Jun 13 2015 10:25 PM
Oooo I take it back...Akashi is the most layered character. Perhaps the most layered character I have seen in a sports anime.
In real time, Seirin vs Rakuzan is becoming more ridiculous as it continues. Kuroko develops the sharingan, Kagami is entering SSJ2 and Akashi is so powerful he is reducing people to their knees. All of that is just superficial glossing but contrasts to the very substantial and nuanced character development of Akashi.
My first impressions of Akashi was that he was a typical archetypal sociopath. The idea that there were 2 Akashi just hammed up his psychotic-ness. However, in the context of this episode it makes sense. Akashi's life was always lonely but through his mother's love he found basketball, and though he lost her he still had basketball. Basketball eventually led him to find friends he cherished, he probably cherished them more than anybody else from the GoM (including Kuroko). However, that very real fear that all children have growing up, that they will be left behind by their friends became a reality. That reality led Akashi to make an extreme decision, if he couldnt keep ahold of his friends he would subjugate them. In this sense Akashi stands in contrast to Kuroko. Kuroko was powerless and couldnt help but be left behind but Kuroko accepted this weakness and moved on...whereas Akashi allowed his insecurities to take ahold of him and shape his persona.
In the ridiculous space of 5 mins, Akashi does some real soulsearching and confronts his insecurities head on. This is the type of soul searching that can take years...regardless it was pleasing as Akashi realised his folly. His dominant persona made him weak in the sense that if he didnt have victory he had nothing which is a very depressing way to live life. The new Akashi that emerges at the end of the episode understands that basketball is just a game, and it has led him to find good friends despite his neurosis. Win or lose, he still has value. He now wants to win the game for the enjoyment of playing basketball against a friend and with his team as opposed to confirming his superiority. The former is way more healthier.
As teenagers grow up, the search for identity is hard and can have many stumbling blocks. I think KnB did an eloquent job of showing the importance of being comfortable with yourself through the character of Akashi.