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Ro-Kyu-Bu! – 04 »« Ro-Kyu-Bu! – 02

Ro-Kyu-Bu! – 03

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Ro Kyu Bu   03   34 Ro Kyu Bu   03   35 Ro Kyu Bu   03   36

「明日に架けるパス」 (Ashita ni Kakeru Pasu)
“A Pass To Tomorrow”

Compared to the previous episode, the drama’s lost a bit of steam to the fan-service. It’s still pretty good, but Ro-Kyu-Bu is looking more and more like it will be “hitting up” the lolicon bait fairly regularly. Or at least, that’s what I figured when Subaru was impressed by the girls’ quick “growth” and said elementary school kids are the best. Now that’s just asking for a misunderstanding. All he needs are some “fushinsha” (suspicious person) sound effects like a certain father of some mischievous triplets and the police sirens will come blaring. Even if it is for fan-service sake, I really don’t see the need to have two bath scenes in the first three episodes, including one at Subaru’s house. I’m just glad the girls didn’t make a big deal about taking a bath in the same tub as their teenage coach — something that other anime have made a fuss over — and instead just let it play out innocently.

As for the more relevant basketball side of the series, I wasn’t too sure what to make of Subaru tricking Airi into believing that she’s the small forward at first. I really didn’t want to see her become an overnight superstar just because of her complex (too predictable and fairy tale-like), so I was pretty happy to find out that she’s actually playing center and dominating because of her height. The last thing I would’ve wanted to see is a bunch of miraculous plays on the court when Subaru invested a lot of time coming up with a game plan that might work. Granted, it’s a simple game plan, baiting the boys into double-teaming Airi and then switching to outside shots from Maho and Saki as soon as they caught on, but this is sixth grade basketball and Subaru did make the most of the girls’ strengths. Incidentally, I can’t really blame Ogasawara, a.k.a. Kamakiri (Iwasaki Ryou), for not respecting the girls and expecting that they might have a game plan, given the age group and the fact that it is girls against boys. He was pretty obnoxious but had every reason to be overconfident as far as I was concerned.

With the girls blowing their lead after two quarters, it was pretty bit odd for them to be panicking so soon. Tomoka’s only been setting up plays as the team’s actual point guard, so they could very well regain the lead if she starts sinking baskets herself. After all, we’ve already seen how she can single-handedly decide a match in the past. The only problem I see is the others are getting roughed up because of fatigue, so in all likelihood, the next part of Subaru’s plan will involve using the underhanded tactic that he alluded to. As for what that tactic is, it’s pretty clear in my mind that they’re going to use Hinata to throw Takenaka off his game. It wasn’t hard to see that Takenaka likes Hinata after the way he reacted, and Saki made it plainly obvious when she told Subaru that everyone else knows about “it”. Quite honestly, I don’t think anyone in their right mind is actually expecting the girls to lose this match and for the story to lose its entire purpose, so it’s just a matter of seeing what “Innocent Charm” will do to pull off an upset at this point. An easy thing would be to just have her play defense against Takenaka and “accidentally” brush up against him. That should make the poor kid lose his focus pretty quickly.

Production-wise, I have to say this episode looked pretty horrid. The faces were too wide and unproportional even for Ro-Kyu-Bu’s character designs, suggesting that Project No.9 and Studio Blanc still have some consistency issues to work out. It was definitely a step down from the previous episode, featuring a lot of distant shots to pad the time, and the budget looked like it was completely spent on the bath scene and the still shots where the school nurse Hatano Touko (Satou Rina) revealed the nicknames she’s given all the girls. Hopefully things improve as we go on. Just for the record, Hinata’s nickename Innocent Charm, Airi is Prismatic Bud, Maho is Fireworks, and Saki is Ice Age. Tomoka doesn’t have one yet but “Shooting Star” would probably work. I just hope she actually does start shooting in the next episode.

* I didn’t mention it in the previous post, but there are some other noteworthy seiyuu in the support cast. In addition to Satou Rina playing Touko, Noto Mamiko plays Subaru’s mother Sena, and Kotobuki Minako plays Takenaka.
* I put together full-length screen captures for images 05, 11, 27, 29, and 33.

 

Preview

Ro Kyu Bu   03   Preview 01
July 16, 2011 at 3:12 pm
32 comments »
  • July 16, 2011 at 3:34 pmTaiakun

    Before I start, just want to mention that I have not read the manga, and everything I’m about to say is just guess work.

    I’m guessing the way they will attempt to throw Takenaka off his game is to have Hinata guard him on defense. That will take him out of the equation on offense. But I wouldn’t really call it an underhand tactic if that is the case.

