As of today, I am officially caught up with Captain Tsubasa, woo! So this’ll be the last double post. Without further ado, let’s get on with it!

Episode 35

Welp, looks like Soda’s another character whose super special skill is assaulting his opponents. That’s good. It’s important we have steady levels of that sort of thing. Ace Killer sure is a fancy title for what basically amounts to kicking your opponents’ legs until they can’t score anymore, though. There’s not really a lot of skill involved with that, is there? I’m pretty sure even Ishizaki could manage it if he were an actual sociopath and not just a belligerent fool. Bit fucking risky too, considering how many people in this league are evidently playing on existing injuries. He could easily do some permanent damage. But I guess that’s just the risk you have to run in the cut-throat world of competitive youth football.

How are people in this show still surprised when Morisaki concedes a goal? It’s what he does, he’s been doing it for the past three years. The show would be nothing without his world-class jobbing (like seriously, they only have so many ways of manufacturing suspense as it is).

Anego gets a very intimate moment with Tsubasa’s foot here, I’m sure she’s told her diary all about it by now. You go Anego, take your victories where you can get them.

I’m not sure if it’s just me but I think scenes of physical closeness in this anime often come off a little creepy and uncomfortable. Is there any need for this close-up shot of Tsubasa’s foot in Anego’s face?

Who is this for? I don’t understand who’s making these decisions. Is this how the actual manga panels of these scenes look? Because that would make sense. Somehow it seems less bizarre if it’s just Takahashi being Takahashi.

I dunno though, overall I wasn’t really wowed by this match. The early matches in Nationals arcs are always going to be a little bland, I guess. Tsubasa’s Drive Shot attempt was cool-looking but it was obvious it wasn’t going to succeed – it’s way too early in the competition for him to be pulling that trump card out of the bag. But it is nice to see him sweat once in a while, and I do love that they threw Takasugi a bone and let him score. Noble, gentle giant Takasugi. I’ll probably forget your name by the next time you have a speaking role. But for now, I salute you.

I also thought it was funny that Morisaki made an amazing save but he can barely even take credit for it because Tsubasa did the hardest part for him.

Judging by the title, I’m guessing that the match is going to wrap up next episode, which is a relief. Couldn’t be handling more than two episodes of this, to be honest. I wish we could just fill the entire Nationals arc until the finals with Hyuga drama.

Episode 36

That was over pretty quick. Sasuga David and their reasonable pacing. Tsubasa waited until the last second to strike the killing blow as usual. The best part of winning is getting your opponents’ hopes up only to crush them into smithereens, after all. The fucking brass balls on Soda, though, having the nerve to ask Tsubasa if his leg’s alright when he was doing everything in his power to break it not 20 minutes ago. Why do so many Captain Tsubasa rivals (if you can call Soda that) go from total bastard to world’s chillest dude once they’ve been beaten? Tsubasa’s witchcraft strikes again.

The rest of the episode is not massively exciting until Hyuga decides to fuck everyone’s shit up by launching a Tiger Shot right into the wall. I got so pumped for this. I was preparing to content myself with watching him scowl intensely (which I’d rather watch that than the rest of his team’s match anyway), and then he goes rogue and steals his own teammate’s thunder with quite possibly the most powerful shot anyone has ever made. I love that he has an actual group of reporters speculating on his every move. Actually, Hyuga must be a godsend to reporters. He’s the bad boy of youth football: moody, edgy, unpredictable and with a semi-tragic backstory to boot. Is there a more newsworthy player in the league? Being a Japanese youth football reporter must have been the dullest job in the world until this messiah came along. Sure they can (and do) report on Tsubasa too, and he’s definitely the more advertiser-friendly choice, but let’s face it: he’s boring. They’re never going to get anything “Gosh the boy plays good, maybe he’ll go to Brazil soon and save Japanese football” out of an article featuring him. Hyuga’s where the money’s at. He’s what’s selling the papers.

In other Hyuga-related news, I hate Toho’s coach. He is a spiteful moron and I want him to take a Tiger Shot to the face. He’s ruining a child’s life, and potentially seriously impacting the future chances of Team Japan, and for what? Because he feels his authority wasn’t respected? Considering Toho under his leadership have lost two years running with more money and talent (in sheer number of people, at least) on their side than any other team, maybe he doesn’t deserve to be respected. Fuck this guy, throw him right in the bin and don’t look back.

I notice Anego and Tsubasa are getting a lot more shiptease moments post-timeskip. I’m not sure if this was the case in the original anime, but I seem to remember her crush being a lot more one-sided there. I know their relationship definitely develops further in the manga, so I guess maybe they’re just drawing on that more in this adaptation? That aborted handhold attempt though, I’m dead. It’s a pretty bland relationship (I’d say Anego could do better but let’s be honest, Tsubasa is going to be a multi-millionaire in a few years – she’d be a fool to let him go) but it’s nice to see non-football-related character development sometimes, especially with the female characters who usually don’t get much of a chance to shine because of the nature of the series.

Next episode is Skylab Hurricane, which I think might be Matsuyama’s special move? Looks like they’re setting up for a Furano/Nankatsu clash, anyway. This is around when you’d have it I guess.