We’ve made it to season open, the Grand Prix opening is upon us! Too bad we don’t actually get to see very much of the competition or more than one full routine. Still, it looks like Iondai is safe for now and manages to scrape by in 6th place.
You know, at first I thought they were doing a pretty decent job of actually hyping up the competition. I felt like it was getting tense and was genuinely looking forward to seeing what all these teams had up their sleeves that we didn’t previously know. But honestly, I kind of felt like Sasugai in this episode. In the sense that I felt like I didn’t even need to see what happened to get the general gist of the competition and I was pretty disappointed in that. I really want to SEE what Skate-Leading is all about. I want to SEE cool combos and techniques they pull off. I don’t want to just hear about it afterwards or just be given a score. I don’t mind sitting with no dialogue listening to the same piece over and over, I just want to see them skate and show the dynamics within the sport! It doesn’t do a whole lot for me to just hear “here’s the scores! This team is good because they got good synchronization” and then when Iondai goes, just see a bunch of frustrated audience members.
I suppose it’s one way to brush aside the other four competitors for this first day of the competition since we don’t actually care who they are and what they do, but it really makes me feel that the teams that we should be worried about are just being swept up with them. I’m thankful that we got to see Chutei University skate most of their short program. They were on a role and it was nice to see them show off what they could do! Of course, we only actually care about the twins on the team – aside from Iondai I don’t think we care about a full team (except maybe the idol one because they all have names? But they might just be boiled down to “the idol team ft. experienced skater”). But! Chutei is pretty impressive and I hope we get to see more of their programs in the future!
For the longest time in this episode, I really couldn’t understand why Sasugai was so frustrated by everything. He was able to accurately predict scores for the competing teams, so I initially thought that Iondai just wasn’t adding up. So, it kind of threw me for a loop when he got so frustrated with everyone for playing it safe. Playing it safe at least got them in the top three, but yeah Maeshima doesn’t get to shine if he can’t skate freely. I’m getting mixed signals about it. We just spent the last couple episodes trying to reign him in… but now we want him to be the same? Like yeah! Episode 5 focused on him needing to be aware of his surroundings and where his teammates are and that makes sense for the sport. But are they trying to go for enjoyment points? I don’t know. Yeah, playing it safe gets them the points, but that doesn’t mean that they will win. They have to wow everyone and do well. I don’t know… I’m not really too sure what they were trying to get at and that’s frustrating.
I feel bad that I’m not as enthused about this episode that I wanted to me. I really wanted to see some synchronized skating and to see what everyone could do. Chutei at least gave us some of that and I do think they deserve their first-place finish. I’m glad we got to see part of their short program and have it nicely animated. But I also want to see Iondai skate fully! They’re “our” team, I want to see what they have in store! I don’t want it to be a situation where we finally get to see their skating in full until the final match. I barely even know that they work together better now because we haven’t actually seen them… work together. Still, I’m going to hold out in hopes that we’ll get to see more skating in the upcoming episodes.