Ahh… wow this episode was absolutely brutal for Kuzu High. Taiei has found their rhythm and has figured out how to shut Kuzu out. Quite frankly with Taiei’s skills and confidence, it will be pretty difficult for Kuzu to turn things around. But as they said at the end, the match isn’t over yet!
If I’m honest from the get-go, I don’t have very high hopes for Kuzu to win this match, even if they pull a miraculous feat and manage to catch up to their opponent in the second half. From what I can see, this match will certainly be a learning opportunity 1) to just show the incredibly difference between skills, and 2) to also recognize skills that need to develop. But that isn’t too say that they won’t pull off impressive things in the second half! But this episode really showed how well rounded Taiei is – as mentioned in the episode, they have to fight for the right to wear the jersey, so they can’t just hone one skill and be good at that one skill, they need to be impressive and put in 110% towards everything. Kuzu… on the other hand, while they currently have their best line-up on the court… each member really only has one skill. Momoharu has his jump, which helps the team get rebounds, but he can’t shoot. Mokichi is incredibly tall which helps the team out tremendously and he also has his hook shot, but his lack of stamina and middle school predictability hurts the team. Quite frankly, this episode showed Taiei’s adaptability skills and they have completely shut their opponent out. At this point it seems like all of Kuzu’s cards are on the table and Nao doesn’t really have any wild cards to pull. But hey! We’re only at halftime, and Sora’s gotten tips from the opposing team’s coach, and he and Yozan are finally going to interact with each other!
That being said, I’m super excited to see how the interaction between Yozan and Sora will go! Yozan is definitely the player that I’ve been hoping to see in action the most – I have a feeling he has another connection with Sora aside from being short, but I haven’t quite figured out what it might be… if there is something. If anything, I want to see the two of them and their play styles. Yozan, playing for Taiei, obviously has a lot of competition in order to even get on the court, so based off of that I assume he will be just as much of a threat as the current players on the court… However, I have a feeling that he doesn’t’ get the opportunity to be on the court to play with a team. With that in mind I can imagine that even though he’ll have skills the inability to connect with the team can be pretty damaging. Of course, this is all speculation and I won’t actually find out for a week or two. But Sora’s fight to play is a little different. Because of the nature of the team, he doesn’t have to fight to stay on the court, and quite frankly he continues to play because he has the passion for the sport. He’s working a lot better with the team as a whole especially as he takes over point guard. But he doesn’t have the amount of rigorous training and skill that Yozan would have developed over time. So, I really hope Yozan gets a chance on the court during this match!
Lastly, I just want to take a moment to talk about the spectating teacher’s and their decision to leave. Even though it was a very short segment of the episode, I think it was important to say. The principal essentially set up this match as a second chance for the Basketball team, but also to show all the doubtful teachers how much this group actually cares. I appreciated that the teachers acknowledged the goals of the principal and even commented that they wouldn’t mind taking up the advisor role if that’s all the team needs. But they also acknowledged that there is something more that is needed to actually help Kuzu reach their lofty goals. I mean they are, as Kite has mentioned, at the bottom… but hey, they have nowhere to go but up, so let’s hope things start looking up for our team in the upcoming episodes!
I’m sorry I didn’t have very much to say about the actual match this week!! All around things, weren’t going well for our team as they were fouling and generally just unable to succeed with anything they were trying to pull off. Still! We’re only halfway through and there’s always a chance that things will start to look better for our team!