Oh man, things are starting to heat up in this match and we’re barely even scratched the surface of the third quarter. Personally, I would love to see our team win, but with such a solid gap in the score I think I’ll also just be happy if our team manages to score some really impressive shots and is able prove to every one that yeah! They’re amateurs, but that doesn’t mean you should just shrug them off to the side! And that seems to be where we’re heading.
But let’s take a moment to start back at the beginning of the episode. Maru High was absolutely vicious to Sora, and the team as a whole, but man Tokiwa with the broken wings analogies was just brutal. We quickly find out that Sora’s weakness is the left side of the court, but that he has a sincere lack of game experience. Of course, the only person on the team who has actual experience is Momoharu… and even then! He got benched early and left the team. So, yeah. Maru High, for the most part is just picking on the weaker team and essentially putting them left and right. And they still continue with the “You’ll never be good because you’re short” narrative. And I know, it’s only been maybe 30 minutes since the match has started, but Sora pretty much kicked your butt until Tokiwa found out his weakness – which by the way, is not related to his height! So maybe take a moment to acknowledge that Sora has skill but not experience >:( (But needless to say, our team was absolutely getting wrecked.)
But let’s go ahead and talk about what was going on outside of the game. Chiaki is still sulking that his girl didn’t show up, but surprise surprise! She’s a big fan of Tokiwa, Maru high’s local pretty boy, and manages to convince him to show up to the game. Personally, I’m waiting for the moment where he strides on to the court and impresses everyone with his skill, but I have a feeling he’s just going to get reeled in to playing in order to impress the blonde girl from the opening. However! We did get a little bit of a look in Chiaki’s experience with the game. It’s kind interesting to hear that he doesn’t want to be seen as an uncool person, because he’s probably one of the most uncool people we’ve met so far. I mean… I guess it’s probably on purpose, but what matters most is how he perceives others perceptions of himself. After all, he’s definitely trying to impress people. And, despite Chiaki hanging in the background for the past couple of episodes I have a feeling his involvement with the team and overall presence in the anime is going to kick up in high gear. (Of course, I’m not a manga reader so all my thoughts and predictions have a high probability of being wrong lol).
But I think the highlight of the episode for me was the last third, when we get to see a flashback to Sora practicing exhaustive shots with his mom. And honestly, she’s such a good Mom. She tends to find the positive in each situation and that’s something we see a lot in Sora now that he’s older! So far in our flashbacks Sora seemed like quite the whiner, but I mean he’s a kid so I can’t really blame him. However, his mom has managed to push him further and ultimately make him somewhat of a wild card for Basketball! And I think that’s what makes me excited for each week’s episode! One, I want to see what the underdog will do and how they will succeed, but two, just what sort of thing Sora will surprise us with next. He’s beyond the point of thinking about being uncool – to some extent – and will do anything that shows his skill and keeps him in the running of a game. Namely, I’m glad that he took the two-handed shot and while all the delinquents teased and mocked him for doing so, it was an obvious game changer that no one was expecting!
Overall, I think this was a pretty good episode! I liked that they sprinkled in character development sections among all of the actual playing of the sport. We’re starting to dig in deeper to some of our main characters, but we’ve only been given a glimpse about what’s to come.