Ahiru no Sora – Episode 49

And so, we’ve finally reached the end of this match and… well? That score was a lot more intense than I could imagine. I mean, I fully expected Kuzu to lose but to have them to have them so incredibly overpowered for that long is really impressive. In all fairness, Kuzu does have a lot of potential for the future and after everything that’s happened, it makes me happy to think about.

What I appreciated on both sides is that Kuzu didn’t give up because they were struggling and Taiei didn’t let up because they were going up against “an easy team”. Instead we got a lot reflection from characters on the court that took place instead of someone giving up on the game they were playing. Everyone who played in this game had to prove that they were worthy of standing on the court. Of course, that means something different  for both teams. Taiei had to prove themselves to the coach that they are useful in a game (arguably some had a higher stake than others). Whereas Kuzu High both needed to prove to school staff that they were serious about the game, but also prove to themselves and teammates that they deserve to be on the court. To Taiei, this is really just another practice match that they are a part of and yet that means something completely different for every one of the members. To Kuzu, this is literally the deciding factor in whether or not they get to keep playing the sport together. So, I am really happy that everyone gave their all, all the way up to the end.

I think my favorite parts of the episode really had to be the two interactions the Hanazono brothers had with the Shiraishi and Yakku. Shiraishi doesn’t sugar coat things and to admit to never going easy… well I feel like that’s kind of a compliment. He, and the rest of the team, give Kuzu High a rude awakening about just how far they have to go. It didn’t seem like he was being malicious about it, but he really did dominate those last few minutes of the game. On the other hand, we have Yakku’s interaction which further solidifies that Taiei doesn’t think Kuzu is a no-good team that they are playing. He acknowledges their potential to Momoharu and encourages them to meet again. These two interactions really make me want another season strictly to see Kuzu grow more and take on Taiei again!

Further we get that with Fuwa as well! I mean, Fuwa is a character that I haven’t really enjoyed because he is so “Me” centric when playing the game. He actually doesn’t acknowledge most of Kuzu’s team, instead he’s pretty much got his eyes on the Basket, the Ball, and Kite. And boy did Fuwa get a rude awakening in this episode and I can’t tell if it’s for better or for worse. It seems the coach and his teammates all seem to hope that he understands that he can’t shoulder the game all on his own and that he does have to rely on his teammates. But I think the frustration he felt, might push him the other direction so that he’ll try to prove that he really can take down a whole team by himself. I want to see how Fuwa changes after this episode! I know the match just ended but I’m looking forward to a rematch !

I think this episode ended on a really strong note after everything that happened. They can officially become a team again and have found themselves a new advisor (though I’m still holding out that Satsuki, will understand his true feelings and come back to help them). What really hit it home for me was the comments that the Vice Principal said to Momoharu about his regrets and transgressions. They aren’t going to magically go away because you’ve “proved” yourself. Instead you grow from them and continue to move forward with the people you cherish.

That being said, I really have no idea what the final episode will bring us next week… and I really can’t believe that we’re almost to the end. I’ve had such an enjoyable time keeping up with this team week after week. They’ve made leaps and bounds in terms of progress even though that progress is sometimes hard to see when they keep losing. But trust me, the Kuzu High that went up against Shinmaruko can’t even hold a candle to them now. And because of that I would really like to see them Kuzu continue to train, play new teams, and even rematch those they’ve already played! I’m anxiously awaiting to see what our grand finale has in store!

Quietcupcake

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

4 thoughts on “Ahiru no Sora – Episode 49

  1. Hello. Only one more week. And yes, it’s been already one year. Due do this unfortunate crisis, 2020 is already close to the end with that feeling that it did not exist. Let’s hope for a better 2021.

    So, I will join you on something: “I really have no idea what the final episode will bring us next week”. Or to be more precise, I know the maybe 3-6 first minutes but…that’s it XD. Because this is were I always thought that they would stop and even the title gives no hints as it is the name of the chapter…where I thought they would stop. So, I have never been so tense for a finale. Fun fact is, I have only now noticed that if they proceed like “business as usual”, they could even finish a volume but what’s next is (to me) kind of the beginning of a new arc so… Anyway, answer on Wednesday.

    Regarding the episode, I think that we can now forget about the close loss… Back when I was reading for the first time the part where Sora/Chiaki combo started to pile the 3 points, I was like “yeah, come-back!”. And then of course we had Yozan…but I was absolutely not expecting that the little chat between Sakamaki and Sei on the bench regarding Kuzuryu “dream” would have led to what he did at the end. And I can already tell you that this is something which will remain engraved in Chiaki’s mind for a long long long time…

    But at the same time, in retrospective, I have noticed that it kind of makes sense. I mean, if we look, all the Kuzuryu “main players” had their duel in that game so far, apart for Chiaki (even though he had some frustration moments with Sei earlier in the game). Now, this is done. And talking about these duels, I appreciate how at least one (Toby/Fuwa) leaned toward Kuzuryu. And this is kind of what I was trying to say many times with Fuwa not being exactly the antagonist that people might think. In the sense that, let’s be honest, after his first appearance, he was ticking all the boxes of the “classical overpowered nemesis”. But at the end, we discover that he still has a lot to learn and more complex. And the way that even Sei fired another shot at his ego by showing him that He (Sei) can be selfish too if he wants… I always find that part fantastic.

