Tip off (Tip off) is the 22.5 episode of the Kuroko no Basuke anime.
It starts off with Kise modelling and mentioning that he had just joined Teiko's basketball club. Kise is cleaning the school's court when Momoi informs him to join first string for practice. Kuroko is introduced as Kise's mentor since Kuroko is a senior while Kise has joined less than 2 weeks. Kuroko's lack of presence makes Kise doubt his seniority. Kise is impressed by the first string in a practice game. Kise then plays a game and makes a shot with ease. He sees Kuroko making a layup but misses. He starts to doubt Kuroko's ability. At the end of practice, Kuroko appears beside Kise, frightening him. Kuroko suggests they clean up with the first years and Kise concluded that Kuroko is just a mentor in miscellaneous club activities (not basketball).
Aomine, Kuroko and Murasakibara waits for Kise at the school's entrance to celebrate Kise's getting to first string. It turns out their idea of celebration was to have ice pops(bought by Kise) at a convenience store. Midorima joined the celebration as invited by Kuroko but Kise thought he was a stranger. After introducing himself, he says that Kise should at least remember the names of the regulars. Murasakibara enters the convenience store. Kuroko randomly says: "I won", revealing the winning ice cream stick and the members got excited. Murasakibara comes out and asks what happened with Kuroko, while holding a box of maiu-bos, shocking Kise. Just then, Momoi appeared holding the winning ice cream stick and fussing over it.
All of a sudden, a bike came towards them and ran off. A woman shouts from behind to chase him. Kise and Aomine ran after the bike while Kuroko attends to Momoi. Midorima thinks they are idiots for chasing after a scooter and grabs Murasakibara's box of maiu-bos and does his super long shot. The box hit the biker in the face causing him to skid off the road. Aomine and Kise caught up to him and stopped him from fleeing with the woman's bag. The biker tried to throw a punch but he crashed into Murasakibara who is fuming mad because the biker was stepping on his maiu-bo.
Momoi praised them and Kuroko said it was good teamwork. Kise thought to himself Kuroko didn't do much, and so did he. Kise learned that everyone present was a starter, even Kuroko, leaving Kise in disbelief.
The next day at Teiko, a hoard of fangirls were watching Kise play soccer with Murasakibara as the goalkeeper, who does a really bad job. Kise asks Murasakibara about Kuroko and he says Kuroko is a good person and becoming a starter was Akashi's decision. At this point, Kise does not know who Akashi is and Murasakibara then asks Kise who he is. Kise then revealed that they are in the same class and had ice pops together yesterday(how could you forget my name?!) Kise went on and asks Midorima. Midorima brings up the name Akashi and Kise is still curious about his identity. Midorima states that Kuroko is an aquarius(and a bunch of horoscope related info), blood type A, who is incompatible with him, a blood type B and proceeds to walk away. Kise questions Momoi about Kuroko and Momoi blushes, squeals frantically and ran away. Akashi is seen watching Kise from behind.
At a practice game, Kise steals the ball from Kuroko and shoots. Still unconvinced, Kise asks Aomine the reason Kuroko is a starter. Aomine replied that Kuroko is different and he is reliable during a game. Midorima informs Kise and Kuroko that they will participate in a second string game as backup. Teiko's basketball club tradition is to place first string members in second and third string games so as to uphold their motto: victory in every battle. If they lose this game, they will be demoted to the second string.
They both set out with the second string to the game and Kise still has doubts about Kuroko so he proposes a bet: the one with most points win, if Kise wins, he replaces Kuroko as a starter. Kuroko refused, concerned about the effect on the game. Kuroko casually notes that Kise has been asking around about him.
The crowd is rowdy, jeering Teiko. Kise realizes that the game is not quite fair with biased referees. The coach brought Kise into the game when there was a 20 point gap. He was double teamed but he broke free. However, he was called for a charging foul. The point gap is still large and Kuroko was brought in and mocked by the Komagi players and supporters. Kuroko asked for Kise's support in the game and mentions he is a shadow while Kise is the light. Kise is still unable to believe Kuroko's ability. Kise continues to be double teamed and Kuroko was left undefended. In a blink of an eye, a ball flies towards Kise from Kuroko's direction, leaving everyone in shock staring at Kuroko. Kise took this chance and made a shot. As this repeats, Kise realizes Kuroko's ability.
Back at Teiko, Midorima questions Akashi about Kise and Kuroko being in game together. Akashi said that Kise would be a starter soon and this was to introduce him to Kuroko's ability. He added that he was the one to discover Kuroko's talent.
Unexpectedly, Teiko won the match. Kise doesn't think Kuroko's sacrificial talent is fun for him, Kuroko agrees. Kise called Kuroko kurokocchi for the first time, showing that Kuroko has earned his respect, which Kuroko does not appreciate.
Characters in order of appearance
- Ryōta Kise
- Satsuki Momoi
- Daiki Aomine
- Tetsuya Kuroko
- Seijūrō Akashi
- Atsushi Murasakibara
- Shintarō Midorima