| Score! This here is a Featured Article.
Taiga Kagami has been featured, meaning it was chosen as an article of interest.
|“||Someone who has all the qualifications to be a "miracle", yet didn't become one of the Generation of Miracles. Has the same gift as the Generation of Miracles, the last to awaken his talents. "The Miracle who did not become one of the Miracles". And then, he met with his fated shadow. The true light.||”|
—Daiki Aomine, about Kagami
|Height||190 cm (6' 3")|
|Weight||82 kg (181 lbs)|
|Birthday||August 2nd, Leo|
Team Vorpal Swords
|Talent|| Jumping Power|
Direct Drive Zone
|Anime|| Yūki Ono|
Michiko Kaiden (child)
Taiga Kagami (火神 大我 Kagami Taiga) is the deuteragonist of the Kuroko no Basuke series as well as the ace and power forward of Seirin High. He is Tetsuya Kuroko's basketball colleague and friend. He is determined to defeat the Generation of Miracles and become the best in Japan.
Kagami has exceptional basketball talents and has been called "The Miracle who did not become one of the Miracles".
Kagami is very muscular for a high school student. He is very tall, which gives him an overwhelming aura, which some say is like the intensity of a wild tiger. He has two toned deep red-and-black hair and red eyes. His eyes are pointed and narrow and his eyebrows are quite thick and split in two, which Murasakibara does not fail to remark. He wears the red, black and white Seirin High jersey with the number 10 and wears black and red basketball shoes. He is also occasionally seen with a shiny metal necklace with a ring on it, that represents his brotherhood with Tatsuya Himuro. When he is seen in his school uniform, he keeps his gakuran unzipped, while wearing a white shirt underneath.
|“||I've decided! I'll take all these guys down and become the number one in Japan!||”|
|“||The reason I like playing basketball is because I can compete with lots of strong opponents!||”|
Kagami is very ambitious, stubborn and determined. He refuses to give up in a difficult situation and he is also very head strong. He is well known for his undying and furious fighting spirit. Kagami enjoys to play against strong opponents and sees no point in playing basketball when there are no strong opponents; which was evident when Kagami faced Kuroko Tetsuya for the first time. The down-side of this, is that he is also very hot-headed and has a short temper.
When Kuroko brought Tetsuya #2 to the training, it is revealed that Kagami is scared of dogs and suffered Cynophobia. This fear originates from his time in America, where he was once bitten by a dog. He overcame this fear when he realized that Tetsuya #2 is a good motivation for the team and he pet it. He is also a glutton and is able to eat at least five times a normal meal. He is shown to be a great cook when Riko Aida tried to cook for the team to save money, but ended up almost killing everyone with her food. So Kagami cooked instead and taught Riko how to cook too.
During the series, and especially after the Interhigh and during the Winter Cup, Kagami matured a lot. Instead of going up against every provocation and becoming hot-headed quickly, he thinks before he acts and has developed some sort of hindsight that lets him simulate a possible one-on-one battle. Even though that he still hates losing, he has somewhat took peace with it. Now, he has become a much more clever player that doesn't plunge into battles without thinking first.
In third grade, Kagami moved to the States and attended school there. He had a hard time making friends because of his foreign appearance, but he met Tatsuya Himuro, who invited him to play street basketball with him. Kagami accepted and made his first friend. Kagami, who was still a beginner back then, admired Himuro's talent in basketball and how he made friends through basketball. When he asked Himuro how to make friends, Himuro told him it came because of basketball, and asked Kagami to play basketball, while allowing Himuro to train him. So after a while, Himuro taught him a lot and Kagami quickly improved, while making many friends along the way. Himuro and Kagami grew closer to each other, and Kagami saw Himuro as an older brother. In an act of kindness, Himuro bought two rings, gave one to Kagami, and told him that those rings were the proof that they were brothers.
Not long after, the two asked Alexandra Garcia, a retired WNBA-player who spent her time at betting courts, if she could train them. Alex reluctantly accepted and was annoyed by them at first, but as her two pupils got more and more enthusiastic, Alexandra began to enjoy teaching them.
Three years later, because Himuro was one year older than Kagami, Himuro graduated before him. They lost contact with each other for some time, until they reunited one year later. Kagami was seen playing basketball and he was invited by some boys to play with their team. They told him he'd be of great value in the competition against another team, with the winner getting the court. The boys tell him that the other team recently got a strong player and Kagami is interested. He decides to join their match and is amazed when he sees Himuro there. Himuro tells hims to play fair and square, hinting that he shouldn't go easy just because they know each other. Kagami agrees and he wins against Himuro for the first time.
After that, they played every week and they each lost and won the same amount. After 98 games, Himuro tells Kagami that if he loses the next game, he won't see Kagami as his little brother anymore, because the big brother is always stronger than the little brother. In the 99th game, Kagami finds out that Himuro has injured his wrist. Himuro shoots, misses and Kagami runs for the fast break. He goes up for the lay-up, but couldn't bear to win against Himuro and misses on purpose.
After the game, Himuro punches Kagami. He tells him that the next match, they'll bet on the ring that represents their friendship. He says to treat the previous game as a draw. And tells him that when he loses the next time, he will have to pretend that they never were friends. But before they had a rematch, Kagami flew back to Japan, not seeing Himuro again for 2 years and at the same time stopping his training with Alexandra early.
Kagami is first introduced at Seirin High School's opening ceremony, when he walked in on Koganei and brought him back to the basketball booth. He fills in a registration paper but doesn't write his future goals. When Riko asks him about that, he simply says that Japanese basketball is easy, and leaves.
On the first training, he is seen standing with the other Seirin players. Riko orders them to take off their shirts and she uses her Scanning Ability to examine their bodies. When she arrives at Kagami, she sees that his stats are exceptionally high and is very impressed. So impressed, that she even drools at the sight of his muscles. Riko gets her act together and doesn't see Kuroko anywhere. Kuroko reveals himself and Kagami is very surprised to see a supposed member of the Generation of Miracles who looks this weak.
After the training, Kagami goes to a fast-food and orders around 15 hamburgers before sitting at Kuroko's table, without noticing him. Kuroko frightens him and Kagami asks what he is doing here. Kuroko replies that he is just watching people. This is due to Kuroko's lack of presence, later on Kagami asks him to tag along somewhere, when he finishes his food.
Kuroko and Kagami go to an empty basketball court and Kagami explains that he's searching for strong basketball players in Japan. He tells Kuroko that he knows he's from the Generation of Miracles team and asks what he is hiding. He challenges Kuroko to a one-on-one, because he wants to see for himself. Kuroko accepts. When Kagami and Kuroko play, Kagami sees that Kuroko is desperately weak. He thinks that Kuroko is still hiding something, but Kuroko denies this, saying that he knows Kagami is stronger than him. Kuroko tells Kagami that he only agreed to play to see Kagami's strength. Kagami gets ready to leave, saying he won't play weak guys. He tells Kuroko that he should just quit basketball. Kuroko refuses and reveals his true fighting spirit. He says that his strength is different than Kagami's strength, saying that he is a shadow.
On the next training, Riko suggests a match, the freshmen against the second-years. Kagami motivates the team by saying that he'd rather play against strong opponents than weak ones. The match begins and Kagami immediately dunks. The match goes on to 11 - 8, with only Kagami scoring. Meanwhile, when Kuroko has the ball, it gets stolen right away. Kagami is very irritated about Kuroko's weakness. After Kagami blocks a shot, the second-years decide to shut him up and triple-team him when he's on the ball. Even when he's not in possession of the ball, he is still guarded by two men. Kagami can't move freely anymore and the first-years fall back to 15 – 31. Furihata and the other freshmen don't see anymore hope for them, but Kagami gets mad and yells that they haven't lost yet. Kuroko suddenly appears behind him, gives him a knee bump and calms him down. In a way...
Kuroko then starts showing his true colors and commences his invisible passes. Kagami is amazed by Kuroko's talent and eventually gets the ball and makes another shot. From there onwards, Kuroko can connect his passes to Kagami and the first-years catch up the score. In the last play, Kuroko steals the ball and drives it up court. He goes for the lay-up, but misses. Kagami suddenly grabs the ball and dunks it in, closing the game with the freshmen's win.
After training, Kagami meets Kuroko in the Maji Burger. Kagami throws him one of his burgers, as a sign of sleight respect. They go outside together and Kagami asks Kuroko about the Generation of Miracles. Kuroko tells him that he is nowhere near their level. He also informs Kagami that one of them will most likely be on top soon. Kagami decides that he will beat them all and become the best player in Japan. Kuroko is skeptical and says that it's impossible. Impossible, unless Kuroko helps Kagami get there. He makes a vow as well, to make Kagami the best in Japan. Kagami agrees with their mutual goal.
The next morning, Kagami is practicing on his own at a street ball court and is thinking about the Generation of Miracles and how strong they really are. He gets fired up and can't wait to play in a match. At school, Kagami asks Hyūga if he can play in a match, but Hyūga redirects him to Riko. Kagami bursts into Riko's classroom and scares her by suddenly asking if he can join the basketball club for real. Riko tells him she met Kuroko earlier and accepts his request. But before Kagami can leave, she tells him that she will only truly accepts his application next Monday, 8:40 am on the school's rooftop. Kagami leaves and passes a cabinet where an article is displayed about Seirin's basketball club last year's results. He stands still and mumbles that the story is actually amazing. Kuroko suddenly appears besides him and responds, freaking Kagami the hell out. Kagami yells at Kuroko and becomes violent. He thinks by himself that it's strange that such a legendary player joined a no-name school like Seirin but before he can ask Kuroko, Kuroko already left the scene unnoticed.
The next Monday morning, Kagami, Kuroko and the other freshmen are greeted by Riko on the school's rooftop. It turns out that Riko wants to test the new players and she makes them shout their goal and resolve from the rooftop to the hordes of students down below. Kagami is unfazed and leaps onto the fence, to the surprise of Riko. He yells out his name, class and shouts that he will defeat the Generation of Miracles and become the number one in Japan. Shortly after, the group is caught and lectured by the school principle, again like the previous year. Later that evening, Kagami encounters Kuroko at his fastfood restaurant, where he is told that since Kuroko wasn't able to fulfill the requirements on the rooftop, Kuroko is worried that he won't be able to join. Kagami reassures him that he can join anyway and asks him why he didn't join a well known basketball team instead of Seirin. He wonders what Kuroko's motive is to play basketball. Kuroko tells him that Teikō Junior High was a team that only cared about victory and that he has found something in Seirin that he missed, some sort of ambition, and that he now only strives to help Seirin and Kagami the best he can. The next day, Kagami sees that Kuroko has written a message on the school's track ground, his way of registering in the basketball club. Kagami is pleased.
Seirin vs Kaijō
After hearing about how great the Generation of Miracles are, Kagami can’t wait to play against them. He gets his wish when Riko announces that they’re going to play a practice game against the Kaijo boys. The day before the game, Kagami can’t fall asleep because he’s so excited. The next day Kuroko notices how red his eyes are from lack of sleep. At Kaijo High, everyone is impressed with the school’s sports facilities. Kise comes to meet Kuroko, and Kagami is annoyed when he ignores him. However, Kise says he’s interested in the one who has changed Kuroko so much (Kagami) and issues a subtle challenge to him.
When Seirin arrives at the courts, they are surprised and angry that they’re only playing on the half court. Kise says that if they prove they’re good enough, his coach will allow him to play on the full court. As soon as the game starts, Kagami scores by dunking the ball through the basket so hard that the basket breaks. Furious Coach Takeuchi orders Kise to enter the game and authorizes the full court’s usage. Kuroko comments that they should offer to replace the hoop, surprising Kagami.
Completely fired up, Kise and Kagami rapidly score against each other. After five minutes, Kuroko asks Hyuuga to request a time out because the game’s fast pace will ruin them. He also wants Kagami to cool down, because the better he plays, the better Kise also plays. During the timeout, Kagami insists that he’ll be able to defeat Kise, so the coach should continue to let him mark him. However, this is still not enough. Kise states that Kagami can’t beat him-a member of the Generation of Miracles. Kagami bursts out laughing, overjoyed that he’s found a worthy player in Japan. The last time he heard someone say this to him was in America. Kise is impressed that Kagami played basketball in the States, but Kagami points out that he has found his weakness-the one thing/person he can’t copy Kuroko. Kise answers that that that’s true, but it still won’t change anything. Kagami claims that it will.
As the game continues, Kise keeps scoring by copying Kagami’s moves.
Nonetheless, Kuroko and Kagami team up to defeat him since they are no match for him individually. Using varying styles and passes they are able to stay on even footing. During a fast break, Kise suddenly injures Kuroko accidentally, and he has to be subbed out. Izuki and Hyuuga order Kagami to defend like his life depends on it while the second years go on the offensive. Still, Seirin needs an “edge” over Kaijo; to provide that Kuroko steps out once again because he promised Kagami that he would be his shadow.
Kagami and Kuroko team up again and end up tying the game. Realizing he’s about to lose, Kise unleashes even more power determined to win. Nevertheless, Kuroko and Kagami continue to work together to pull off a buzzer beater. Kuroko shoots the ball, shocking Kise because he knows he can’t shoot. However, it’s actually a pass to Kagami for creating an alley-oop. Kise’s shocked to see how high and powerful Kagami’s jump is. He realizes he possesses a power that can rival the Generation of Miracles. Kagami yells that he doesn’t need to repay Kise later because he’ll end it right here, scoring the point that wins the game.
