Quarantine Post #71: TMNT 1987


So I found the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Amazon Prime a few years back… and while I thought it was funny I didn’t think I would have the time to sit and do a whole rewatch. But of course Covid levels everything out. So I am here with nothing but time on my hands. I decide to look in it again. To my surprise, there are 10 seasons. I do remember running home from school so I didn’t miss it on television… and it seemed like I had been watching it a few years… but if I had 1000 guesses… I wouldn’t have said 10. But it was created the same year I was born… so even when I was old enough to understand what was going on… it had been on a while… Quite possibly reruns. I figured it would be fun to watch one of my older show faves. And give a couple of thoughts on it as an adult.

So with Amazon prime… All ten seasons were available for purchase. So I said… Why not? *Kanye Shrug*. Funny story. I keep forgetting that I am older and that much more time has past than I think… because my nephew came to visit… who was 6 at the time. He wanted to watch TMNT. So I turned this on.. and kept it moving… and he was baffled. I asked him what the issue was… and he said… “This is not the turtles I watch.” I laughed aloud and cried a bit inside. Good news though. When I asked him if he wanted me to turn it off… he said… “No… I want to find out about this.” It had to be the theme song. 34 years later. The theme song is still lit.

See… It is still litty.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, retroactively also known as TMNT 1987 is an American animated television series. It was the first television adaptation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic books by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. (I looked into buying some of those comics… Amazon has it all.) Set in New York City, the series follows the adventures of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their allies as they battle the Shredder, Krang, and numerous other villains and criminals. The property was changed considerably from the darker-toned comics, to make it more suitable for children and the family. Makes sense since… the comics are pretty dark… The show helped launch the characters into mainstream popularity and became one of the most popular animated series in television history. Action figures, breakfast cereals, plush toys, and other merchandise featuring the characters appeared on the market during the late-1980s and early-1990s and became top-sellers worldwide. The ’90s was a fun time to be a kid… unless you hated the ninja turtles. Then even as a 6-year-old… I questioned your tastes.  By 1990, the series was being shown daily on more than 125 television stations, and the comic books sold 125,000 copies a month. There is a Netflix series that chronicles the rise of the TMNT action figures. Check out The Toys that Made Us. I am going to say… you were a nobody if you didn’t have a favorite turtle. But it was hard being a girl and loving TMNT. But to answer your unspoken question… LEONARDO… MIKEY was a close second. I am sure pizza sales went up during this time.

So unless you have been living under a rock… you would know all 4 turtles. But for those who do not… Let’s talk about them:

  • Leonardo: Turtle with the blue bandana who wields two katanas. He is the oldest of the group. Being the leader of the Turtles, he is the most serious member of team, and the most talented fighter. Voiced by Cam Clarke. Totally should have stood in line at comic con to see him. Leonardo’s bravery, determination, and willpower makes him a great leader. And due to his heroic and selfless nature, Leonardo is willing to put his own life on the line to keep his friends and family safe.

  • Donatello: Turtle with the purple bandana who wields a bō staff. He is interested in science and is constantly tinkering with various inventions. He is responsible for the creations of most of the Turtles’ high-tech equipment, including the Turtle Van, the Turtle comms, and the Turtle Blimp. Voiced by Barry Gordon, but is some Season 3 episodes and a Vacation In Europe Side season episode voiced by Greg Berg. A running gag was that most of his inventions exploded or otherwise malfunctioned, but it was still Donatello who came through to save the day most of the time.

  • Raphael: Turtle with the red bandana who wields two sais. He’s sarcastic, often jokes, and seems to get irritated easily. Voiced by Rob Paulsen, but in Vacation In Europe Side season, voiced by Hal Rayle, and voiced by Michael Gough in Season 10. Unlike later versions of Raphael, he is not a hothead, and is the main source of comic relief. He’s generally lazy and doesn’t want to fight at times all while remaining sarcastic. I maintain that I got my sarcasm from watching Raph work. Raphael gets along with the other turtles better than his later incarnations, but he sometimes can mock them or butt heads with them.

  • Michelangelo: Turtle with the orange bandana, who wields two nunchuks but later wields a grappling hook. He is the most relaxed of the group, mostly interested with pizza and having a good time. He used a lot of slang, and is the source for many of the catch phrases such as “Cowabunga!”. He was voiced by Townsend Coleman in every episode. He is often teased by his brother Raphael in many episodes. He loves to skateboard, surf and party. Michelangelo has a free-spirited character, with a hopelessly innocent and romantic heart. There is also a recurrent theme of him exceeding the low expectations that others have of him – and sometimes even his own expectations of himself. Now, let me tell you guys about this grappling hook… There was a lot of controversy at the time when getting permission to show the episodes in other countries about the violence. Here in the USA… there were a lot of parents that bought their kid nunchuks because they wanted to be like Mikey…. (Why would you bu these for kids and plus not watch them is beyong me.) So when kids started beating each other up… they changed the show. Michelangelo could still be seen with the nunchuks… but he rarely used them. Much to my kid disappointment. The grappling hook was odd. They called it… called the “Turtle Line” that served as Mikey’s signature weapon for the rest of the show’s run. I am going to say… doing the rewatch that he rarely used the nunchuks on someone… so it was weird. But I am sure that the live action movies had more to do with it.

  • Hamato Yoshi/Master Splinter: A strict and wise sensei, he is the mutant rat who trained the Turtles in ninjutsu. He was voiced by Peter Renaday. As opposed to later depictions, this version of Splinter treats the Turtles like students more than his sons, as well as being Hamato Yoshi and becoming a rat, whereas in most other versions, he is Yoshi’s pet rat that becomes humanoid. When he’s not calling the Turtles by their names he calls them his “students” or “my turtles”. 

  • April O’Neil: A red-headed Channel 6 TV reporter who discovers the Turtles’ home in the sewers. She befriended the Turtles in the very first episode. She is also known for wearing a yellow jumpsuit, except for the Red Sky episodes. April O’Neil was voiced by Renae Jacobs. This is the first version where April is a news reporter and it continued in other versions. She often puts her self in danger just to get her story and hardly had any love interests in the series. In the final two seasons, she became a freelance reporter.

  • Shredder/Oroku Saki: Arch-villain of the Turtles and Splinter. The Shredder wears a suit covered in metal blades, a cape, and a metal kabuto helmet and menpō mask which he rarely takes off. Voiced by James Avery, (Quick Question… is your favorite villain voiced by Uncle Phil?) but in some Season 3 episodes, voiced by Dorian Harewood. Unlike other incarnations, this Shredder is associated with a disembodied alien called Krang, and plans to take over Earth along side him with his armored fortress the Technodrome, which is also there headquarters. He was the leader of the foot clan.

So I was entertained by the show during my rewatch because I never remembered it being so far-fetched. The technodrome, the neutrinos, Dimension X. But as a kid… it works. Why not?

So as I normally do… I am going to pick a few episodes that I remember clearly and were fun to rewatch. Since there are 10 seasons… I am going to try and narrow down the list. But I may get a bit carried away. My dad had a red bandana that I used to play Raphael for the longest time. Good Times. Also, I had a few VHS tapes with some of these episodes on them. So it is fun to watch it without having to rewind. (Ah. Youth.) LOL… the show is very 80’s on down to the animation.

I only had one tape… because $14.95 each for the whole collection was a bit more than my mom was willing to let go of at the time lol.

Anyway, let’s jump into it. In no particular order:

  • The Case Of The Killer Pizzas (Season 2, Episode 6) – Nothing like Pizza Monsters to start off the list. Leave to Krang to bring something over from Dimension X. (Let me tell you how funny it is hearing that name again as a 30 plus year old.) A pizza bake off turns nefarious when Krang sends the eggs of Xenomorph-like creatures, which look like meatballs, in order to assassinate the Turtles. Baxter Stockman then rigs the pizza contest so that he and Shredder can deliver the deadly pizzas to the Turtles. However, due to heavy customer demands the Turtles end up getting ordinary pizzas, and the booby-trapped pizzas are out somewhere in New York! (I can feel the kid in me squealing. Like watching tv at my dad’s job back in the day.) This is significant in that it’s one of the few instances where the Turtles actually team up with Shredder, along with Baxter, to take out a common threat since the killer pizza monsters want everyone’s blood. I have difficulty explaining why I love this episode so much. Nostalgia… sure… Because it’s not one of the best, and it’s got a large number of animation/continuity errors that make it unintentionally funny in places. The whole premise of the episode is silly. Hence why my kid self enjoyed it. The whole ridiculous meatball-egg/pizza-monster thing is handled as a genuine peril, (my guess is it had to simple enough for kids to follow athough I doubt that 7 year old me was following the story that deeply.) but I will say Raphael commenting “It’s the creature that came with the pizza!” would make a good horror movie title made me laugh.

  • Enter The Rat King (Season 3, Episode 9) – NYC has a rat problem. Who knew? After Burne Thompson is attacked by rats on his way to work, he demands April do an editorial on the city’s rat problem. The Turtles are also experiencing rat issues, since one of the rats somehow managed to eat an entire pizza mix. And after April visits them, rats chew through her tires and chase her and Irma down the street. It was enough to gross a young me out. Splinter was the only rat that I could dig. But during the broadcast, the lights cut out and April vanishes without a trace. She has been kidnapped by a mysterious sewer-dwelling man known as the Rat King, who has taken exception to her unflattering descriptions of his rodents. He throws her in a cage and demonstrates his ability to control rats with a flute. He lives with rats… EWWWW…. Splinter joins the Turtles in searching for April in the sewers, but he starts hearing a strange melody that causes him to act oddly. The Rat King, upon hearing from April that Splinter is a rat, intercepts him in the sewer and brainwashes him into attacking the Turtles. All four are unable to stop Splinter, partly because they are reluctant to hurt him. It was a shock to my young mind. When Splinter is unable to fight off the Rat King’s influence, Leonardo declares he won’t defend himself against his master… but tricks Splinter into breaking a large water pipe, sweeping away the Rat King and temporarily breaking his hypnotic hold.

  • A Thing About Rats (Season 1, Episode 3) – In the New York City sewers, Splinter recovers from a confrontation with Shredder. The Turtles search for the Technodrome, hoping to force Shredder to transform Splinter from a mutant rat back into a human. In another part of the city, scientist Dr. Baxter Stockman tries to convince the Ajax Pest Control company to invest in his new invention: the Mousers, robots that can catch rats. The president of the Ajax Pest Control company sends Baxter away, saying that the Mousers would cause unemployment for the pest control companies. (Older me found that way too funny.) However, Shredder asks Baxter if they can work together. Back at the deserted mansion where Shredder has set up base, Shredder orders Baxter to create a master control device to control the mouser army he plans to build. (You see where this is going right?)Shredder returns to the Technodrome and begins to mass-produce Mousers. plinter is meditating in the sewers, until he is attacked by twelve Mousers sent by Shredder. With his martial artsskills, Splinter is able to fight off the Mousers one by one, but is outnumbered – until the Turtles, who had sensed Splinter was in danger, arrive and help him defeat the Mousers. Afterwards, they notice that each robot is inscribed with “Baxter Stockman, Inventor.” The Turtles and Splinter visit April O’Neil’s apartment, where she looks up Baxter Stockman on her computer, finding a photograph and his address. The Turtles head for Baxter’s house. Baxter, who has finished the master control device, is followed home by Shredder’s Foot robots because Shredder fears that Baxter “knows too much.” Luckily, the Turtles fight off the Foot robots before Baxter is hurt. The Turtles tie Baxter to a nearby lamp post and Raphael convinces Baxter to divulge that Shredder is at the deserted mansion. Suddenly realizing how easily the Mousers can find Splinter, the Turtles hurry back to April’s apartment. When they arrive, they find April and Splinter using kitchen utensils to fight for their lives against the 1,200 arriving mousers. The Turtles, April, and Splinter all escape the apartment just as the building collapses as a result of the Mousers’ destruction. Is it cheesy? Sure. I enjoyed every moment of it though. They manage to defeat the Shedder. (Michelangelo gets help from Krang.)

  • Pizza by the Shred (Season 3, Episode 26) – I had this on one of those VHS Tapes. Wore that tape out. To this day, my parents loathe that theme song. The Turtles (Leonardo, Raphael, and Donatello) are seen working on the Starcruiser that was left to them by the Neutrinos. But this is a Michelango episode… He is the only one not helping. He shows up later  with a pair of Fuzzy Dice as an accessory piece for the Starcruiser, the other turtles scold him for not doing his part in taking care of it. When Michelangelo explains that he was admiring a Belly Board for sewer surfing and thus would like to purchase it, he is unable to get any money from his brothers and quickly becomes fearful that he will need to get a job. Michelangelo’s predicament worsens when the other turtles remind him that can’t get one due to him being a Mutant, leaving Michelangelo broken-hearted. While watching Television, Michelangelo sees a job listing for a Pizza Parlour known as “Weird Pizza To Go,” and becomes elated to get it in order to get his Belly Board. (Poor Mikey. We have all been there trying gather money for a new purchase… and asking parents.) Unknown to Michelangelo however, Weird Pizza To Go is actually a false Pizza Parlour being run by the Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady, as a trap to catch the Turtles in. While disgused as a human, Michelangelo applies and receives the job after informing Shredder (whom he does not recognize since Shredder is hiding behind a door and using a hatch to see through) that he has a car. Michelangelo takes the Starcruiser as his vehicle and proceeds to delivering pizzas to many customers, including Vernon (who tips his rudely). While trying to overpass a Traffic Jam, Michelangelo tries to use the flying capabilities of the Starcruiser to deliver Pizzas faster, but is shocked and horrified to learn that Donatello didn’t finish fixing the vehicle’s “Air Brakes”. Fortunately, the Starcruiser’s engine stalls while in mid-air before it can crash into the ground, and thus Michelangelo is saved. (I loved this episode as a kid… because honestly… who would mistake the turtles for humans? Apparently everyone in NYC.) While contemplating why Michelangelo would steal the Starcruiser, the other Turtles decide to order Pizza after their homemade blender fails. They notice an ad for Shredder’s Weird Pizza To Go, and decide to order from there. When Shredder recognizes it’s the Turtles ordering when Donatello mentions his name, he plants his trap’s bait on their pizza by using a homing device disguised as an Anchovy in order to find their lair. When Michelangelo returns (with the Starcruiser somehow repaired), he is given the order to deliver the Turtles’s pizza to them. Fearing how his brothers would react to him getting a job against their wishes, Michelangelo asks April O’Neil if she can deliver their Pizza to them instead. o the Turtles misfortune, their phone booth is picked up and taken away, therefore they decide to show up at Weird Pizza To Go in person. Believing it’d be better to pick it up there. Just as the Turtles leave though, April shows up too late and does not see the other turtles or a phone booth, and so believes Michelangelo mixed up the street address for an avenue address. Needless to say the turtles triumph… but this is a weird episode. No idea why I enjoyed it so much…

  • Turtle Tracks (Season 1, Episode 1) – It is the first episode of the 1987 show. As dusk falls in New York City, news reporter April O’Neil is broadcasting for Channel 6 News about crime waves. She has an assignment to deliver a news report on mysterious thefts of high-tech scientific equipment from various laboratories across the city. During the investigation, she learns that the thieves are ninjas. She goes with her film crew to stake out a scientific laboratory that she believes to be the site of a potential destination … only to be seized by a street gang. April’s film crew panics and takes off. April makes a run for the canister and slips it into the sewers and is chased by the thug mob under the streets of New York City through an intricate maze of sewer tunnels. Down in the sewers, the street gang members prepare to attack April, when four big talking turtles arrive and help April by defeating the street gang members. It is our introduction to the human Rocksteady and Bebop. This introduced TV audiences to the turtles, their world, their iconic supporting characters, and their  the Shredder. With Splinter explaining his and the Turtles’ origins to the reporter, April O’Neil, the impact of this series can still be felt in contemporary TMNT content.

