Kakeru has gone full blown asshat mode, and Haiji isn’t having any of it, and neither am I. HOW DARE HE SAY SUCH A THING TO AKANE! This guy has been nothing but good to him, and then turns around and tell him to quit “for the team” if he doesn’t improve his time! He completely ignored everything Haiji just said!
What Kakeru doing right now, is disrespecting everyone. Sure they aren’t dedicated runners like him, but the nerve he has to say they are running half-assed is too much! He is being so unbelievably self-centred. He unfairly lashes out at everyone, including Hana, accusing her for failing to time him properly because he couldn’t accept his lack of improvement. Right now, Kakeru’s drive to reach Hakone Ekiden is purely for his own selfish needs. He wants to run against Kazuma, but to do so, he needs to pull the team together. He ended up twisting Kazuma’s advice of helping Haiji lead them, by actively pushing them, only for his own gain.
We see this play out when Nico opened up to him about why he had quit running. It’s really sad because Nico loves it, but his coach actually told him to quit. But seeing Kakeru run with the top contenders, and get the third best time, is extremely motivating to him, especially when its Kakeru who encourages him to continue and push himself. Now while it’s great that Nico found a drive to give him a bit more confidence, he and Kakeru are both being extremely reckless.
However both of them are blinded by their own goals. Yuki who had overheard the conversation between them about Nico’s past recognizes what Kakeru doing is dangerous. Although we didn’t actually see him do it, there was a strong implication that he had done some research on how to maintain their bodies so that they don’t injure themselves when he asked Haiji about their training curriculum.
And this is how Yuki’s attitude served as a great contrast to Kakeru’s. Despite being dragged into this, and not really caring if they make it or not, Yuki at least respects and is willing to go the extra mile to support the others who want to get better. He did just that but asking an important question about their training curriculum, because he knows if they injure themselves, that’s it. All of their efforts will be for nothing. He was also quick to notice and make sure Haiji is aware of his concerns about Nico pushing himself too hard because Kakeru encouraged him to do so. On top of that, it hasn’t gone unnoticed to him how he hasn’t been eating enough because he is trying to lose weight faster. Unfortunately for Nico, not eating enough is only going to make his condition worse. If he wants to go on a diet, he needs to do it properly with all the required nutrition!
On the more bright side of things, before Akane was shit on by Kakeru, it was so endearing to see him actually looking for a treadmill so he could practice running, and read at the same time. Luckily for him, Shindo’s parents had a spare one they were planning to get rid of! It was hysterical how they placed it in his room, and when they turned it on, it looked as though the floor/ceiling was going to collapse right underneath them, (which would have been Takeru’s room!) It would probably be a better idea to leave it on the main floor, which probably has a more reliable surface haha!
In two weeks, there will be another opportunity for the team to try and attain their qualifying records at Kikui University’s meet. So until then they will be changing up their training to try and push themselves to make improvements without hurting themselves. I am very curious to see who and how many will succeed this time, or if any at all. With all of the drama that has unfolded today, it looks like Haiji will be taking drastic measures, especially after the crap Kakeru had pulled. I get the feeling he is going to assign him to work with Akane, as a way to can get his head out of his ass. I also think it will be incredibly invaluable for Haiji to work with Nico in particular. It looks like Haiji will be taking up the responsibility to provide and guide Nico onto a proper diet, and pace himself so he doesn’t erode his condition. It’s very important for Kakeru to get his shit together, because Haiji can’t do this alone. I would say among all the members, Shindo has undoubtedly been the most helpful, as he was the oen to lead the efforts of finding a way to fund their club. The others haven’t quite found their respective role to contribute to the team, but Yuki is certainly shaping up to be a great supporter and
health advisor. He is that much needed extra pair of eyes to keep track of what’s going on with the team.