I don’t really know how to feel after watching this episode. I just kind of feel… weird. There were definitely some really good moments and others probably just flew over my head. I would say that I probably enjoyed last week’s episode more than this week’s, but this week finally gave us Kaname joining the team and another chance to get more information on Sora’s mom! ;_;
The episode starts off with the team hanging out in their club room because the gym is currently occupied and it is so dreary and wet outside that they can’t do a whole lot of practice. While this scene was pretty low-key, I appreciated the comment Chiaki made while Sora was practicing his point guard skills. Ultimately, it turned into a “i love girls” joke (as they all do) but that doesn’t change the fact that he provided some pretty good insight. Chiaki told Sora that he’ll never be a good point guard unless he learns how to look at the larger picture – which is honestly really good advice for Sora! Sora has a tendency to fixate on things without taking into consideration consequences or even alternatives. This ultimately leaves him to make decisions that lead to less than desirable outcomes. We see it in his play-style. Sora, for a majority of any of the matches he’s been in has not really been a team player. It’s all about him and what he can do with the team and their abilities existing as an after thought. He’s definitely gotten better, but he still has a way to go before I consider him a team player. (But I mean, I’ll give that he’s more of a team player than Kite.)
The boys finally get to use the court and shortly after Kaname formally asks to join the Basketball team. In last week’s entry I talked a bit about how much I appreciated how the anime addressed Kaname’s lie to the team. Overall, the rest of the team seemed to be pretty okay with it, they felt slighted, but you know failing to live up to expectations can really hurt someone… and in terms of Basketball, that’s not something Sora, or even Kite have really experienced. Yes, Sora has had to fight tooth and nail to even be on a Basketball team and he had to work to prove himself. But Kaname was immediately put on a pedestal and couldn’t live up to it and ultimately “fell from grace” it was that pedastal that spoiled the game for him. It’s more similar to Momoharu’s situation. Momoharu was seen as someone with a lot of potential, but he was unable to meet the expectations of his teammates, which in turn had his team turn against him and create a negative feeling towards Basketball. And Chiaki! While I’m still not sure if he has a story is also the most in tune with this! He’s an observant person and watching his twin brother go through that? Yeah, he’d be the one that would see what expectation can do to destroy a person.
And all of this leads to why I wasn’t very happy with Sora’s response to Kaname asking to join the team. Yes, I will concede that the lie that Kaname told did have an impact on something personal with Sora, but uh Sora was kind of a jerk about it. And that’s what made me feel weird about the episode. Sora didn’t seem like himself and to me it came off like he had a “holier than thou” attitude. Especially, when after 10 minutes and Kaname was out of breath and Sora was basically “you don’t care enough” (I know those weren’t his words but that’s how it came across to me). Like dude!!! But now that’s off my chest, I am glad that we were able to get the whole ‘Regret’ segment from Kaname. It really helped to solidify why he left, but ultimately was able to show that he cared about Basketball – Plus we got a confession!
Speaking of the confession, that was another moment that just felt really off! In the last episode Kyouko was so bright and cheery around him and now she’s completely straight faced. I was kind of hoping for one of those sad smiles with a laugh, you know? But instead we got… no emotion. How am I supposed to take that? And the last part of the episode that left me feeling weird was when Madoka went to visit Sora’s mom. I… don’t know what I was supposed to get out of that whole segment. It was certainly set up to be emotional! At this point Madoka knows more about Sora’s mom’s health than he probably. It took me a while to understand what they meant by “they cut her open and closed her up”, but I think that means they went into fix something and realized there was nothing they could do to help. And you know what? That’s absolutely devastating information to get about someone you care for! But for me, they’ve had this notion of the sick, fragile, dying mom for quite some time, that this didn’t really phase me. I don’t want Sora’s mom to die – but they’ve definitely lead us to believe that would be the case, even before this episode. I guess the best way I could say it, is that I wasn’t really surprised that this was added, and because it didn’t feel like I learned something new I missed that emotional impact. But you know what? If something happens to the mom? You better believe I’ll be sobbing.
The next episode marks the half way part for the anime!
**Notice** Episode 25 will air on April 1, 2020!
It appears that a recap was aired as we prepare to start the next cour!