The team is ecstatic that they defeated a powerhouse like Kaijo. Before heading home, Riko takes the team to a restaurant where they’ll be able to eat for free as long as they can finish a serving of the café’s giant steak. Although everyone gives up, Kagami loves it and is able to finish everyone’s shares, so they won’t be burdened with the bill. After eating, Riko sends Kagami to look for Kuroko, so they can head home. When he finds him, he lightly hits him telling him he shouldn’t wander off. When he’s talking to Kise, Kuroko wanders off again, ending up challenging some bullies who had been harassing some boys playing street ball. Kagami and Kise can’t believe he’s so reckless. Nevertheless, the two of them rescue Kuroko, and then the three of them team up to defeat the bullies in a basketball game that will decide possession for the court. Victorious (and safe) Kagami yells at Kuroko about his behavior. Kise laughs, stating Kuroko hasn’t changed at all, calling Kagami Kagamicchi for the first time. Although Kagami is annoyed, Kuroko comments that this is a good thing since it means that Kise now respects him. Finally, Kagami tells Kuroko that he overheard his conversation with Kise. Furthermore, he’ll never leave Kuroko because Kuroko will always stand next to the light (Kagami).
• In this arc, Kise calls Kagami Kagamicchi for the first time.
• The “bullies” are members of Meijo Academy, a team Seirin quickly defeats in the Interhigh Preliminaries.
• Kuroko’s reckless behavior against bullies happens again when Kuroko goes to talk to Team Jabberwock; then the entire Generation of Miracles and Kagami go to rescue him.
• Kise discovers Kagami’s power that can match the Generation of Miracles-his jumping ability.
The entire team is excessively exhausted after playing against Kaijo. Riko notes that she’ll have to change their training regiment to build their stamina. The second years treat the first years to a special type of bread that is rarely served in the cafeteria. The cafeteria is crowded-prompting Kagami to speak in English calling the situation “Japanese Lunch Time Rush”. The four first years try different ways to reach the front of the line but are unsuccessful. However, Kuroko says he bought one. Kagami grabs his collar, asking him how he did it. Kuroko replies that he was pushed to the front of the line; he left some money on the counter since no one noticed him and took the bread. Using Kuroko, they are able to buy a whole bag full. On the rooftop, they hand it over to the second years, but they tell them to enjoy it. Kagami’s sandwich is a super long 100cm, 1000yen BLT.
Afterwards during practice, Hyuuga discusses the Interhigh with the entire team. He explains how all the schools are chosen, and if they lose even one game, they are out of the tournament. Kagami corrects him, saying that the schools are not chosen—they win a place in the tournament. Everyone agrees with him. Hyuuga adds that their final match will probably be against Shutoku-the King of the East who has Shintaro Midorima. Kagami asks Kuroko about his strength, but Kuroko answers that the other four aside from Kise are on another level. He can’t imagine how he’s changed.
Riko returns after witnessing a game against their first opponents-Shinkyo Academy. She assesses that they won’t have to worry about Shutoku if they can’t defeat them. Recently, their opponents have acquired a player from Senegal who’s incredibly tall. While the others are worried about how to handle him, Kagami is unimpressed saying that he’s only tall. Izuki ends up writing a pun with the nickname that Kuroko gives him (Otou-san/Papa) that makes everyone laugh. However, Riko immediately tells them that until May 16th (the day the Interhigh begins) she’ll be training them relentlessly. Kuroko and Kagami, she adds, will also have a separate, special training schedule.
On the day of the first game, Kagami again can’t sleep, and Kuroko notices his red eyes. While they’re warming up, Papa comes in and bumps into Kuroko. He lifts him up telling him children shouldn’t be on the court. He adds that the Generation of Miracles are all children too, and they will easily be beaten by him. Kagami and the others laugh even harder, but Kuroko claims he’s getting tired of being called a kid.
In the starting jump, Kagami is shocked when Papa easily reached higher than him. At first, Papa’s height advantage overwhelms the entire team. Nevertheless, because of the special training that Kagami did with Mitobe (who’s 5’11’’) he learned how to block/defend against a player who’s taller than him. Mitobe also trained Kagami how to make his opponents’ miss a shot. Kuroko passes well, and Kagami tells Papa that the “kid” may be more trouble than anyone. Annoyed, Kuroko asks him to stop calling him a kid.
Kagami handles Papa while Kuroko is subbed out. As the game continues, Papa gets fired up-telling Kagami that he won’t lose. Kagami responds that he’s glad the he’s finally getting serious, and this is making him excited as well. Kuroko reenters the game using his passes to let Kagami score. Kagami ends the game quickly, telling Papa he’s good, but the Generation of Miracles are stronger. The final score is 67-79, Seirin wins. When they’re about to leave, Papa admits his defeat, but ends up calling Kagami an idiot repeatedly, annoying Kagami exceedingly. Hyuuga and Kuroko are left speechless as Papa’s captain drags him away.
The second game is against Jitsuzen High; Kuroko is benched the whole time. Seirin crushes them 118-51. The third game is against Kinga High. Kuroko is benched again although he is restless watching the other play. Seirin wins 92-71. The fourth match is against the bullies from Meijo Academy. Seirin easily beats them because Meijo is afraid of them the whole time. While the team is talking after the game, the Shutoku team comes on to the courts. Kagami announces that he’s going to go greet them, and Hyuuga is unable to stop him. Kagami offers his hand to Midorima; thinking Kagami wants to shake hands (akushu), Midorima gives his left hand to Kagami (his right hand is holding his lucky item). Kagami writes his name in his palm. Surprised, Midorima looks at Kagami; he explains that he did that so Midorima wouldn’t make up some excuse about being unable to remember his name. As they talk, Takao mentions that the three kings all tripled the score in their games against Seirin last year. Kagami is shocked, and Midorima answers that this year will be the same. Kuroko immediately joins the conversation, telling Midorima that nothing is decided until the end. Midorima responds that he’ll show Kuroko what he means when they watch is next game. As Seirin watches Shutoku’s game, Kuroko explains Midorima’s skills. Everyone acknowledges Shutoku’s and Midorima’s strength, even Kagami.
After the game, Kagami is surprised when Riko tells him they have another game today (the fifth and last game before the semifinals; she also calls him “Bakagami” for the first time). They agree that they’ll probably be playing against Seiho in the semifinals and Shutoku in the finals. Kagami is fired up at the prospect of playing two strong teams in one day. Kuroko is as well, making everyone question whether he’s caught Kagami’s jerms. Kuroko replies he hopes not (annoying Kagami), but he feels that things like this light a fire inside him. Everyone, especially the second years, feel the same way.
In school the next day during lunch break, Kagami comments on how less Kuroko eats; Kuroko is shocked that Kagami can eat so much. Riko shows up and asks them to carry some DVDs for her back to the club room. As they’re walking, Kagami asks why they have to do it. Riko asks if they expect a maiden like her should carry them. When Kagami asks to see this maiden, Riko hits him.
In the afternoon when Kagami is looking through his club locker, he is startled when he sees Kuroko since he didn’t notice him earlier. They both see the Seiho DVD and watch it. Kagami notes that the players, especially the bald one, have strange movements. Kuroko tells him that he knows the bald guy from Middle School-Tsugawa Tomoki. Kise had just started, but Tsugawa stopped him. Kagami can’t believe it. He is present when the entire team watches the DVD as well. Although the other players are worried, Hyuuga announces that he has a plan.
When Seirin is warming up before the game with Seiho, Midorima and Kagami stare at each other across the court. Hyuuga immediately turns his head, telling him he’s staring down the wrong opponent. He’ll look like an idiot if they lose against Seiho and are unable to play Shutoku. Riko points out their key players-third years Iwamura (Captain) and Kasuga (Playmaker). Tsugawa comes over to Kagami, commenting on how red his hair is. He yells across the court to his captain that Seirin doesn’t have any strong players except for him. Iwamura hits him on the head, apologizing to Hyuuga for Tsugawa who talks without thinking. Hyuuga, who is standing with an impassive Kuroko and an annoyed Kagami, says there is no need to apologize since they’ll win; last year isn’t the same as this year. Iwamura replies that that won’t happen because Seirin is weak. He leaves with a grumbling Tsugawa.
The Seirin locker room is quiet. To boost everyone’s morale, Riko promises to give them a kiss on the cheek if they win. Since no one reacts ecstatically to this “reward”, she yells at them that they have to pay Seiho back for last year. Hyuuga addresses everyone, telling the first years that after their loss last year, they hated basketball so much that they wanted to quit. However, they’re over that now, and they definitely going to win this. As they walk out, Kuroko asks Kagami if he’s ever hated basketball. Kagami replies no, but Kuroko tells him he has. He says that it’s painful to hate something one loves. He adds that he really wants to win this game for his senpais. On the court when the game is about to start, Kagami recalls what Kuroko said. He admits that he can’t understand how Kuroko felt about hating basketball. But he knows he wants to win.
When the game starts Tsugawa has completely boxed Kagami; the score quickly becomes 12-0 with Seirin being unable to score because of Seiho’s strong defense. Moreover, Tsugawa taunts Kagami. Without thinking, Kagami charges and earns his second foul. Everyone wants him to calm down. Riko calls a timeout and tells the boys that Seiho is using old martial arts for their defensive techniques. One of their styles is namba running. Nevertheless, Kagami says he will stop Tsugawa because Tsugawa is only human. Kuroko and Izuki note that he’ll do what he has to do to stop him. Up against Tsugawa again, he’s determined to defeat him. Breaking past Tsugawa, he yells that basketball is basketball no matter what tricks Seiho uses. When he scores, Seirin is overjoyed whereas Seiho is shocked.
However, Seirin is still amazed by Seiho’s passing style. Kagami earns his third foul, annoying Kise (who has come to watch the game with Kasamatsu) and putting Seirin on edge. Tsugawa suddenly bumps into Kuroko, asking where he came from. Kagami sees that Tsugawa doesn’t remember Kuroko even though he played in Middle School. Kuroko introduces himself and says that he’s been here all the time. Tsugawa boasts that last year his team was 20 points ahead of Seirin at this time; this year he wants to make it 30. He tells Kuroko that he hopes Kuroko won’t be disappointed. As he jogs away, Kuroko replies that he’ll try not to be. In the next play, Kuroko passes back from behind the defense, shocking Seiho. Kagami stops Kasuga from scoring by blocking his shot. Kuroko also stops Tsugawa, making him lose control of the ball. Kagami catches the ball and passes it to Hyuuga who scores. The score is now tied 19-19.
During the time out, Riko instructs Seirin to continue with the attack. She is also frustrated because Kagami has three fouls; this will make him more cautious than before. Nevertheless, because of Kuroko’s strong passes, Kagami is able to score. Still, Tsugawa doesn’t care; he’s planning to do something that will make it even more painful for Kagami. He comments that no matter how good their teamwork is, only one of them can score.
During the next play, Kagami feels that something is not right. When he’s about to take a shot, Hyuuga yells at him to stop, but it’s too late. Kagami bumps into Tsugawa and earns his fourth foul. Seeing Tsugawa’s smiling face, Kagami realizes he did it on purpose. Kise comments that now he won’t be able to make anymore risky plays. Kagami tries to reassure everyone that he won’t make anymore fouls. Hyuuga, however, is unconcerned. He tells Kagami and Kuroko that they had already planned to bench both of them during this time. The second year’s pride is at stake, and they want to get revenge themselves for last year. Hyuuga also says that they need to conserve their strength because only they can defeat Midorima. He adds that Midorima has already been benched in his game earlier on. Kagami is about to protest, but Kuroko says they should trust their senpais. On their bench, Takao notices that Seirin has benched Kuroko and Kagami; he questions whether they’re throwing the game. However, Midorima replies that it’s the opposite.
Kagami wonders if they’ll be all right; Riko assures him that they’re good. As they play, Riko explains everything to Kuroko and Kagami. They all use their new skills-Mitobe’s hook shot, Koganei’s ability to shoot from any angle (no guarantee of accuracy though), Tsuchida’s rebounding skills, and Izuki’s Eagle Eye. Watching from the bench, both of them are impressed by their senpai’s skills.
Nevertheless, Seiho proves they’re good as well when Iwamura uses a scoop shot to score. When Kasuga shoots as well, Izuki note how flexible he is compared to Iwamura. During one of the plays, Koganei injures himself. Kagami wants to enter the game, but Kuroko insists that the one with four fouls should stay back, and he’ll get revenge for him. When Kuroko steps back onto the court, Tsugawa is disappointed, saying he was hoping to face Kagami. Kuroko answers that he’ll defeat Tsugawa in Kagami’s place.
Kuroko tells Tsugawa that he asked to play; if the senpais have their will, then the kouhais have their respect. He will defeat him to support them. When the game restarts, Seiho is unable to figure out Kuroko’s passing style. Watching from the bench, Kagami is even more impressed by how amazing Kuroko is. Riko tells him he’s always like this, and she’s surprised he just noticed. As Seirin is able to keep up with Seiho, they realize that they have been completely studied. Hyuuga tells Iwamura that their DVD player died for them; they spent hours viewing their moves and figuring out their patterns. It was harder than they expected to keep up with them; that’s why they had to wait until now to match them. They quickly close the gap between their points. Nevertheless, Seiho insists they won’t lose. They switch to full court man-to-man defense, intensely focused in the last seconds. However, Mitobe blocks Kasuga and lets Izuki pass. He passes to Kuroko; simultaneously from the bench Kagami yells his name. Completely in control, Kuroko passes it to Hyuuga, and he scores. Seirin wins 73-71. Kagami celebrates with his entire team.
Return of Kiyoshi
After his defeat against Aomine, Kagami becomes distant from Kuroko, stating that combining their power is not enough to win. Everyone on the team notices his cool and reserved attitude; however, during practice, he still gives it his all. He is present with the other first years when Kiyoshi is introduced. Kiyoshi immediately challenges him to one-on-one for the starting position. After Kagami wins, he leaves since practice is over. The first years also play a practice game in which Kuroko and Kagami still do not work together to score. Kiyoshi insists that he’s doing this more to make Kuroko realize something rather than let Kagami learn the importance of teamwork which he feels he already knows.