  • Get Shredder! (Season 8, Episode 1) – Krang informs Shredder that the site of the old 1964 World’s Fair would make a great hide-out. Krang believes that the pavilion housing the Hall of Science might still contain equipment that they can use to conquer the world. The Ninja Turtles pick up a report on the police scanner of a sudden break-in that is being perpetrated by characters whose descriptions match Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady. At the sight of the break-in, The Turtles find foot prints belonging to Krang’s Bubble Walker and a brochure for the 1964 World’s Fair. The TMNT hustle over to the site just as Shredder, Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady are about to take possession of the Hall of Science Pavilion, only to be greeted by laser fire from Berserko, the current resident. Shredder takes off and Krang gets captured by the Turtles. When Berserko hears the name “Krang” he orders his Cyberdrones to remove him from the Turtles’ possession. Later, when Shredder realizes that Krang is missing, Bebop and Rocksteady tell him that they last saw Krang being grabbed by the Turtles. Berserko reveals himself to be Drakus, Krang’s former weapons engineer who helped him design the Technodrome, and whom Krang had betrayed, blasted out of Dimension X, and whose homeworld he had destroyed (apparently Krang didn’t want to risk any of Drakus’s relatives seeking vengeance on him for his treachery). As a result, Drakus wants revenge. (I mean… they are villains… lol) Shredder plants an explosive device in the basement of Channel 6 and threatens to blow it up unless the Turtles rescue Krang from Berserko. One minute after Shredder’s deadline the Turtles successfully rescue Krang. Relieved to see that the building is still standing, Raphael makes the mistake of suggesting that Shredder had been bluffing. With that, declaring “I NEVER bluff,” Shredder blows the building to rubble! The Turtles attack Shredder and company, defeat them and tie them up. Unfortunately, rather than deliver them to the police, they have no choice but to leave them so that they can stop Berserko’s Annihilator, which is now up and running, from destroying Manhattan. After successfully defeating Berserko, the Turtles escape with the new villain in tow as the Annihilator plunges into the Hudson River and explodes upon impact.

  • Casey Jones – Outlaw Hero (Season 3, Episode 23) – Crimes are committed – a mugging, a bakery robbery and a nighttime burglary at a sports store – and all are dealt with by a mysterious man named Casey Jones, who wears a hockey mask and vows that “all lawbreakers” will be punished. The Turtles are heading up to the surface to get pepperoni when Jones spots them and attacks. He eventually concludes that they aren’t criminals, but that they are Martians (which he finds terrifying, apparently). In the Technodrome, Krang is showing off his newest invention: a mechanical bug that can control any machinery. He’s planning to use them to create the Supersize Knucklehead, so Rocksteady and Bebop let the bugs loose in the street. The Turtles find Jones harassing a homeless man and stop him, but he gets away. Raphael doesn’t see why Jones is their business, but Donatello points out that since he knows kung-fu, comes out of the sewers and fights crime, people will blame his activities on them. (Because 3 seasons in, they still have to tell humans that they are heroes. Insert eyeroll.) While April is covering the vigilante, a bug causes her motorcycle to come to life and buzz around her. Fortunately the Turtles arrive to drive it off, only for all the cars on the street to start driving themselves around and appliances to chase people down the street. Unfortunately, this is also happening in high-tech labs, where the equipment starts building the supersize Knucklehead. I believe this is becoming a common thing at this point. We have seen attacking appliances before. But just as a fridge is about to crush Michelangelo and Donatello, Jones rushes in and smashes all the runaway appliances. Donatello spots the mechanical bug clinging to one of the machines, and the Turtles follow it in hopes of locating Shredder. They use the Porta-Tracker to locate the place where Shredder and Krang are, and arrive just in time to see the “giant economy-sized Knucklehead,” driven by Krang. Jones chases the Knucklehead down the street, climbs on board and begins attacking it with a hammer, while the Turtles are left to deal with the wild machines.

  • Shredder & Splintered (Season 1, Episode 5) – The people of New York City have reported sightings of the Ninja Turtles, mostly exhibiting panic and hostility. April O’Neil is not happy about it, because it is not her story. The Turtles reassure her that she will get the full story and agree with Splinter that it is time to put The Shredder away. (This is funny because the show runs for 9 more seasons.) Shredder contacts the Turtles at their sewer lair via their TV to show off his Retromutagen Ray Generator, a device that reverses mutations as he tests it on Scrag (a bat mutant). He claims it can transform Splinter back into Hamato Yoshi and invites them to “come and get it.” Splinter says that he must go alone, because Shredder can use the device to transform the Turtles back into ordinary turtles. The Turtles try to use the Starcruiser left by the Neutrinos to transport Splinter to the Technodrome. Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Splinter try to break into the Technodrome. The intruder alarm sounds, and Shredder—saying it is too soon and Krang “hasn’t come to its senses” yet—sends the Foot robots to destroy the Turtles. While the Turtles fight the Foot robots, Splinter slips inside the Technodrome in search of the Retro Mutagen Ray Generator. The Turtles, watching from a remote control camera, see Krang heading for the Trans-Dimensional Portal, where he contacts General Traag, leader of the Stone Warriors from Dimension X. General Traag tells Krang that the troops are ready and waiting. Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael arrive to stop Krang from opening the Transdimensional Portal, but Krang uses the Molecular Amplification Device to expand to twenty times his size and chases them out of the Technodrome. He smashes a hole through the street and climbs out, pursued by the Turtles. Nothing like Gian robots in NYC. I mean yeah… I can see it keeping my attention as a kid. It is just funny to me now. Donatello arrives aboard his new creation: the Turtle Blimp, created from the Neutrino’s star mobile and Baxter Stockman’s spare parts. He is closely followed by April, Vernon Fenwick, and their film crew. April videotapes Donatello and Leonardo as they slip inside Krang’s robot to destroy his Molecular Amplification Unit, even as Krang catches the Turtle Blimp glider and prepares to crush Michelangelo and Raphael. Leonardo can’t cut out the growth mechanism with his katana, so Donatello smashes it with his Bō staff. As Krang begins to shrink, Donatello and Leonardo rush out before they are crushed, and hop on the glider. 

  • Michelangelo’s Birthday (Season 3, Episode 31) – The show starts in the Turtles’ Lair, with Michelangelo making a cake out of stacked pizzas and singing a birthday song to himself. But when he walks into the living room, where his brothers are, they eat the pizza-cake, and are acting like the day is any other day. He tries desperately to call attention to his birthday, but is brushed off. When an upset Michelangelo leaves the room, his brothers give each other high-fives about how they fooled Michelangelo, in anticipation of a surprise party they’re planning. (Poor Mikey. Everyone deserves a party.) In the Earth’s core, Krang has forced Shredder out of the Technodrome and Shredder is complaining about it. A Rock Soldier has knocked over some welding flux he was working with, that turns the lava into a puddle of goo. Krang sees it as an opportunity for a horrible plan. Back in the Lair, the turtles and Splinter are training. Michelangelo is kind of dropping a few hints about his birthday, but his family doesn’t seem to be getting any of them. Krang has created an anti-mutagen that he believes will return the turtles back into their previous form, as ordinary turtles. Krang sprays some on one of the Rock Soldiers, but it fails. But when he throws the whole bottle at three soldiers, they become the rocks they once were. Krang believes that the only way for the anti-mutagen is to spray is on at least three of the turtles together. Later, back in the Lair, Michelangelo is giving his family one last chance at guessing what day it is. But since they’re still pretending, they still pretend not to know, and Michelangelo runs out of the room. Raphael and Donatello are amused by Michelangelo’s reaction, but Leonardo begins to feel that they are stretching the joke too far. But Raphael insists that what they’re doing is ‘too much fun.’ In Michelangelo’s room, he writes a note to his family. When he’s done, he runs away. (Teenagers are hella dramatic.) Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady decide to trash one of the streets, which they believe will attract the authorities, which will attract a friend of the Turtles’. That friend will call the Turtles, and the Turtles will try to stop Shredder. The Shredder then tells Bebop and Rocksteady to starts destroying the area and causing mass panic. April alerts Donatello to the news that Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady are destroying everything near the Channel 6 building. But as Donatello, Leonardo and Raphael are leaving, they notice that Michelangelo isn’t with them. Splinter answers their queries, reading out loud the note that Michelangelo left behind. Leonardo talks about how he knew they should have ended the joke about them forgetting Michelangelo’s birthday sooner, and Donatello says that it looks like Michelangelo surprised THEM before THEY could surprise HIM. Splinter says that he will look for Michelangelo, while the others go stop Shredder. The Turtles go topside, and fight, but Shredder’s attempts to spray them are less than successful. The three villains eventually escape by scampering over a garbage truck, but stumble across a disconsolate Michelangelo wandering by himself. They strap Michelangelo into the Flushomatic machine that will slowly slowly pours an acidic mutagenic compound onto his body. Shredder orders Rocksteady to contact the turtles via Michelangelo’s Turtle Com, ordering them to meet Shredder within ten minutes, or Michelangelo will be “flushed.” But the plan is squandered when the Mikey gets out of the restraints and reunites with his brothers. Back at the lair, Michelangelo makes one last attempt to tip off his family about his birthday, when Splinter calls him over to where a curtain has been drawn over a room. Behind it is the surprise party they’ve been planning all day.

  • Back to the Egg (Season 4, Episode 13) – After Michelangelo finds a special flyer for a pizza sale, the Turtles head out to buy dinner. On the Technodrome, Krang is displaying his latest invention: an age-reversing serum, which has the capability to de-age a living being into a helpless baby. He demonstrates this on a chicken; when the chicken eats the serum, it turns back into an egg. However, he doesn’t want Shredder to administer the serum to the Turtles. He is instead giving the task to Captain Krulik, an intergalactic circus ringmaster, who wants the infantilized Turtles for his show. Can you see where this is going? I could. Even 8 year old me… enjoyed my turtles more when they were teenagers. The Turtles arrive at Posh Pizza just before Krulik, Shredder and Kroolix’s tracker Grillox do. Krulik squirts the serum on the pizzas, but only manages to do two of them before Shredder “accidentally” causes him to spill the rest into a lobster tank. Leonardo and Michelangelo suddenly shrink down into small children, and begin throwing food at each other. As ordered by the waiter, Raphael and Donatello take their de-aged brothers back outside, where Krulik and Shredder attack them. The two pint-sized Turtles wander away from the fight and straight into traffic, only narrowly being saved by Donatello and Raphael, who act as their “parents” for the time being. It was a stressful time for me. At the lair, the children are placated with pizza and coloring books while Donatello tries to figure out what to do. But when left on their own, they hop on a Cheapskate and begin zipping around the streets, ending up where “Auntie April” works. The rambunctious kids accidentally destroy her computer and trash her office. Meanwhile, Donatello and Raphael find the leftover, thrown-out pizza slices that their brothers had been eating, in hopes of creating an antidote. But when they return to the lair they discover the other two are gone. April tells Donatello that she has the two child-sized Turtles, and agrees to look after them until Donatello can make an antidote. She places them in the audience of a children’s TV show, only for Shredder and Krulik to show up and attempt to kidnap them. Fortunately even small mutant turtles are still dangerous, and successfully deal with of the “bad guys.” Donatello successfully develops the age-reversal antidote and puts it on twin pizzas. Donatello and Raphael rush into the set and toss the antidote-laced pizzas up to Leonardo and Michelangelo. After some cajoling and even the usual parental promise of dessert if they behave (in this case, ice cream), they finally eat them, and turn back to their teenage selves. With all four Turtles now back at their correct sizes, the defeated villains flee the scene. It was pretty still as an adult. But it takes very little to entertain me.

So it was a fun trip back into the 80’s and early 90″s. What was funny was that it managed to keep my nephews attention. But I think that was solely because they were the ninja turtles. There were a lot more continuity errors that I thought there would be but nothing that takes away from the show. And I mean… I have no idea how animation at the time was… so I won’t harp on that too much. I did enjoy it because it was a good show… but I am sure nostalgia plays a part in it. But not as big as you may think. The voice acting is still top tier all of these years later. 4.5/5 stars COWABUNGA DUDES.

