So Sidekick and I will be sharing this series. I will be responsible for the even episodes (2, 4, 6…) and she will be responsible for the odd episodes (1, 3, 5).
It was a pleasant surprise to see this episode pick up the pace a bit. Ei-Chan is slowly but surely starting to fall for tennis despite the fact he hasn’t done anything big yet. But it takes the small things first to develop that passion in the first place. For Ei-Chan, it makes him feel good and has fun when he hits the ball properly. However, he is extremely obsessed as a perfectionist when he is trying hard to repeat a perfect hit he had experienced during his Free-Tennis Trial. While practicing on his own, he was constantly over-analyzing, and was so dead focused on trying to repeat that perfect forehand stroke that his brain is overloaded with too many thoughts. It was only as soon as his mind basically went blank that he stepped closer to that perfect hit. As my basketball coach have always said, “There is nothing to think about, just do it!“. Like many sports, Tennis has a rhythm. You follow that rhythm, your body will eventually remember how to it on it’s own. Having to think through every. single. move. isn’t absolutely necessary (though it depends on the person), such as an athlete, I have always relied on my instincts of how to react under certain and/or fast circumstances. That is something Ei-Chan is going to have a hard time adapting to because right now, he is stuck in this rut of being unable to be flexible with circumstances. But don’t get me wrong, Ei-Chan taking notes to perfect his rhythm is not a bad thing at all. It has been proven that by analyzing the player’s angle and degrees and all that fancy mathematics jazz I can’t stand actually works. With Ei-Chan being such an
obsessed sharp note-taker (not to mention, extremely accurate) having all these notes and details can potentially help him more than others. Ei-Chan is the kind of person who needs to understand what’s going on, or what to expect. Once he understands the basics, I think that will help loosen him up a bit and will gradually (without realizing it) break out of that scheduled-routine habit.
One of the most pivotal moments of the episodes was when Ei-Chan was recalling the days when he was younger how he had all sorts of dreams like wanting to be a professional soccer player, a doctor, baseball player, a pilot. When he actually thought about it, it startled him that he doesn’t know when he stopped being like that. It is that very moment when he realizes that he wants to find that spirit in him again. So he decided to do something different and run home from Cram school instead of taking the bus back, and starts jogging on a daily basis to try and whip himself back in shape.
It was funny how Natsu called Ei-Chan to her A-Court where she and Takuma were practicing their serves. She puts Ei-CHan on the other-side and serves the ball like a bullet. Takuma’s serve is even worse as in it can be lethal, that certainly spooked Ei-Chan quite a bit. Natsu was kind enough to cut some her own practice time to help teach Ei-Chan how to hold a racket and how to swing and hit. It took her a couple of different explanations before Ei-Chan could understand because he needed her to be more specific (I totally understand TT v TT, I feel your pain Ei-Chan) but eventually she managed to give him a simple and more specific as he had hoped explanation and he was able to have a nice hit after a couple of tries.
Takuma on the other hand however was not happy about Ei-Chan being on their court. It was pretty clear that the foremost thing that ticked him off was that Ei-Chan was (unintentionally) interfering with his and Natsu’s practice time. I am not going to make any calls for that the second reason he was angry was because he and Natsu are dating- because while I did immediately think, “Whoa what, are they seriously dating?!” when we saw him lean over into Natsu’s face, it could be a misunderstanding- so I won’t jump the gun just yet, (oh the glory of misunderstandings)!