After Kuroko speaks to Hyuuga (who tells him that Kagami believes in him; that’s why he’s training so hard so he wouldn’t have to be a burden on Kuroko), Kuroko rushes over to speak to Kagami. He is practicing by himself, visualizing different plays to improve his technique. Kuroko reaches him out of breath; until he can collect his thoughts, Kagami suggests that they play a little one-on-one. While they’re playing Kagami recalls that the first time they played together was similar to this. Kuroko explains why he chose Kagami—because he needed someone strong enough to defeat the Generation of Miracles and make them acknowledge his style of basketball. Kagami says that he knows he’s just like them, but Kuroko interrupts that he’s not—he really loves basketball from his heart, and he respects and admires his open love for the game. Kuroko adds that he’s figured out what Kagami really meant—he didn’t want to leave Kuroko the way the other Generation of Miracles did; he felt that they should individually get stronger, so they could combine ever greater strength. Kagami responds that that was his intention all along. Both of them feel that they’ll be stronger by the Winter Cup, and they will become the best in the country.
Summer Training Camp
Once Kuroko and Kagami have patched things up, they act like their usual selves. The entire team is relieved; however, another crisis is looming—Hyuuga announces that they’ll have to do their own cooking. Unfortunately, the coach is the worst cook (the team won’t be able to move, let alone cook, after such intense training). Luckily, Kagami quickly solves this problem by training Riko how to make curry. Everyone discovers that Kagami is a great cook and are overjoyed that he can train her.
This crisis averted the entire team first heads to the beach. Riko instructs them to play a form of basketball on the sand. Kagami trains alongside everyone else; he specifically notices that it’s harder for him to make his jumps. After training on the beach, they practice indoors. Everyone notices improvement in their movements.
Later, at the inn, during the regular stretching, Kuroko mentions his concerns to Kagami about trying to develop his new style. Kagami doesn’t know presently how to help him. In the morning, Kuroko and Kagami run into Midorima and Takao. Midorima accuses them of enjoying their vacation here. However, he soon finds out about their training camp. Coincidentally, the Shutoku team is also staying here (it has been a long tradition for their school to stay here and train). For the rest of their stay, both teams play practice matches against each other. However, during this time, Riko instructs Kagami to run to the convenience store across the beach 500 meters away and get drinks for the team-one drink at a time.
Once practice is over, Kagami returns with drinks for the Seirin and Shutoku teams. Riko is shocked that he trained so hard. He continues this ritual throughout the remainder of their trip. After the practice games with Seirin (Shutoku won all the games) Coach Nakatani comments that Seirin has become stronger since they almost won each game without Kagami’s help.
On their final night, Kagami tells Riko he can’t understand what the point of his coming on this trip was if all he did was run on the beach. Riko shows him his jumps have become higher without him even realizing it. With his right legs his jumps are better; this training has helped with that—now the rest is up to him. Kagami feels that he can finally defeat Aomine in aerial combat. Midorima, however, comments that 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, Midorima yells at him to notice already—he can stop him because he knows that he’ll dunk. Also, he’s insulted that Kagami thought the only thing he could do was shoot threes—his defensive skills are also peerless. Midorima leaves Kagami to his thoughts and goes indoors with Takao, instructing Kuroko (who was watching alongside Takao) not to disappoint him in the winter.
Later when Kagami is running on the beach to cool his head, Kuroko also runs with him. 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. While he’s talking with Kagami, Kuroko also realizes a way for him to improve. In the morning, on the ride back, Kuroko tells Kagami that Midorima has a message for him—“Even a flea can jump; I only taught him a lesson because he’s so stupid. Don’t disappoint me in the winter.” Kagami is annoyed by Midorima’s choice of words, but he responds that he won’t.
Although they are out of the running for the Interhigh, Riko informs the entire team that the reason they stayed at this inn was because they were close enough to go and watch the Interhigh Quarterfinals between Too and Kaijo. Kagami watches and comments on the match along with the rest of the team. He asks Kuroko if he thinks Kise can win; Kuroko says anything is possible, although Kise has never won once against Aomine in a one-on-one. Like everyone else he is amazed when Kise is able to copy Aomine’s style and when Aomine refuses to back down once he has four fouls eventually defeating Kise. He realizes that this is the power of the Generation of Miracles, and he has to get stronger. He wants to stay and watch the other matches, but the team doesn’t have money for a hotel. Hyuuga adds that Riko’s dad will kill them if they extend their trip any longer. As they’re leaving, he notices a huge player wearing the Yosen uniform (Murasakibara) and wonders who he is.
Winter Cup Preliminaries
As the Seirin High team was gathering to leave for the Winter Cup preliminaries, Kagami is seen playing with a ball with his left hand. Furihata says that his left hand got a lot better and Kagami replies that he had trained it a lot, even by eating with only his left hand. Furihata also notices that Kagami still can't sleep before a match, by looking at Kagami's red and bloodshot eyes.
At the Winter Cup, Seirin's best of 4 determination match is about to begin and Kagami is a starter. The match commences and Kagami lines up for the jump ball. some time in the game, Josei High is leading with 8 points and Kagami is shown to be completely stuck with two players guarding him at all times. Kagami gets his ball stolen and can't do a lot during the match. Kiyoshi takes the initiative and gets the points and Kuroko is eventually able to pass his Ignite Pass to Kagami on the other side of the court and Kagami jumps so high that he hits his forehead on the rim. The first quarter ends and Kagami is dragged to the bench.
During the latter part of the match, Kagami is still guarded by two men and his frustration is piling up. He is put to his senses by Kuroko, who points out that Imayoshi and Sakurai from Tōō are watching and that Kagami should show something good. Kagami agrees and when he gets the ball, he sees the demotivated defense and breaks through. He is immediatly guarded by Narumi, but that is useless, as Kagami jumps from the freethrow 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. While dunking the ball, Kagami loses his balance and falls on his back. Kuroko helps him up and the match eventually ends with Seirin's win.
As the Seirin team is leaving the WC building, Kuroko and Kagami stay behind. They go to a street basketball court. Kuroko asks if Kagami can be his practice partner for his new Vanishing Drive. Kagami lines up for defense and Kuroko suddenly passes him. Although the ball does slip from his hand, Kagami is amazed and admits that his new drive is unstoppable. He grabs Kuroko's ball and notices that it's completely slippery and worn out. Kuroko says that it's the sixth ball already and Kagami is impressed by Kuroko's intensive training.
The next day, the final league commences. Seirin plays against Senshinkan High and overwhelms them with their growth over the past months. The match is dominated by Seirin and in the last play of the match, Kuroko uses his invisible pass to reach Kagami under the basket. Kagami jumps and scores a powerful monster dunk. He ends the match with Seirin's win.
Winter Training Camp
As the rest of Seirin was training in the mountains with Kagetora, Kagami went back to America in order to meet his old basketball master, Alexandra Garcia. While in America, Alexandra gave him the assignment to play gambling basketball for one week. The bet for each match was 10 dollars and his starting money was also 10 dollars, forcing Kagami to win from the bat. Alexandra explains that he has to play like his life depends on it (because it probably will). Kagami played against gangsters and thugs for money to regain his animal instinct. Kagami played basketball in the States to train his animal instinct and when reaching that, his five senses will be heightened as well as his reflexes, speed and his jumping ability will be brought to the extreme. After that week, Alexandra trained him personally.
When the Winter Cup started, he forgot about the time difference between the US and Japan and missed the opening ceremony. He re-appears when Kuroko is meeting with the Generation of Miracles. He stands up for Furihata when he was told to go away by Akashi. Akashi approaches and attacks Kagami with Midorima's scissors. Kagami dodges at the last moment. Akashi lets him off the hook, but threatens to end his life if Kagami disobeys him again. It is seen that Akashi's scissors grazed Kagami's face, bleeding a bit. Akashi later leaves.
Kagami is seen in the locker room before the match against Tōō Academy. Kuroko tells him it's time and looks worried about him. Kagami says that it's fine, that he was only shocked about Akashi but that he is only thinking about Aomine, and nothing else. The match begins and both players enter the court. Kagami encounters Aomine and he senses that Kagami has gotten better. Kagami agrees, telling him that he got a little better.
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. Meanwhile, Kagami has just arrived at the basket and is taunted by Aomine. Kagami brings the ball back in the game by passing to Izuki. 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.
Tōō outruns Seirin and Kagami receives the ball, going up against Aomine the first time since the Interhigh. Kagetora understands that the outcome of this one-on-one will determine the flow of the match and that Kagami must absolutely win. Kagami keeps standing still, but battles Aomine in his head, using a high-level tactical battle. In this simulation, Kagami drives to the basket, makes a cut and loses Aomine for an instant, but Aomine is still able to steal the ball when Kagami pulls up for the shot. Back to reality, Kagami senses that he will lose if he goes up against Aomine now and passes the ball to Izuki. He concludes that he can't beat Aomine, yet.
The match goes on with the shoot-off between Hyūga and Sakurai and Seirin goes into the second quarter with a tie. Kuroko decides to use his Vanishing Drive on Aomine and Kagami helps him by screening Kuroko's guard, Susa. As always with the Vanishing Drive, Kagami directs the attention of Aomine to him while Kuroko drives past him. When the drive and later the Ignite Pass Kai both fail against Aomine, Kagami tries to block him, but Aomine shoots besides him and scores. Seirin takes a time-out and while Kuroko is subbed out and is feeling despair, Kagami tells him that his effort wasn't futile, that he will handle Aomine untill Kuroko comes back.
While stepping back on the court, Kagami is thinking that this time, he will save Kuroko instead of otherwise. In the first play, Kagami passes to Kiyoshi. Aomine is dissapointed, but Kagami tells him he has no intention of running away. Tōō's offense and Aomine carries the ball. He prepares for his infamous change of pace, but Kagami suddenly dives forward and goes for the ball, in an attempt to steal it. Aomine pulls it back just in time and passes Kagami. He pulls up for a shot, but Kagami reacts quickly and jumps behind Aomine for the ball. Because of Kuroko's absence, he was able to unleash his true power and he slams the ball away.
Seeing an awakened Kagami, Aomine aknowledges him and starts to get serious. He speeds up, but Kagami can still keep up. Aomine then bounces the ball through Kagami's legs, high up in the air. Aomine amazes everyone when he takes the ball from Wakamatsu and scores with his back turned to the ring. In Seirin's offense, Kagami gets the ball and takes Koga's screen. He dribbles to the right, but Aomine shifts past Koga and is right on Kagami's tail. Kagami sees this, does a crossover to the left and takes off for the shot in front of Koga. He dodges Aomine's block and scores the shot. He later says to Koga that his screen wasn't really necessary and that he should take Aomine on his own.
Back in Tōō's offense, Aomine goes for his infamous formless shot, with Kagami jumping in front of him. The ball was supossedly out of Kagami's reach, but his new strength enables him to block Tōō's ace on his full power shot. Kagami finally begins to surpass Aomine. He later taunts Aomine that he doesn't mind entertaining him, if he has that wide of a margin.
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. He amazes everyone in the audience with his strength and especially the other Generation of Miracles. 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. Not only against Aomine, Kagami is also dominating in rebounds.
When Kagami grabs another rebound, Seirin's fastbreak begins. He passes the ball to Izuki, who passes it back at the other side of the court. Kagami goes up against Aomine and surprisingly takes off for a shot. His stance is similar to Aomine's formless shot and the shot takes off, but only for Aomine to graze the ball for an instant. The ball flies towards the goal, bounces off the board, circles around in the ring and flies out. Half-time is reached and Seirin is only two points behind.
During half-time, Kagami seeks for Kuroko and finds him outside. He throws him a vest for warmth. He urges Kuroko to get back inside, but Kuroko asks Kagami if he enjoys basketball. Kuroko then tells Kagami his history with Aomine and Teikō and how they became friends. He concludes with telling Kagami that he really wants to see Aomine smile again. Kagami says that it's not sure that he'll change if they win, but that winning gives a better shot than losing.
The third quarter begins and Tōō starts its attack. Aomine gets the ball with Kagami guarding him. Aomine immediately speeds up and is even faster than before. He drives past Kagami. Kuroko then jumps in front and gets an offensive foul out of Aomine. Kagami helps him up and thanks him. After Kuroko gets sealed by Imayoshi, Aomine challenges him to a second round of their duel.
Because of Kuroko's and the upperclassmen's inability to act, Kagami decides to do it himself. But before he can, he feels angst from an image of defeat earlier on in the game. In that moment, Aomine lunges forward and steals the ball. He drives towards the basket and Kagami catches up after Aomine had to pass Hyūga. Aomine goes for the dunk, but spins around his axis past Kagami and dunks it. As Aomine walks ahead, Kagami does not feel fear or frustration, but a pure feeling of respect and admiration, since Aomine has reached the highest point of basketball skills.
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. After Izuki and Hyūga, Kagami does it too, against Aomine, successfully and dunks. The third quarter ends with an 11-point difference and at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Aomine goes up against Kagami with a smile... Yet again, Aomine triumphs and scores. Kagami is troubled about how to stop Aomine, but Hyūga sets him at ease by telling him that the current restraint is good as well. During Tōō's next attack, Aomine gets the ball from Sakurai, does a fast crossover and passes Kagami. He later gets a three-point play due to a foul by Kiyoshi. Kuroko then asks Kagami and Kiyoshi to triple-team Aomine.
Defeated Nakamiya South with a score of 83-77, Kagami and Kuroko were on the bench for the whole game.
Defeated Morizono North with a score of 87-82, Kagami and Kuroko came out of the bench during the last 57 seconds of the fourth quarter and led Seirin to victory.
Quarter-finalsIn the quarter-finals, Seirin face Yōsen who has the best defense and completely prevented their opponents from scoring. At tip off, Murasakibara easily outjumps Kiyoshi but this is overruled by the referee as he jumped before the ball reached it's maximum height. The ball is given to Seirin who begins a quick series of passes. Hyūga then pulls up for a shot but Murasakibara blocks him showing his fast reflexes. Seirin gets the offensive rebound and Kuroko throws a long lateral pass to Kagami who is open. However, Murasakibara blocks him and Masako notes that not only is he big and fast, but also has a huge wingspan. She added that the entire area inside the three point arc is 'his domain'.
