And we’re back! It never ceases to amaze me how much is packed into a single episode while still leaving me excited to what will happen next. It seems we’re just about done with the Shinjo arc and we’re putting on the final closures surrounding the tragedies that occurred at the end of their match, but I love how they’ve built up to the next arc in this episode. There are things that still need to reach a resolution, but there were also many moments that made me hyped to see what is coming next.
I’m surprised that we didn’t get any focus on Momoharu and his feelings again in this episode. I’m really interested to see him express what is going on in his head. I’ll be a little bummed if that’s not the way it plays out, but I am glad that they we’ve had other characters like Chiaki and Mokichi comment on the type of person Momoharu is – insecure, has an inferiority complex, and overthinks everything. And I appreciate that Chiaki is able to comment on these aspects of his brother because it does show that he cares and is pretty aware that Momoharu is acting unlike his usual self. And as a result, I found the wrestling scene at the beginning of the episode to be enjoyable because it was both light-hearted and funny, while still giving the opportunity for Chiaki to say some targeted lines (like the way he switches up what Momoharu always says to him? That’s great!). But unfortunately, it looks like we’ll have to wait another episode to see the effects of his words.
In the meantime, it looks like we have a new challenger who is looking to show off his Basketball skill. Hyou Fuwa is an interesting character, he is confident, but also seems to have a pretty easy-going personality. But he is definitely the kind of person to take center stage whenever he enters a room. I mean, bright orange hair and skills that makes Kite look like a newbie? Of course, all eyes would be on him. I haven’t had a chance to form much of an opinion him yet, but I am excited to see more of him – I have a feeling he’ll find a way to clash with everyone from Kuzu High, but hey! That can be what makes a rivalry fun! And speaking of rivals, his companion is also someone I’m looking forward to meet. We finally have another short player with something to prove and I’m excited to see the contrast between that character and Sora. Sora is more of a person who plays because he has passion and for his passion, he needs to be really good because he lacks in height. He does take advantage of his height on occasion, but for the most part he’s working twice as hard to stay competing. But this new character seems to have confidence in being shorter than the average Basketball player and treats it like an asset – that he’s going to shake the whole game with his style, and I can’t wait to see him in action!
However, out of everything, I’m glad to see Sora back! And this time, he’s here to play Basketball for himself. I must admit, the sentiments expressed were rather sad, but at the same time it felt like he and everyone was gearing up for a brand new chapter and I can’t wait to see what this new version of Sora (and the rest of the team) will bring! And he knows just how to bring everyone back together – well… I’m sure he might not have planned for it to play out with them forming a club/clique, but hey! Whatever lets them play the sport and get back on the court, right? And it’s that kind of dedication and passion for the sport that disappears when he’s away. As much as Kite and Mokichi wanted to play or keep the team together, there wasn’t much they can do on their own. Simply put, Sora wants to play the game he cares about and he wants to do it with the friends he’s made. It doesn’t matter if the school doesn’t have an official team anymore, so long as he can play there isn’t much to worry about.
If the episode would have ended with Nao, Chiaki, Kite, Mokichi, and Sora agreeing to go forth with their makeshift team plan, I would have been pretty hyped for what was coming next. But they were able to take it one step further and give us a very bittersweet end to the episode. Seeing Sora leave behind his shoes in favor of the ‘air bakin’ really emphasizes that he’s moving beyond his previous goal of just taking the trophy at the Inter-High to show his mom. And it makes me sad to think about, but at the same time I can help but feel excited to see this new version of Sora. And, so even though I’m bummed that this arc is coming to a close, I’m also absolutely hyped to see what the new Sora and Kuzu High will bring!