I’m really impressed with this episode, because it certainly felt longer than 24 minutes, but in a good way! It didn’t feel too rushed, but it also didn’t feel like we were in a slog trying to go through Jotaro’s development. He hit a major low in this episode after his coach finally cut him off, but we still managed to reach a resolution and a pretty darn happy end to the episode (of course we’re in for something next week as the new high school gymnast seems to have some beef with our protagonist).
We jump into the episode by being reminded of Jotaro’s retirement announcement… which turned out not to be what everyone was expecting. Instead, he goes against his coach’s wishes and determines on the spot that he’s not willing to give up the gymnastics world, primarily because of what it brings for his daughter and what it has brought to his life. Understandably, his coach cuts him off then and there and it seems to be an act of punishment for what Jotaro has pulled. And quite frankly, I don’t blame the coach for making the decision. It seemed really mean in the moment, but Jotaro seems to be the kind of person that can take some words and give them a different meaning. So, it was probably for the best to be as firm as he was. And from there, I really thought the episode was going to play out in the typical, “oh, well, my coach handled this sort of stuff for me, so now I’m hopeless on my own” type thing. But! even though it popped up briefly, I’m pretty content that they didn’t go down that route. He made do with what he had, and perhaps they weren’t the smartest ideas (I mean…. running for six whole hours… wowie, that stamina).
But on the side, we have Leo getting his first job working for the Grandma. And I’m happy that he seems to enjoy it. I’m a little bummed that we didn’t get to see him working more often, but we were introduced to Britany, the acupuncturist. I must admit I wasn’t the biggest fan of how Britany was introduced, but I am glad that once we got to know them outside of Leo’s place of work, they turned out to be a very helpful character. And on that note, I’m happy that Leo’s a character in this series because really does break up those tense, worrying moments. I think it balances out nice, because we’re able to get the emotions from our character, but they don’t necessarily compound in the moment. We get to sit in unfortunate circumstances for just long enough, and then he comes in and brightens the mood :). Perhaps my feelings on this will change in a few episodes considering we’re only on episode 2, but for now I’m glad he’s here.
I’m happy that Leo was able to introduce Jotaro to Britany after finding out about the injury since meeting Britany really seemed to be what Jotaro needed in the moment. Kudos Leo for having fantastic timing. I absolutely adored the segments where the three of them were practicing Tai Chi together, and eventually had other joining them. It was fun and just really made me smile especially when the little kids were able to join! But then after that, Britany being able to bring out a realization to Jotaro was also a pretty significant moment because it really took a third party to get through to Jotaro. And you know, I completely understand where Jotaro is coming from in the fact that he is working himself quite literally to the death. Sometimes you just don’t see how much you’re running yourself into the ground. You just keep telling yourself that you’ll be fine and eventually start ignoring the good intentions others have for your well-being. So, yay for Leo and Britany, you two were able to help Jotaro have a personal revelation.
And it all led to a pretty happy end as Jotaro heads back to ask his coach to come back. I’m happy that it did actually turn out to be tough love from the coach, so hearing the comments about him being worried about Jotaro were really nice. And now that that is squared away, we get a brief confrontation by the Bandana Prince, who I’m excited to meet in next week’s episode. He seems like a punkish know-it-all, so I’m interested to see how he’ll butt heads with everyone. So, all in all, I had a good time with this week’s episode and I’m looking forward to what it’ll bring next week!