Captain Tsubasa (2018) Episode 49

Oh lordy the painkiller injection scene gets me every time. I’ve been looking forward to this one a lot, to be honest, so the episode is fine by me for this alone. To me, this is one of the wildest plot points in the entire show. First of all, as a doctor, you’re clearly not supposed to cave to this shit, especially when the person pressuring you is a middle-schooler. Second of all, how are we supposed to take his “Don’t you go collapsing on me again, mister, or you’re off the field” warning seriously after he’s given in to Tsubasa’s every demand so far? Yeah right, off for the five minutes it’ll take for Tsubasa to make another impassioned speech about how he absolutely has to win the thing he’s already won twice. Thirdly, this arguably amounts to doping, and even if it doesn’t qualify it’s still an outrageous amount of bias to be showing Nankatsu. Where are Wakashimazu’s painkillers? Why do Nankatsu deserve all the support they can get for their victory? They’re no more entitled to it than Toho. This doctor could probably get match-fixing charges to go with his malpractice suits.

Also Tsubasa once again seems to see receipt of medical treatment as carte blanche to go apeshit on the field.

WTF NO YOU CAN’T. You’re just hopped up on painkillers, you’re not invulnerable. You’ve not taken a Super Star. Although the show kind of treats him like he has until Hyuga’s excellent Tiger Shot puts him in his place for a bit (but of course he ends up scoring like 2 minutes later regardless).

Drugs, Hyuga. Drugs. Man I’d love a prescription painkiller addiction arc for Tsubasa. I’m always saying he needs a bit of grit. Give those reporters something to write about.

Still, and don’t get me wrong, it was fun to see him knocked off his high horse, but at the end of the day, one can only watch so much of Injured Tsubasa hobbling around looking determined. It gets a little bit tiring, especially when it doesn’t really seem to be holding him back from scoring anyway. Still, the pacing of it is handled much better here than in previous installations.

I liked the Wakashimazu focus in this episode a lot. We got some nice flashback footage of Tsubasa indirectly ruining Wakashimazu’s life. This karate plot is beautiful and I appreciate it greatly. I love that his dad’s all “Sorry son, as the star goalie of the second best team in Japan three years running, you’re clearly a talentless failure”. Some serious parental pressure in this series.

On a final note, Misugi’s scene was a fun addition to the episode. I am all about this abrupt water bottle handoff here, like “Yayoi, hold my shit and step the fuck aside, the man’s talking about Europe”. In all seriousness though I like the coach thing for Misugi. It’s obvious he can’t make it as a pro in the long run, so this is the only way you can keep him in the universe. But I’m also a little disappointed because this makes me think they only introduced the Europe plot to give us a happy ending to Misugi’s story, instead of as a precursor to a new installment.

We’re up to 3-3 by the end of this episode, and I have a feeling the match is going to stretch out to at least episode 51, so next episode could really go anyone’s way. I hope there’s even half as much stupid nonsense as there was in this one.

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