Ahiru no Sora – Episode 18

I’ve decided that I’m not going to predict when this match will end. I’ve been thinking that we’ve been close to the end for the past couple of episodes, but they always seem to find a way to stretch it out even longer. Character monologues and game explanations continue to appear adding more to the pile that I almost forget that there is actually a game going on.

Or so I would like to say. At this point I really can’t tell you what the goal of this episode was, I don’t know what the biggest take away was – All I know was that they were on the court doing their best. Things were looking really stressful for our team in the beginning of the episode with their opponents capitalizing on their weaknesses, but we’ve seen it before – once Sora comes back in, it’s really anyone’s game and because the scores are so close we really want them to win! Especially after all the growth they’ve been through! It was genuinely really nice to see the team actually support one another during this episode, but I feel that those moments were overshadowed by the existing conflict.

Nabe and Chucky are pretty self-explanatory. They started out knowing nothing about Basketball and really were just here because that was what their friends were doing. Now, they’ve turned over a new leaf and are trying their best to learn, but they aren’t anywhere close to the rest of the members. But their general attitudes towards the sport have completely changed from the beginning and it’s really nice to see them working with the rest of the team. Then we have Taro, who’s here to show everyone up and personally I’m not the biggest fan of him. His loud personality gets on my nerves especially when he consistently expresses his love for Nao – which I still can’t get over. The conflict between him and Sora to me feels like a major disconnect because the’re both competing with each other over completely different things? I understand that the anime is painting Taro and the whole team as a rival, but why… does Taro have to be like that?

And lastly, we have Momoharu and Konishi, something that was brought up at the very beginning of the match but was quickly sidelined due to other conflicts. At this point I don’t really know how I‌ feel about Konishi, they’ve been really vague about his relationship with Momoharu and it feels like they’ve been hinting at a number of things for a while, but they haven’t actually told us anything. Regardless of what terrible thing Momoharu said or did to him in the past the whole set up just makes Konishi look like the jerk. But it’s clearly getting to Momoharu and I honestly don’t know how I feel about this conflict any more. So long as the two of them don’t share the same minute of screen time it basically appears as if the conflict isn’t even there. It really doesn’t seem like it’s affecting either of these two characters unless there is a deliberate attempt to put the two next to each other. I was invested in this conflict in the beginning, but because it has been dragged out for so many episodes I’m starting to lose patience for it. We just get minor moments of Momoharu’s frustration, but then it’s back to the game. I‌ sincerely hope this conflict gets attention in the next episode.

On a positive note I did get a kick out of the team huddle before going into the second quarter. Chiaki suggesting BBQ was just so in character but so surprising really allowed me to take a step back from all the seriousness of what was going on. And the rest of the team getting excited for it? Heck yeah! I love silly team bonding moments, so I’m actually pretty happy that was included.

Overall though, I guess you could say that I wasn’t the biggest fan of this episode. I felt as if it was all over the place and nothing managed to progress. I mean, we made it to the fourth quarter, but none of the major conflicts that have been present throughout the entire match made any substantial progress. I know they’re setting up for the grand final moments of this match, but I just wish there was a little bit more. At this point, I’m just interested to see what will happen next.


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