Ahiru no Sora – Episode 38

Ahhhhhh a Madoka episode!! (Well… at least half of it was anyways, but I’m happy about it nonetheless!). As a standalone, I felt this episode was a decent mix of charming and exciting, but it did feel like a mixed bag of content in the overall story. I liked that we were able to spend some time with Madoka – it felt like a breath of fresh air to see how things are going for her off the court and provide additional information of her personal life. On the other hand, I wasn’t expecting Nao and Sora to go watch the Playoffs between Maru and Taiei, so I’m hyped for the potential that that match will bring (also a bonus that they ran into Takahashi and Kojima on the way!)

I found it really interesting that a good portion of this episode was dedicated to Madoka without any real reference to Sora and the rest of the team. As I mentioned earlier, it felt like a breath of fresh air because it allowed us to take a step back from the Boys’ Basketball team, but also it helped to shape Madoka as her own separate character. It feels a little late considering there’s only 12 episodes left, but I guess it’s better late than never ? I don’t really have too much to say about her portion of the episode though. It was nice to see her as her own person, and not as just “the girl who supports the team”. I liked that they showed her recognition of her own failings towards the sport, be it lack of dedication or ability. And overall, I liked that they showed the importance of something precious to her and a special relationship that she has. I will be a bit frustrated if the earrings or that relationship with the married sister doesn’t come back though, I feel as if it was just a glimpse rather than a full story. If it doesn’t return… then I wonder… why they would opt to include it. I suppose some of the boys from the Karaoke outing could make a reappearance, but if I’m honest, none of them really stuck with me.

When we actually return to the team, there… really isn’t too much to say in this episode. We essentially got a recap of the previous episode laying out the stakes of their match with Taiei. We get a bit of “here’s our current situation and how much time we have to train”, but we don’t really get to see any solid development for the team. They’re practicing on a public court, Sora is breaking in his new shoes, and Chiaki pretty much has to justifying their current situation for Nao whenever someone questions why they are doing what they’re doing. When Nao and Sora take a train to the playoffs, there’s a brief narration that the team seems more divisive than before, but they don’t really explain what that means. Have there been further conflicts that we haven’t seen? Has there been a bigger change that we’re not aware of? It seems odd that they would mention the team’s division now, given that they haven’t really been the most cohesive group thus far…

As for the last portion of the episode, I must admit that I’m excited to see the match between Shinmaruko and Taiei, the first team to dominate Kuzu High and their newest opponent, it’s bound to be a good match. It does lead me to wonder how much of the match they are actually going to show, since I’m assuming, we still have to include Kuzu High vs Taiei in the remaining episodes. Still, it was nice to see the pre-game anxiety from Chiba even though, I’m not too sure it was as impactful as it was intended to be.

Overall, I think this was a pretty fine episode with quite a bit packed into it. The biggest thing that threw me off during the episode was that it seemed to lack connection overall. Things felt as if they mashed together a lot of development scenes where it feels like they were just “trying to fit it all in” as we go into the final arc of the manga. Still, I am looking forward to seeing what next week brings because I’ve kind of been missing seeing a match!

Quietcupcake

I live up to my username, but I hope we can be friends!

2 thoughts on “Ahiru no Sora – Episode 38

  1. Hello. I thought that you had been abducted last time XD. So, how large was the smirk on your face when they mentioned Nao’s hair? As I often told you, you really have bullseye/Hawk-eye. Me I had not even noticed it until they talked about it in the manga Lol.