Quarantine Post #70: Jurassic World


I remember back in 2015 when Jurassic World came out saying something like… “It doesn’t matter how many of these movies they make… I will go and see them.” That is not an understatement. There is something about the I thought I could control this “creation” that I enjoy when it goes awry. I could have cared less who was in itl By the time Jurassic World came to mind… I remember thinking… have we not learned anything? Apparently not. Jurassic World is a 2015 American science fiction action film. It is the fourth installment of the Jurassic Park franchise and the first in the Jurassic World trilogy. Set 22 years after the events of Jurassic Park, Jurassic World takes place on the same fictional island of Isla Nublar, located off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. A successful theme park of cloned dinosaurs, dubbed Jurassic World, has operated on the island for years, bringing John Hammond’s dream to fruition. Ugh… they actually did it. There is no way none of these people haven’t heard about the disaster this was years ago… and even still… I am not all that interested in seeing Dinos in person… They could not have pitched this idea to me as a family fun weekend. The park plunges into chaos when a transgenic dinosaur escapes from its enclosure and goes on a rampage, while a conspiracy orchestrated by the park’s staff creates more dangers.

Jurassic World was released in the United States on June 2015. The film received generally positive reviews from critics (shocking to me… because critics never have anything nice to say.) and grossed $1.6 billion in box office revenue, reaching third among the highest-grossing films of all time. It was also the second-highest-grossing film of 2015 and the highest-grossing in the franchise. The sequel, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, was released in June 2018. Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous, an animated series set concurrently with the events of Jurassic World, was released in September 2020 on Netflix. A third film, Jurassic World: Dominion, is planned for release in June 2022. I am always down to see a movie that has a rollercoaster.

These were some great action scenes. And there is a lot of homage to the original that goes into these movies. So I am going to go over some scenes that I enjoyed and some scenes that blew my mind. Genetically splicing dinosaurs was always a good idea right? So let’s hop into it.

  • Brothers Zach and Gray Mitchell are planning to visit Jurassic World, a dinosaur theme park on Isla Nublar, of which their aunt Claire Dearing is the operations manager. I wondered what their mom was thinking. I am not sure I would send my children to another country without me. And Aunt Claire is not great with children… so what is the point? Claire is too busy for this trip. RED FLAG. Claire is busy convincing visiting investors that the new attraction, a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur by the name of Indominus rex, will increase the park’s profits. (BAD IDEA. Like it has never been a good idea and will not suddenly be). Claire only sees the boys in the Innovation Center shortly before she has to return to her next meeting, promising to meet them for dinner and spending the next day with them. Zara is assigned to keep company with the boys.
  • Elsewhere on the island, former Navy veteran and ethologist Owen Grady has been training a quartet of Velociraptors composed of Blue, Echo, Delta, and Charlie, and researching their intelligence. (What is he training them to do? No idea.) Based on the raptors’ ability to follow commands, head of InGen security Vic Hoskins believes that the animals can be weaponized and show potential for military applications (Moron… I am still asking the question from 22 years ago… how can you think that you have control over something that is 65 million years old that you know nothing about? You barely no anything about lions, tigers and bears.), an idea Owen and his assistant Barry vehemently oppose. However, a near-fatal encounter by an amateur worker, who was catching a pig, shows the raptors are not tamed. Check out the training scene here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTCEdnu6nv8) This is a bad idea for everyone. Check out when training goes wrong. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3znhTOUqi8)

  • Claire meets with the owner of the park, Simon Masrani. (You can tell that he may not make it to the end of the movie.) Prior to its opening, Claire and Simon inspect the park’s newest attraction, the Indominus rex, a transgenic dinosaur created by geneticist Dr. Henry Wu. (Why… after all this time… would he still be creating dinosaurs?) Masrani is impressed by the new dinosaur even after Claire reveals that the I. rex cannibalized its own sibling. Masrani tasks Owen with evaluating the enclosure’s security. Owen warns Claire that the Indominus lacks social skills, making it dangerous and unpredictable. Does Jurassic have a history of listening to naysayers? No. When the Indominus has apparently escaped, Owen and two park workers (Nick L and Nick K.) enter the enclosure. Owen spots some claw marks on the wall that weren’t there before, concluding that the I. rex has escaped by climbing over the enclosure’s wall. Claire rides back to the control room to see where the I. rex’s tracking device says it is. In the control room, workers see that the I. rex is still in the paddock. After being notified of this, Owen and the I. rex paddock workers try to escape. Suddenly, the I. rex reappears, eating Kilgore and breaks through the gate. Owen barely escapes by hiding underneath a vehicle and spraying himself with gasoline to mask his scent. However, Letting is eaten. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o28ko1AdRig)

  • Owen advises Masrani to have the Indominus destroyed, but to protect his company’s investment, Masrani dispatches a specialized unit to subdue it with non-lethal weaponry, so it can safely be returned to its paddock. He still wants to protect the investment after they just watch people be killed. Claire sends the Asset Containment Unit (ACU) to take the I. Rex down. Owen tells Claire to bring the team back because they don’t know what the I.rex is capable of but she ignores him. (Why does everyone just ignore the many deaths that have already occurred? Like I wasn’t the biggest fan of Claire to begin with… mostly because she has a haughty no it all attitude. Yes you may know how to deal with investors… but that doesn’t mean you know anything about these creatures. You asked Owen in as an expert and then ignore everything he says? Make it make sense.) ACU Commander Katashi Hamada discovers that the I. rex has clawed out her tracking implant and spots the hybrid too late because she can camouflage herself. Hamada and a majority of the squad are either killed or eaten, with only a lucky few surviving without serious injuries. Claire chooses to close every attraction north of the resort while Owen advocates evacuating the island immediately. After most of the unit is slaughtered, while Masrani ponders Owen’s warning and confronts Wu. Something about Wu in the Jurassic World franchise seems slimey. Not like he was in the first movie. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJsXpwtMANw)

  • Zach and Gray have left Zara to watch the Mosasaurus Feeding Show. The boys arrive at the Gyrosphere ride and travel the valley, seeing many of the dinosaurs roaming free. Despite being ordered to return to the station, Zach sees that one of the fence’s gates has been left destroyed (done by the Indominus) and can’t help but leave the enclosed area and enter the forest. The younger brother had more damn sense because we all know rule number 1 in a scary movie is… never leave the main road. They see a group of Ankylosaurus, but then the I. Rex camouflages itself again, and sneaks up behind them and attacks them viciously. The Indominus battles and kills an Ankylosaur as the boys flee, barely escaping the hybrid’s jaws by jumping over a waterfall. If I was the younger brother, I would be pissed. I did not plan on swimming. This was your idea. This scene is shot really well. I was surprised both boys got out of there unscathed. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADccmD2oeJI)

  • Claire finds Owen, so he can help her find her nephews. (She doesn’t know how old her nephews are…? And why should he help her? She don’t listen to his input and swears she knows best.) They arrive at the Gyrosphere attraction and discover that the Indominus has gruesomely killed several Apatosauruses without eating them; Owen concludes from this that the hybrid is killing for sport. (I believe that is something like Muldoon says when he remarks that Raptors love the hunt.)They then find the destroyed Gyrosphere. Zach and Gray find the old Jurassic Park Visitor Center – now derelict and overgrown. They manage to repair an old Jurassic Park jeep and drive it back to the park. As they are leaving, Claire and Owen hear their departure and try to get one of the jeeps started themselves but before they can the Indominus arrives and attacks them, they barely escape with the Indominus close behind, but she is distracted by a helicopter overhead. (To say, they made it out by the skin of their teeth is an understatement.) Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKBlmBTCbJQ)

  •  Masrani has outfitted his helicopter with two officers and a GE M134 Minigun and attacks the Indominus, the guards in Masrani’s helicopter try to shoot the I. rex; to no avail. The I. Rex breaks through the wall of the aviary and the pterosaurs escape. At least John Hammond stayed out of the way. Masrani is not helping… he’s only making things worse. Owen and Claire watch the pterosaurs attack Masrani’s chopper, causing it to crash, killing Masrani and the two personnel. The only thing to try and do now is get people off the island… which should have been done earlier. However, more animals are out of containment. When the boys reach the northern security wall, they see that a swarm of Pterosaurs is following them. After arriving in Main Street, Zara finds the two children, only to be snatched up by a Pteranodon and dropped into the Jurassic World Lagoon where the Mosasaurus eats her and an attacking Pteranodon. It is so weird to see people in the park. There is a lot of running and screaming as the Pteranodons swoop in and take travelers prisoner. They really tried not to evacuate people. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JhsCC3Rpuo)

  • Now that Mansari is dead… Vic takes control. It is like he has been waiting to jump into the head seat from the beiginning. And death is that opportunity. InGen’s Private Security Division, takes control of the park. Vic plans to use the raptors to hunt the I. Rex; although Owen initially declines, claiming that they should handle the situation his way, he reluctantly agrees when threatened. Owen needs to lead with his fist more. These morons in charge are getting people killed. Vic has been moaning all movie that Raptors can be used as weapons. He wouldn’t have thought that in the first movie… but I mean… he really shouldn’t have thought it here either. Owen and I are on edge for this because… they really have no idea what the I rex is or what it is made up of. The action scene is epic though. Would I want to ride a motorcycle with Raptors? Maybe… if DEATH was off the table. It is something about the close ups and the frist person view point that lends to this scene. They release the raptors and follow them into the jungle, where they locate the hybrid. Unexpectedly, the hybrid communicates with the raptors, which causes Owen to realize that she was made with Velociraptor DNA. (Owen and I said this was a bad idea right?) I Rex takes away Owen’s command of the raptors, becoming the pack’s new alpha. The raptors turn on the soldiers while the Indominus escapes. Owen finds Charlie and she seems to recognize him, but she is killed by a rocket. Troops fire on the Indominus, but it escapes. The raptors kill most of the troops, The soldiers flee and Barry hides in a log while Blue attempts to eat him, but Owen distracts her and she chases after him as he leaves on his motorbike. Hoskins evacuates Wu and the dinosaur embryos from the island to protect Wu’s research. Owen, Claire, and the boys find Hoskins at the lab securing more embryos, but Delta breaks in and kills him. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0x7-oo9NAk) and here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZLauDWWGu8)

  • Claire, Zach, and Gray are waiting in a Veterinary vehicle when a soldier appears and is killed by Delta while trying to open the back doors. It is reminiscent of the Dr. Ian Malcom jeep chase. Claire puts her foot to the floor and starts driving the ambulance. But while evading a T-Rex was hard trying to get away from. This scene is a bit more intense. Zach and Gray try pushing oxygen tanks out of the back of the truck to no avail. Echo attacks Claire through the window of the truck but falls out, and Zach and Gray manage to electrocute Delta when she jumps into the truck. But that doesn’t stop them for long. They keeping trying to hunt them down.  Owen reappears and they head back to the resort while the raptors follow their new alpha. Check out the scene here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqFEn5wQhBI)

  • The four humans find Hoskins in the genetics lab attempting to evacuate himself from the facility. (Now this is the chaos he wanted. Where is he going? When the tough get going you can see who really sticks around.) He explains how he secretly manipulated the Masrani company to create the Indominus so that, at a fraction of the size, it would be used as a military weapon instead of a stationary park attraction. I don’t care what it is used for. It is a bad idea. Delta suddenly appears and corners Hoskins. Hoskins tries to calm her but to no avail, and she bites his arm and eventually, devours him instead. One can only hope that stupid idea dies with him. The four escape the Innovation center, but end up cornered outside by Blue, Delta, and Echo. I mean did they really think they are going to get away. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cow-i1ypu10)

  • Owen manages to reestablish his connection with them and when the I. rex arrives. For a moment, you think this is all over though got them. There is a moment of communication between the I. Rex and Blue. It is almost like the command is given to kill the humans again… and Blue seems like she is not going to do it. It is what gets her knocked unconscious. Something happens to Delta and Echo when Blue is knocked unconscious because they seem for apt to attack. Owen, Delta and Echo attack the hybrid but she is no easy win. Delta and Echo are killed… but it is Gray that points out that they need more teeth. Claire formulated a plan and takes off. They resort to one final option: Claire calls Lowery and tells him to open paddock 9. (I had an idea about what was in Paddock 9 but when the camera pans back I was still as delighted as I was when I first watched Jurassic Park.)Claire lures the park’s old veteran Tyrannosaurus rex into a fight with the Indominus. She has the upper hand for a moment, but then she is overpowered, and thrown to the ground. However, before the Indominus can kill her, Blue, who’s still alive from being knocked into a wall, attacks the Indominus, giving the T. rex time to wake up. The Indominus rex, who has no chance to fight back, flails wildly. Then out of nowhere, the T. rex gets back up from the ground and chomps onto her neck. The T. rex and Blue battle the Indominus, cornering her in front of the Mosasaurus Lagoon.  Just as the Indominus recovers, the Mosasaurus bursts out of the water and drags the hybrid underwater where the marine reptile finishes her in a spectacular fashion. Blue and the T. rex exchange a respectable look, then head off into the night. The survivors are evacuated and the island is abandoned once again. Zach and Gray are reunited with their parents, while Owen and Claire decide to stay together. The scene was the amount of action I always want in an action sequence. I enjoy when two enemies come together to take down a greater more common enemy. I live for it. Check out the here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtCslvCjZEY)

Good times had by me. I enjoyed every moment of it. Especially when I get to yell at the screen and ask them why they are doing stupid things. The scenes were a bit more action-packed than the original but I will say the dinosaurs looked a bit better in the original. But that could just be because I was younger and was really taken with the original movie. But this was a home run. I knew right away that if they were going to come out with more movies I was going to be down. So that is all for now. If you have words about the flick drop them in the comments.

Also let me know if you have ridden the new ride at Universal. I am intrigued to hear about it.

Quarantine Post #69: Jurassic Park


So… In the spirit of rewatching all of the things that I enjoyed when I was a kid. The next group of movies would be the Jurassic movies. The first movie came out in 1993. I vividly remember having this movie on VHS. My siblings and I watched it a million times over one summer. We lived for some scenes in the franchise. And for my generation… it started our love of Jeff Goldblum. Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction action film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the first installment in the Jurassic Park franchise, and the first film in the Jurassic Park trilogy, and is based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Michael Crichton and a screenplay written by Crichton and David Koepp. (I did not realize that Michael Crichton wrote so many books.) In 2018, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Makes sense to me.

