Can you believe that we’re barely at the start of the third day of training camp? But let me tell you, our team might not have gone to the beautiful beaches of Okinawa, but we were still treated some good old training camp fan service. I mean we got a bath scene AND a girl in a bikini! Plus! We’re getting pretty deep into some tension – and you know what that means! Character development !!!
I’m constantly battling myself with this anime, on the one hand it feels like not a whole lot has been covered in a single episode, but on the other they’re taking the time to flesh out the characters and in the long run, I know that will have a bigger impact on us when something really big happens. And looking back on it, I guess there was a pretty solid amount of development that happened in this episode, it just happens to be broken up by humor. Perhaps, I’ve just been watching too many short series, that I just have to get back in the mindset of something longer like this anime.
Ultimately, I really like how they developed Kite in this episode – albeit through some pretty rude remarks to the other players. It wasn’t your typical “let me tell you my story”, but rather, let’s show you through genuine interactions. So, while he wasn’t the main focus of the episode, he was definitely the biggest instigator. We’re able to see a more helpful, almost brotherly, side of Kite as he points out various strategies help the weaker teammates improve! And we got a really wonderful scene between Yasu and Kite (feat. Sora) that absolutely warmed my heart. You can definitely see that he has a softer spot for Yasu, since Yasu seems to be invested in improving and helping the team get to the interhigh. Which, of course gives us a nice segue towards Nabe and Chuckie who have generally been interested in working with the team, but definitely don’t have the dedication as the other players.
Now, I definitely like that they’ve included this struggle as it is something that isn’t often explored. These two (and Yasu) are starting from scratch whereas everyone else they are around have many years of experience. They’re just getting their feet wet and just generally enjoy hanging out with their friends and having a good time. However, Kite and Sora are definitely on the side of “I will do whatever it takes to make to the Interhigh and win!” Especially, since they both have the skill and experience to make it there – but! they need a team to help them. So, ultimately, I’m glad they included this as the conflict though personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if one or both of them opted to leave the team. I don’t really know how I would feel about that. But we’ll see how their feeling about Basketball once they’re found in the next episode!
I’m kinda bummed that Momoharu didn’t stick around for longer, but I think in the long run it’s for the better in terms of other character’s development. After all, he was sort of like the boss to Chuckie, Nabe, and Yasu before they joined the Basketball team. If he were there during the conflict with Kite, they’d probably just follow what he said and just suck it up and continue playing. But without him there, they just stick with each other, so when one steps out the other follows. (Though, I’d argue that Yasu has kind of peeled away from the other two). Also, I think Momoharu’s the most level-headed player on the team so he could probably easily reason with any of the members and get them to understand the other side. Without him there, the only person who would even attempt to mediate is Sora and while he’s good at the sport, it doesn’t seem like very many characters have a lot of respect for him. I know Kite would ultimately be the most difficult (and potentially Chiaki because he’s more of a wild card), but I think he’ll have some respect for Momoharu since Kite does seem to open and help out those that are serious about the sport. So! While I am bummed that he was carted off in an ambulance, I think having him separated from the rest of the team as this tension started to rise is a good thing. RIP in peace Momoharu.
I’m really looking forward to next week’s episode, I have a feeling it will be a major turning point in the team’s morale! Will they grow closer? Or will this conflict start to tear the team apart?