Yōsen scores the first basket but Kuroko quickly makes a Cyclone Pass to Izuki who runs up the court. But Murasakibara who is not participating in the offense was there so he chose to regroup. Murasakibara then rebounds the ball after a missed shot by Hyūga over Kiyoshi and Kagami and passes the ball ahead. With 15 seconds left in the quarter, Himuro (Fukui in the anime) rushes a shot but Kagami slightly touches the ball and made it miss. Kiyoshi saves the last rebound for Seirin using his Vise Claw. The score is 18 - 0 for Yōsen.
In the second quarter, Yōsen went to give the final blow for Seirin. Izuki is double-teamed and he passes the ball to Kiyoshi. Kiyoshi attempts to lose Murasakibara with a spin move but Murasakibara is still there to block. Instead he passes the ball underhand to Kagami for an alley-oop. However, Murasakibara still managed to block Kagami because he didn’t need to jump for the first thus enabling him to block Kagami. But before the ball could be swatted out of his hand, he passed the ball to an open Kuroko who scores for the first time with his Phantom Shot. Murasakibara is surprised because he thought Kuroko couldn’t shoot.
In Yōsen’s offense, Kagami is having difficulty defending Okamura under the basket due to their height and weight difference. Okamura provokes him that ‘he forgot he was there since he’s so light. Kiyoshi then tells him to lower his waist but replies that he’s doing that. He asks Kiyoshi if there is something else and Kiyoshi only replies that ‘he’s tall so be careful’ and as long as he remembers those two things, he won’t lose with his strength. Having realized what he has forgotten, Kagami lowers his waist more surprising Okamura. Unable to move him, Okamura turns around but Kagami blocks him this time. Sometime when Yosen misses a shot, Kiyoshi outrebounds Wei Liu with his Vise Claw leading to a break and Kuroko once again scoring with his Phantom Shot over Murasakibara. The quarter ends with a score of 29 -17 still in favor of Yōsen.
Since Kuroko will likely be benched, Riko and Masako comes to the conclusion that the important matchups will be between Kagami and Himuro and Kiyoshi and Murasakibara. Before the match resumes, Kuroko bump fist to Kagami and Kiyoshi leaving it to them.
The third quarter begins with the ball for Yōsen. Himuro receives the ball and is guarded by Kagami. Kagami apologizes for the wait and says to take it seriously now. Himuro replies that he’s relieved but he’ll be the winner. Himuro fakes and Kagami fell for it but Hyuga was there to help. However, Himuro shoots with a jump-stop and scores leaving Kagami and Hyuga stunned. In Yōsen’s next offense, it’s Himuro against Kagami again. Himuro tells him that he still sees him as a big brother and pulls up for a Mirage Shot from three point. Kagami jumps to block but surprisingly the ball went through the block and falls into the hoop. Himuro tells him that they’re enemies and to come at him seriously. Kagami is then subbed to Tsuchida.
Kiyoshi comments that the bad thing about Kagami is that he can’t feelings and game separate and that he’s too caring. While at the bench, he asks Kuroko a favor – to throw away the ring that he’s always wearing. Kuroko asks if it’s fine to throw away the memories with Himuro but Kagami replies that it’s fine because having it only represents guilt and it’s in the past with Himuro and the future is with them. Kuroko replies that he will no longer lose to anyone. Kagami is then put back into the game and tells Himuro that he won’t mess around anymore. Kagami then guards him using Aomine’s natural posture in defending. Himuro fakes but Kagami doesn’t fall but fakes a drive again stepping back then shoots. But Kagami got close enough and finally blocks him saying that he’s just getting started. Izuki then saves the ball and passes it to Kagami then rushes to Murasakibara on the other end. Kagami tries to make a shot but Murasakibara blocks him. Even though he blocked Kagami, Murasakibara realized that he was trying a new shot that went wrong.
The ball goes back to Seirin with Kiyoshi playing PG but is triple-teamed by Okamura, Wei Liu and Fukui leading to a turnover. Himuro leads the break but Kagami is there to defend him. Himuro pulls up for a shot but Kagami grazes the ball enough to make it miss though he slipped because of sweat and jumped a little later. This is how he discovered the secret behind the Mirage Shot. He rebounds the ball then passes to ball to Kiyoshi who is triple-teamed again. Kiyoshi then passes to Izuki who is forced to shoot a three pointer the fact that Murasakibara will get to him very fast. Izuki missed the shot but Kiyoshi manages to outjump Murasakibara from behind for a putback slam. After that, Kiyoshi suddenly fell reaching his limit but refused to be subbed out. Then Hyuga manages to intercept a pass and passes it to Kiyoshi who passes it to Izuki who confronts Murasakibara along with Mitobe and Kagami. Instead Izuki passes it back to Kiyoshi who broke free, thanks to Hyuga’s screen. Kiyoshi misses the shot but Mitobe gave all his strength to box Murasakibara out of position leading to a putback slam by Kagami.
This move finally enrages Murasakibara who decided to participate in the offense and "wring out everthing". Murasakibara posts up Kiyoshi but is helped by Hyuga and Mitobe. However, he pushes the three of them easily then performs his Thor’s Hammer dunk throwing the three of them. But Seirin weren’t shaken as Kiyoshi quickly throws a pass to Izuki to counter. But Murasakibara is already behind him. Izuki passes the ball back to Kiyoshi who is challenged by Murasakibara. Kiyoshi pulls up for a shot but Murasakibara blocks him and swats the ball away when he tried to turn it into a pass leading to a fastbreak. Murasakibara jumps for an alley-oop from Fukui and dunks on Kagami, also bringing the hoop down. After the replacement of the hoop, Murasakibara continues to overpower Seirin in OF or DF especially Kiyoshi who has reached his limit.
Murasakibara dribbles from end to end but Kagami and Kiyoshi are already there to defend. However, Murasakibara dunks on the two of them leaving Kiyoshi unable to stand on his own. Murasakibara then ‘helps’ Kiyoshi once again breaking his morale angering Kagami. Kuroko is subbed in for Kiyoshi. In Seirin’s offense Kuroko tries to go for a Phantom Shot but Murasakibara moves to block the path of the ball. Instead he alley-oops the ball to Kagami who dunks and scores. Then, Kuroko forces Murasakibara to commit an offensive foul sending him sprawling to the floor. After that, Seirin used their All Coat Man to Man Defense to enable Kuroko intercept passes and score. But Izuki’s last shot didn’t count as the buzzer sounds before he released the ball. The quarter ends with a score 47 – 43 still in favor of Yōsen.
At the break, Kagami requested that he’ll be the center and will cover all the two point areas just like Murasakibara. Riko tells him to just take care of Himuro outside but Kagami simply replies “Come who may come, I’ll stop them” for Kiyoshi. Though reluctant, Riko agrees.
The last quarter begins with Kagami telling Himuro that he won’t hold back which Himuro replies that obviously, they finish this. It’s Yōsen’s ball and Kagami plays center. Fukui suddenly throws an alley-oop pass to Murasakibara dunking it on Kagami. Murasakibara tells him to stop hallucinating if he thinks he can stop him all by himself. Kagami replies that even if he can’t move Murasakibara, he will stop him anyway he can. In Yōsen’s next offense, Kagami goes up against Himuro who fakes past him but stops when he saw Kuroko. Kagami then goes up against Himuro again for a Mirage Shot. Having remembered his discovery with secret of the shot, Kagami plans to jump a little later to block it but Himuro releases it the first shot and scores. Himuro asserts that no one can stop the Mirage Shot.
The difference is starting to grow again and Kagami is thinking how he’ll enter the zone. When Murasakibara swats the ball away from him with a block, he is rebuked by Kise. Mesmerized, Kagami resolves to do what he can with his actual abilities. Seirin calls a time-out and Kagami is tasked to guard the painted area only. He admits that equalling with Murasakibara is impossible and apologizes. The match resumes and Kagami continues to endure inside with Yōsen scoring. But they notice that something is different in Kagami than before. With Murasakibara for the final dunk, Kagami blocks him who had finally the entered the zone.
When Himuro fakes past the triple-team, he pulls up again for a Mirage Shot but Kagami jumps to block him in the first shot. However, it seems like Kagami is floating because he was still able to block the second one shocking Himuro who can’t help but think that he’s like a bird. On Seirin’s counter, Kagami calls for the ball from Kuroko and makes a three-pointer. Murasakibara then calls for the ball and is about to dunk it with his full-powered Thor’s Hammer but is blocked again by Kagami bringing him down to his knees. Kagami apologizes to Murasakibara that ‘he was a little too strong’ angering Murasakibara. Kagami in the zone continues to dominate the game. He was also able to copy fakes like Himuro’s but better than a mere copy and passes Himuro to confront Murasakibara again. Suddenly, he jumped from the free throw line to perform the Air Walk of Michael Jordan. Yōsen calls a time-out. After the time-out, Seirin wonders if there was a fight but Kagami replies that it’s exactly the opposite.
The game resumes with Himuro breaking free from the triple team with Okamura’s screen and fakes past Kuroko only to be confronted by Kagami again who jumps to block his shot. Himuro finally acknowledging his loss to their promised battle asserts that they will still win choosing to pass the ball instead of shooting.
Murasakibara who is about to dunk saw Kagami coming and instead passed the ball back to Himuro who scores inside. Kagami this time requests to play PG and receives the ball but passes the ball back to Izuki when he is on the verge of being double-teamed. Izuki goes for a shot but he knew Murasakibara is there so he tossed the ball backwards for an alley-oop with Kagami. Both teams continue to dominate each others’ DF with Seirin trailing a little. Kiyoshi returns to the game.
Sometime when Himuro tries to go for a shot, Kagami jumps to block him but instead passes the ball to Murasakibara under the basket. He is about to dunk but saw Kagami coming again, passing the ball back to Himuro. The matchup shifts up between Kiyoshi and Himuro. Himuro says that only Kagami can stop him and pulls up for a Mirage Shot. But Kiyoshi faked jumping for the first and instead backed down for Hyuga to block the second one leading to a break. Kagami tries to fadeaway but misses but Kiyoshi gets the offensive rebound using Vise Claw then passes to Hyuga who made a three pointer bringing them with only one point deficit.
However, Murasakibara surprisingly entered the zone with only 20 seconds remaining. During the next play, Himuro receives the ball by Okamura then fakes past Hyuga. He passes the the ball to Murasakibara when Kagami jumps to block him. Murasakibara is about to dunk but Kagami is fast enough to jump and block the dunk attempt. However, Murasakibara is on the verge of overpowering him in the air but Kiyoshi came to help completely blocking the dunk leading to a break. Aomine, Kise and Kagami were the ones who realized that Murasakibara had entered the zone. Kagami for the last time, goes for the Meteor Jam that Alex taught him outjumping Murasakibara and making the shot and giving them the lead. Still not giving up, Himuro throws a full court pass to Murasakibara who had already ran to the other side. Surprisingly, he wasn’t able to jump because Kiyoshi playing PG forced him to jump continuously and it’s what his knees can only handle. However, his height and distance from the basket is enough for him to make a shot but Kuroko was there to block his last shot attempt to secure Seirin’s victory.
After the game, Kuroko tells Kagami to reconcile with Himuro which he does but ended up seeing Haizaki choke Alex and beat Himuro. Alex manages to break free by kicking but didn’t hit him. They are interrupted by Kise who threw a basketball at Haizaki and reveals that he is the former fifth player before Kise joined. After that, Kagami fails to say it but says that he’ll tell Himuro later and tells Kise not to lose. Then, he went back to watch the game between Kaijō and Fukuda Sōgō and asks Kuroko about Haizaki.
At the morning of the semi-finals of the Winter Cup, Kagami wakes up in his bed and is shocked to learn that a naked Alexandra is laying next to him. He throws clothes at her in the same way as his new move, the Meteor Jam, resulting in a comedic effect. Kagami moves on to make breakfast and asks Alexandra about Tatsuya the day before. She says he's fine and that she knows Tatsuya also wants to remain friends. She says that Kagami should focus on the next match before Tatsuya and asks if he's ready. Kagami replies affirmative, but soon learns that his shoes are broken. He calls Riko and after being yelled at, is told to go along with Kuroko to shop for new shoes. In the city, Kagami is having trouble finding good shoes because of his large size. When he enters yet another shop, someone suddenly appears before him on stairs and jumps over Kagami in a somersault. The stranger apologizes and leaves, but Kagami sees that he is wearing a Rakuzan High jersey. Kuroko then calls Momoi to help him with his shoe problem.
Kagami and Kuroko meet with Momoi and surprisingly, Aomine also came along. Kagami is irritated by Aomine's presence, a mutual feeling. Momoi gives Kagami a shoe box, with inside the same basketball shoes as Kagami used to wear, but with different colors. Apparently, they are Aomine's spare Jordans. Aomine says that he can have them, but only if he defeats him in a one-on-one. Kagami is destroyed, but Aomine gives him the basketball shoes anyway. Aomine explains that it's for the sake of playing against Kise, that he shouldn't be at a disadvantage because of bad shoes. Kagami accepts them. When Kagami and Kuroko arrive at the WC building, they learn of Rakuzan's line-up, with one Generation of Miracles member (Akashi), but also with three Uncrowned Kings, one of which Kagami met earlier.
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.
As Rakuzan High emerge 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. 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. At the tip-off, Kuroko uses his two trump cards immediately with the thought of getting ahead before Kise uses his Perfect Copy. However Kise sees it differently activating his Perfect Copy using Midorima's signature shot. Kise turns to Kagami and says there is no way he has gone soft.
