This episode was an absolute rollercoaster, but I just want to take a moment to appreciate Tachibana before anything else. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU TACHIBANA! YOUR FIRST GOAL OF THE SEASON AND IT WAS INCREDIBLE!!! It was excellently played out and you took the shot without any hesitation. You deserve all the glory that went to you for the shot and I hope you are feeling good about yourself!!
And he really should be feeling good about himself because he was really able to turn the match around. Not only was it just a really cool goal – I mean, he did do a flip – but now the pressure was put back on Musashino. Every other player in Esperion has no ties to the team (except of course those who tried out), but Musashino is all very familiar with Tachibana. I wouldn’t call him the ace player, but he is most certainly very reliable. They all know how Tachibana plays and a lot of them really respect him, so he’s the biggest blow to a majority of the team when he pulls through. Of course, the rest of Esperion also has some really good players. But what’s most important is how they all respond to varying situations.
From my perspective as a viewer most of the Esperion players have very simplified views of things. Most of them tend to be playing in the moment with very few of them thinking towards the future. There are a handful that are concerned with turning things around, but most of them aren’t able to outright see what the other team is planning. It all boils down to “This is how they are countering us” rather than “They are countering us this way knowing that we will respond in a certain way and then actually countering us that way.” It puts stress on the team because it leads to constant confusion. It’s not good to view the game like that because Esperion crumbles quickly and falls into a “I need to be the one to take care of this” mindset, but without someone who can unify them it becomes really hard.
When it comes to someone to unify them, I’m sure it’s going to be Aoi, because of his incredible vision. Or at the very least he’s the one who can be a pillar on the field. The ability to unify comes in many different forms. Aoi would be able to provide instructions to maintain cohesion. He’s also the one who is so focused on just wanting to score goals that his frustrations turn into rallying cries. Yeah! He seems hella selfish about it, but sometimes seeing someone else so selfish encourages others to do so in a positive way. Additionally, I also think Tachibana has good unifying power. He’s an all around likable guy that people seem to trust. I wouldn’t call him the best player on the field, but it seems like people play easier when he’s around. Ohtomo also deserves credit because he was ultimately the one bringing the team together during tryouts. His role on the field is not to get goals, but make sure he can get the ball where it needs to go and support people. And lastly, I’m also going to throw Takeshima’s name into the mix. I highly doubt that he’s the glue that a lot of people need, but just being a solid rock and anchor helps quite a bit. Also, I think he deserves credit for shaving off his pompadour and lessening the stress before this game.
It really shows that the team can’t function without the contributions of many different players. They all want to win, they all want to go pro, but every single one of them has a role that supports that goal. Still, they are a team that is still figuring everything out so there are going to be plenty of kinks along the way to work out. But as long as everyone doesn’t give up, we are in a good spot. When everyone on the field is a force to be reckoned with, you can’t target specific players and in the last few minutes of this episode Kaneda learned that. Targeting Togashi and Takeshima was honestly a good idea. They don’t play the same way and their communication (especially after fighting) is not good. But, there are more players on the field, so I also want to give a shoutout to Kuroda… who is most likely out for the rest of the game. But hey! In not allowing Kaneda to get the goal, Kuroda really saved the morale of the team.
I really can’t believe that there are only two episodes left in this season! All this buildup has me antsy for more and I don’t want to wait. But, I also don’t want to save the last two episodes to binge… so, we will just have to wait and see what happens next week. I can’t wait!!