The first film grossed $914 million in its initial release, making it the first film ever to gross $900 million, and was the highest-grossing film of all time, surpassing E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, until it was surpassed by Titanic in 1997, the first film ever to gross $1 billion. The film was followed by The Lost World: Jurassic Park on May 23, 1997, Jurassic Park III on July 18, 2001, Jurassic World on June 12, 2015, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom on June 22, 2018, none of which were as critically acclaimed as the first.

So… I will be picking out several scenes that stand out in my mind to this day. Since the films (at least the first 3) have been added to Netflix, and HBOmax… I decided to talk about it. It really has to be one of my favorite movies as a kid… also probably why I still go and see the movies even though… they usually only go one way. For the first movie, Industrialist John Hammond has created a theme park of cloned dinosaurs, Jurassic Park, on Isla Nublar, an island off the Costa Rican coast. (This doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all. *sarcasm*) After a dinosaur handler is killed by a Velociraptor, the park’s investors, represented by lawyer Donald Gennaro, demand that experts visit the park and certify its safety. Gennaro invites mathematician and chaos-theorist Ian Malcolm, while Hammond invites paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant and paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler. Anyways… Let’s hope into all of the great scenes from this franchise:

  • 6 Foot Turkey – The movie opens up down on a fossil dig. Dr. Alan Grant is talking about velociraptors being more like birds than reptiles. But there is a kid there that wants attention… so he interrupts Dr. Grant to point out… “That doesn’t look very scary. More like a 6 foot turkey.” I remember being a kid and thinking two things: 1. That is so rude. 2. Who brought their kid here? Grant doesn’t fluster. He talks the kid through what an attack from the raptors would be like. The kicker is when he pulls out the 6 inch retractable claw… “He doesn’t bother to bite your jugular like a lion see… He slashes at you here… or here… or maybe across the belly… spilling your intestines. The point is… you are alive, when they start to eat you.” Creepy. It took me many years to figure out that the scene was put there on purpose… because the claw is revisited later. Gotta love the look on the face of the kid after he is told to try and show a little respect. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgQe68kF_8M)

  • Entering the park and seeing the dinosaurs – After Grant and Sattler are recruited to come to Jurassic Park, they fly over to Isla Nublar in a helicopter… I am not sure I can do it. But I hear there is a helicopter tour in Hawaii that flies out to the locations that appear in the movie. They take the iconic jeeps into the park. It is inside the park, where they come across a Brachiosaurus and a whole herd of Parasaurolophus, to their utter amazement. While everyone is amazed… Dr. MalcolmIt is the first time that we see dinosaurs in the movie. And for a movie that came out over 20 years ago… the effects still look great. My brothers and I at one point in our childhood thought the dinosaurs were real. Check out the scene here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJlmYh27MHg)

  • Watching the Raptor be hatched – John then takes his assembled team to the Visitor Center, and they learn that InGen was able to recreate dinosaurs using DNA taken from mosquitoes, who had feasted on dinosaur blood and had been preserved in tree sap . The DNA taken from the mosquitoes were spliced with DNA from frogs to fill in the gaps of the genetic code. InGen scientists only cloned female dinosaurs, thus eliminating the threat of uncontrolled breeding of the animals. Afterwards, the crew enter the laboratory, headed by Dr. Henry Wu, and witness the birth of an infant Velociraptor. John has this weird complex… pretending to be God. (Well… we know that never works out.) Both Grant and Malcolm are stunned by the sight but also a bit disturbed by it. Grant doesn’t seem happy to know they are breeding raptors… Younger me didn’t get the scope of this scene. But as an adult… the creepy way John was talking to the raptor… Like… he couldn’t care less about the lawyers… and the dangers that would come up. At Grant’s request, the crew are then taken to the Velociraptor enclosure, where they meet park warden Robert Muldoon. Robert tells the group about how vicious and intelligent the raptors are. (Hmmm… Had to be where Deep Blue Sea got that idea.) He explains that there are only three raptors altogether because the Big One, who has taken over as the alpha female, had “killed all but two of the others. She had them attacking the fences testing for weaknesses. And they need attack the same place twice. Meanwhile, the scientists lower a cow attached to a harness into a dinosaur’s enclosure and observe the Velociraptor slaying the cow, destroying the support cables and tearing the harness in the process. This is starting to get dark. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLz5Api676Y)
  • Tour Time – Let’s point out that before the tour begins… the group of experts tell John that they think this is an ethically and morally wrong. Ian questions the ethical morality in cloning species that had not lived for millions of years. Ellie expresses concerns that the scientists may not be thinking of the repercussions that might occur because of what they are cloning But grandkids show up and the car tour begins… The tour begins with Dilophosaurus enclosure first, but to their disappointment, none appear. In the background, you can hear the our recording talking about how it spits vemon causing blindness and paralysis. (Foreshadowing.) Boy is Tim annoying… like more than any 9 year old that I know. Maybe because he is a huge fan of Dr. Grant. Finally, the crew find a sick Triceratops, with veterinarian Dr. Gerry Harding examining it. Ellie decides to stay behind with Gerry, while the rest of the crew head back to the Ford Explorers and go on their way back to the Visitor Center.

  • Tyrannosaurus Time – A tropical hurricane hits the island, and most InGen employees leave, except for John, Robert, and chief systems engineer Ray Arnold. During the cyclone, Dennis begins his plan and shuts down the entire park security (except for the raptor fences) so he can still embryos. As a result, the tour cars that were supposed to bring everyone back to the visitor center have cut off, leaving them stranded outside of the T-Rex paddock. The Tyrannosaurus breaks through the deactivated electric fence surrounding its pen, devours the stranded goat, and wrecks havoc upon the roadway, attacking Tim and Lex hiding in the car, who was left alone by Donald after he fled. Everything leading up to this scene is very well put together. I remember my brother and I yelling at the screen for Lex to turn the light off. It was one of those things that occurs in a movie and you’re left thinking… “Why would you do this?” I will say it took a hell go a long time for Dr. Malcolm and Dr. Grant to help the kids. Like they wait until the car is flipped over. The T-Rex comes crashing through the glass roof after them. Alan ignites a flare to lure the T.Rex away from the kids, but Ian inadvertently intervenes, only for himself to be chased to a restroom, where Donald is hiding. The T. Rex brings down the hut, breaking Ian’s leg, and devours Donald in the process.Grant manages to get Lex out of the car but Tim is stuck. And the T-Rex returns to get his pray. There is a great shot of Grant covering Lex’s mouth as the T-Rex searches for them… right in front of his face. Poor Tim. He gets thrown off the side. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rc_i5TKdmhs)

  • Nedry get his – Nedry is a real clown. I have never felt bad about his comeuppance at any point. Due to his financial problems and low salary (could John have paid him more money? 1000% but why try to kill everyone? Just quit dude.), he accepted a bribe from Biosyn to smuggle dinosaur embryos off the island. You would think that someone as smart as him… would know… it would probably be difficult to make it out unscathed if you turn off the security features in a park filled with Dinosaurs… Dennis crashes his Jeep into an embankment, and while trying to winch it, he encounters a juvenile Dilophosaurus. Remember that blurb about what they do? The Dino spits out a tar-like venom at Dennis before the saboteur manages to get back in his Jeep. When Nedry thinks he’s safe, he turns his head and the Dilophosaurus managed to get into the car with him and continues to attack him, and eventually kills him. The modified canister, used to smuggle the embryos, is lost in the process. All you can do is shake your head. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNoWveBtrZc)

  • T-Rex chases Muldoon, Sattler and Malcolm – John sends Muldoon to retrieve the grandchildren. Sattler goes with him. When they arrive at the scene, they believe the only survivor of the chaos is Malcolm, but upon further investigation, they find two sets of footprints: one is Alan’s and one belongs to one of the kids. Just then, the Tyrannosaurus returns, and Ian, Robert, and Ellie barely manage to escape in their Jeep. Remember John saying at the beginning of the movie… We clocked the T-Rex at 32 miles an hour. And he gives them hell. Trying to turn over the jeep with them in it was fun and terrifying to watch. My brother and I loved it. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxqHVoZ0fzc) Apparently, Jeff Goldblum did an awesome commercial for Jeep in 2018… Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEpMqyOyLpQ)

  • Muldoon’s Death – Ray tries to hack Dennis’ computer to turn the power back on but fails, so he does a full system reset, which requires the circuit breakers to be manually reset from the utility shed. When he does not return, Sattler and Muldoon follow and discover that the raptors have escaped; the shutdown cut off the power to the remaining electricity fences around their pit. He says something to effect of “Even Nedry knew not to mess with Raptors.” Muldoon realizes that the raptors are near, and tells Sattler to go to the utility shed herself, so she can turn the power back on, while he tries to hunt the raptor. This is a bad idea. The Raptors set a trap for him in a way exactly as Grant had described at the beginning of the film; One raptor is rustling in the bushes directly in front of Robert Muldoon, and right before he can shoot the raptor, the Big One emerges from the brush right next to Muldoon. Muldoon utters the famous words “clever girl” before the Big One leapt onto Muldoon and devoured him. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhwlBVk4qUA)

  • Raptors in the Kitchen – I do not care what anyone says… This is by far my favorite scene of the franchise. It scared the shit out of my brother and me. Tim has had a hard time in the film… he was pushed into a tree by a T-Rex…. He was electrocuted… and now… he can’t have a piece of cake… Because RAPTORS. They scurry off to the kitchen… and close the door behind them… What is with these door handles that anyone can turn? The two raptors are on the hunt… and the kids are crawling silently trying to get away from certain death. There is one point where Lex is trying to distract the Raptors and then trying to get the cabinent down. It is the most stressful thing my childhood mind had watched up to that point. It is featured again in Jurassic World… well… a lot of shots from this kitchen scene are recreated in Jurassic World. Tim traps one in the freezer… and it is hard to watch him try and run on his bad leg. He was annoying but by the end… you just felt for him. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnWNyKqI3Bc&t=268s)

  • Raptors in the Computer Room/T-Rex in the Visitors Center – Grant, Sattler, Lex and Tim all head to the computer room to try and reboot the system. Grant and Sattler hold off the Big One trying to open the door to the computer room until the power is restored, and the electromagnetic locks begin working. Tim, throughout the movie, tries to make it seem that she’s just a nerd. Odd because Tim kept blurting out random facts about every species he sees. It is Lex that get the computer systems back online. It has always annoyed me that Tim… does nothing to help Grant or Sattler. After the phone systems are restored, they call John to request a helicopter rescue of the survivors. But they still have to make it to the helicopter. With the door secured, the raptor breaks into the room through a window as Grant shoots at it through the glass. The group climbs up into the ceiling crawlspace and arrive at the Visitor Center fossil display. Even in the ceiling, Lex is attacked by the Big One leaping up at her. The Raptor that Sattler thought she captured in the utility shed. The raptors pursue the group, and after a scuffle with the Big One on top of the fossil exhibits and the raptors block their escape route. It all looks pretty bleak. Until they are saved by the T-Rex shows up and kills both raptors, saving Grant, Sattler, Lex, and Tim in the process. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTPYKcrgwnM)

Some things never change. My love for this move has not diminished since I have seen it 2 decades ago. I was never a kid that was into dinosaurs… but this sparked my interest at a young age. Recently, it has been fun to watch with my niece and nephew and get their reaction to things. Share your thoughts with me below. Let me know your favorite parts of the movie.

Quarantine Posts #68: Kuroko’s Basketball: The Last Game


Now, if you guys read my last post… then you know that I loved the way Kuroko’s basketball ended. But I would have loved to see the Generation of Miracles plays as a team. My Twitter friends didn’t disappoint. They told me there was a movie, so all was not lost. So the movie came out in 2017… I found it on Crunchyroll. The U.S. street basketball team named Jabberwock comes to Japan and plays a friendly match with the Japanese team Strky, but after the Japanese team suffered a crushing defeat, Jabberwock team members began to mock the Japanese basketball. The Jabberwock’s leader tells all the players from Japan to either quit playing basketball or go die. Their comments infuriated Riko’s father, so he assembled a team of five Generation of Miracles members plus Tetsuya Kuroko and Taiga Kagami, called Vorpal Swords to perform a Revenge match against Jabberwock. I am all for a revenge match. I love it. I really wanted to see how the new Generation of Miracles operates. The old team was all about themselves. I wanted to see what they can do when they work together. Is this opponent going to give them a run for their money? Well, let’s see. Check out the trailer here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DadWQihpBeo)

The movie starts off with a bit of backstory on Kagami… We know from the show that he transferred from the U.S. Back in the present, Kagami is seen walking to Seirin but is surprised when Kuroko appears behind him with Nigou in hand. Kagami receives a phone call from his coach Alex. She is calling Kagami from the USA while accompanied by a coach. She tells the American coach how great of a player Kagami is and that he loves basketball more than anyone. The coach in return asks her if he can expect a “good answer” from Kagami. I wonder what this is about. Is he planning on leaving Seirin? What is the plan? No time to dwell on that because… Everyone you know is gathering to watch a street ball game. I have been to a streetball game before. It is supposed to be fun/funny and laid back.

After the phone call, Kuroko and Kagami arrive at Seirin late, just before the match between Team Strky and Team Jabberwock begins.  The rest of the Generation of Miracles teams prepare to watch as well, commenting on their ex-teammate’s appearance and skills. Hyūga remembers a phone call he had with Kiyoshi who told him of the bad reputation the Jabberwock has, making Hyūga worry. But what kind of trouble could there be at an exhibition game? The match of Team Jabberwock vs Team Strky begins with Jabberwock catching the ball during tip-off. The match continues but the atmosphere of the court changes with Jabberwock’s play turning into a provocative one. The Generation of Miracles notice that this style of play is not only provocative but shows just how openly the Jabberwock is looking down on their opponents. It is so degrading that even if they wanted to, the audience couldn’t enjoy the match at all. Like it was disgusting… The match comes to its end with a dunk from Silver, Jabberwock winning with a score of 86 – 6. Kasamatsu approached Gold to congratulate him and his team on their victory, however, Gold doesn’t return the handshake and instead labels the Japanese players as incompetent, calling them monkeys. Gold spits on Kasamatsu’s hand, laughing at how pathetically team Strky has performed. (First of all… Spitting on me is the best way for you to end up fighting EVERY TIME YOU SEE ME. On sight. All day… Every Day.) Kagetora steps in, challenging Jabberwock to another match in order for the Japanese players to prove them wrong, arranging a revenge match between Team Jabberwock and the Generation of Miracles. I mean who else? You had to know because all of the members of the Generation of Miracles showed disgust watching the game.

