I was so worried about the girl from the previous episode, I would have never expected that things were going get even worse from there. I mean, hooray! She’s okay, but man Sora worked hard to get his Basketball team together only to watch it all be taken away from him, and from a guy who isn’t even on the team!
But let’s back up for a minute, because I really want to talk about Momoharu in the nurses office. It’s only been 8 episode, but he’s practically a different person than he was when we first started. He used to be ready to square up with anyone to defend himself, he wouldn’t back off to anyone! And, just watching him get down on his knees to do such a deep bow really emphasized to me just how much he has changed!! He hasn’t really been the main focus of in a little while, but it’s been nice to see him slowly change over the course of a few episodes. But when I think about it, it’s probably only been about 2 weeks since any of them have started playing Basketball again, so I can understand how his transformation would surprise everyone.
But enough about Momoharu let’s talk about this episode’s focus: Kenji. I’m constantly going back and forth with my thoughts on him. One minute I think that I don’t really like him, but then the next… I’m like “Oh…He’s definitely going to be a favorite in the end…” On the one hand, it makes me uneasy that I don’t know what to think about him, but on the other I know we have so much more to learn about him and that makes me so excited. He makes Momoharu and the gang look harmless! They only ever fought with other delinquents, but Kenji? Oh man, no one is safe from his swing which will obviously cause problems for our team. And after the stress that was last week’s episode I thought things were going to be looking up once Momoharu apologized. But man, the hopes of the Basketball team plummeted waaaaaaayyyyy down when they found him alone in the gym among a pile of bloodied bodies.
If I didn’t already know how many episodes this anime was going to have, I would have been very stressed out for our team. I mean, things were just starting to look up for them and now a new kid shows up and everyone associates them with you? Oof. But thank goodness Madoka was there because she’s always the MVP. Now, I don’t know if Madoka’s slap was what caused Kenji to change his response or if it was due to Sora slapping the phone out of his hand. Either way he needed it as wake up call in the moment. I mean, he still proceeds to punch Sora in the face for trying to recruit him. But in the moment, the Basketball team was saved.
Of course, now we need to get revenge on him, because 1) he was about to tear the team apart and 2) well, nobody likes getting punched in the face. Which is where we get the back story and WOW his little sister is precious. I’m a sucker for siblings caring for each other, and the fact that she still wants to use her allowance money to call her brother just warms my heart. And when I was going back through my screenshots I realized she did the same finger under nose thing that Kenji does and aaaaaa I want the two of them to be happy. He has someone he cares about and it’s someone he can’t see. His flashbacks to his sister are definitely what got me cheering him on.
And so Sora realizes they have something in common, and it sure isn’t Basketball skill. But in classic sports anime fashion you have to prove your worth by proving your skills. Plus, by doing this it’s a perfect time for a flashback where we see Kenji and his supposedly real Dad. We see he’s another kid who was really into Basketball, but we don’t get more information beyond that… We don’t know what happened to his Dad and I have a feeling it was a sudden loss rather than a divorce. I have a feeling we’ll get more information next week, so I’ll hold off on talking about his history until then. (But watching the children at the park cheer Sora on was really cute!)
And so Sora succeeds in his goal, but naturally forgets what they are betting on. Not that it really matters because Kenji’s fate has been decided. Or has it? Yasu (who I would probably call the second MVP) shows up to clear Kenji’s name. Yeah, he beat them up, but did anyone ever consider why he did it? Personally, I think it’s a really odd cliff hanger to end on, but nevertheless I’m really hyped for next week’s episode.