Ahhhhhhh I’m stressed!! I’m pretty sure the ambulance is for Ochi, but I really hope Fukuho is able to bounce back from that. Like it’s one thing to get hurt, but it’s another thing to have someone get hurt because of something you did. I know Subaru is shaken up about it and that will definitely affect how the team will ultimately perform, but perhaps they’ll have a stronger resolve to make it to the Spring Tournament?? It really is anyone’s game now.
This episode has me absolutely conflicted. My investment in Fukuho winning is still really high and I really hope Subaru is able to take Ochi to the Spring Tournament. Even at the start of this episode, with the doctor’s checkup I’m stressed for him! I figured an injury was going to come to him before the final game, but man I didn’t expect it to come to a teammate instead. That’s even more stressful! I want Subaru to be able to keep his promises and take his team to the finals. If we’re talking strictly who has probably worked harder or even dreamed harder, I would give that to Fukuho. They’ve been building themselves up for so long and they really want to make it together as a team rather than to achieve individual’s goals. It kind of feels unfair of me to say that after this episode, seeing as they were often rarely training when we connected with them as a team and instead were having fun together, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’ve been putting in the work behind the scenes.
But I also have to give credit to Seiin… well, actually the credit in this episode really goes to Aoki and Oda because I also want them to succeed! I loved hearing about how Aoki really got invested in the team (and also seeing their first-year haircuts lol). And I love his honestly with the fact that he doesn’t plan on continuing Volleyball after High School. I think his story can really resonate with some people. In High School you can really get invested in a sport and want to make it to the top, but there comes a point where you realize that you don’t plan on making it pro, but you still cherish and value the time that you’ve spent with the team and playing the sport. Just… as a final hurrah, I want to see them go as far as they can as well. And just as a side note – I like Aoki as a character. I like his cunning nature and his willingness to be a little underhanded. He’s fun and adds a little bit of “spice” to the team. Also, I like his ulterior motive of having everyone get their grades up. It was a cute spin on the typical “sports nerd is good at sports but sucks at school so let’s call them out for it” that we usually see in some series.
I’m still rooting for Fukuho, but I really need to brace myself for their probable loss. I knew pretty much the moment they focused on Subaru at the doctors that there was probably going to be some injury. Actually, if I’m being honest with the way this anime likes to throw in cliffhangers and drama, I was kind of expecting to happen even in earlier episodes. I am, however, surprised at who is injured. Of course, Ochi being injured is just speculation, but based on the last time we saw him? It’s highly likely. Unless there was an off-screen fight, I don’t know who else it would be. But I really expected the injury to come to Subaru, primarily because he’s been such a focus and the repeated focus on his injuries made it seem like they were certainly going to be a roadblock for him. Alternatively, I was also expecting Haijima based on the conversation he had with Sota in the hospital a few episodes back. I thought they were going to play on the “you’ll break if you can’t play” idea that they mentioned. I really do hope they revisit that idea. However, now my biggest concern is if they are going to have the injury event significantly impact Fukuho’s playstyle. Obviously, they are all going to be very shaken up about it and I can totally believe that it will weigh on their minds. But! I really don’t want that to be the way that Seiin wins. It… would feel like they’re taking the easy way out. If they are going to win, I want them to have a tried and true, everyone is at their best match!
This episode certainly has me conflicted. I can see both teams taking the victory and bringing their team to the Spring Tournament. Though, with only three episodes left, I can anticipate that this will be a long match between the two, unless they’re planning to rush through some matches or announce a second season? I’m still rooting for Fukuho, but man it’s going to be rough for them.