The Generation of Miracles all arrive at the gym along with Kuroko and Kagami. Three bench players; Takao, Hyūga, and Wakamatsu appear as well. Hyūga is troubled by the thought if he should really be here but Akashi notices this, assuring him that he is welcome. The newly founded Team Vorpal Swords begins to practice in order to work on their teamwork and cooperation. They need to work on cooperation since they were all out for themselves in the past and saw each other as rivals. Cooperation is the only way to win.  The 1-week practice begins and the players are syncing up well, though Riko thinks it’s not perfect yet. Then, they reviewed the players of Jabberwock with Silver standing out as the person who has a perfect body. Supposedly he is more agile than Aomine, has more jumping power than Kagami, and is more powerful than Murasakibara. While the other two were all hyped up, Murasakibara is bothered as he is mostly the one to defend Silver. On the other hand, Akashi admits that Gold has some abilities that restrains his, shocking them but he assures them that he will win. The practice continues.

The day before the match, Kagetora informs Riko and Momoi that he’s going to Roppongi in order to watch over Jabberwock. Kuroko overhears this conversation and disappears in the middle of practice. Kise challenges Kagami to a one-on-one match before Aomine interrupts them, asking if they had seen Kuroko anywhere. The two give him a blank look, realizing that Kuroko was gone. There is only one place that he would have gone. I mean really, these people should all be used to Kuroko by now. None of them noticed that he left? It is a race downtown to stop him from getting hurt. Gold gets annoyed by Kuroko’s words and kicks him in the stomach before the rest of the Vorpal Swords arrive. The two teams are close to getting into a fight but Akashi stops them, telling his team that they should sort this out with basketball, which is something that Kuroko would want. Vorpal Swords leave but are mocked by Jabberwock for running away. The end of the first quarter is nonsense because all of the Generation of Miracles is sweating way too much. The Jabberwocks haven’t even shown their true strength.

Notice Aomine and Kagami ready to throw down.

The day of the match has come and Izuki says the Jabberwock not only insulted Team Strky but the entire country as well. The players of each team are introduced before the actual match begins. Team Vorpal Swords starts off with a good start, Murasakibara catching the tip-off before passing the ball to Akashi. In return, Akashi passes the ball further to Aomine who scores the first points of the match with a dunk. Team Jabberwock is surprised, beginning to take the Vorpal Swords seriously now. But there is something uneasy about the start of the game. Like the Jabberwocks are waiting for something. Waiting to drop the big hammer. The match carries on with different combinations and team play from Vorpal Swords. Kise uses his Perfect Copy while Aomine enters the Zone to attempt to stop Silver who has been scoring baskets with his immense strength. Things look pretty good for Vorpal Swords. But something seems odd.

The 2nd quarter begins with Silver driving past Aomine and overpowering Murasakibara with a dunk. Then, he blocks Akashi’s fadeaway shot and does a two-handed windmill lane-up while outrunning Kise and Midorima in the fast-break. Silver has dominated the quarter, widening Jabberwock’s lead to 9. With 5 minutes left in the quarter, the Vorpal Swords decided to sub out Akashi and Midorima for Kagami and Kuroko. Although Murasaikibara wants to take on Silver by himself, he is convinced by Akashi that a different strategy is for the best. Holding down Silver in the post with his whole body, the latter spins past him and is met by Kagami inside and blocked with Aomine’s help. Kuroko starts the fastbreak and Kise gets the ball, passing to Kagami and dunks. I am here for Kagami dunks. Kise dunks on the fastbreak and the 2nd quarter ends with Jabberwock leading 40-36. I am also here for Kise dunks. (Since my anime husband’s post… I have added a few more.) I am still a bit uneasy because Gold hasn’t really shown what he can do.

The animation is top teir.

Gold makes an insane fast pass with no preliminary movement meaning he can’t be read. Kuroko made an alley-oop pass to Kagami but is blocked by Silver in the air. Gold continues to distribute those insane fast passes with no preliminary movements, always leaving the defenders stunned. (I would say this is the Kuroko effect.) On one play, Murasakibara bleeds after getting dunked on by Silver who is not even using his full strength yet. Jabberwock’s lead widens to 19 (61-42). I didn’t know that someone could Murasakibara bleed. My mind was blown. Kagetora explains that Akashi’s ability to drag everyone into the zone cannot be done for two reasons. First is, the players are already exhausted and won’t last for the rest the game and the second is that for some unknown reason, Gold is inhibiting his ability. (Akashi needs to figure out a way out of this. Because I really did not see a way t He has Murasakibara defend the no. 6 and 7 players of Jabberwock while Kise and Aomine team up to stop Silver while he will mark Gold. The match resumes and Silver seems surprised by the sudden change in the two. Kise activates his Perfect Copy while Aomine enters the Zone.

Aomine, Kise, and Kagami execute an extremely fast-paced offense, getting back the scores from Jabberwock. Soon after, Kise tells Aomine that double-teaming Silver is a little too much, and asks if he could leave Silver to Kise. Aomine agrees to it after a bit of thinking, but not without telling Kise that if he does a bad job at it, they will be back to double-teaming. Kise then provokes Silver, telling him that he alone is just enough. Having been provoked, Silver seems to have lost his composure, as Kise was able to catch up to him and block him with Aomine’s agility and Murasakibara’s block. As he faces Silver once more, Kise was able to outrun him, his agility now even faster than Aomine’s, while thinking to himself that while whatever he was going to do annoys him since it’s tiring, he won’t have any doubts if this is the only way to secure victory. Silver catches up with Kise just as the latter was about to dunk. Determined to win, Kise successfully dunks over Silver, revealing that he has finally entered the Zone. But it won’t last long.

When the fourth quarter begins, Kise attempts to shoot another High Projectile Three but fails as his exhaustion finally takes its toll on his body. Kise is then substituted by Midorima, and while he is being helped by Akashi to the bench, he criticizes himself for being weak, and for not being able to score one more basket. Akashi denies his comments, telling him that he has done well and leave the rest to him.

Akashi is still having a hard time with Gold. As Gold approaches Murasakibara in the paint, he uses his eyes’ wide field of vision to pass the ball to no. 8 who scores with a 3-pointer. Everyone was surprised the way Gold utilized his ‘eyes’. Gold stated that he has the “Demon Eyes”. (I don’t know. Maybe it is me. I do not want Demon Eyes.) Not wanting to lose, Akashi uses his own streetball style of dribbling and passes behind the back to Aomine. (Akashi seems too smart to be sucked in by other people’s play but he did this.) Aomine goes for a formless shot but is blocked from behind by Gold and proceeds to perform an ankle-break on Akashi in the fastbreak. (Poor Akashi. He is much better in the movie than he is in the show.) Kagami tries to stop him but still scored with a double-clutch layup and drew the foul. Feeling that he has to take over, Murasakibara helps Akashi who is in total shock, and tells him to give the ball in the post and ties his hair. Well, we all know that when the hair gets tied up… he is SERIOUS.

Remembering Okamura’s teaching in the post, Murasakibara finally gets it and smiles for the first time in a game. The flashback for this is so cute. It seems that because many of his opponents were weaker than his and not as big as him… he held back. He is finally able to go all out like he has never been able to do before. As Silver can’t back him down, he decided to shoot a fadeaway instead but was blocked by Murasakibara and dunks against him on the other end. Silver was shocked to see Murasakibara suddenly overflowing with strength. Murasakibara continues his dominance until Silver intentionally collides with him, causing Murasakibara to fall and (presumably) break his wrist. Murasakibara wants to continue to play but the coach and the rest of the team refuse to let him do so. I say Silver should have gotten kicked in the shin for that.

At the start of the final quarter, Kise finally runs out of energy and Akashi helps the Kaijō player reach the bench. Back to the match, Gold states that Kise’s effort was meaningless. Gold shoots his invisible pass, only for Akashi to intercept it, greatly shocking the Jabberwock player and making his teammates realize that the other Akashi is back. The shocked Gold notices his sudden change but at the same time, thinks that he has ‘it’ and decided to try one more time to prove that he is correct. Akashi jokingly says that he was a ‘little bit rusty’ but guarantees that it won’t happen again, provoking Gold. One more time, he performed a crossover behind the back with no preliminary movement and jump-stops into a fadeaway jumper but Akashi had already seen through it and steals the ball. 

Gold expresses his surprise at Jabberwock being pushed to that point and admits that they made some miscalculations and their biggest miscalculation was Akashi. He added that it’s the first time he met someone with the same “eye” as his, shocking the Vorpal Swords, especially Akashi. I mean I knew this clown had something up his damn sleeve. The jerk. Akashi is slightly rattled and things look hopeless for a moment. As the match progresses, Akashi knows that in order to win, he would have to discard his other self who keeps reminding him of this fact. For the last minutes of the match, Kuroko is substituted in, replacing Murasakibara to turn the match around in their favor. Akashi’s dual personalities merge during the last minutes of the match, managing to keep Vorpal Swords head to head with Jabberwock. In the last deciding seconds, Kuroko manages to steal the ball from Gold before passing it further to Kagami and Aomine who end the match with a dunk. I am here for all the dunks.

After the match, Kagetora organizes a party for the team, encouraging them to drink but in the end, they settle down for a juice since they’re underage. Everyone is enjoying the party until Kise asks the rest what news Kagami has to tell them all. In a different room, Kuroko and Kagami are looking out the window before informing the rest of their team that Kagami will be leaving for America, something Kuroko already knew since he heard Kagami’s phone call with Alex. Kagami tells the rest of Seirin that he will be transferring to a high school in the USA, working on becoming an NBA player in the future. (This is what that phone call was about. I am so annoyed… not happy etc. Means that the show is really over.) Everyone expresses their support for Kagami as well as the Generation of Miracles who have overheard the conversation as well, seeing Kagami as their best rival but also a good friend. Akashi suggests that since Kagami will be leaving that they should have a farewell match with the Generation of Miracles playing against Seirin. The Generation of Miracles play in their Vorpal Swords uniform while Seirin plays in their school one.

I enjoyed the movie. Great animation. It was good to see how much the characters have grown. They seem to all be getting along and doing well in their lives. Even though, the Jabberwock had shitty personalities… they gave the Generation of Miracles a run for their money, which we know they enjoy. So to that end, they served a purpose. They can still kick rocks though. I loved every minute of it. I watched it on Crunchyroll but I see that it will be on Netflix shortly. So definitely go watch the show… THEN… watch the movie. Tell your thoughts below if you have seen it. That is all for now.

Quarantine Post #67: Kuroko’s Basketball


So I usually have a hard time when choosing new anime. In my times of need, I turn to those who have seen more shows than me on anime twitter. I usually get all kinds of recommendations. I had a lot of people talk about sports anime… I often wondered if they could make a basketball/baseball story that could keep my attention. I was never into watching basketball in life so I doubted that I would care enough about this story to give it a try. And those feelings were bolstered by the fact that I tried watching it early on… and fizzled out after the first episode. I couldn’t have been more wrong. (I found out that really it was my lack of drive. Pandemic life is draining but I have that urge to get things off my anime watch list again.) With the help of some of my friends online, I jumped in with both feet.

Also, I was excited. Very rarely do people recommend me things that I do not enjoy. I am pretty easy to please and will try any show once. I am pretty sure I remember seeing this manga on the shelf at the used bookstore. And too bad for me… I assumed I knew what the story consisted of and I was totally wrong. Never judge a book by its cover. If you want to see it… Check out Crunchyroll or Netflix.

The narrator tells us early on that the basketball team of Teikō Middle School were some beasts. Somewhere in my mind, I thought that was an understatement… almost like I have never watched anime… Anyway, they demolished all competition. The starters of the team became known as the “Generation of Miracles”. 5 players that were beasts in their own right and definitely unbeatable together. But as all good things come to an end… so did middle school leaving all of the players to attend different high schools. While everyone knows the names of the Generation of Miracles, they forget about the sixth man. Kuroko Tetsuya ends up at Seirin High school along with Kagami Taiga… Kagami has spent time in the US playing basketball and is looking for the strongest opponents to go against. They want to be the best in Japan… (very shonen for you. I don’t have a problem with it.) They plan to go through Kuroko’s former teammates to do so.

Kagami and Kuroko’s friendship is the foundation for the show… and a large part of the team. When they are out of synch, Seirin is in trouble.

