The first day of competition is finally here and there are a lot of surprises for the spectators today. The fan favorite seems to be off of his game, but Aragaki and Takizawa are here and ready to show what they’ve got and they’re in (almost) top condition. Despite this we seem to be missing a very key person in the audience, so hopefully we’re able to reach them soon.
For Tetsuo, I kind of feel indifferent towards him and his off game in this episode. Throughout this whole series, especially with the opening, I really expected him to play a much larger role in at least someone’s development. But he’s very much a lone wolf and once he defeats someone, he doesn’t seem like the type to look back on them. I thought maybe he’d be a rival turned protégé or heck even just a pleasant acquaintance to Jo, but for the most part the two of them exist separately from each other. Except it seems that Jo is making much more of an impact on Testuo in this episode due to the surprising number of faults he fell to in this episode. Tetsuo seems to really only care about being on top and falling off the top ranks impacted him pretty negatively. He’s no longer looking forward to becoming the best, but instead he’s looking to catch up, or avenge his faults. While his focus is still on gymnastics, it’s not quite where it should be and it’s impacting him significantly.
Alternatively, I can look at his faults as just him being too good that his body is on auto pilot. This is honestly not the best for him because if he’s practiced his routine many times in his home gym, a different gym’s equipment is going to have a much different affect. I don’t know if I fully buy in to this explanation, but they did mention he was in top form, so I could believe that it’s a combination of his muscle memory and determination that’s causing him to trip up. And honestly! I’m kinda glad that he’s gotten tripped up because I feel he needs to be knocked down a few pegs. Yeah, he’s up and coming, but perhaps he needs to realize that there’s more to becoming number 1 than just being number 1. Or perhaps, I’m just appreciating Jotaro, Leo, and Takizawa’s attitudes because they aren’t focused on being the best, they’re doing it for the love and care of gymnastics.
But I probably shouldn’t speculate too much since the final episode is coming and Tetsuo has a chance to make his comeback. Heck! I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up taking the lead but Jotaro finds something better than winning. But speaking of Jo, he really does seem to be at the top of his game in this episode, everything, for the most part, seems to be going all according to plan. And his injury wasn’t much of a concern to him until the very end. So, there’s still a lot of hope for him to maintain the lead for the second day of the competition. But more than that, Jo’s performance seems to be top quality because 1) he’s finally taking care of himself, 2) he’s been getting a lot of practice, and 3) he wants to show his gymnastics to Leo. Unfortunately…. it seems Leo is nowhere to be found. And to be honest, based on where we ended this episode, I’m scared for next week!
I don’t know if we’re going to adequately wrap everything up with just one more episode. Leo has a lot of self-reflection that he has to go through and at least right now, he’s not planning to see Jo’s gymnastics. I’d…. be frustrated if he just says “sike Rei! I was just joking, I’m a ninja! and I’m here to see Jo!” next week. I really want Leo to talk out his feelings a bit more rather than having other people describe his situation to us. I do have hope that they aren’t going to pull off a rushed ending, but I do hope they give everyone appropriate closure. If it’s not a happy ending, that’s fine, but I do hope something good comes out of next week.
Unfortunately, we won’t know until the next episode, so it’s probably better that I don’t think too much about it. There will probably be an unknown surprise coming our way, or perhaps Takizawa will take his place at the top of the leaderboard and “Go to Hell” will be his new cheer.