During Seirin's next attack, Kise was able to block Hyuga's shot using Murasakibara's block. Getting the ball back, Kise tries to pull up for a half-court shot but Kiyoshi was there for a block so he fakes using Aomine's agility and change of pace to drive beside him. Kise then proceeds to the free throw line where Kagami is waiting. Kagami, yet unable to enter the zone heightens his five senses using his animal instinct. Kise does not care and uses Akashi's Emperor Eye to anklebreak Kagami. As he falls to the ground, Kise makes the next shot. Seirin is still fired up and the ball ends up with Kuroko who pulls up for his Phantom Shot. Hyuga thought Kise won't stop it since Murasakibara couldn't. But these were proven wrong as Kise combined Akashi's Emperor Eye to read the direction of the ball and Murasakibara's block to swat the ball away.
Kise continues to use the Generation of Miracles' techniques anklebreaking Kuroko and overpowering Kiyoshi and Kagami using Thor's Hammer, the signature dunk of Murasakibara. 3 minutes in the game, and Kaijō is up by 13. Kise comments that Perfect Copy is tiring and deactivates it to reserve it's last 2 minutes for later. He says that he has completed his mission and the flow is now on his team. One of the next attack, Kagami goes up against Kise, drives and switched to a fadeaway shot. Kise is surprised but confident that it will miss and it does, knowing that Seirin is rushing too much. Later Furihata enters the court.
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 fadeaway but because his leg is still hurting, he failed to reached the decent height of his jump and was blocked by Kagami. In the following fastbreak, Kagami reaches the basket for a dunk but suddenly gets blocked by a returned Kise. Both aces ask their respective PGs, to leave it to them. Kagami is in the offense and their showdown will decide the flow of the match. He starts his dribble with incredible speed, drives past Kise and dunks it.
Kise reflects on his first meeting with Kagami; a feeling that turned into a 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. The ball goes to Kise in the next offense, having shook off his mark with a screen and pulls up for a jumpshot but because of his injury and the fact that Kagami has avoided the screen, blocks him again. Kagami goes up against Kise again in the next Seirin's next offense and passes him with speed. 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. In the next offense, Kagami gets the ball and suddenly is double-teamed by Hayakawa and Nakamura. Hyuga recognizes Nakamura as one of the top 8 defensive players last year signaling a threat and demands the ball from Kagami and passed it to Kuroko who scores with the Phantom Shot. As Kuroko was subbed out, he says that they have a reliable ace referring to Kagami who dribbled past the double team then dunking on Kobori saying that he feel like he can't lose. Kagami continues to dominate Kaijō until the match reaches halftime. The score is tied and both teams go to their respective locker rooms. Coach Riko couldn't say anything but 'attack all-out' then turns to Kagami who says that he will attack all-out. Kagami then asks Kuroko if he still has anything else up his sleeve now that the Phantom Shot has been stopped. Kuroko replies nothing but says that he'll figure something out and can't stay depressed.
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. Kise is finally put into the match along with Kuroko and intimidates Kagami when their eyes meet. Kagami says that it looks like he can't let his guard down for a second. 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. He meets Kiyoshi under the basket but posterizes him with a dunk. Kuroko and Kagami attempt to make a quick counterattack by doing a Lane-up but is blocked by Kise using Aomine's speed and Murasakibara's block. Surprisingly, the ball goes back to Kise who shocks everybody by pulling off an Ignite Pass Kai and sending the ball across to Kobori. It seems that the Perfect Copy is unstoppable.
Seirin call a time-out. the match continues and Kagami takes Kise on a one-on-one but before he can dribble, Kise taps the ball out of his hands using Akashi's Emperor Eye. The ball is saved by Kuroko but Seirin can't make a play and turns it over. Kise pulls up for a shot this time copying Kuroko's Phantom Shot combined with Midorima's high arc shooting pattern and scores. Sometime later, when Kise broke free once again, Kagami pushes him behind. Kagami says that this is their show and that they decide what happens. After a time-out, Kise scores both free throws. Wanting to observe Kise's reactions, Kuroko orders Kagami to go fullpower which he does in a drive to the basket. However, Kise reacts with Aomine's speed and blocks Kagami when he makes a jump-stop and attempts to shoot it. Both teams continue to give it their all until Kise's Perfect Copy manages to bring Kaijō with a 1 point lead 40 seconds remaining on the clock.
However Seirin initiated a quick a Run & Gun offense and the ball ended up with Hyuga who was unable to shoot and instead opted for a drive. Kise using Aomine's speed rushes to guard him and reaches for the ball. Kuroko suddenly taps it out of Kise's reach towards Kagami who pulls up for a mid-range shot. Kise attempts to block it slightly grazing the ball but still went in taking the lead back. For Kaijō's next offense, Kise is the go-to-guy and grabs the ball but is shocked to see that he is guarded by Kuroko. Kise passes Kuroko using Aomine's speed. Kagami then takes Kise who performs two Akashi-style crossovers anklebreaking him and continues to drive inside. Kise then encounters Kiyoshi and Hyuga inside and is about to jump for Murasakibara's Thor's Hammer but Izuki slaps the ball out of Kise's hands using his Eagle Spear. However Kise still managed to reach the ball and passes it to an open Kasamatsu who scores and takes the lead back.
This was all part of Seirin's plan that if Kaijō scored, they plan a quick counter explaining the quick Run & Gun earlier. With seconds left, Kiyoshi throws a full court pass to Kagami who looks to have a clear path since Kise is forced underneath the basket at the other end. However Kise is still able to catch up with his speed regardless, also the fact that Kiyoshi was pressured on the throw. Kagami was initially going for a Meteor Jam, as he did against Yōsen but Kise challenges the shot. But with only a few seconds left, Kuroko calls out to Kagami who looks like he will the 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.
Kise congratulates Seirin after the game saying how surprised he was to lose to them a second time. He tells Kuroko and Kagami that they gave their all and he has no regret. They part ways and both look forward to next year.
After the match against Kaijo, Kagami realises that his ring was lost so he came back to the court, there he saw Midorima. Midorima warns Kagami to understand what he's up against, in which Kagami replies Akashi's teammates. Midorima tells him Akashi doesn't need his teammates. Takao along with Kuroko find Midorima and Kagami together. Takao calls Midorima over telling him they have to leave. But before the two leave, Midorima tells Kagami he relies on one person while Akashi is not one, but two people. Kagami was curios about Akashi and asked Kuroko about it, but Kuroko tells Kagami that he will tell the story to everyone. On the night before the finals, the Seirin team gathered in Kagami' s house. Kuroko then tells his new teammates about his past. From the time his basketball passion started to the time he spent with the Generation of Miracles in Teikō. After hearing Kuroko's story everyone knew that their next opponent, Rakuzan, would not be easy to beat. With Akashi and three of five Uncrowned Kings, it would be near impossible to win. However, Seirin musters up the courage and everyone decides that showing Seirin's true strength is enough to win the match.
Before the finals, Himuro is called by Kagami, to talk about what they couldn't because of Haizaki. He tells that he's sorry about what happened to America and he wants them to become brothers again. Himuro cuts him off. He says he is the one who should asks forgiveness and apologizes to Kagami, as he desires them to be playing again as enemies and brothers. He understood he was the one at fault by talking to Alex that night, even if he didn't want to hear it. Himuro apologizes again as he was selfish and caused him a lot of pain. He'll be there to cheer on him in the finals to see Kagami become the No. 1 player. He then takes his leave. The tip-off commences as Kagami and Nebuya jump for the ball. Due to Kagami's high jumping ability, he was able to get the ball and pass it on to Izuki, who then passed the ball to Kuroko, who then used his Ignite Pass Kai, to pass the ball further to Hyūga. Hyūga doesn't catch the ball as Kuroko used too much strength. The ball dribbles under the hoop but luckily Hyūga manages get it, attempting to make the basket when he is stopped by Mibuchi who was guarding him.
Rakuzan counter attacks, as Akashi passes the ball to Nebuya, who then heads to make the basket. Kiyoshi who tried to intercept him, was stopped by Mayuzumi. As Nebuya was about to make the basket, he is stopped by Kagami who steals the ball again and goes for a counterattack. As Kagami runs to the basket, he is stopped by Akashi who went to guard under the basket. However, due to Kagami's strong will to win with his teammates, he was able to enter the Zone and use Meteor Jam to score. As Kagami has entered the Zone, he has managed to score baskets with two consecutive Meteor Jams. As Mayuzumi attempts to score, he is stopped by Kagami who has taken on the position of both offense and defense.
As the match progresses, Kuroko is subbed-out for Mitobe. Seirin plans to let Kagami focus only on the offense, leaving the defense to the rest of his teammates. As the match resumes, Kagami passes Hayama who was guarding him and advances to the basket, where Mibuchi and Nebuya were guarding. However, Kagami uses a fake evading them, scoring the basket. As the match goes to Seirin's favour, Akashi decides to swap marks with Hayama, intending to guard Kagami himself.
Mibuchi scores a three-pointer which increased Rakuzan's score, however it is still 11-5 for Seirin. Seirin counterattacks with Izuki passing the ball to Kagami, who at the time was marked by Akashi. As Kagami faces Akashi, Akashi uses his Emperor Eye to try and stop Kagami, however, Kagami passes and heads for the basket. Kagami missed the shot. Akashi then goes on to tell him that he was looking down on Akashi who lead Kagami into a trap. Akashi made Kagami take one more step in order to pass him, this resulted in Kagami missing the shot due to the angle the shot was aimed at.
Akashi has the ball and uses a screen to advance further to the basket. He is stopped by Kagami but Akashi uses his Ankle Break make him fall. Akashi passes Kagami and advances further to the basket. Izuki uses his Eagle Spear to try and steal the ball from Akashi, but Akashi evades and passes the ball to Mibuchi. Mibuchi advances to the basket but then Kiyoshi appears, marking him. Mibuchi, however, uses a double clutch and passes Kiyoshi, shooting the ball. Just when he was about to score, Mitobe blocks him, stopping him from scoring.
As Seirin counterattacks, Kagami has his doubts on whether he can actually beat Akashi, but seeing his teammates support him, Kagami got back in the game. Izuki passes the ball to Kagami who was being blocked by Akashi. Kagami passes the ball to Mitobe, knowing he can't beat Akashi in his current state. During the player substitution, Hayama approaches Akashi and asks him for another chance at marking Kagami, as he wants to return the favour. As the game continues, Seirin is in control of the ball as they pass it to Kagami who is marked tightly by Hayama. Kagami makes a crossover but leaves the ball in place for Kuroko to pass it through to Hyūga. Hayama is marked by Kagami in return, but he uses his four fingers to power-dribble the ball, resulting in him passing Kagami and scoring the basket. Just as Hayama is going up for the basket, he is stopped by Kagami. Mibuchi later on catches the ball and scores two points for Rakuzan.
As Furihata marks Akashi, he tries to steal the ball, however, Akashi easily gets past him and continues forward to the basket. Suddenly Kagami appears blocking Akashi and trying to steal the ball. Meanwhile on the sidelines, Murasakibara comments that now Akashi cannot use Ankle Break in his current location. The players and the familiar faces in the crowd quickly realize the purpose of Furihata guarding Akashi, and that is to force Akashi into a position where he cannot use Ankle Break, and then have Kagami stop him.
Despite Seirin's efforts, Akashi passes Kagami and advances further to the basket. However, when he tries to score, he is stopped by Kagami. The rebound was taken by Rakuzan resulting in them making the basket. The score now is 21 - 30 for Rakuzan. Mayuzumi is marked by Furihata, but despite this Mayuzumi decides not to pay much attention to Furihata on defense. Kiyoshi passes the ball to Furihata, who then makes the basket, surprising Mayuzumi. The score is now 23 - 30 in favor of Rakuzan.
The game continues with Seirin on defense: Furihata marking Akashi, Hyūga taking Mibuchi, Kagami going against Hayama, Kiyoshi on Nebuya, and Izuki guarding Mayuzumi, sealing him from using Misdirection. Meanwhile, Akashi uses Ankle Break on Furihata and scores the basket. Despite Furihata's poor performance, the familiar faces in the audience, as well as Rakuzan's coach, notice Furihata's determination and willingness to put everything on the line to keep Akashi from getting past him. He also comments on Riko's skills, which exceed most other amateur coaches.
Noticing these things, Rakuzan's coach calls for a time-out. During the time-out, Rakuzan decides on their attack focus which will be on Mibuchi. Meanwhile, during the time-out, Furihata falls down on the bench due to his stamina being drained. Riko and everyone else is surprised as they know that Furihata's stamina should still not be out yet, then they realise that this must be due to the pressure exerted by Akashi. Seeing Furihata's condition Fukuda pleads Riko to put him in the game instead of him. Everyone agrees as the players go back on the court. Riko tells them that they should now focus on offence and shrink the difference in points this way.
Rakuzan is on the offense, as the audience comments that it seems that Seirin is the one that is always on the defense. Hayama has the ball and Kagami guards him. Hayama tries to get past Kagami but notices that he has caught up to him with speed. Hayama soon passes the ball to Nebuya who scores the basket and again, completely pushing Kiyoshi aside. The familiar faces in the crowd, namely Himuro comments that even though he made fun of Nebuya's statement from before, he starts to think if there is really anyone who can match up to him with power. As the match continues, Izuki notices just how much Kiyoshi is sweating.
Hayama now tries to take on Kagami again. Hayama does a cross over and drives past Kagami for a simple layup. However, in the next possession, Hayama got caught in a screen and allowed Kagami to make a mid-range jumper to pull one basket back for Seirin. Seirin could not manage to score in the next few possessions, while Rakuzan continued to score, increasing the point difference. In the final possession for Rakuzan in the second quarter, Akashi, who is just 173 cm, dunks an alley oop from Mayuzumi, making the whole Seirin team feel helpless. Murasakibara then comments that if Seirin wants a miracle to happen, they will definitely need Kuroko. However, he states that it may already be too late. Even if Seirin subs Kuroko in now, the score might not change even with a miracle. The first half ends with Rakuzan leading by 25, 62 - 37.