We meet Kuroko’s past teammates one by one… and initially, they don’t seem so bad. Cocky… sure… but anyone who can’t be beat can be accused of being cocky. First up… Kise Ryōta. was the Generation of Miracles’ small forward who now plays at Kaijō High. He introduces himself in the second episode… Kise is first seen when going to greet Kuroko in Seirin High School. Seirin’s training is underway and Kise stands in the shadows.. he is soon given away because of all the girls screaming for his attention. Riko and the others recognize Kise immediately. They ask him why he is here, to which he answers that he was curious when he heard that his opponent was going to be Seirin, as he knew that that was where Kuroko plays, and he decided to take a look. He claims that he is the weakest member of the Generation of Miracles… and that can be a bit misleading. He doesn’t even acknowledge Kagami at first who gets him to play a one on one battle. Kuroko comments that this will be bad, while Kise takes it immediately to the hoop. To everyone’s surprise, he passes Kagami with the same move Kagami was seen doing just a while ago. Kagami keeps his head cool and jumps for the block, but Kise is stronger than him and dunks it. As Kagami is falling, he realizes that Kise’s cut was better, faster, and stronger than his. Poor boy underestimated the competition… Kise tries to get Kuroko to change schools… Kise explains that he respects Kuroko very much and says that Kuroko is wasting his talent away, thus the reason why he’s offering him to play together again. Kuroko refuses his offer very formally and Kuroko tells him he can’t leave because he made a promise with Kagami to defeat the Generation of Miracles but it is to no avail and I was left wondering if the Generation of Miracles left each other on good terms. On the day of the match, Kaijō has underestimated Seirin… They bench Kise thinking the game will be over shortly… They don’t even want to use the full court. They are actually using half of it for practice as usual. This angers Seirin, as they realize very quickly how much Kaijō looks down on them. Kise tells Kagami and Kuroko that if they can’t even get him to play, then they don’t have the right to say they’ll take down the Generation of Miracles.The match begins and Kuroko and Kagami quickly surprise everyone by destroying the backboard during a dunk. Kaijō’s coach, shocked, finally decides to take them seriously and prepares the whole court for their match. To Kise, Kagami, and Kuroko’s delight, Kise is called over by his coach. The match restarts and Kise can finally play. Kise… has an annoying special power…he has the ability to copy someone’s movements in no time due to his visual comprehension skill. He only has to see a technique one time to completely copy it and make it his own. His copying ability doesn’t stop there as he copies the technique but plays it with more power and speed than the original. The match begins again and Kise quickly takes up to the goal. Hyūga is guarding him and tries to block Kise’s dunk, but Kise copies Kagami’s previous dunk and overpowers Hyūga. Kasamatsu scolds him again, saying that he should have broken the backboard like Kagami, but Kagami realizes that Kise’s dunk was way more powerful than his. And the battle is on. Kagami faces off against Kise and does a fade-away. Kise manages to block the ball partially. Now Kise is on the offense and does the same fade-away Kagami did a moment ago but with more speed and power. Kagami can’t block it and Kise scores. Kise acknowledges that Kuroko’s style of playing is the only one he can’t copy, but he doesn’t see what difference it makes because he feels they are going to crush Seirin. (Interesting tidbit.) Kuroko ends up having to leave the game… and Seirin learns that he can’t use his misdirection all game. The longer he uses it, the less effective it becomes. Something that Kise knows from playing with him in middle school. It becomes a battle for points. After yet another block by Kise, he tells Kagami to just give up and that the difference in strength is clear. Kagami is unphased, he even starts laughing and is glad that Kise puts up a challenge. Anytime a character starts laughing in the face of a loss… shit is about to go down. When Kuroko re-enters the game and Seirin ties the score, Kise decides to get real. The match goes back to a struggle for points, with Kise scoring most of the points for Kaijō. With three seconds left and the score tied, Kagami and Kuroko make a turnover. Kise awaits them at the goal and Kagami passes to Kuroko. Kise reasons Kuroko can’t possibly shoot and Kuroko does indeed pass to Kagami in the air for an ally-hoop. Kise anticipates this and jumps between Kagami and the basket but finds himself dropping first. Kise is amazed by Kagami’s jumping power and Kagami dunks, making the score 100 to 98 and thus taking the win. Kise is devastated but gets over it quickly, promising to train harder. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhXaPUWEjek)

Kise showing up with his legions of fans.
He only saw the move one time. That’s a monster…

Kise is easy to like because he is pretty easygoing off the court. And has intensity on the court especially when truly challenged. Before getting into playing basketball, Kise was constantly bored and apathetic due to him easily being able to master any sport in a short time. You will see a lot of apathy in the Generation of Miracles… it almost makes you sad. In his second year in Teikō Junior High, Kise used his copying ability in P.E. to get an A. Even though he was popular, good-looking, and talented, he was very bored because no matter what sport he tried, he had no competition. He was strolling around the school when a basketball hit his head. The ball belonged to Aomine, who apologized and ran back to training. Kise followed him and saw him play. He was perplexed and thought to himself that he had finally found his competition. He applied for the basketball club and got approved and, in no time, belonged to the regulars. I know a few overly talented people that have a hard time keeping interested with hobbies because they too lose interest. Kise’s first reaction to Kuroko is not great. (An understatement.) By the time we see it though, it is par for the course for reactions to him. He can’t understand why someone like Kuroko would be paired with him as a mentor. Until they play a game together. We saw this when Kuroko plays in practice with Seirin. Shortly after… Kuroko earns the respect of Kise. (I have been mildly surprised that Kuroko is able to play high-level ball with the Generation of Miracles and he can’t shoot to save his life.

Next of The Generation of Miracles is Midorima… Have you ever seen a person that can shoot from anywhere? He is that person. He can be a bit condescending but he is not as bad as he seems. He moved from the middle school team to play for one of the Three Kings of Tokyo, Shūtoku High. Kagami, Kuroroko and Seirin take on Midorima and Shutoku in the semi finals of the interhigh games. For the first two minutes of the game, neither of the teams is able to score a point, until Takao passes the ball to Midorima who scores a three-pointer. Kuroko then picks the ball back up using a Cyclone Pass, making the ball fly past Midorima and leading to Kagami scoring Seirin’s first points. But can you really defend a man that never misses a three? Seirin still attempts a comeback but fails. Midorima then displays his shooting range by shooting a perfect three-pointer from the centerline. Kagami counters his shot display by doing a self alley-oop. Feeling mocked by this, Midorima then shoots from the other side of the court with all of Seirin including the bench and Riko shocked and overwhelmed. How do you defend a man that can shoot from anywhere? The Seirin second years are relying on the three of them instead of Kagami and Kuroko. No matter how many times they score, Midorima is still unable to be stopped by Seirin, with Midorima’s shooting, Kagami begins to laugh and decides to stop working with his team. I wanted to throw something at him… He was doing so well. I still end up a bit annoyed. The fourth quarter begins with Seirin scoring the first points Midorima also observes that Kagami isn’t playing on his own anymore, but that his stamina has also run out. Kagami uses the first of his last two super jumps to block Midorima’s first shot in the game. Kagami is running himself into the ground and that blows. He won’t last in the tournament you can tell already. With Kuroko being able to use his Misdirection again, Shūtoku is called on a time out. With only two minutes remaining Midorima continues to shoot due to Kagami being unable to jump high anymore. Hyūga makes Seirin’s final shot, making the score 82-81. But Kagami puts his health at risk to block Midorima’s shot. The game is intense and fast-paced. More exciting than I thought it would be. I didn’t expect to be invested in the story like I was. I was pretty annoyed that Kagami hurt his legs. Somewhere, deep down I knew he wouldn’t rest like he was supposed to.

Takao often calls him a tsundere, ( and that is an understatement.) because he tends to help people but denies doing so. My favorite is when they kept catching him coming to watch people’s games in disguise. (By disguise, I mean, sunglasses… indoors. He doesn’t even live near the arena.) Midorima has good insight and is able to understand other people’s abilities easily, like Kagami or Kuroko’s. He sometimes gives them advice under the guise of scorn and criticism. He helped Kagami with his aerial understanding and pushed Kuroko to play by himself, leading to the development of the Vanishing Drive. Out of the Generation of Miracles, he is the only one that continues practicing. (More on that later.)

The next… and probably the most dynamic of the Generation of Miracles… is Daiki Aomine. Aomine is a beast in every sense of the word. He was the main antagonist until the first round of the Winter Cup. Kagami and Aomine are a lot alike. Both Kuroko and Momoi have commented that Kagami reminds them of Aomine before the Ennui… more on that later. After battling with Kise in the practice game… Kagami thinks he is ready for the others. They cross paths at the Interhigh Basketball Tournament. After beating Shutoku, Seirin moves on to the preliminaries finals. After the match, Momoi calls Midorima on her cell phone, which Aomine takes away from her. Midorima warns him to be wary of Seirin. Aomine responds that that’s ridiculous and concludes that the only one who can beat him is himself. He really makes you want to punch him…  Aomine finds Kagami practicing at an outside court. Aomine challenges Kagami and Kagami rudely asks him who he is. Aomine gives him his name and Kagami realizes that he’s one of the Generation of Miracles. Kagami is easy to goad… too easy. Should he be resting…? Sure. Will he rest? Not at all. Aomine belittles Kagami, and finally, Kagami takes him on, Aomine’s arrogance angering him. Aomine overpowers Kagami and tells him his partnership with Kuroko will fail because Kagami’s “light is too dim”, before dashing past him and finishing the one-on-one. The sad thing is… Kagami is unaware of the history that Aomine shares with Kuroko. Later, Kagami is shocked and exhausted; he couldn’t defeat Aomine. Aomine is severely disappointed. He can’t believe Kagami defeated Midorima. Kagami is sitting on the steps downcast. He feels like he can never win against Aomine. The only other time he’s felt this way is with Kise. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gj-xcKQE6Co)

One compelling thing about the for lack of a better word, the rivalry between Kagami and Aomine… is that Kagami’s relationship with Kuroko mirrors Aomine’s past relationship with Kuroko. Aomine attended Junior High school in Teikō for three years. He joined the basketball club as a first-year and was put into the first-string team immediately. When he meets Kuroko, he is impressed with Kuroko’s love for basketball. Kuroko and Aomine start practicing together and become good friends. Aomine also persuaded Kuroko to keep playing basketball when he wanted to quit, saying that his determination to practice hard even though he isn’t the best has also motivated Aomine himself. When Kuroko eventually joined the regulars of Teikō, Aomine and Kuroko were perfectly adaptable. Kuroko’s misdirection and invisible passes connected with Aomine’s strength and the two brought out the best in each other. This was the start of the first “light and shadow” relationship. The relationship soured because Aomine skills were the first to blossom… and it was hard to find opponents to play with him any longer. There was no one that matched his skill, that kept determination throughout the whole game. For Aomine, it creates a sort of apathy towards the game that he loves. His derailment is the first to start the distance in the Generation of Miracles.  Aomine’s share in the points was overwhelming, and he stood out above the rest too much. He starts by not coming to practice. In his mind, there is no reason to keep getting better if it widens the gap between him and other people. He tells Kuroko that the game has become boring for him. Midorima clarified that Aomine needs a strong rival, but never found one. In games, Aomine began to do just the minimum to ensure his team’s victory. Kuroko tries to convince him otherwise and says that he would surely meet his rival one day, and Aomine believes that for a while, starting to try harder again. However, he grew even more powerful, and seeing his mentally crushed opponents, changed his mind. I personally have not experienced this type of apathy. Thank Goodness. But I do know the feeling of ennui. Nothing bringing you joy, or things that used to bring you joy no longer bring joy or fulfillment.

At the Interhigh preliminaries, the first match is Seirin vs Tōō, and both teams arrived at the gym, with only Aomine missing. Momoi calls him on his cell phone and Aomine is revealed to still be at school, having overslept but he is not worried because he tells his team that Seirin’s not that big a deal and that it’ll be fine. Aomine shows up to the game moments before the first half ends. He is forced by his coach and teammates to play. Aomine receives the ball immediately. He breaks past Kagami with ease but Hyuga is there. Aomine spins past him; however, in that moment Kagami catches up to him and blocks him. Aomine is surprised and stumbles, but he reacts quickly enough to block Kagami’s fast-break dunk. The half ends with him saying that Seirin is actually not that bad. Would this be an anime if there wasn’t happiness in the face of a worthy opponent? My problem is… Kagami is outmatched… however… add to that the fact that he is still hurt. His legs are mush. Because of that… he was given no practice time prior to the game.

Suddenly, Riko notices something and orders Koganei to substitute with Kagami. Irritated, Kagami sits down on the bench. Riko tells him she noticed that his legs haven’t completely healed yet. Kagami doesn’t respond; she then adds that she’ll tape them up so he can reenter the game. While Kagami is out of the game, Seirin struggles against Tōō. In the end… It is a deciding defeat at the hands of Aomine. He is nasty.  Kagami is unable to match Aomine’s speed and Seirin is unable to stop any of Aomine’s impossible shooting styles—the shots defy common sense. Everyone is shocked as they watch Aomine shoot with his body almost parallel to the ground. Kagami watches helplessly with a towel draped over his head as Seirin struggles valiantly, but still loses to Tōō. The final score is Tōō 112 – Seirin 55. And so Seirin is out. Even with his cocky attitude though, I enjoy Aomine the most. I can see what Kagami would turn into if he starts to rely on himself and not the team… I spent much of the show wondering if Aomine would ever get back to his old self… or if Kuroko would lose another friend to the dark side.


Coach Riko lets it be known that they have no time to mourn the Interhigh Tournament. Because there is another tournament that they have to get ready for in the winter. I knew that it was too early to defeat the Generation. The Generation could only get better than they were in middle school. Kagami and Kuroko wouldn’t be able to top them right away… so onward. So in preparation for the new tournament, Seirin has a summer training camp. Kagami hones his jumping skills but it is Midorima who points out, that’s not enough to beat Aomine, and that he’ll prove that to him. He tells Kagami to try to score against him even once out of ten. Kagami loses each time; unable to understand why. Later, Kagami is frustrated that Midorima made him realize two things 1. To strengthen his legs and hips 2. To improve his left ball handling skills so he’ll be able to move at will in the air. Seirin head into the Winter Cup preliminaries, this time, however, they are on guard about how teams they faced previously have grown and changed. They start the Winter Cup with Kyoshi Teppei back at center. So there is more heart to the team. Seirin starts the winter cup against Josei High who is leading with 8 points and Kagami is shown to be completely stuck with two players guarding him at all times. When Kagami gets the ball, he sees the demotivated defense and breaks through. He is immediately guarded but that is useless, as Kagami jumps from the free-throw line and dunks the ball. This extraordinary feat, the lane-up, brings Kagami closer to the Generation of Miracles and breaks an imaginary gate of the geniuses. The match eventually ends with Seirin’s win.

Now, it is time for round 1 of the Winter Cup. Nothing about the Winter Cup is going to be easy. Kagami practiced in America with his old basketball master, Alexandra Garcia. Kagami played against gangsters and thugs for money to regain his animal instinct. For round one, we waste no time… Seirin is back against Tōō and Aomine. Kuroko declares that Seirin will not lose a second time and Aomine agrees to settle it this time for sure. The match begins with the tip-off and Seirin gains the ball. Izuki dribbles the ball up fast and Seirin prepares for a fast and strong offensive, but a strong defensive Tōō awaits them. The ball gets stolen and Aomine eventually dunks the first point. (Ugh… I should have seen that coming. I still wanted Kagami to strike first blood.)  The ball goes to Kuroko and he uses his new Ignite Pass Kai and is able to pass to Kiyoshi, who goes for the dunk. However, Wakamatsu appears and almost blocks Kiyoshi. Kiyoshi is still able to pass behind him to Kagami, who suddenly dunks and repays Aomine’s favor. But this match is really about the aces Kagami and Aomine. I very much enjoyed watching Kagami work through how the one-on-one will go in his head using a high-level tactical battle. In this simulation, Kagami senses that he will lose if he goes up against Aomine now and passes the ball to Izuki. When the drive and later the Ignite Pass Kai both fail against Aomine, Kagami tries to block him, but Aomine shoots beside him and scores. Seirin takes a time-out and while Kuroko is subbed out and is feeling despair, (So was I.) Kagami tells him that his effort wasn’t futile, that he will handle Aomine until Kuroko comes back. Aomine carries the ball and when Kagami attempts to steal, he forces Aomine to go for the shot. Kagami takes the shot. Seeing an awakened Kagami, Aomine acknowledges him and starts to get serious. He speeds up, but Kagami can still keep up. The match goes on with face-off after face-off between Kagami and Aomine, with Aomine almost breaking through, but Kagami’s defense stays steady. The reason why Kagami is able to keep up with Aomine’s top speed is because he is only relying on his animal, raw instinct.

