Basquash! – 08
Flora has been chasing after Dan and company, and she finally catches up with them in a desert town. She nearly gets run over by some Bigfoots though, so Haruka takes her in. Dan, Sela, and Iceman have been trying to play matches recently, but Iceman keeps ruining things by using his Destroy technique. Regardless, Flora – still under her alias Allan Naismith – wants to join them. While looking for Iceman that night, Flora finds three suspicious men digging on the outskirts of town and is forced to flee when they come after her. Luckily for her, Iceman saves her and recognizes her pursuers as his former teammates who quit basketball and came home. It turns out that they quit because of what Iceman did to them with his Destroy, and they still hold a grudge, so Haruka suggests a Basquash match.
The match starts with Iceman’s former teammates having the advantage because they know the desert and aren’t falling down all over the place like Dan, Sela, and Iceman are. Iceman manages to get the ball, but instead of passing it when he has the chance, he uses his Destroy technique on both Dan and Sela. This causes his former teammate to comment on how he hasn’t changed and is still hurting his friends, making him unqualified to play basketball. Dan gets in the mix to yell at Iceman as well, but this causes Iceman to go into a Destroy rage. Refusing to run away, Dan finally catches one of Iceman’s Destroy balls, and to his surprise, Iceman congratulates him on a nice catch. This makes everyone realize that Iceman has been trying to pass the ball all along.
Dan ends up being able to go in for the basket uncontested because their opponents have strangely started digging in the sand. Later, after leaving town, they find out that Iceman’s former teammates were arrested for illegal digging, and the news report mentions them saying something about seeing God. Sitting on the back of the convoy staring up at the moon, Flora again hears the strange voice that she heard several times while in town, but it’s getting more distant as they move further away.
This wasn’t the most impressive episode in the world, but it was certainly better than I thought it’d be. Maybe keeping my expectations low is good for a series like this. I enjoyed the humor (Spanky is amusing as always, and those glasses-lizards were a surprise), but what got me excited was that there appeared to be hints about something deeper in the story with that voice that Flora heard and the circular design on the ground that resembles that on the moon. My wishful thinking makes me wonder if there’s some sort of unspeakable evil at play here, which would in turn mean that James and Slash won’t have to be the final boss characters. How basketball would defeat an unspeakable evil though, I don’t know. Regardless, I find all this very promising plot-wise, and hopefully they’ll continue to develop it.
The Eclipse girls also showed up this episode, and while they haven’t done anything noteworthy (yet), I do have to comment on how Nakajima Megumi voices Citron very similarly to how she did Ranka. It’s nostalgic in a way (my friend reminded me that they’re continuing the RankaXAlto stuff here by having Citron be so impressed by Iceman), but I still wish that they had cast her in a mature role or at least something a bit different. Anyway, the preview seems to indicate that they’ll be the focus of next week and that Dan will be getting a kiss from Rouge. Somehow, I’m not at all surprised that they play Basquash as well and have their own custom Bigfoots.