Annnnd the big day is finally here! The practice match we’ve all been waiting for (well ever since Nao brought it up in the previous episode.) But nevertheless! We’re finally here and I’m ready for it! Also Sora’s mom wanting to go out and maybe watch the game???AH I hope nothing bad happens to her before Sora can see her again!!!
It’s really nice seeing how far the team has come so far. I mean! They didn’t even argue before getting to the start of the game :’). Yeah, it got a little shaky with first foul but hey, that’s already major improvement. Just straight up watching them pull off things that they weren’t even able to do at the beginning of their first practice match, and heck even at the beginning of the week is really making me believe that they have a chance at the inter-high. Okay, yeah, the stuff that they are able to do now is still pretty basic and relies heavily on the existing skills of everyone sans Yasuhiro, Chucky, and Nabe, but! They are actually able to pull it off and have some semblance of team synergy. I mean, no one has actually stolen the spotlight from anyone else yet from our team so that’s a huge step in the right direction. I believe in you guys !!
I have a feeling that as the arc continues though, things are going to fall apart more once our team starts feeling the heat. Right now, they’ve got a good team bringing their a-game and they are winning. There’s still 9+ minutes in the first half. Everyone’s going to fall back on bad habits just so they know they’ll be successful. Kite and Sora will try to steal the show, Momoharu will just get irritated with the guy on the other team and start having tunnel vision. Woo!!! Tension!!!!! I’m honestly pretty darn excited about the whole fight that might ensue between Momoharu and the guy from the other team. I’m incredibly interested to see how they each prove their point to the other.
However, I’m most interested to see how Chiaki will handle the pressure of the game. Aside from just wowing girls, he doesn’t really have any stakes in this game like some of the other players or in the game in general. He’s kind of a wild card, one minute trying to get the details of some random girl and then the next he’s got an ingenious strategy going in. And This time around he has a more cohesive team so I wonder how that will change his perspective. I’m expecting great things out of him. What I’ve grown to appreciate about Chiaki is that he can be the anchor when the team really needs, even though he’s generally the most chaotic person off the court.
Ah… Taro wasn’t just being funny. I’m not super into his affection to Nao. It’s just not a trope I enjoy seeing “Oh but we’re cousins so it’s okay” just doesn’t really sit well with me even as a joke. It’s honestly really surprising how often this comes up. Like if he did the exact same things that he did in this episode to Madoka in a sort of in a childhood friends kind of way, I’d still think he was weird but I’d be more willing to forgive that weird. Other than that I think Atari’s a perfectly fine rival. Characters who can immediately switch from fun & loveable to intense and overbearing are always fun.
Unlike previous games, this match up is about budding rivalries and proving oneself to the other team – though not all the motives have been made clear to the other team. Taro vs Sora is the big one of note, but I hope it grows into more than “I’m fighting you for the affection of my cousin” (and it all started over some shoes!). And then their Momoharu with his past team-mate. Will never-ending dedication win in the end? Or have Momoharu and Chiaki finally found a team that will embrace their passion as much as they want them to and ultimately come out on top? I’m at the edge of my seat and can’t wait to see what will happen next!