During the interval, Seirin had come up with a plan to give the ball to Hyūga in order for him to score as many three-pointers as he can for Seirin to catch up. Riko agrees but then tells Kagami to take care of Akashi because he will have the ball during Rakuzan's counter attacks. Meanwhile, Rakuzan, predicting Seirin's moves, have decided that Mibuchi will be guarding Hyūga and Akashi will take care of Kagami.
The 3rd quarter begins as Seirin have their loud cheer. The Rakuzan players noted that they have done this to protect their hearts from the darkness of despair. On the bench, Furihata feels as if his will is being crushed, even now, and that even after watching the recordings of the first half of the match, Kuroko was not able to come up with a solution just yet. Kagami heads to the court and Kuroko tells him that he is counting on him, and Kagami replied with confidence. As the match starts, Seirin has the ball and they use a screen to let Hyūga get the ball and shoot a three-pointer. The ball goes in and raises Seirin's score. The score now is 40 - 62, still behind Rakuzan by 22. Seirin goes on to defense, while the Yōsen players in the audience commented on how Seirin has little to no chance of winning. Murasakibara, however, tells them that Akashi is not strong only due to his abilities, but also for his tactical play. Aomine as well, tells his teammates from Tōō, that Seirin has no chance of winning because Akashi is there. His style of play is to strangle out life out of his opponents until there is absolutely no chance of them winning.
Shūtoku have come to watch the match, commenting on how unfortunate the situation is. Midorima then tells them that he can't really blame Hyūga, as it really shows just how desperate he is to win. Meanwhile, Kaijō have come as well, as Kise tells them that there is still a small glimmer of hope, which is Kagami. As Kagami gets the ball, the benched Seirin members plea as Kagami is their last hope. With Akashi marking him, Kagami hopes to enter the Zone and take the points. However, the door to the Zone never opens to the ones who need it. Taking his chance, Akashi uses his Emperor Eye and steals the ball from Kagami, scoring the basket. Seirin then calls for a time-out.
Imayoshi then comments that Kagami's block is just a coincidence. He also comments that the current Seirin already has no energy to stop every single attack from Rakuzan, and Seirin have no plans to counter them. Mayazumi is one level higher than Kuroko in terms of basketball, but is the weakest in the Rakuzan team. Therefore the plan is to let the player who has the highest tendency to miss in the Rakuzan team, Mayuzumi, to attempt to score. Mayuzumi also realises this plan, thinking that Seirin are underestimating him, therefore he has decided to play with his all, without the need to play with mercy.
Mayazumi then scores the next basket, and then taunts Kuroko that the old Phantom Sixth Man will not win the new Phantom Sixth Man. Kagami then scores the next basket to keep Rakuzan's lead to 23 points, 46 - 69. Kuroko then talks to Mayuzumi, who is holding the ball, about what Takao has told him before during their first encounter, which is about the hatred for the same kind. This sentence led to Kuroko saying that he will not allow the Phantom Sixth Man title to be given out yet. Mayuzumi suddenly lost sight of Kuroko, when Hayama tries to pass to Nebuya. However, this pass is intercepted by the suddenly appearing Kuroko, who shocked the Rakuzan team as to what Kuroko has done to get Mayuzumi and the rest to lose sight of him.
Kuroko steals the ball for Seirin and passes it to Izuki. Seirin goes for counter attack as Izuki passes the ball back to Kuroko, who dribbles to Rakuzan's hoop. Hayama appears before Kuroko trying to stop him. At the time Hayama was cautious that if Kuroko has gotten his Misdirection back, he now has a chance to use the Vanishing Drive. However, Kuroko passes the ball to Kagami who then dunked, scoring for Seirin. The score now is 48 - 69, still with Rakuzan in the lead. The benched Seirin members, as well as the players on the court rejoice as they have finally scored. Kuroko and Kagami bump fists, showing that their determination to win has not vanished. The Rakuzan players, as well as the familiar faces in the crowd were surprised as to how Kuroko managed to disappear.
On the court, Kuroko faces against Mayuzumi in a 1-on-1 battle again. It is now that Mayuzumi realises what Kuroko is doing, and that is overwriting him. Meanwhile on the sidelines, Midorima explains, in summary, that Kuroko is making Mayuzumi stand out more than himself, and that this way Kuroko is getting his Misdirection back. On the court, Mayuzumi passes the ball to Hayama, who attempts to shoot, but due to the pass being too low, he misses which results in a rebound battle in which Kiyoshi wins. It's Seirin's ball and Izuki dribbles to Rakuzan's hoop. He passes the ball to Koganei, but the pass is intercepted by Akashi who steals the ball. As Akashi dribbles the ball to the hoop, Kagami appears before him marking him. Having found his new determination to win, Kagami enters the Zone again to face Akashi.
In the faceoff, Akashi and the rest of the Rakuzan players are very surprised that Kagami is actually standing quite a distance away from Akashi. The crowd thought that Kagami was letting Akashi open, and Nebuya called Akashi to shoot a 3-pointer. However, Akashi could not do anything, remaining at the same position. Aomine then said that Kagami's Zone has gone deeper, and Alex is impressed of the "wildness" of Kagami's Zone, resembling a beast. Just then, Mayuzumi quickly gets out of Kuroko's sight and gets Akashi to pass to him, with the Seirin bench thinking that Kagami was a step too late. Nebuya then hits a layup to put Rakuzan's lead back to 23 points. It is then seen that Kuroko's overwritting of Mayazumi is still incomplete, and the latter has realised that if he just don't try to make himself obvious, then the overwritting will not be complete.
In the next Seirin's possession, Mibuchi is surprised by Koganei's simple but effective pick and roll and the latter makes a simple basket to cut down the lead again. Akashi faces a Zone-possessed Kagami again, but then he passes to Mayuzumi, who is guarded by Kuroko. Mayuzumi feels annoyed at how loose Kuroko's defense is, and that there is no one behind him ready to help. The five second rule is almost going to be called, and so Mayuzumi dribbles, but he actually drives past Kuroko, which he didn't intend to do. Mayuzumi then shoots the ball, but gets blocked by Kagami.
With the overwriting process completed, Kuroko's pass from Misdirection has managed to find Kiyoshi, who then takes on Nebuya. Kiyoshi ferociously posterised Nebuya, with the crowd cheering and at the same time, surprised at Kuroko's pass. Rakuzan's lead is down to 19, 52 - 71. For the current Seirin, in defense, Kagami has his Zone to pressurise Akashi, and in offense, Kuroko's passes has contributed the most, hence the Light and Shadow combo, Kagami and Kuroko, gave hope for Seirin, despite having little chance of winning.
Rakuzan has asked for a time-out, despite still leading by 19, with Kagetora also thinking that he would also make the decision given the situation of a fierce Seirin fightback. The Generation of Miracles sitting with the audience are thinking that Rakuzan would substitute Mayuzumi out, as Kuroko has completely overwritten him. If Mayuzumi gets subbed out, Kuroko would be useless again, and allowing Kuroko to overwrite Mayuzumi is a big sin. Mayuzumi was discouraged about how his teammates treated him when he lost the battle to Kuroko, but Akashi came to him with something, giving Mayuzumi a surprise. Meanwhile, Seirin have came far to push for a comeback, and they need Hyuga's 3-pointers soon, so that the fightback can be possible.
Timeout is over, and it's Rakuzan's possession. The crowd are very shocked that Mayuzumi is still in the court, instead of being subbed out, which was what most have predicted. Midorima and Kise disagreed that Mayuzumi can use Misdirection Overflow as Mayuzumi only knows how to divert attention away from him, instead of drawing all the players' attention to him, which is the purpose of Misdirection Overflow. Meanwhile, flashback to the recent timeout, Akashi said that he has a use for Mayuzumi's power, and while Kagami is still in the Zone, Akashi's movements would be limited, hence he wants to use Mayuzumi's passes as offense.
Back to the court, Kagami's Zone has his super wide area defense made. However, Kagami got startled as the basketball suddenly disappeared and Mibuchi manages to score a 3-pointer, extending Rakuzan's lead to 22, 52 - 74. Another surprise is that Mayuzumi actually did not do anything during this play. The only use that Mayuzumi has now is to divert Serin's line of sight due to the fact that Mayuzumi can be easily seen now. Hence, now Mayuzumi has one purpose in court and that is to be a tool to let passes go through.
Aomine then comments that the Zone-possessed Kagami can still be beaten by Akashi, but the latter may have difficulties to mercilessly defeat Kagami. Hence Akashi would have to follow his style: to use tactics that have possibilities of failing. This means that even if the current Seirin is playing very well, it is not to the extent that will force Akashi to use those tactics. Seirin are currently frustrated that even though they are now into the game and managed to grab points, but Rakuzan don't seem to get shaken by it, and commented on Rakuzan's use of Mayuzumi being heartless. Mayuzumi's only use now is to get caught by Kagami's sight, which is already a very big hit on basketball players. However, he managed to do it, as he is still on the court bearing the Rakuzan jersey, and that he still has that little responsibility as a basketball player, that made him move himself without any emotions. Next possession for Seirin and Kagami makes a mid-range shot to once again put the lead to 20.
Koganei misses his shot but Kagami saves the ball and scores the basket. On the sidelines, the other teams comment that Seirin cannot afford to make a mistake due to their difference in points. If Seirin doesn't catch up within the time they have remaining, they will lose the game, On the court, Hayama has the ball again with Izuki marking him. Hayama goes again for his dribble when suddenly, Nebuya warns him of Izuki's next move.
As Hayama passes Izuki, he notices Kuroko who suddenly appears before him. By observing Hayama, Kuroko noticed that Hayama's dribbling hand is under a large amount of stress and that when he turns there's a moment of rigidity. Hayama tells Kuroko that he was expecting him to pull of something like this, and suddenly passes him. Izuki appears, using his Eagle Spear to try and steal the ball again. However, due to his speed, Hayama dodges. The players on the Seirin bench are surprised as Hayama even evaded in his blind spot. Izuki asks Hayama if this is really all right, since he has entered the no trespassing zone of a beast. Hayama is surprised when suddenly Kagami appears blocking his shot. Seirin stopped Rakuzan's offence and now it is time for Seirin's counterattack.
Kuroko has the ball and uses his Ignite Pass to pass it further to Koganei who attempts to shoot a basket. Izuki, however, tells him to pass the ball behind to the left. Koganei does as Izuki told him and notices that Mibuchi was about to block him if he were to shoot. Izuki then attempts to shoot, however, Hayama suddenly appears to stop him. Noticing him with his Eagle Eye, izuki stops his shoot and passes the ball further to the back, where Kagami catches it and dunks. Seirin's points rise as the Seirin bench is rejoiced. Hayama notices that Izuki is not only calculating ahead in defence but also offence. Izuki approaches him and tells him that he cannot beat Hayama due to their difference in skill. However, tells him that he is glad that Hayama is not as smart as he is, which angers Hayama.
Hayama has the ball and needs to pass it to his teammates under the 5 second rule. He has difficulties as all of his teammates are marked by Seirin. he notices that Mayuzumi is free and decides to pass it to him. Mayuzumi tells himself that Hayama is an idiot for passing to him, having forgotten who is marking him. Hayama realises his mistake, as Kuroko appears and steals the ball. Kagami dunks again, raising the score for Seirin. The score now being 64 - 80, with Rakuzan still in the lead, however, the audience comment on how Seirin is slowly catching up as they have scored consecutive points.
Rakuzan now goes for the attack, with Akashi taking on Kagami, who is still in the Zone. However, this time round, Akashi is just outside the defensive range of Kagami and shot a 3-pointer over Kagami, which goes in. Aomine said that Kagami is naive, that the latter always assume that Akashi would just pass the ball and forget about the 3-point shooting ability of Akashi. Akashi advices Kagami that if the latter wants to stop his movements, he should watch the opponent closely and not letting his guard down. He also said that Kagami managed to enter the Zone at a higher level, but soon his energy will be drained. Akashi then said that himself entering the Zone merely returned to his condition before, and there would not be much change in the Akashi that Seirin is playing against. However, he also warned that his other 4 teammates that there is a need to worry, as it is shown that the other 4 players have entered the Zone too.
In Seirin's possession, Hyuga receives the ball but is confronted by a Zoned Mibuchi and decides to pass the ball but is stolen by a Zoned Hayama. Hayama uses his five fingers against Kagami but can't pass him and instead passes the ball to Akashi who passes it to a Zoned Mayuzumi. Reluctant at first, Mayuzumi gives an alley-oop to a Zoned Nebuya but a persistent Kagami tries to block him. Akashi notes that 'the air is not a place for him anymore' as Kagami fails to reach Nebuya who dunks on him. Clashing with 5 players in the Zone all at once proved to be too hard for Kagami as he runs out of stamina and can barely stand. Hyuga attempts to shoot a Barrier Jumper against Mibuchi but is blocked and Nebuya rebounds the ball. Hayama passes Izuki but Kuroko tried to help but ended up fouling Hayama because he doesn't have the speed to keep up.
Rakuzan's overwhelming strength left Seirin in despair again and everything seems to be futile despite all of their efforts. Shigehiro, who appears to be watching from the crowd shouts at Kuroko and refuels his spirit. He is also shown to be carrying a basketball signifying that he has regained his love for the sport. Kuroko cries in happiness after seeing his childhood friend again. Aomine also stands and shouts, followed by Kise and Midorima and everyone else who came to watch. Kuroko weeps his tears and everyone in Seirin regains their fighting spirit. Reaching his limit, Kagami is determined to open the 2nd door of the Zone.
The game continues and Kagami is determined to open the 2nd door of the Zone. The familiar faces in the crowd note Kagami's intentions but question if he can really enter it, as it is Seirin's last chance to win. On the court, Akashi notices a change in the Seirin players. There is no notable change in them but the immense pressure they are giving off. Akashi passes the ball to Hayama who receives it and tries to shoot. He is, however, confronted by Kagami who tries to block him. Hayama notes that Kagami has entered the Zone for the third time. Knowing it could happen, Hayama predicted it and evades but is blocked by Hyūga instead. Rakuzan is surprised by Seirin's tactics.