Seirin High has reached the point where it has exhausted all its options and is likely to lose. But then Kuroko activates his Misdirection Overflow and gives his teammates the possibility to use the Vanishing Drive. There are only 5 seconds left and the current score is 99 – 100, with Tōō still in the lead. Kiyoshi receives a free throw due to a foul made by Wakamatsu, he misses but Kagami appears under the hoop to save the ball. Kagami is blocked by Aomine surely resulting in Too’s victory.  Kagami receives Kuroko’s pass and dunks the ball scoring for Seirin. The buzzer-beater rang with Seirin as the victors. There was no one more hype than me. I wondered if Aomine being beat would restore his faith in the game. More importantly… we are onto the next round. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIp-h-a1ZH4)

The next few rounds were won with minimal effort from Kagami and Kuroko. I had forgotten that both Kagami and Kuroko were first years. They are having a huge impact on the team. Here is where we battle against Atsushi Murasakibara and Yōsen High. It isn’t the first time we met Murasakibara. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MXY2okLg9A) Now… Murasakibara is not a character I like or dislike… He just is… but as a ballplayer, he is a beast. Contrary to the impression his height gives, Murasakibara acts very lumpishly. He fools around at serious times, which is not always well received. He is mildly sadistic and childish. Ripping a person’s eyebrows off that you just met… CHILDISH… He claims that the only reason he plays basketball, is because he’s good at it, he doesn’t care for the sport at all. He has always told others that he dislikes, is bored by, and even hates players who play basketball with passion, even when they are losing. 

In the quarter-finals, Murasakibara easily outjumps Kiyoshi during the tip-off and gives Yōsen possession; however, this is overruled by the referee as he jumped before the ball had reached its maximum height. (It annoys his teammates and coach because apparently, he does it a lot.) Possession is then awarded to Seirin, Hyūga then attempts a jump shot, but Murasakibara shows off his fast reflexes by blocking Hyūga’s shot. With the way Murasakibara is playing… there isn’t a zone he can’t defend.  He is not only big and fast, but he also has a huge wingspan. His coach says that the entire area inside of the three-point arc is “his domain”. Yōsen scores their first points, but after the inbounds pass, Kuroko throws a full-court pass to Izuki who runs up the court but is confronted by Murasakibara, who is not participating in the offense. Masako says that although she doesn’t like players who don’t run up and down the court, the Yōsen defense is complete with Murasakibara himself. Many of the games Yōsen has played in the past have ended with the opposing not scoring any points. Kiyoshi attempts to lose Murasakibara using a spin move, but Murasakibara scorns Kiyoshi for believing that he could pass him with such skill and blocks him. Kiyoshi then reveals that he had a different plan all along and throws an alley-oop to Kagami who attempts to dunk but is blocked again by Murasakibara as his height and wingspan helped him block Kiyoshi’s first attempt without jumping. Cheeky Bastard. But it is Kuroko who scores the first basket. In a subsequent play, the last of the second quarter, Kuroko manages to score another basket past Murasakibara with the Phantom Shot, and the score stands at 29 – 17 with Yosen up. Shout out to Aomine for teaching Kuroko to shoot. I figured Kuroko would have to learn how to shoot at some point. Murasakibara is surprised because he thought Kuroko couldn’t shoot. At the start of the second half, Murasakibara is fired up… maybe too much so because he decides to go on the offensive.

After scoring a few more points, Murasakibara resolves to “wring the pride” out of Seirin, participating in the Yōsen offense for the first time.  On the bench, Kuroko mentions that Murasakibara once scored 100 points in a single game when he got serious. At one point, Kiyoshi attempts a layup but then converts it into a pass to avoid Murasakibara’s block. However, Murasakibara swats the pass away with his left hand and dunks on the Yōsen possession so powerfully that he brings down the hoop, leaving a shocked Seirin wondering how they can possibly “stop this beast.” Beast is the right word because what freshman is bringing down the house like this? The Battle under the basket is not looking good for Kyoshi. He is being outmatched. And even more so when you figure that he is injured. Kuroko says that he will not lose to someone who looks down upon the efforts of others, prompting Murasakibara to shout that Kuroko’s ideals made him sick. The match goes on and each team continues to dominate the other’s defense, with Seirin trailing by a small margin.  As Seirin is on the verge of taking the lead, Murasakibara suddenly manages to enter the Zone during the last 20 seconds. In this state, Murasakibara nearly overpowers Kagami on a dunk attempt, but the latter is assisted by Kiyoshi in stopping the dunk. Aomine, Kise, and Kagami were the ones who realized that Murasakibara had entered the zone. Aomine and Kise being spectators. Kagami performs a final Meteor Jam, out jumping Murasakibara for the basket and the lead. Refusing to give up, Murasakibara had already run to the other side of the court, preparing for one last dunk to win the game. However, he finds himself unable to jump because Kiyoshi playing point guard forced him to jump continuously and his knees have reached their limit. Murasakibara, knowing a dunk is unnecessary, as his height and nearness to the basket will allow him to easily score with a layup, goes for the final shot, but Kuroko blocks him before he can, securing the victory for Seirin. Did not see that coming. Well, that is not true. I knew Seirin would win because this story is about them but not in the way that they did.

I got a weird satisfaction from watching him cry after his loss though. He had been so condescending to people prior to that even Tatsuya his own teammate. He even said he would quit. Odd behavior because you’re not shutting people out like you do all the time. To be fair though, when he got going and in the zone, he was damn near unstoppable. But I believe that a lot of these kids had a lot to learn. The

Kagami doesn’t play Shūtoku or Midorima again since he is knocked out of the finals by Akashi and Rakuzen. Kagami does get a taste of Akashi and his abilities when they first meet outside the Winter Cup. Kagami was trying to be rude though… (Does that mean he should be STABBED? No.) With Kagami coming from America… he is running late. Kuroko gets summoned to meet his former teammates outside… Kagami crashes the party. LOL. Akashi arrives late. Midorima brings his lucky scissors… it all seems like a bad idea. When Kagami attempts to talk… he almost gets jabbed in the face. Akashi’s weird-ass then cuts his own hair… (as my friend said… WITHOUT A MIRROR LIKE A PSYCHO!!) Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80JGifOoOcA&t=17s) Their next encounter is not much better. Poor Kagami… The Seirin team goes to watch the first semi-finals, Rakuzan High vs Shūtoku High. At half-time, Seirin and Kaijō enter the court to warm up. Akashi comes face to face with Kagami and Kuroko and he greets Kuroko. Kagami towers before him and tells Akashi that he will definitely crush him and Kise too. Akashi replies that he certainly acknowledges his strength, but that only those who serve him are allowed to look him in the eye and gives him a warning that no one who opposes him is allowed to look down on him. He uses his Emperor Eye and presses on Kagami’s shoulder, causing him to fall to the ground. Akashi leaves and Kagami is shocked. I would say he is a gluten for punishment. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBkKb9OzZ-Y)

As Rakuzan High emerges victorious, it is now time for their own match against Kaijō High. Both teams are warming up quietly, though they are burning with fighting spirit. Kasamatsu breaks the uneasiness and tells Kise to give them a greeting. Kise happily agrees and dunks a Lane-up copying Kagami. He points to Seirin that it is a declaration of war. Kagami and Kuroko return the favor by doing Lane-up Alley-oop. This game is intense. More so because Kise has not underestimated his opponents. Ever since the practice game… Kise has been out for revenge. The match then commences. Both teams bow and Kise approaches him telling him that his previous loss is still on his mind and realizes he will do anything for basketball and for winning. Kagami bluntly calls him soft and says to get started already, grinning. That probably wasn’t smart. At the tip-off, Kise activates his Perfect Copy using Midorima’s signature shot. Kise turns to Kagami and says there is no way he has gone soft. Kise continues to use the Generation of Miracles’ techniques ankle-breaking Kuroko and overpowering Kiyoshi and Kagami using Thor’s Hammer, the signature dunk of Murasakibara. 3 minutes into the game, and Kaijō is up by 13. Kise comments that Perfect Copy is tiring and deactivates it to reserve its last 2 minutes for later. He says that he has completed his mission and the flow is now on his team. It is true. And at one point during the game, I was really worried that Seirin would not make it.

The focus of the match shift to a battle of point guards, Izuki vs Kasamatsu. When Kasamatsu fails to attack, he decides to pass it on Kise, once again facing Kagami. Kise copies his drive and fade away but because his leg is still hurting, he failed to reach the decent height of his jump and was blocked by Kagami. Seirin better be glad that he overworked his body because that perfect copy is ridiculous. I am not sure that they would have won otherwise. If Kise gets it perfected, a lot of teams are in trouble. Kise did try it out on Aomine… and that was interesting. Honestly, I thought Kise is the strongest of the Generation with Aomine being a close second. Kise reflects on his first meeting with Kagami; a feeling that turned into suspicion and now he’s sure. He calls Kagami a part of Generation of Miracles who chose a different path, who has this so-called “instinct”. His determination to defeat Kagami grows stronger. Gotta love the coaches in this show though. They really do care about the players. A gap seems to be opening between the two aces but Kise does not give up. However Kaijō’s coach, Takeuchi suddenly calls for Kise’s substitution to Nakamura. Kagami feeling bad for Kise says that they won’t hold back because it’s the same as looking down on them. The match resumes and as the game progresses, Seirin steadily increases their lead over Kaijō leading by 15 with 4 minutes left. Kise refusing to sit on the bench any longer demands to be put in until their coach finally gives in. When Kise receives the ball, he hardens his resolve and activates the Perfect Copy to drive past Kagami combining Aomine’s speed and Akashi’s ankle breaker. With only a few seconds left, Kuroko calls out to Kagami who looks like he will miss the shot because he has not perfected it outside the zone and is about to release the ball. Instead, he passes the ball off the backboard bouncing towards Kuroko who scores with the Phantom Shot and made the winning buzzer-beater. Kise could do nothing about it. On some level, I really felt bad for Kise. He has worked really hard. I didn’t feel bad for Aomine. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTOh6Lv6IXI)

The finals start. That puts Seirin up against Akashi and Rakuzen. While all the other games up to this point were intense… this is by far the most intense. Before the finals, Kagami finds Midorima standing on the court. Midorima warns Kagami to understand what he’s up against. Midorima tells him Akashi doesn’t need his teammates. Midorima tells Kagami he relies on one person while Akashi is not one, but two people. (What does that mean? I need answers.) Kuroko and Akashi have an interesting history. Not as dynamic as his history with Aomine. Is Akashi weird? Sure. Is there a reason that he is weird…? That is up to you.

Throughout the show, Akashi is a bit of an enigma. We know that he was the captain of the Generation of Miracles. But for some reason, he is the most fearsome of the group. We see a few flashbacks but not enough to get the full story. Akashi was born from a rich family that possesses their own business. Being the only heir in their family, he was obligated to succeed in all areas by his strict father. His only support at that time was his kind mother whom he spends his free time while playing basketball. She was the one that introduced him to the sport. However, in his 5th year in elementary school, his mother died because of an illness but never got a break as his father became even more strict to the point that the more skills he mastered, the more he will be given to master. Due to the way Akashi grew up during childhood, he developed a strong winners-mentality, believing that winners get everything in life while losers are denied all. Akashi views himself as absolute in power and skill and grows extremely violent when anyone disobeys his commands as shown when he tried to stab Kagami with the scissors he borrowed from Midorima when Kagami disobeyed him. Initially, Akashi’s personality was that of a person who respected his teammates, while still holding that winners-mentality. Akashi also cared and appreciated the fans that gave him daily support and focused solely on team play with his team. However, the second personality first manifested when  Akashi is confronted at the possibility of defeat against fellow teammate Atsushi Murasakibara. The second personality became the dominant and activates the Emperor Eye skill for the first time, allowing him to seize victory. This second personality would later sever core teamwork aspects and viewed that coordinated team plays were not the way to victory, which eventually led to Kuroko leaving the team. Now what we see Kise do against Kagami as part of the perfect copy… is only a tip of the iceberg when comes to what Aksashi can actually do. As my dad used to say “I taught you everything you know, not everything I know.”

In the beginning, Kuroko tells Kagami that they are nowhere near equipped to go at the Generation of Miracles. And when he sees how Kise has transformed, he says it again outright. In awe, I gather, because he didn’t see how much more they could have progressed. We see, game after game early on, that Kuroko hasn’t progressed like the others have. We also learn over the course of the show… that… Akashi is the one who taught him the misdirection passing and is the one that pulls for him to become the first string. So, it has to be difficult to constantly face players that know about you because they have played with you… but you don’t know much about them anymore. (Remember Kise is the one that tells his team that the misdirection of Kuroko’s will wear off soon.) Aomine tells Kuroko that he is disappointed… because he hasn’t grown any since they have seen each other. So there is a lot of anticipation to be had when the finals for the Winter Cup occur.

