Welp, here it is, Hanamichi’s first major tantrum of joining the basketball team. After being forced to do dribbling basics for his first week on the team the newbie is about to snap. No matter how athletic he is, the basics are absolutely crucial to being able to play the sport. Unfortunately, no one is really able to convey it to him before he snaps.
I knew this episode would come with him throwing a fit and quitting the basketball team, but I’m still so frustrated by his actions. Sure, maybe Akagi was being a little too strict with your dribbling basics, but it’s hard to do much of anything in a game if you can’t continuously dribble. If anything, maybe he should have been running laps around the gym by this point so he could get used to the feeling of moving and dribbling, but I don’t disagree with having the newbie work on his basics. And sure Hanamichi may be skilled at moving the ball around his body – which would help them in the future – but it needs to work with the rest of his basics. Hanamichi, you need more skills and can’t rely on your athleticism alone !!
But in the end, he throws a fit because he’s not allowed to do the one thing he wants to do: Slam Dunk. At this point, that’s the only thing he knows about basketball aside from having to do basics while everyone else gets to do 3 on 3 matches during practice. I get why he’s frustrated, but he did a really poor job making an impression of himself to the team. Well, instead, I think I should say captain Akagi because everyone else seems perfectly fine with his behavior. I think that’s what I found most frustrating with this episode. He’s able to yell and cause a fuss during practice and at the end of it all everyone wants him back on the team and welcomes him as if nothing had happened. Were they just trying to make him feel special? Sure, there’s talent for them to uncover, but is it worth uncovering if he’s going to be a pain throughout the whole thing? Maybe this attitude will grow on me over the next few episodes, but I really do think he needs to be knocked down a few pegs.
And then of course, there’s what he decides to do after he storms out of the gymnasium. Essentially, he just thinks back to how Akagi told him he had no guts (which I would say is a true statement), and thinks about Haruko and how he let her down. For pretty much the entire time not being a member of the team, he’s dazed and not really paying any attention to what’s happening around him. His friends pick a fight with some seniors from Suga High, Hanamichi stays quiet before ultimately kicking one of them in the crotch and running back to the team. Personally, I don’t know if there was any development or retrospection that happened, but I can forgive that knowing that Hanamichi is the kind of character who has his heart on his sleeve and doesn’t seem to do much internal thinking. But in the end, he’s able to join the team again without any repercussions. In fact, the manager and the vice captain easily coax him back in. Perhaps Hanamichi is really the player that they need, but what are they going to do if he pulls something like this again? At least, Akagi agreed to let him move up in his basic training.
To put it lightly, I found this episode predictable and frustrating. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen this sort of thing happen in other shows, but I really think there could have been more done. There could have been a one on one conversation with Haruko about why Hanamichi would be successful in basketball. One of the other players or even someone from his friend group could have practiced with him. Or at the very least we could have seen a more significant change of heart from the red-head himself. It’s great that everyone else believes in him, but I’d also really like to see him grow as well !!
Sorry this entry came out as more of a rant. With everything that has been said, I am looking forward to the next episode since we are able to spend some time watching Rukawa! My two wishes are to learn a little bit more about this dark haired first-year and for Hanamichi to watch the captain and his rival square off.