Finally! We get a rival for Seiin and they seem like a fun cast of characters. Even though we’ve only had one episode with them… Is… it bad that I’m probably more invested in Fukuho Tech? In just this single episode we’ve been introduced to an entirely new team, gotten some background, seen their motivations, and stumbled into some trouble. I can’t believe in such a short amount of time they make me want to cheer for them more than Seiin.
Of course, it was only one episode and we still need to see how the practice match next week will end up playing. But for an introduction to the other team? I think they knocked it out of the park! Ochi and Subaru probably carry the team dynamics, but still, I just really want them to accomplish their dreams! But I’m also a sucker for the whole “we made a promise and we’re going to keep that promise and this is the last chance we get” plot line, so perhaps I am a little bit biased. What I really loved about this team is that they… didn’t really sit in the “negative space” for too long. One thing with Kuroba that has been frustrating me is that he’s just bad at communicating his thoughts and feelings so that leads to more troubles for everyone else. I mean, I don’t mind Kuroba as a character, it’s just sometimes I want to reach my hands through the screen, grasp his shoulders and say, “Please talk it out!!”
I liked seeing the promise that Subaru and Ochi made when they were leaving the hospital and again when they made the declaration in the courtyard. “Leave your three years of high school to me” Like Wow!!!! Those are some pretty heavy words, you better live up to that Subaru! Getting a career ending injury is a pretty common thing that happens to athletes and if that can severely impact a person both physically and emotionally. On the one hand you probably can’t play the sport you love anymore, but now you have to also come to terms with that reality. I don’t blame Ochi for getting upset with the situation! And I’m glad that they didn’t have Subaru pull the “I’m more tragic than you” card. Instead, I liked that the to two actually talked it out, made a promise and continued to work towards it. Like, this is their final year to reach their dreams! I know Oda has his own dreams of the spring tournament, but that announcement was bundled in with additional Haijima and Kuroba please stop fighting and actually talk to each other. This week we got to see everything from another team’s perspective and they were the focus!! And that was nice to experience. Though I am interested to see if Subaru is going to “crash”. It seems like he wants to keep this promise with Ochi, but it seems like being the Ace is really taking a toll on him (But maybe that isn’t what they wanted me to get out of this episode so I’ll hold off on thinking that for another week.)
It feels kind of weird, despite Fukuho Tech is the “competition” they really felt like they were in the protagonist role with this episode. Like when they went to go spy on the practice and got into some trouble, I felt like taking their side rather than Seiin’s (But it was funny when Aoki bluffed his recording of them). Perhaps it’s because I’m indifferent towards the Rugby guy and the second year for Fukuho had his chance to be charming in this episode. And maybe it was just the ending with Haijima looking so threateningly at them. Ah… who knows? But I am interested to know if my feelings towards Fukuho change during the practice match! Perhaps once they switch everything back to Seiin’s perspective I’ll change my opinion on them, but for now – Go Subaru!! You can do it!
Just overall, I think they did a great introduction to this team and I’m really looking forward to seeing them in action with a practice match. I still don’t know how I feel about liking a team that was only introduced in this episode more than the protagonist team… but perhaps this means more teammate backstory and development soon? I sure hope that’s the case!