    Talking about Toby, that moment when he breaks Fuwa’s anklse is always epic for me. Unfortunately, I will complain (again) about the fact that they removed the narration which takes place at that moment in the manga (and which kind of explains what’s going on in Fuwa’s mind at that moment) but anyway…They even “diluted” the one which takes place when Sei “vanishes” in front of Chiaki as it is also longer and more detailed in the manga. But I understand how it is something which renders better in written format. But if they adapt further, I don’t know how they will do because there will be more and more and more narration especially in epic moments. BTW, quickly regarding Sora, I found strange that people were shocked at the “DNA comment” of Sakamaki at half-time (especially considering that he also gave him an advice). So I appreciate that he’s taking time himself to reflect on it.

    So, there it is, they have another opportunity. Of course, it does not come as a surprise (otherwise, well, the series would stop. Even though with that author…). I should precise something which could have been forgotten. They are NOT yet an official club. I mean, if you go back to the episode when Nao phoned her friend, they are now considered like a kind of sports association. This is just the first step. Also, it may sound silly but I have always appreciated that this is a female character (Totsuka, the vice-principal) who speaks with Momoharu. I mean, apart from the fact that I know she will be a recurring character, this is also the fact that she had no business so far and so, rightfully the kind of person that the team had to convince with that game.

    Anyway, episode 50, here we are coming. I can only tell you to NOT miss the beginning as there is a huge conclusion. And well, we will see what’s next. But a question regarding your favorite character Toby/Kite. How do you feel about him now? I ask that (and jokes with “favorite”) because when I discovered your reviews, I always found funny how at the beginning you were not fond of him and your recurrent (which made me laugh) “Kite being Kite”.

    1. I wonder if they might pull an open-ended ending, that could work as both a definitive end or a potential hope for another season, but as you said, all will be revealed on Wednesday.

      I’m honestly surprised that there weren’t more come-back moments! I feel like I had come to expect at least one more in the match, but every time Kuzuryu seems to be heading in a positive direction, Taiei is quick to push even farther ahead. I’m really glad that they had the chat about the dream – I think it was something that helped “soften” the blow of the end of the game (at least for spectators). It makes me happy to hear that it affects Chiaki so significantly. I really like how they were able to introduce Taiei as the “big bad” of the season, but I agree that by the end they are able to show that they’re another team that has to grow and adapt just like everyone else we’ve met so far. It’s just, unfortunately, they seem to be crushing other’s dreams along the way.

      The ankle break was great! I agree that when it happened I definitely felt that something was missing, but I’m pretty sure the moment I saw Fuwa fall I audibly said “oh snap!”. I also interested to know how many episodes are complete by the time another one airs. Because I wonder of they are taking into account what people are saying and adapting their plans for future episodes. I’m…. really wondering why Nao’s sudden switch to a narrator happened a few episodes ago, but hasn’t really made a return since then.

      Ah ok, thank you for that clarification! I figured that the form they had completed was for the new “clique”, but the way the conversation went, it sounded like they were being reinstated as a club rather than a sports association. So that clarification is really helpful, thanks! And that’s interesting about the vice-principal, because when I watched the episode, I really appreciated what she was able to say to the students, but I was really confused about who she was. If she provided commentary during the game, I probably forgot about it 🙁 . But as you said! Having her give the speech was impactful, because she is the target of who they needed to convince!

      Hmmm… how do I feel about Toby/Kite? I would say that I definitely appreciate him a lot more than during the earlier episodes. It was that arrogant attitude he had towards the team and the sport that had really turned me away from him. But he definitely started to grow on me more after he turned down Sakamaki after the Shinjo match. He still has a lot of room to grow, but that shift from “me. I will take them to the top” to “I will work with them to help them get to the top” was really nice. I’ll probably still nitpick his actions going forward though :p

    1. no worries! you’re not wrong! having them win absolutely no games during the course of 50 episodes is pretty darn rare for sport anime. i think that is partly because the manga is ongoing, so in theory the team probably wins sometime in the future (it’s kind of a bummer that we probably won’t see that animated anytime soon though…). but! i do think the team has been improving! if given the chance to have a rematch against all the teams they’ve played so far, I think they have a solid chance at winning!

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