Ahiru no Sora – Episode 11

Understanding your weakness and trying to overcome or compensate for it is no easy task. Both overconfidence and lack thereof tend to get in the way and often times people are just stuck in the middle. However, when you know the weaknesses of your opponent better than they know themselves you’ve just given yourself one heck of a leg up.

As a whole, I think this episode played out pretty much as expected. From the end of the last episode we knew the girls’ team really didn’t want to play against the boys, and I mean who can blame them? Up until a month ago this was a group of violent delinquents where half of them didn’t even know the difference between a two and three pointer shot! (Okay, some of them still don’t know, but at least they are trying.) In the beginning the boys are able to use this to their advantage. The girls are scared and pretty much only doing it to save Madoka from stripping. Which, by the way, why isn’t the adviser stepping in? He was such a stickler when the team was trying to recruit Kite, but suddenly now? He’s okay with it? Or maybe, in the off-chance that the boys do win, he’ll step in and save the day.

I for one know nothing about the intricacies of Basketball. I know there’s a ball and the goal is to get it in the correct hoop for points. So, overall I think this was a pretty darn educational episode. I mean, by no means am I know prepared to go out into the world and share this knowledge with the masses, but I still think that this episode really dove into the technicalities behind their actions. Now, if they actually work in real life? That’s not something I would be able to say. Still, I think it was pretty neat to have the random girl from the girls’ team break everything down for us, even if I‌ might not remember it by next week’s episode.

Naturally, the episode started off with the boys being incredibly fired up and really showing off all of their individual skills: Momoharu’s vertical, Chiaki’s quick reactions, Kite’s speed and over-all skill, and Sora’s three pointers. But, what do you do when someone figures out how to counteract it? And even worse, exploit your weaknesses. Nao, despite just becoming the manager of the team has already figured out the strengths of each of the players as well as the weaknesses, and by this point… the boys only know their strengths. They all have individual skills that are very, very valuable and helpful for the team, but making them all work together is where things fall apart. Kite and Sora are the worst offenders on the team. Chiaki and Momoharu have previously played on a team and generally understand the whole concept of being on the team. However, Sora and Kite are still very deep in their “one man team attitude”. Kite’s is much more obvious than Sora. Kite has been a lone wolf for quite sometime, and firmly believes that he has to be the one to do it; the one to make the shot. Sora, is a little more integrated in the team however, once he gets the ball it’s all on him he wants to be the one to prove that he can play with all the “big” kids.

I think it was a good wake up call for the two of them to be subbed out. One it will allow the team to work together as a cohesive group, but it will also give a bit of a shock to the two of them to consider the rest of the team. I really liked the moment where Sora was pouting on the ground, because it was clear that he and Kite both did not agree with the decision that was ultimately made. And yet hearing Nao say that it was actually the best possible option? Oh man, that felt nice.

Now Nao has a new set up to deal with – it’s essentially a chess match between her and Chiaki, the only other person who has managed to fully comprehend the pros and cons for each of the players. And while I’m excited to see Chiaki in action, I’m still going to root for the girl’s team to win.


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