    Well, as usual, let’s start with what puzzled you because…I have bad news for you once again: they skipped something! And actually, I should say that I have never been such pissed off after an episode. So, what has been skipped? Well, part of the reason why Nao was talking about lack of cohesion. Actually, part of it has been shown but maybe it wasn’t clear enough. That is, when Toby is shown running alone…well that is because we should understand that he’s really training alone and NOT with the teammates anymore! (lonely Kite is back!)
    But what they skipped and really pissed me off is that once again poor Yasuhara character development has been ditched! I mean, in that episode (and actually a bit in the previous one) we were supposed to see that Yasuhara is “avoiding” Momoharu. There were supposed to be scenes like for instance when Momoharu makes his “gymnasium debt speech”, Yasuhara is watching him very strangely. Actually, he’s supposed to do the same also in the previous episode when the director mentioned that Momo begged in the rain. And so, in the manga, when they are still outside, they are supposed to pair for working and Momo asks Yasu for pairing but Yasu immediately turns himself toward Nabe.

    And actually, that led to a “cheat” that they made in one scene. I mean, when Sora and Nao voices overlap (sorry, I don’t know how to say that properly in English), yeah there is embarrassment, but actually what matters here is that this is not about switching trains they talk. In the manga, Nao talks about the “troubles” (Toby but…also Yasu as Sora didn’t notice the latter). Anyway, if they skipped the explanation latter on, I will tell you (even though it is linked to something that you pointed out loooong time ago once again oracle. XD). Actually, if I were the manga author, that is after that episode that I would have exploded (because as you certainly heard, last week he threw under the bus the directing of the anime adaptation)

    So, you were not pissed by the Madoka part. You are really in the minority because poor Madoka is hated by so many people over internet (at least, those who are speaking) that I don’t know what to say. But, I will be honest, me too when I read that part, I felt weird. But that is because I couldn’t guess what was the plan and I can say now that Madoka, while absolutely NOT being my favorite character, is the best written one but I prefer already warn you that this is a long shot. (BTW, on the train, Sora wanted to ask Nao about Madoka, but he doesn’t as he felt a bit guilty seeing how Nao is paying attention to the team)

    Funny enough, you say that quite a lot has been packed but actually, this is the lowest pages number that they adapted so far (~45 pages compared to the average usual 60 pages). And if it feels so disjointed, that certainly because the Madoka part was the last chapter of a volume (which increased my frustration when I read it as I had to wait for another volume), while the rest of the episode was the beginning of the next volume. I am afraid that the game will be speed-raced again next episode…

    1. I must admit, after you asked the question last week Nao’s change had been on my mind for a few days! I was definitely trying to think back to see if there was more of a change, so when they brought up her hair, I definitely did a little victory fist pump! 😀

      It’s frustrating to hear that so many of Yasuhara’s scenes are being cut or being given less importance than the manga. In the earlier episodes he was definitely a character that I appreciated seeing the perspective of – and I still appreciate it when we get it – but to hear such important moments being cut… makes me wonder why they would have opted to include any of them at all. Looking back on it, when I saw Kite running on his own, I had assumed that he was doing additional training or was just being the lone wolf type character that he is, but in terms of expressing the loss of cohesion within the team it does make sense why they would show it. I still wish they would have included a little bit more or at least included some if not all of those Yasuhara moments.

      I did see the tweets from the author this week and it does make me remember the tweet you shared a little bit ago where he said the anime series was now “someone else’s child” and it does make me sad to know that the anime isn’t doing the original work justice, especially in the eyes of the mangaka. I hope they do these remaining episodes justice, though from the sounds of it they will probably rush through…

      I like Madoka as an overall character, though I agree that she isn’t my favorite. She’s complicated and has a lot of depth for someone who isn’t on the Boys’ Team or just a love interest. I like that they portray her as a person with faults and equally complicated emotions to that of our main cast. I’m still trying to figure out what her full segment means for her future though… but hopefully that will be revealed in due time.

      I’m surprised to hear that this episode only covered 45 pages! Perhaps if feels like a lot was packed in, due to the removed content and disjointedness of it all. I hope that they will be able to find a good rhythm for this arc, despite it seeming like they’ll have to race through to the end. (Also, I wonder about the potential for another season, I think there could be enough interest in it, but I worry a bit after this week’s episode)

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