Akashi notices that Seirin is synchronising their plays to match Kagami's and wonders how they are able to do that. On the sidelines, Aomine realises what the real Zone is, something which Akashi realises as well. Aomine laughs in realisation that there is no 'gatekeeper' before the 2nd door, but actually Kuroko who is standing there. Aomine sheds tears as he understands the reason he himself could not open the 2nd door, as he has thrown away everything long ago.
Kagami finally enters Zone's 2nd door from which all of his teammates emerge from. Kagami and Kuroko continue their coodirnation play along with the rest of the team, which is the Direct Drive Zone.
In order to keep up with Kagami's Direct Drive Zone, relying on thinking will not work, but instead believing in their intuitions would be needed, which means trusting their partners better. As this promise has been made, Kagami quickly passes the ball to Kiyoshi, who immediately switched the direction of the ball, to create an opening for Kagami, who dunks it in ferociously. 98 - 103, 5 points down for Seirin. This basket is made so quickly no one in the audience could catch up.
Rakuzan are astonished by the way the Direct Drive Zone works for Seirin, as a team. They are also surprised at the fact that the Direct Drive Zone is the real identity of the Zone. The next possession for Rakuzan is a must-stop for Seirin, or else it'll be over.
It's Hyuga against Mibuchi again, and Mibuchi goes for the Heaven shot, Hyuga tries to block, but then realised the former faked him. Going past Hyuga, Mibuchi tries to shoot again, but Akashi shouts at him to pass, as Mibuchi has fallen under the trap of Kagami, who tries to block. Mibuchi felt annoyed that he'll get blocked, so he passes to Nebuya, but the ball got stolen away thanks to Kuroko's Quasi-Emperor Eye.
Now Seirin counter attacks, and Seirin are still under the Direct Drive Zone from Kagami. The ball ends up with Hyuga, going for the three, but missed. Although the basket missed, the advantage still goes to Seirin, as the team attack with the help of Direct Drive Zone would be way faster than the reaction of Akashi's Emperor Eye. All Seirin has to do is to stop the next attack from Rakuzan and Seirin can get 2 points, reducing Rakuzan's lead to just 5.
With 48 seconds left, Akashi takes on Kagami. Kagami falls from the Ankle Break from Akashi, who knocks down the jumper, and said that the eventual winner will still be him. 98 - 105 now, with only just 41 seconds left, Seirin are really critically hit with the jumper from Akashi.
Back to Seirin's attack, Rakuzan have applied intense pressure of defense on Seirin, and they have decided to double-team Kagami. As Izuki cannot pass to Kagami, Kiyoshi called for the ball, and goes to the post against Nebuya. With less than 30 seconds left, Kuroko called for the ball from Hyuga, then the latter and Kuroko made a laternal Long Pass, which Seirin have also used before on Yosen.
Kagami eventually received the ball, and shoots a 3-pointer, with Hayama and Mayazumi's hands on his face. It went it, and it's 101 - 105, still 4 points down with about 27 seconds left. Now Seirin has to stop this ball no matter what. However, it's Rakuzan's attack and they decided to just use the clock. Everyone else is tensed up at this moment, but only Izuki is still calm and cool. Izuki kept telling himself to calm down, as he analysed Rakuzan's plays at this moment.
Izuki then guessed that since Kiyoshi is at his limits, Rakuzan would find a way to get the ball to Nebuya to score, which is correct. As Mibuchi passes to Nebuya, Izuki intercepted it. With only 8 seconds left, Seirin are pulling a final fast break.
After stealing the ball, Izuki is in the possession of it as only eight seconds of the game remain. The crowd note that this is Seirin's last attack. Izuki intends on passing to Kagami but Kagami is guarded by both Akashi and Mayuzumi. Hyūga calls out to Izuki instead as Izuki passes the ball to him. Hyūga receives the ball and prepares to shoot. Mibuchi decides to maintain Rakuzan's pride and tries to stop Hyūga and his shot. Hyūga realises that the best choice at the moment is to copy Mibuchi's shot, which he has seen many times during the game. Hyūga manages to copy Mibuchi's Earth Shot and successfully scores the basket. This surprised both of the teams.
The basket counts and Hyūga receives one free throw due to the nature of the Earth Shot where it forces the opposite player to foul the user, in this case; Mibuchi. Seirin still has a chance of winning as they overjoy over Hyūga's shot. Meanwhile, Mibuchi regrets his decision to guard Hyūga and apologises to his teammates. Akashi reassures him not to worry but to focus on the rebound.
Kiyoshi gets the rebound and the Rakuzan players wonder who he will pass the ball to. Mayuzumi notices that when he thought of who didn't go for the ball, he thought of Kuroko instantly. As Kuroko receives the ball. The Rakuzan players remark that Kuroko did not shoot during the match at all and realise that it was for this very moment. Akashi appears as he tries to block Kuroko from shooting. Akashi tells him that this is the end, but Kuroko tells him it is not and adds that he is a shadow.
Kuroko performs an alley-oop with Kagami as the latter dunks and the buzzer beater is heard. Seirin emerge as victors of the match.
Seirin cheer as they are announced as this year's champions of the Winter Cup. Meanwhile, the Rakuzan players are shocked of their defeat, as well as Akashi who finally realises what defeat is like. Akashi describes defeat as immense pain in the chest as he approaches Kuroko and extends his arm for a handshake. Tears are seen on Akashi's face as he congratulates Seirin and Kuroko on their victory. Kuroko and Akashi shake hands and agree to play with each other again in the future. The ceremony begins and Seirin are given their trophies, along with the Winter Cup. Seirin's opponents in the audience leave, preparing to train for future confrontations with Seirin. A few weeks later, Seirin continue their practices for future matches so they are not left behind by the rest of the teams who are training as well. They notice that Kuroko is missing and Kagami goes to get him in the locker room. Kagami finds Kuroko who apologises for being late due to getting a photo from Momoi, which was taken on his birthday. The two join the rest of the team and began to practice.
The Seirin basketball team is training in the gym when Riko informs them of Team Jabberwock, a USA streetball basketball team which was invited to Japan to play against a Japanese university team. Instead of joining the group for a break, Kuroko and Kagami continue to practice, which their teammates note is due to the team's Interhigh results. Riko dismisses the team to continue training while inviting one of them to watch the match with her, which will be Hyūga.
On the day of the match, Kuroko and Kagami watch the event thought TV, but when Team Strky - the Japanese university team, is defeated in a mocking way, Kuroko and Kagami as well as all of the basketball players in the region are angered by the mocking gameplay of Team Jabberwock.
When Kagetora proposes a rematch, Team Jabberwock accept to face the new team in a month's time. Later on, Kagetora gathers the Generation of Miracles as well as Kuroko and Kagami and forms the revenge team, Team Vorpal Swords to defeat Team Jabberwock. Before the team begins their practice, Kagetora introduces Momoi and Riko as the team's manager and assistant manager, but also the substitutes which are Hyūga from Seirin, Takao from Shūtoku and Wakamatsu from Tōō. After the introductions, the team begins their training. During practice, Riko notices how strong the team is but comments on their synchronisation which is poor.
The team takes a break to get briefed on Team Jabberwock's gameplay and style of play. Momoi informs them on Silver who has massive strength, speed and jumping power. She also informs them on Gold, who didn't reveal all of his capabilities yet. The team meeting ends with the team getting excited to face the strong opponents. Meanwhile, Kagetora excuses himself to go pay for Team Jabberwock's expenses.
After six days, the team's synchronisation has improved but its still not perfect. Riko, however, notes that as they don't have anymore time, the only thing left for them to do is to trust the team. Kagetora excuses himself again to go to the club where Team Jabberwock is. As Kagetora leaves, Kise and Kagami remember the time when they faced a group of bullies at a streetball court. When Aomine asks them where Kuroko is, the two notice that he is missing.
The rest of the team run to Kuroko's help, each expressing their amazement at Kuroko's actions. When the rest of the team arrive, they witness Kuroko being mocked by Gold which almost results in a fight. However, before it could happen, Akashi tells everyone that they will settle everything on the court, something to which Kuroko agrees. The team leave Team Jabberwock with a warning that they will be the ones defeated.
On the day of the match, the Generation of Miracles are chosen as the starter members as the tip-off begins with Murasakibara getting the ball and passing it to Akashi who further passes it to Aomine who scores the first points of the match, getting Team Vorpal Swords in the lead, however, the team is still conscious of Jabberwock's strength. After the break and onto the second quarter, Silver begins to show his true skills, overwhelming both Aomine and Murasakibara.
After getting behind on points, Kagetora calls for a time-out and decides to member change Akashi and Midorima for Kuroko and Kagami in order to gain more strength to combat Silver. Murasakibara disagrees but after Akashi's persuasion, the giant agrees and the team goes back on the court. he match resumes and with the team play of Kagami and Aomine, they manage to stop Silver and his advances.
Silver receives the ball again but struggles to get past Murasakibara. When he does, he is marked by Kagami who tries to stop his dunk. Not being able to stop him alone, Aomine joins him as the two succeed in stopping Silver's advance. Murasakibara receives the ball passes to Kuroko, who is unnoticed by the Jabberwock players.
He is a naturally gifted player that trained in the States prior to coming back to Japan. Kagami is a very powerful and fast player that is able to execute the fast cuts that can foil even Aomine. His reflexes are top-notch, as he is able to react extremely quick when facing a ball handling expert such as Aomine. He could also block Aomine's formless shot due to his reflexes and sheer skill. At first, he has a poor shooting who only relies on dunks and his jumping ability. But as time progresses, he has improved this and trained his left hand enabling him to pass the ball at the last second to Kiyoshi during their match against Tōō and win.
When Kagami is "in the zone" his style of basketball becomes similar to Aomine's, somehow imitating his flexible streetball. Another reason for his sudden peak in ability, is the control of his animal instinct. This instinct enables him to play purely on feeling and greatly enhance his five senses, making his reflexes and speed top notch. This only occured in the match against Tōō Academy.
While he is a powerful all-around player, Kagami's unique skill lies in his ability to jump to great heights. This skill facilitates not only his most common move, the dunk, but also allows him to defend well, get rebounds against taller players such as Wakamatsu and Otsubo; he even used it to break Midorima's perfect shooting. When he makes a jumpshot, he also stays in the air longer than the blocker, making it almost unblockable. While he generally jumps with his left leg in order to allow him the use of his more dexterous right arm, his right is far stronger, allowing him to touch the top of the backboard as opposed to just hitting the ring. The drawback to this ability is that, like certain members of the Generation of Miracles, his body is still too underdeveloped. Thus prolonged use of his jumping prowess can cause damage to his body.
Having trained extensively since the Interhigh school championships, he can now dunk from the free-throw line, a feat that may have put him on a level with the Generation of Miracles. He is also able to jump from far away in a difficult position and still be able to block a shot. In the Zone, he can jump even higher that he can effortlessly block Himuro's Mirage Shot or out-jump Murasakibara, who is taller than him. Murasakibara compared his jumping ability to Michael Jordan's Airwalk.
A normal alley-oop is when a team-mate throws the ball up high and the scoring player catches the ball and scores without having to fall. Kagami has found a way to do this by himself, that is instead of receiving the ball by passing, shooting the ball himself, grabbing and dunking the ball when it misses. This was a response to Midorima's shooting spree in Seirin's match against Shūtoku High. He tried this again in the match against Tōō Academy, but was screened out by Susa, Kagami being unable to reach the goal. This is also the one obvious weakness of the skill.
A lane up is a dunk from the free-throw line. Kagami had the ability to dunk normally and very high, but in the Winter Cup, against Josei High, he ended the game by breaking through their defense, jumping from the free-throw line and dunking. A lane up is very difficult, because being able to reach the basket after jumping such a distance is only possible with an extraordinary jumping strength, the kind that Kagami possesses. With the development of the lane up, he forced open the "Gate" and awakened his true abilities, thus virtually reaching the same level as the Generation of Miracles. This is also called "Airwalk", which was made famous by retired NBA legend, Michael Jordan.
A new dunk Kagami learned from Alexandra. While in the zone, Kagami prepares the dunk by leaping from the free-throw line, however; instead of following through with a lane up, Kagami uses his jumping power to gain height rather than distance. At the peak of his jump, he then hurls the ball into the basket which possesses even the power to penetrate through Murasakibara's defense. Kagami's way of throwing the ball directly into the ring is similar to a meteor crashing into earth (hence the name).
Although the meteor jam has the capability of being an unrivaled dunk, it is a delicate technique that requires Kagami to calculate the location, height, and angle of his jump along with the balance and ball control after that jump which explains the reason why he needs the zone's assistance. Though, even with the zone, the distance from the basket drastically affects the accuracy of his shot.
Kuroko's Vanshing Drive is in fact a collaboration with Kagami. While Kuroko is able to pass his opponent's field of vision by bending over and moving in a cross-diagonal move, Kagami makes the misdirection a whole by purposely drawing the attention from the opponent to him, away from Kuroko. This makes it able to perform a successful Vanishing Drive.
More details about the Vanishing Drive can be found here
In Seirin's match against Tōō in the Winter Cup, Kagami displayed a never before seen skill, a high level tactical battle. This is a highly realistic simulation of a basketball one-on-one in ones minds by reading his opponents subtle feints or moves. This is only possible when the player possesses a skill to accurately read the opponent's strength and movements. Kagami used this to play a simulation of a one-on-one against Aomine and accurately determine that he would lose.
Zone is a state of being that Kagami accesses when he was under the pressure of losing to Tōō again and wanted to protect everyone against the ace of Generation of Miracles, Aomine. Under this influence, he is "in the zone", which means that nobody else can stop him unless he or she is in the Zone as well. When a person is in the Zone, some sort of sparks or currents of electricity seem to gather in the player's eyes, indicating that the individual has entered the Zone and gained his full potential as a basketball player.
