Ahhh…. I was kind of hoping that the match would start in this week’s episode, but I guess the buildup we got was pretty good. Compared to previous episodes though, this one felt as if it was taking its time. And for that reason, I don’t really know if I have too much to say about it.
Across the board it was nice to see how Kuzu High was preparing for the big game. We got to see Sora and Nabe working together to improve Nabe’s shot, and we got to see Chucky’s new perspective when it comes to defending. So, I appreciated the chance to see how those two were growing and improving individually, because they tend to fall more into the background with the team as a whole. But on that note, I’m actually surprised that Sora / Mokichi / others didn’t convince Kite to rejoin the group practice before the actual match began. Of all the possible, things to “resolve” before the match I thought that one would be a priority. At the same time, I’m actually excited to see what he’ll bring to the game after training on his own this whole time.
I do wish we had a little more content with Madoka before going into her scenes this week. I personally felt that her interaction with Sora was a little bit off. I mean, I’m glad that they had a chance to talk about what happened after the Shinjo game, but I’m struggling to figure out what’s going on with her and where her story fits back in with everything. But based on this episode, it’s a bummer that she’s not going to attend the game (or maybe she’ll catch it near the end). But at the same time, she did have that slight crisis earlier where she realized just how much time she was sinking into Basketball, so perhaps this is her way of stepping out of that comfort zone and doing things like her peers. Personally, I don’t really know where they are going with her story and I’m not sure if it will be conveyed effectively in the remaining 9 episodes, but I’m still hopeful that it will all make sense soon.
I had a lot of fun with the principal in this episode, primarily because of how he dealt with the push back from all the teachers. It was entertaining to watch them all try to come up with excuses to not go and see the Basketball game, but how he just ignores the complaints and tells them to go anyways makes me happy that he’s on the side of the boys. Or at least on the side that really expresses the “Youthful memories”. And even if only a small portion of the teachers showed up, they’re in for a real treat. And a bonus to the Soccer team for helping out, perhaps their youthful spark will reignite as well. One thing that I particularly liked was the immediate shift in perspective once Taiei started warming up! Obviously it’s not going to change the thoughts and feelings of the on-lookers so easily, but even just having them acknowledge that they were impressed by the players warming up makes me excited to see what their reactions will be going forward.
Unfortunately, I don’t have too much to say regarding Kuzu and the lead up to the start of the game. If anything, the only things I have to comment on, is that I like that despite playing on their own court, they are wearing their “Challenger” jersey. To me it signifies that they shouldn’t be too comfortable, and it gives a visual representation that there is something they are fighting for. Aside from that, I just wonder why they were in the storage room for their warm-up, I guess they were doing to prepping of some sort? But I guess it’s a mystery for now. But I am happy that, even though we still haven’t learned much about Yozan, that he and Sora have caught each other’s attention. So, I can’t wait to see how that competition plays out on the court!
So, overall, this was a fine episode. I don’t think there was anything super stand out about it, but it did give us a bridge that lead us right to the start of the match. So now that everyone’s showed up (even if Kite and Fuwa were fashionably late), I’m thankful that the match will finally start next week.