It’s time to deal with the consequences of completely altering the Iondai Free Skate performance from the previous episode and there seems to be quite the tension between all the team members. But I mean? It makes sense that they would be upset. They all thought the plan would go off smoothly and they would have ranked much higher. Too bad they forgot to take into account that practice and team awareness really are key to Skate Leading.
I’m really not all that surprised that the team members were upset by the results of their previous match. If they had just skated like they had practiced, then things would have certainly gone much better for them in terms of the score. They were taking a gamble and while they faltered technically, they were still able to grab the attention of the audience members. I wish we could have seen their routine animated rather than just stills explaining that the team couldn’t keep up, but it got the point across so I guess I can’t be too picky about it, but I just want to see some skating dangit!! And honestly, the explanation is only semi-satisfying for me because we just went through a similar realization when Kubota challenged Maeshima two episodes ago. The biggest take away was that it is important to be aware of where your teammates are. Skate-Leading is a team sport so even if one person is absolutely stellar, it means next to nothing if you’re leaving everyone else behind. Though, the explanation was given to the coach rather than the team I suppose it isn’t a “re-learning” of something we’ve heard before, but it still hasn’t actually shown up as a lesson any one has learned yet. They seem to just make that statement and move on.
And speaking of the coach, I’m glad that we finally got an episode that was more focused on him even if I wasn’t too sure where they were going with it. We’ve known that he’s been a competitive figure skater for a while and he is just completely disinterested in training the team. It’s just a means for him to get paid until he can get back on his feet. But just like the Iondai team, he wants the victory and for him that’s placing in first. He’s selfish in that way but at the end of the day it’s what helps him finally agree to do his job of coaching the team. Despite getting a little bit more interaction with him, I have to admit that I was pretty disinterested in his story and I think it’s because I don’t feel like it was fleshed out enough. They gave us tidbits of information, but generally his monotonous reactions and lack of expression just made me check out. Like good for him for going after his dreams! But I just don’t feel invested. Perhaps that will change if we finally see his coaching in action.
I’m not going to talk a lot about the Sasugai situation because as Yukimitsu said, it was a waste of time. They brought up the worst-case scenario of why Sasugai had been missing from school, found out all the work he had been putting in to get all the data for the competing teams, and then found him asking the coach to teach the team his special trick. It seemed like a way to raise the drama, I guess? But like Maeshima said, it’s Sasugai. The guy who disappeared during the club competition to do research and the guy who didn’t even put in his transfer paperwork until after he’d won. So… I guess good on Maeshima for understanding Sasugai enough to know that he was just scheming.
But by the end of the episode it looks like the team has managed to piece itself back together again even though it had never really fallen apart to begin with. At least they are going to learn the signature move and actually get coaching from their coach so they can take everyone by storm in the next competition. I just hope that there isn’t a serious injury…. well… it would mean that Kubota gets to skate again, and I could get behind that. And with that, let’s see what the next round of competition brings!