When Kagami is in the Zone, his reflexes, speed and especially jumping power are greatly augmented. In the match against Yosen, Kagami was seen to play the position of Point Guard. He has also been seen to successfully shoot three-pointers. It has also been shown in the Rakuzan match that Kagami has a large sphere of defense to stop the opponent, even one of Akashi's caliber, from passing, dribbling, and shooting though there are ways around it, it usually requires an unusual skill like misdirection. Those who are inside the sphere will be reached by him because it means that it's Kagami's territory.
The main condition for Kagami to enter the zone is "the will to fight for his teammates", thus enabled him to enter immediately against Rakuzan. He was also able to enter it again even though Akashi managed to shut it down earlier in the match. With the return of Kuroko, motivating him, he is able to enter the Zone twice during the match. Moreover, the second time he entered, he is able to stay in it, pressuring Akashi with his large sphere of defense due to entering it at a "deeper" level.
Direct Drive Zone
Kagami gained access to this second door when he have reached his limit and his teammates starts to synchronize with him. The gatekeeper is revealed to be Kuroko all along who opened the door for him containing his teammates inside. This second level of the Zone is all about teamwork. The presumed reason for the name "Direct Drive Zone" is due to the uninterrupted play Kagami shows while in this state which makes use of his teammates coordination. The main reason this becomes unstoppable is not only the Zone user but the others are involved as well and the ball rotation creates a lot of openings, leaving the defense stunned. However, one error may be fatal enough to stop the shooting streak created by this.
A move that Kuroko and Kagami often execute. One of the opponents tries to pass, but Kuroko intercepts the ball. He smacks the ball onto the ground in the direction of the basket. Kagami jumps high in the air, grabs the ball and dunks it in. They have first showed this in the match against Shinkyō Academy and did it again in the game against Seihō High.
During the match against Shinkyō Academy; Kagami had to defend against Papa Mbaye Siki, a foreign player who is 10 cm taller than Kagami. Before the match Riko had Mitobe teach Kagami how to defend against a player taller than yourself. This technique is simply putting a lot pressure on the regular defense, with the thought "I won't let you play as you want" in your head. When a player is pressured like this, he will experience playing a lot harder and won't get ready as easily. Tanimura called this pressure killing intent. Kagami also uses this against Okamura, another player who is 10 cm taller than Kagami.
In the Character Bible, it is noted that both have chosen each other as the teammate they most get along with in their current team; with Kagami responding, "I spend most of my time with Kuroko".Alexandra, after a long time of pursuing her to become their teacher.
They briefly split but later re-found each other when they were separately playing for a street basketball team in the same city. As the two teams were rivals, Kagami and Himuro played against each other a lot, but the win-lose ratio stayed the same. At 49-49, Himuro stated that if Kagami won the next match, he would no longer be consider as Himuro's little bro. Kagami lost on purpose, angering Himuro. He wouldn't accept it and the ratio stayed 49-49. They were separated another time when Kagami moved back to Japan.
A long time later, when Kagami and Himuro were both back in Japan and both joined a strong basketball team, they reunited at the Street Basketball 5 on 5 event. They would not reconcile and continued their rivalry, facing off at the finals. However, they were unable to finish the match due to bad weather, but Kagami did promise Himuro that they would meet and face off against each other again at the Winter Cup. Both boys advanced to the quarter-finals and found themselves against each other yet again. It was then revealed that Himuro was always resentful of Kagami's talent that Himuro didn't have. He became jealous and foremost frustrated that he as an "ordinary person" could not reach the level of genius like Kagami is doing. Himuro also regrets that Kagami sees him only as a brother and not as a rival.
After a long struggle, Kagami emerges victorious. Despite Kagami clearly being better than Himuro, Himuro faced and accepted it. With the help of Kuroko, Kagami has now come to the conclusion that they can just be brothers and rivals at the same time. Even though Kagami hasn't been able to convey his feelings, he is aware that Himuro feels the same way. Before the finals, Kagami reconcile with Himuro who apologizes for his behavior, realizing he was the one at fault.
While Kagami doesn't really get along with any of them, he mentioned that it would also be weird if he got along with any of them because they are competing. He has also said that while he respects their skills, he finds that they are arrogant people who get on his nerves. Since Seirin defeated most of them, each one of them started to acknowledge Seirin as a strong team, especially him who is on par with them.
- Ryōta Kise: Kise was the first member of the Generation of Miracles Kagami met, immediately realizing that Kise's skills far exceeded his expectations of the Miracles. Kise first acted unfriendly toward Kagami due in part to Kuroko's refusal to join him in Kaijō, but after Seirin defeated Kaijō in a practice match, Kise acknowledged Kagami and started calling him "Kagamicchi". Ever since then, Kise has been seeking for a rematch.
In the semi-finals of the Winter Cup, the long-awaited rematch between Kaijō and Seirin finally happened after Kise defeated Haizaki to fulfill his promise to Kagami and Kuroko. This turbulent match eventually ended in favor of Kagami, but Kagami admired Kise for his unstoppable and bottomless skill. Kise admitted defeat and looked forward to their next match.
- Shintarō Midorima: Kagami admits that Midorima is the kind of person he has difficulty dealing with and Midorima shares the same opinion with regards to Kagami. Kagami's dislike of Midorima resulted in him becoming severely depressed when he was able to pass his tests in Seirin only with the help of Midorima's apparently lucky rolling pencil.
In spite of their tense relationship, Midorima and Kagami acknowledge each other as formidable rivals after their first match. Midorima even went as far as giving tips to Kagami to improve his skills and point out his mistake so that Kagami won't be defeated again until they have their rematch.
- Daiki Aomine: Kagami may have seen Aomine as rival more than he did the other members of the Generation of Miracles, especially because both of them are the same type of player, as pointed out by Midorima, as well as Aomine being Kuroko's 'light' prior to their meeting. Kagami commented that all Miracles are arrogant but even then Aomine was exceptionally arrogant when the Generation of Miracles' ace came to challenge him.
But in spite of that, Kagami recognizes Aomine for his skill and formidable power, which have reached the pinnacle of basketball. While Aomine was in the Zone, Kagami did not feel fear but rather admiration. After their second match when Seirin finally defeated Tōō, Aomine started to view Kagami as a worthy rival, someone he has been looking for so long to keep enjoying basketball. He even gave Kagami his spare shoes before the semi-final of Winter Cup. It has been said many times that Kagami and Aomine share a lot of similarities, both in skill and personality.
- Atsushi Murasakibara: They first met at the Streetball 5 on 5 Tournament when Atsushi came to stop Himuro from playing because of their school's rule. Kagami tries to make Murasakibara play but he refuses. He notices that the latter seems to be childish so he acted child-like provoking Murasakibara and finally played. Kagami doesn't interact with Atsushi as much as with the other Generation of Miracles, possibly due to Murasakibara's antagonism towards Kiyoshi and Kagami's rivalry with Tatsuya Himuro. However Kagami was shown to be furious when Kiyoshi collapsed from exhaustion from the match and Murasakibara berated Kiyoshi when helping him up. With Kiyoshi temporarily gone, Kagami proceeds to clash with him under the basket until Kagami enters the zone then Murasakibara.
- Seijūrō Akashi: Their meeting wasn't a good one, when he introduced himself to Akashi, Akashi used Midorima's scissors and attacked Kagami for not following his orders to leave. During their second meeting, Kagami declares that he will crush him should they meet in the finals. While Akashi does acknowlege Kagami's talent, he refuses to allow Kagami to look him in the eye, easily pulling down Kagami and telling him to know his place. In the finals, Kagami manages to dunk over him with a Meteor Jam entering the zone but because he became hot-headed, Akashi manages to lure him into a trap and proceeds to anklebreak him shutting down the zone. However, with the help of Furihata, Kagami manages to slightly graze the ball, making Akashi miss for the first time though the miss was putbacked by Nebuya.
Kagami, like any other freshmen of Seirin, fears their coach Riko Aida and their captain and would cower in fear whenever any of them are on a rampage. He was seen not particularly close to any of them but respects them as seniors in his own awkward manner, especially when in a couple of times he forced himself to speak in polite manner to Riko. However, it has been noted that Kagami trusts them very much as the series progresses and strives to protect his teammates at all times, as seen when Kagami entered the Zone multiple times because of his team. Kagami recently seems to be especially closer with Kiyoshi like Kuroko and admires the older teenager for his perseverance and skill.
- "After all, life is about challenges! Without strong opponents, living isn't fun. It's perfect if I can't win!" (to Ryōta Kise)
- "It's not "want". We "will" become number 1!!"
- "It's not like I'm doubting him. But in case he doesn't return, we'd be in more that just a tight spot. We were saved countless times already by that small back. I have faith in him, but I won't expect anything. There's no meaning if he comes back and it's too late. Winning against Aomine or not, that doesn't matter. This time, I'll save him!"
- "I don't mind entertaining you, as long as you can handle it." (to Daiki Aomine)
- "Aomine, you're strong.. If it was a 1-on-1, I wouldn't be able to win. I can only continue because I am being supported. This is not my strength alone!! For my friends!! I will win right now!!" (to Daiki Aomine)
- "Taking responsibility of everyone's hopes is the role of the Ace. I'll surpass the limits as many times as needed!!!"
- " This is our show. We're the ones who are writing the script." (to Ryōta Kise)
- "We've been friends this whole time, haven't we?!"  (to Tetsuya Kuroko)
- "When I heard everyone cheering for us, my exhausted body began to boil with strength. At the same time, the fogginess in my mind suddenly lifted, and I understood. I opened the second door for just an instant. At that time, lost in the moment, I didn't realize it. But now I understand. The Zone that surpasses the Zone. I know how to open that door."
- "That's right... I'm not fighting alone. I'm fighting alongside everyone...!!"
- 'Kagami' Can Mean Mirror In Japanese.
- According to the CHARACTERS BIBLE:
- Kagami would become a fireman if he had an alternative job.
- His type of girl is someone who's elegant.
- His motto is: "Eat well, play well".
- His favorite food is cheeseburgers.
- His hobby is surfing.
- His specialty outside of basketball is cooking. He could even teach Riko to successfully make curry.
- In the CHARACTERS BIBLE, an early character concept of Kagami is seen. He was still tall and muscular, but his hairstyle was completely different. Instead of red and dark red, it was black with a wide stripe of blonde in the middle. His hair was also short and spiky. His name was originally Shigehiro Akiwara.
- His name, Taiga, is a common Japanese way of pronouncing and writing (in katakana) "tiger".
- While Kagami's name is associated with the "tiger", Himuro's name means "dragon". In Chinese mythology, the Azure Dragon of the East and the White Tiger of the West are eternal rivals. This rivalry is further expressed in their surnames: "Hi" means "ice" while "Ka" translates as "fire".
- On the first character poll, Kagami ranked 3rd, with 1116 votes.
- He went down to 4th place on the second poll, with 1036 votes.
- Apart from basketball, his skills also include walking on his hands.
- Kagami has been given the nickname Baka-gami (lit. idiot-gami, freely translated as Kagamidiot), due to his simple-mindedness and short temper.
- Kagami does traveling (which is a violation of the rules) when he is running along with Kise in the first opening.
- As revealed in the novels, Kagami is afraid of ghosts.
- Kagami is known for his huge appetite.
- Kagami wears Michael Jordan's signature shoe, the Nike Air Jordan I. He previously wore the same brand, in a black and red color scheme, but he broke that pair and received a new one from Aomine, this one having the original Air Jordan scheme, white, red and black. As stated by Momoi, his shoe size is similar to Aomine's, 29.5 cm.
- Based on his growth and still growing skills, it seems that he resembles Michael Jordan in his early years.
- Kagami has the most NG-Shū apperances. (18 times, as of Chapter 162)
- Kagami has many similarities with Hanamichi Sakuragi from the basketball manga/anime series Slam Dunk. Both are power forwards, red-haired, jump high and wear the same jersey # 10. But Kagami is more skillful than Sakuragi as he can shoot anywhere and even shoot 3-pointers. Kagami also has signature skills due to the manga's concept, as every player has their very own signature skills. But Sakuragi has a stronger physique and stamina than Kagami.
- Kagami lives alone while his parents live overseas in America. It was mentioned that he was supposed to live with his father but due to work he was unable to stay in Japan, leaving Kagami to live by himself.
- In Kuroko no Basket: Game of Miracles it is shown that Kagami is surprisingly popular with older women (college girls), who call him 'cute'.
- Kagami's grades are atrocious, failing every subject, including English even though he has lived in America.
- He reveals that he doesn't like dogs after meeting who is now called Tetsuya 2.
- According to KUROFES:
- Kagami's family is rich.
- His father works as a consultant for big companies in America.
- The best dish he can make is gyouza, and he makes more than 100 at a time, which he then freezes.
- The players he has his eyes on are the Generation of Miracles.
- When they were younger, Taiga and Tatsuya always went to eat hamburgers after playing basketball. Taiga had a habit of giving his pickles to Tatsuya. (From Duet Series Vol. 10’s Mini Drama)
|2nd years||Junpei Hyūga • Shun Izuki • Rinnosuke Mitobe • Shinji Koganei • Satoshi Tsuchida|
|1st years||Tetsuya Kuroko • Taiga Kagami • Kōki Furihata • Hiroshi Fukuda • Kōichi Kawahara|
|Other||Tetsuya #2 • Kagetora Aida • Alexandra Garcia • Kenji Takeda|
|Former players||Teppei Kiyoshi|
|Team Vorpal Swords|
|Players||Seijūrō Akashi • Daiki Aomine • Shintarō Midorima • Ryōta Kise • Atsushi Murasakibara • Taiga Kagami • Tetsuya Kuroko • Junpei Hyūga • Kazunari Takao • Kōsuke Wakamatsu|
|Staff||Kagetora Aida (coach) • Satsuki Momoi (manager) • Riko Aida (assistant manager)|