Love All Play Episode 3

This week we were introduced to some more new first years trying out the Badminton Club. Most of them quickly dropped out after being unable to keep up or were simply uninterested in the difficult practices, or chose to drop out because they knew it would be difficult to do have time to study and practice. The first day just involved doing a bunch of intense workouts without actually picking up the racket. That alone was enough to kill the interest for a few, and then before long, more or less everyone who took part of the club’s trial ended up dropping out, with the exception of one and the five first years who were already scouted by Coachi Ebihara.

Meet Uchida Akira, the only first year who have participated in the club’s trial to stick around. Unlike the other boys, he is a complete newbie when it comes to badminton, and admittedly had a rather discouraging start with struggling to hit the birdies. The problem was that Akira had previously played ping-pong, so out of habit, he was swinging too late because he is more used to using a short paddle than a long racket. To fix this, Coach Ebihara gave him a helpful pointer how to set the beat, and with that Akira was finally able to land some hits! He is quite an endearing character, and it’s very heartwarming to see the boys be super supportive of him. This is the wholesome goodness I like to see!

Akira’s perseverance was something that Haruto, one of the first years (and Ryo’s/Kouki’s classmate) who also took part of the club’s trial didn’t quite understand until later on. He was convinced that Akira would eventually cave in as the rest of them did, but the main difference is that Akira is having enough fun with the experience to tough out the rigorous training. In the end, it doesn’t matter if it makes the cut to be a regular or not, he just wants to continue playing badminton because he’s having fun, and ultimately, that’s all that matters. If you love it, you will be more motivated to continue even when it gets hard, or don’t go your way. (I suppose this is also why I kind of already developed a soft spot for Akira. I’ve been been there, done that. It is by no means easy, but it really is your love for the game it what keeps you going.) It was something Haruto only realized after he had taken a step back to watch from afar. That said, he isn’t completely wrong about saying they are obsessed with badminton, but perhaps the word he is looking for is, passionate, hahaha!

But the one other thing Haruto didn’t quite grasp either was the ambitious drive. When he was discussing to Ryo about his plans of dropping out, we saw how Ryo regretted being unable to tell him that ambitiously aiming to become the next National Champion. However this is the side of Ryo that is still growing. He has the will, but his confidence isn’t sync’d up with it yet.

I have to say, I really liked that we had the chance to explore the different perspectives of various individuals, ranging from the casuals to the competitive. It’s something that often gets overlooked in sports series since it largely since it largely revolves around the competitions. It might seem come across as boring to some, but I do think there is some value in seeing the other side of things.

Apart from that, they did address my suspicions about the potential consequences of failing to do well during class. Ryo was giving a warning by his coach that snoozing off that is a sure way to get himself suspended from club activities. Furthermore, players are not allowed to play if they gets lower than class average, which means they have to work exceptionally hard at both. Ryo quickly realized that he needs to pull himself together because he is already flunking his tests. There is also this unspoken expectation of him, alluded by Kento who seems to have been referring to Ryo’s sister Rika, who had already graduated. We saw at the beginning of the episode that she is the school’s poster-child, so it will be interesting to see if Ryo may find himself being compared to her.

Speaking of Kento, the coach assigned Ryo to scrimmage him a bit today, and while Kento wasn’t initially too impressed with the start of things, once Ryo started to pick up of his pattern, it looks like it finally clicked to him that there is more to him that meets the eye.

Next time, the club members will be undergoing a ranked round-robin tournament to determine the lineup for the upcoming Inter-High Prefecture qualifiers that take place after Golden Week. I’m excited to see how what the rankings are going to look it, and I certainly wouldn’t mind getting to know some of the second and third year players who we have only gotten a glimpse of so far.

Eva

Blogging Anime since Summer 2009, & Founder of AngryAnimeBitches Anime Blog ...I may or may not be addicted to writing

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