but at least it was self contained and had it's own conclusion. Season two however, stretches things out to the point where it's just ridiculous. Remember those old anime where a character might spend a few episodes charging a special attack? I was reminded of that here as at one point, it takes two episodes for a single quarter of a basketball game. Considering a quarter is 10 minutes, they were effectively quadrupling the time taken. Granted, things did slow down a lot at certain important moments of the match where each and every second was important. But this does mean there are not very many matches in this season as it should do. This season is supposed to depict the Winter Cup and it doesn't quite manage to do that. An anime shouldn't have to depend on a sequel to finish the story. If they wanted to keep the pacing, they should have just made this into a 50 episode anime season. As fun and as exhilarating as these matches are, they are drawn out far too long. Season one had a similar issue, but the way the overall plot went, things ended a bit too quickly so they needed to add in another big match.

The story incorporates the characters a lot more, especially as it has a lot more flashbacks and backstory, explaining things like the relationships between characters. And these relationships are much more important, though they enhance the basketball aspect, rather than take away from it. I'm grateful that they were able to implement it so well. The story also further explores the reason why the Serin team play basketball and the point that the game should be played for fun, though not just carefree 'not trying' fun. Moreso that putting in the effort to try and be the best is fun. Part of the backstory shows that Rika wasn't willing to coach the team unless they took it seriously and weren't half-arsed.

I'd argue, for the most part that the story is better in this season than the first. Including the history and backstory, further developing and improving the characters, we get to see the Seirin team play some very exciting and challenging matches. They are pushed to their limits, not just in their ability in basketball, but other capabilities as well. The Kirisaki Dai Ichi match, was a good example of this, we really got to see, feel and empathise with what Seirin was going through at the time. It takes good writing to get viewers to empathise and really understand how the characters feel. Though I'd argue the new addtition of 'almost evil' characters were an exception to this, we get no indication as to why they play the way they do or any insight into the mindsets of those characters, besides them just being plain bad.

But all good things said, this anime drops the ball with keeping things reasonable. While season one appeared to make fun of ecchi and fan-service, this anime has a hot-spring episode. For the first few minutes it seems okay, a few jokes being made by the guys in the hot-spring, like Kuroko being covered in foam while washing his dog and Kagami wearing swim reunks into the Onsen, since he's a foreigner and has never been in a Japanese hot spring before. They even feature slightly comedic, coincidental censorship for the various moments when Hyuga makes sudden swift movements with no concern for his groin. If this had been it, then I'd have not mentioned it since it just more of the occasional comedy. But it takes a turn for the worst as the majority of the Seirin team attempt to peek at the girls hot-spring because 'hot college girls.' Later on the womens hot spring is only Riko and Momoi, where their rivaly comes to a head and they (almost iterally) have a battle of the busts. They even go so far as to add in an innuendo 'my boys are better than yours,' where boys is actually referring to the players on the respective teams. Perhaps this was supposed to be funny, but I stopped laughing after the reasonable antics at the start. Then it goes on to feature more female rivalry, what do all girls hate each other? And then there's the whole Alex thing later on. Apologies in briniging this up, but this is a far cry from the reasonable single pool scene from season one.

Conclusion

A lapse in maturity and the terrible pacing since season one are my main criticisms with this sequel. I was enjoying it less since such a good anime now has fan-service where there was none before and it did well without it. Not even Riko was spared. The characters and story mostly improve and this sequel is able to stand on its own. That said, no matter what the first season should be watched first. If you are extremely intolerant of unjustified fan-service then prepare for a tang of disappointment. Otherwise this is a faithful continuation of Kuroko no Basuke and then more since this season goes at such a sluggish pace. This review I've just written is now making me wonder if my cynicism is on the rise, since it seems my main complaint about this anime is the addition of fan-service/ecchi, So, if you don't care about that or are able to tolerate that aspect, then Kuroko no Nasuke season 2 is a must watch, following season 1. Just more of a great anime series. A comparison with the first season, I found it overall disappointing, despite further dvelopments and improvements with the characters and story.

Family-friendliness Rating: 4/5 The fan-service with Momoi, Alexandra and now Riko (lower is better)

Overall Rating: 8/10 (higher is better)

8/10 story
7/10 animation
10/10 sound
8/10 characters
8/10 overall
BigDumbOhFace's avatar
Sep 23, 2014

I just started watching Kuroko no Basuke just when season 2 started.  Usually I start reviews by talking about how I came across this but by saying I saw season 1 is enough.  It'd be weird to start a show at the 2nd season.  My review is for those who've season season 1.

Story

After a devastating defeat during the Inter High, the Seirin High Basketball Club sets their eyes on the Winter Cup, a tournament just as prestigious.  With new semester means new challanges.  There are also 2 members of the Generation of Miracles that have yet to be shown.  There's a dastardly villian that caused the beloved Kiyoshi Teppei to be brutally injured.  Overall the show kept it's good pacing.  It could've been better by knowing when the end their episodes to get people ready for the next but that's really knitpicking.

