After last week’s emotional rollercoaster, this episode was a lot lighter and certainly more beautiful until the tension brewing between Sakaki and King began. Needless to say, that didn’t stop me from tearing up. It was truly beautiful to watch Yuki and Nico run, but at the same time, it was also bittersweet. For both of them, this is their first and last time they will be participating, and they wanted to do their absolute best.

Yuki in particular, goodness he ran his heart out. He was able to get a taste of the world Kakeru runs when he was dominating the slopes. His drive to perform even better was ignited when he saw that his family, in particular his mother whom he had been at odds with have come to support him. You have to remember, he hasn’t seen since he started college! He was frustrated with how his mother announced she was getting married to a man he didn’t know, and suddenly dropped the bomb of how he had a little sister on the way. So when he saw his mother cheering him on, it’s no wonder he felt bad and almost cried on the spot!

Yuki ran so hard that his feet bled, eek!

It just goes to show just how hard he ran. He performed to the best of his ability, wowing the crowd and sports casters of his gusty performance as he dominated down the slope, and he was just short of two seconds of winning the section. And it was because he was running so fast that it was nerve-wracking to watch. Amazingly, Yuki managed to move them up from dead last (20th) to the 16th position when he passed the stash to Nico, who was able to maintain their new rank!

But it makes me sad how Yuki wanted to keep running like this and wondered for a moment if he could be like Kakeru. It goes to show how far Yuki has come, starting as someone who wasn’t interested in participating but did it anyways, to getting the taste of the beautiful world Kakeru is part of. Unfortunately Yuki believes this will be his last day, as he has his own life to live, but at the same time, he is also worried for Kakeru. Having gotten a peek into the world, he recognizes how it’s too lonely for any Human to endure.

And in a sense, we got our first taste of that when Kazuma threw down the gauntlet, declaring to Kakeru that he will win his section, and break the record. Of course Kakeru isn’t about to backdown from the fight, he declares Kazuma will only hold the record for ten minutes before he breaks it once more. Needless to say, I am looking forward to seeing more of Kazuma’s world next week, after having revealed the burden that comes with holding the title of the champion.


Nico’s backstory, although we have known about it, seeing his face when his coach told him he should give up running really broke my heart. Today Nico showed us how much he truly love running, and that even though this will be his last race, he will continue running on his own. It’s frustrating how one’s dreams of following their passion because of their body-type don’t fit the criteria. In this case, despite how much Nico loved running, his coach told him he should take up another sport instead. And frankly, nobody should be told such as thing, especially when they are doing something they love. I am happy for Nico to have met Haiji and be given another opportunity to reignite his lost passion and do what he loves one more time. Like Yuki, this will also be Nico’s last year, and we can see him truly cherishing it by doing as Haiji advised him to do, run to his heart’s content, and is thankful for being given the opportunity and having met such wonderful people.

Speaking of Haiji, within Nico’s flashback, we got to see more of the side of him when he and Nico had just met. Back then, Haiji who was still overcoming the struggle of his injury, and was not the confident man we know and love today. In fact he was more quiet, timid and even called referred to himself someone who is ‘weak’. Among all those who have been with Haiji for the past four years, Nico has witnessed how much Haiji has grown, as he worked hard to pursue his dream of forming a unique team of runners, and make it into reality.

Next week, it’s going to be really interesting to see how King fares against Sakaki. They had a confrontation with each other (thankfully Musa was there to make sure King didn’t throw himself at him) where we see the two ideals clash against each other: Winning is everything VS Speed isn’t enough. For Sakaki, he has been training since middle school, and winning is the only thing that matters. He thinks Kakeru’s team is just going it for fun, but Musa was quick to shut that argument down when he pointed out how Shindo practically put his life on the line to pass the stash. He challenges Sakaki to play fair and square, and show them how strong he is by running. It looks like Sakaki is about to do just by making a statement as a rookie passing King, even though Nico had been able to help him get a bit of a head start.

The fear now is whether or not King will lose their placement they have gained thanks to Yuki and Nico. It seems King is trying to match his pace, which is dangerous because he needs to follow his own. Hopefully he will remember the words he had just spoken, ‘speed isn’t everything’, and perhaps we will see the coach drop some advice or relay messages from the team or Kakeru once more. With not much showing in the preview, this week has certainly left us on a cliffhanger!

PS: Haiji, please be okay. He says he’s fine, but Kakeru is justifiably worried about it, I am too.


Blogging Anime since Summer 2009, & Founder of AngryAnimeBitches Anime Blog ...I may or may not be addicted to writing