The game starts with Seirin getting the ball and attempting to score the first basket, but just when Hyūga was about to score, he is stopped by Mibuchi who gets the ball for Rakuzan. Akashi gets the ball and passes it to Nebuya who attempts to score but is stopped by Kagami. So right from the beginning, it is a back and forth. Kagami is overly cautious and so am I. Because Akashi hasn’t started up yet. Seirin gets the ball again and counter-attacks. Kagami dribbles the ball to Rakuzan’s basket when suddenly Akashi appears marking him. Kagami finds his resolve to win the match and suddenly jumps to dunk the Meteor Jam over Akashi, scoring the first basket of the match. Akashi notices that Kagami has entered the Zone. Maybe it was me… but it was too soon to zone. Like you still don’t even know anything about this man and what he can do. Kagami has entered the Zone, resulting in Seirin leading the match. With the score of 11 – 2 for Seirin, Akashi doesn’t seem too bothered. First red flag. On the court, Akashi decides to switch marks with Hayama to mark Kagami. As the match continues, the attention is on Kagami and Akashi. Kagami tries to pass Akashi, but Akashi uses his Emperor Eye to try and stop him. Shocking everyone, Kagami evades the Emperor Eye and advances further to the basket. Kagami uses his Meteor Jam to score but the shot doesn’t go in. Damn… well here it is.

It’s Rakuzan’s counterattack and Akashi has the ball. Kagami goes on to mark him but Akashi uses his Ankle Break to make Kagami fall and pass him. He tells Kagami not to underestimate yet again, as the Ankle Break Kise used against him was only a fake and that he should not compare the two. When the first quarter ends, Akashi remarks that he’s grasped the extent of Seirin’s abilities, and he plans to let the three Uncrowned Generals take care of the offense, and let Mayuzumi take care of the passes. Here is where shit really hits the fan. The second quarter begins. When Mayuzumi reveals his misdirection, Seirin is surprised and Akashi states that he is the new model of the Phantom Sixth Man. A new model because… he can shoot. Like Kuroko couldn’t. What is Seirin going to do against misdirection and what are they going to do without Kuroko. As the game continues, there is little Kagami and Seirin can do against Akashi’s Emperor’s Eye. Rakuzan continues their play by passing the ball to Mayuzumi who passes the ball using his misdirection. Akashi faces Kagami who has the ball and steals it with his Emperor Eye, scoring the basket. Kuroko faces Mayuzumi in a one-on-one battle and overwrites him, surprising both Akashi and the rest of the Rakuzan players. Kuroko slowly gains his misdirection back. That means this is shaping up to be a real game. Akashi is pressured by Kagami and relies on the three Uncrowned Kings for the offense. Once all three have lost on their own, Akashi discards his trust in them and decided to start playing by himself.

 Akashi stops Kagami’s Meteor Jam before he could take off. Akashi enters the Zone. Once in the Zone, Akashi’s speed and reaction time have increased. Akashi uses his Ankle Break on Izuki and Hyūga, leaving them kneeled while outrunning a trailing Kagami. and scores the basket against Kuroko and Kiyoshi who were the last line of defense. Seirin decides to leave everything to Kagami. He better figure out what to do. Because Akashi is unstoppable right now. There was one point where Akashi dunked on everyone and you guys should have seen the way my mouth dropped. The match resumes and Akashi blocks Kiyoshi’s dunk attempt. Akashi dribbles the ball but is faced by Kagami and Kuroko who double team him. Akashi notes that he will evade Kagami easily and that Kuroko wouldn’t keep up with the speed of the two of them. Akashi uses his Emperor Eye to evade Kagami but was surprised that Kuroko kept up with him to steal the ball for Seirin Akashi was stunned for a few seconds and became furious as a turnover happened to him. He quickly runs to stop Kagami and catches up after the latter drives past Hayama. He uses his Emperor Eye to steal the ball but before he could, Kuroko snatches the ball away from Kagami using his Quasi-Emperor Eye. Kuroko and Kagami do an alley-oop but Akashi goes to block Kagami once again. Kagami dunks and overwhelms Akashi due to his determination to win for his team. Everyone was shocked, especially Akashi as he faces loss for the first time in his life, something both Murasakibara and Aomine notice when Akashi misses his three-pointer. Kise notes as well that Akashi is now out of the Zone. Now this is exciting. The next plays eventually gives Seirin the momentum as a broken Akashi continues to make errors. There is something that tickles me about the fact that each of the Generation of Miracles have no clue how to deal with losing at all. After the game resumes, Akashi shows his perfect playmaking and Rakuzan widens the lead by 5 points. Kagami realizes Akashi has entered the Zone again. Akashi warns him about what he thinks while admitting that he just returned to his form and may not be able to make a difference on his own, but the other four will be a different matter. Everyone was shocked that the other four had entered a Zone-like state as well. Apparently, Akashi’s other talent is making his teammates better. That is a problem. Riko realises there is nothing else Seirin can do to attain victory as the team loses hope once again. Rakuzan is on the defense but Akashi notices that the Seirin players are perfectly synchronized with Kagami. On the sidelines Aomine laughs in realization of the true form of the Zone, something which Akashi realizes as well. The new Direct Drive Zone allows all the Seirin players to thrive off of each other.

 The audience cheers but it is a heavy loss for Seirin as they only have forty-one seconds left to catch up to a seven-point gap difference. During Seirin’s counterattack, Rakuzan moves to defense. And there is a lot of pressure on them. Akashi calls out to Mayuzumi as he notices that Kuroko has no mark. Kuroko receives the ball and performs a lateral long pass to pass the ball to Kagami who scores a three-pointer. The gap between the two teams shrank with the current score being, 101 – 105.  Izuki passes to Hyūga instead who copies Mibuchi’s “Earth” shooting form and scores the basket, making Mibuchi foul in the process due to the nature of the shot. Uh-oh… this could be the chance. We have seen this type of thing before. The players get into position for the free throw as Hyūga shoots and Kiyoshi gets the rebound. Kiyoshi then passes the ball to Kuroko who catches it and prepares to shoot. Akashi, however, jumps to block him and tells him that this is the end. Kuroko tells him otherwise, that it is not the end, and tells him that he is a shadow. Kuroko shoots but it turns out to be an alley-oop with Kagami as he dunks the ball into the hoop. The buzzer-beater rings as Seirin emerge as the victors of the match with a score of 106 – 105. Akashi and his team are in shock after their defeat. Akashi finally learns the meaning of defeat and describes it as immense pain in the chest. However, due to this pain, he can truly appreciate playing basketball and having met Kuroko.

This show was much better than I imagined. Like I said before, I am not riveted by basketball as I am with any other sports. But I think that some of where that comes from is the backstory on the Generation of Miracles. Aomine is the first to drift away. Although, in the beginning, Aomine was outgoing and even friendly. He often fooled around with Kuroko and Kise. Momoi stated that the old Aomine was very similar to Kagami; he loved playing basketball and was very good at it too. He often completely crushed his opponents’ will to play basketball. He was initially sad about this and searched for his equal on the court, but he never found one. Eventually, he came to the conclusion that he is simply the strongest and that “The only one who can beat me, is me”. This is the start of the falling apart for everyone else on the team. Aomine is the first to bloom and head off on his own. This probably would have been handled better if the coach of Teiko didn’t get sick… and the person who took over wasn’t strong-armed into just winning. The coaching staff didn’t aid in their mental development at all and just let them govern themselves until they imploded completely. Akashi was left to control and govern… he went off the deep end. The other personality manifests because Akshi felt that he wasn’t progressing as fast as the other players. Aomine stopped coming to practice… Murasakibara complains that if Aomine doesn’t have to practice why should he? There were no adults that cared about their wellbeing? (That changes a bit when they get to high school.) Although, this behavior is exactly what happens to college players… Winning is everything and not the players at all. It is also sad to know that the players kept hurting themselves. I came to understand… while they all have talents surpassing the capabilities of regular high school sportsmen, they still have a high school boy’s physique. This means that should they use their talents to the maximum limit for an extended period of time, their growing bodies can’t cope with the overexertion and their talents become more of a burden than a gift. In other words: their strengths can also be their weaknesses.

There are a few games that are honorable mentions… A lot of these have to do with Kise:

  • Kaijō High vs Tōō Academy – Kise has a lot to prove in this game. Apparently, Aomine dominates in the games they used to play as kids. Aomine does start to dominate in this game but then Kise makes the adjustment… Kise says that he has to take off the rose colored glasses. Kise struggles in the opening moments of the game. Kise copies Sakurai’s Quick-Release Shot only to be blocked by Aomine. fakes a drive going right and goes left pass Kise. Kise then blocks Aomine, which leads into Aomine using a Formless Shot, only to be blocked by Kise, which surprises everyone, including Aomine. The game is back and forth until the final moments. I think my favorite line in this game is when Kise gets in the Zone and Imayoshi comments that he would never want to play against Aomine and with Kise’s copy… It feels like he is doing just that. Kise is stopped by Aomine, who is trying to predict his next move. Kise then fakes a formless shot, passing the ball behind to Kasamatsu, but Aomine slaps the ball out of his hand. Aomine then comments that Kise did a good job of copying his style, but messed up due to the fact that he (Aomine) doesn’t pass the ball. Moriyama attempts to go for a lay up, but gets the ball stolen by Aomine, Kise then attempts to stop the dunk, but fails, falling on the ground and ending the game at 98-110. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoHFxUFtXyY) According to a poll in the CHARACTERS BIBLE, this match is voted as the best match in the entire series, earning 995 votes, beating the Seirin vs Tōō match (681 votes) and the rematch of Seirin vs Shūtoku at the Winter Cup (323 votes).

  •  Kaijō High vs Fukuda Sōgō Academy – Kise and the rest of the Kaijō team go up against Fukuda Sōgō Academy, where the former member of Teikō that Kise replaced, Shōgo Haizaki, plays. There is nothing to like about Haizaki. I mean he is assaulting a woman and her student when we meet him. Nothing about his backstory absolves him from this. However in the oast, he was part of the Generation of Miracles before being replaced by Kise. He was replaced because of his shitty attitude not because he can’t play ball. Sadly, even in entering high school his attitude is not any better. Akashi told Haizaki to quit because he knew that Kise would steal the starting position from Haizaki in the future, so Akashi didn’t want Haizaki’s pride to get hurt. During practice, Haizaki was once challenged by Kise in a one-on-one for a spot on the starting team. Akashi allowed it and Haizaki mercilessly defeated Kise to the point where Kise is seen laying on the floor. At one point in the past, Haizaki stole Kise girlfriend or so he thinks.  At practice, before the match, Haizaki sees Himuro outside of the building and recognizes him as a teammate of Murasakibara. He approaches him, but his eye falls on Alexandra, and he starts to flirt with her. Himuro stops him, but Haizaki lashes out and tries to punch Himuro. Himuro dodges, but can’t evade Haizaki’s kick. He then turns to Alexandra and grabs her by her throat because she was being rude to him. When Kise arrives and confronts Haizaki, Haizaki reveals that he doesn’t care about basketball, but he wants the title of the Generation of Miracles from any of the five. That’s why with the next match, against Kaijō High, he wants to steal the title from Kise because Kise was called the 5th man without beating Haizaki. After the tip-off, the ball is in possession of Kaijō, and Haizaki is seen marking Kise. When Moriyama shoots his unorthodox shot, Haizaki admires and records it. Later, Kise completes a successful scoop shot and taunts Haizaki for not defending him tight enough. Haizaki responds by saying that he really doesn’t like Kise, especially when their abilities resemble each other so much. I was on the edge of my seat like what the hell does that mean? This is clarified when in the next attack, Haizaki copies Moriyama’s shot and shocks everyone by executing it perfectly, but with a change in rhythm. The next shot Moriyama took misses because of Haizaki. Haizaki makes a sinister appearance by licking his thumb and saying that Moriyama’s move is his now. Goodness. This is gonna be a long game. The match goes on to the end of the 3rd quarter with Haizaki’s total domination over Kise and Kaijō High. Later, Haizaki dunks over Kise again, and Kise falls to the ground. Haizaki recalls Kise’s humiliation when he was defeated by Haizaki in Teikō and when Haizaki took Kise’s girlfriend. Kise’s fighting spirit is refired by Kuroko, who cheers for him. He tells Haizaki that he didn’t want that girl anyway. Kise activates Perfect Copy and shoots Midorima’s full-court shot. Haizaki is frightened. Haizaki continues to be overwhelmed by Kise’s techniques. In frustration, he egoistically steals his teammate’s technique, the Scoop Shot, but even then, he is blocked by Kise with a Murasakibara-style block. When Kise brings Kaijō back on top, Haizaki recalls how Akashi put him out of the team by telling him Kise is better than him. Haizaki finally admits Kise’s superiority but decides that if he can’t beat him, he’ll injure him instead. He drives and purposely stands on Kise’s foot, roughing up his already injured leg. Haizaki goes up for the dunk to take the win, but Kise comes from behind and blocks it. He sprints to the other side and dunks himself, officially ending the match with the defeat of Fukuda Sōgō Academy. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROHnxoSr4z8) After the match, Haizaki wanders outside the gym in search of Kise. Instead, he encounters Aomine. Aomine tries to convince Haizaki to give up, but Haizaki tells him he doesn’t care and that he can only be stopped with violence. Aomine agrees and responds by socking him square in the jaw. Aomine then leaves Haizaki on the ground and walks away. I loved every minute of it. Haizaki was only intorduced for a bit but I could not wait for someone to sock him a good time. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ge_GQqlGSc)

Funny Running Gags

I know that Kuroko was the main character… but I think he was funnier when he kept “sneaking” upon people. Listening to him say, “I was sitting here first.” or “I was here the whole time.” never wore off on me. Even in his backstories, Aomine thought the gym was haunted. It was just Kuroko. Good times. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aojhiV36mKY) The other person that I found hilarious… was Mitobe Rinnosuke. Mitobe is Seirin’s second-year center and a regular until Kiyoshi’s return. Mitobe has thick eyebrows and never talks. NEVER. The kicker is not that he doesn’t talk but that the team never seems perturbed by it. They all understand him… but not once is he shown saying words to someone. There is even a point where the team is being interviewed and Mitobe says nothing. And they almost forget about Kuroko.

So in the end, it is a great show. With great voice actors/actresses. I watched it in subbed but I believe I recognized several voices. I think I have added another show to the mix that I can suggest to people new to anime. I have my top 3 favorite characters… and there was fun running gags. But it delivered on the action. Very glad my Twitter friends made me watch it. If you have seen this show, let me know your thoughts. If you haven’t go watch…