Animation

Animation stayed at the same great quality.  If you liked how it was in season 1, you'd like how it's done in season 2.  Although this time, they've added the zone animations.  The electricity in the players' eyes was done really well.  

Sound

I loved the first opening of season 2.  It gets so hype just thinking about it.  The second was okay but not as good as the first.  The new characters such as Murasakibara Atsushi and Hanamiya Makoto.  Their voices were also done well and matched their personality.  Atsushi is has somewhat of a childish tone when he's not serious but when he's angered you feel it.  Makoto has the total jerk voice that makes you want to punch him.  However one character who had a weird voice is Himuro Tatsuya.  It wasn't horrible but just a little weird.  If I can't really point it out it's not worth penalizing the show.

Characters

Like I said in my review of Season 1, every character has something that makes you like them (not Hanamiya Makoto though).  You get more development of the story's main characters like how Kagami began his love of basketball and what did happen to Kiyoshi.  Also there's the debut of the awesome Akashi Seijuro, the captain of the Generation of Miracles.  His portrayal is great although he isn't shown playing yet.

Overall

If you watched season 1 then you're pretty much obligated to watch seeason 2!  The perfect blend of action, comedy, and exposition is still there as well.  If not then you're really missing out.

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
Lvand's avatar
Jun 21, 2021

Season Two of Kuroko's Basketball, Everyone Has Upped Their Game This Time Around.

After a rough defeat in the Inter-High Tournament in Season One, Season Two springs us right back into the Winter Cup. All areas of the Anime is slighted improved, the main crew of Seirin gets more backstory, we meet new faces and the on-court action is exciting as ever but I still feel there is a certain rush with the story, trying to get to the on-court action as quick as possible which feels pretty rough.

Our main guy Tetsuya Kuroko gets some cool new moves but again is outshined by his team mate and better counterpart, Taiga Kagami. We also get to see some key character development in the series for most of the Seirin team and others, Aomine comes to mind here as well some of the other "Generation of Miracles".

Studio I.G. slightly improves the animation as Kuroko continues to prioritize the on-court action over everything but there is some much needed character depth provided this season. The soundtrack might be the most underrated thing about the show with some awesome tracks like "Vanishing Drive" and "Imminence". Kuroko continues to be a very fun solid watch, making it worth the wait to see the boiz of Seirin overcome their most freakishly gifted adversaries yet, add in some pretty great music and overall we get a better season that sets up a perfect layup for the final season.

+ More Exciting On-Court Action.

+ Better Character Development.

- Story Pace Feels Rushed.









hope this helps...🤙

6/10 story
7/10 animation
7/10 sound
7/10 characters
7/10 overall
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tennis101101's avatar
Apr 7, 2014

This was a really good anime and a good way to continue the first season of Kuroko no Basket.

I like the story line of this anime but I found that the ending episode could have been a bit better. I like the story line because most of the characters are try to reach a goal. The animation of this anime is really good. I like how well they have developed some of the characters from the pervious season and I also like some of the new characters in this season. I like that they are well detailed. I also like how they made the basket ball matches. I like some of the music that is in this anime. I like some of the songs that play during the basket ball matches, I like that they do not over power the characters voices. I also like the opening and ending songs of the anime. The characters in this anime are so flippin awesome and they are also so cool. I love that some of the characters are willing to do anything for their friends no matter the cost to themselves. Overall this is a very good anime.

9.5/10 story
10/10 animation
9.5/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
9.5/10 overall
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ReviewBonfire's avatar
Feb 25, 2021

Kuroko no Basket  2

 

The second season of Kuroko no Basket is definitely the strongest of the series. Not only have the animations increased here, but there was actually also tension and a noteworthy atmosphere.

The pattern stayed the same, with average everyday episodes between basketball games. The games had mostly the same problems as in the first season, but showed massive improvements in terms of implementation and atmosphere.

The characters remained mostly the same, even if you learned a little more background. Unfortunately, the characters are still flat and dull. This does not harm their slight sympathy, but one could have gotten a lot more out of here. Especially the female characters are the definition of incidental and empty.

The main story is the same, the championship is targeted and they keep playing their games. It still doesn't feel really worth mentioning and your actual goal seems secondary. But what their real main aim should be is the fight against the generation of miracles. This is what the protagonists also focus on, but they don't seem to be able to set their priorities.

Unfortunately, the whole story of competition between Kuroko / Kagami and the generation of miracles seems to be quite clichéd and almost amusingly boring. Even if I really like the generation of miracles because of their character and nature.

With the characters you should have made a lot more effort. They seem to have had something like "relationships" by now, but these are mostly based on some shallow insider jokes, like Kuroko's lack of aura.

No matter how I look at it, this one season is definitely above the norm especially thanks to the Aomine Arc which actually offers intense play. Unfortunately, the quality has only increased very slowly in the other areas.

3/10 story
9/10 animation
7.5/10 sound
4/10 characters
6/10 overall
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