    Waiting for Tomoka to do some shooting. I’m guessing that they will probably start losing, then a timeout is called and Subaru will tell her to go nuts. Then she will “inspire” the rest of the team and they will make a miraculous comeback and win with 1 second left to go. Either that or they will lose narrowly, but the boys decide to let them keep the court. Isn’t that how almost all sports anime works? XD

    • July 16, 2011 at 3:37 pmDivine

      I already beat you to the punch on that suspicion in the post itself. :P

      • July 16, 2011 at 5:07 pmTaiakun

        Whoops, didn’t see that part in your post >.< But I don't think he even dares come close to her haha. He will probably end up throwing the ball away before the "accidental brush" comes true.

  • July 16, 2011 at 4:45 pmAex

    They’re all so friggen adorable!!! It’s like they’re bunnies dressed up as girls!!!! Even Subaru isn’t immune to the cute!

    *Ahem* Sorry. Personally I wouldn’t be surprised if the boys won, then Subaru tells them what jerks they’re being and they gave the girls some time anyways. Or a rematch. Of course I’d love to see them get smoked and run away crying, but either way would work for the story.

    That male teacher is friggen annoying too. Looks like a pedophile.

    • July 16, 2011 at 4:47 pmAex

      The boys get smoked and run away crying I mean, not the girls. Definitely not the girls. Make the girls cry and… well… bad things will commence! XD

  • July 16, 2011 at 5:05 pmPeanutbutter003

    I feel like the girls will lose this game, spend another few more episodes training at Subaru’s place, blushing together with him along the way, and finally win back their gym against the boys in the final episode as shown in the flashback in episode 1.

    This show is one cour right?

  • July 16, 2011 at 5:26 pmlkaze

    Haha, i can see Subaru defense against loli is weakening. The onichan attack is too much even for Subaru. Perhaps this is an indicator to things to come. :)

    • July 16, 2011 at 6:00 pmCroos

      lol. I was about say the same thing

    • July 16, 2011 at 7:38 pmShirt

      Ika Musume should take a lesson or two here.

  • July 16, 2011 at 7:22 pmOni

    Hinata = jailbait

    • July 17, 2011 at 5:04 amlkaze

      I believe ALL of them are jailbait. And i must say it a damn attractive bait that i’m pretty sure in times subaru don’t mind going to jail for.

  • July 16, 2011 at 7:36 pmMegas

    The power of the loli is more than the game itself. As long as this stays a loli anime about sports & keep the basketball drivel to a minimum then they definitely struck gold. Hell, I’m not into the loli stuff but that cute attack…

    After watching this episode, I don’t think the story matters anymore (or the animation quality). Subtle melodrama can do that to you, Onii-chan.

  • July 16, 2011 at 7:50 pmShirt

    Really, Divine?

    “Production-wise, I have to say this episode looked pretty horrid. The faces were too wide and unproportional…”

    Personally, I think it’s a step in the right direction.

    • July 16, 2011 at 8:27 pmDivine

      lol

  • July 16, 2011 at 9:13 pmThe M0on DOgg

  • July 16, 2011 at 9:19 pmJX

    So Divine, you covering this series? Please say yes. Or should I say “Do it. Do it. Dooo it. No pressure by the way.” ? I’m loving this series. Cute girls and amazing tactics go well together.

    • July 17, 2011 at 12:21 amDivine

      That’s going to keep coming back to bite me in the ass isn’t it?

      I’ll see if I can continue blogging it, but if things get busy then I’ll probably stop.

      • July 17, 2011 at 5:06 amJX

        Yes thanks for continuing!

  • July 16, 2011 at 10:28 pmAoihoshikage

    Man, you really need to keep insulin shots handy when watching this series, too many sugary cute moments. I mean whenever Hinata does her “Ohhh!” I feel like I’m going to get a stro- *HHhnnnggg*

  • July 16, 2011 at 11:29 pmK-sama

    I use my school computer and try to access this website. But it was blocked by websense because “it contains adult content”….lolx

    Anyway, I think there will be a big turnover in the game, and Subaru will become their coach after that.
    (Just my guess)

    • July 17, 2011 at 5:12 amlkaze

      You should explain to them: “In this CONTENT, there do not have any ADULT inside. The word “ADULT CONTENT” would be wrong.”

    • July 17, 2011 at 11:44 pmK-sama

      The problem is it is blocked by the ministry of education websense.I think it is because they are too sensitive and closed minded.

  • July 17, 2011 at 12:17 amlongtimefirsttime

    “it’s a simple game plan”

    Well yeah…I mean, were you expecting Giant Killing levels of unorthodox and amazing strategies? Though that WOULD be awesome. ;)

  • July 17, 2011 at 2:35 amsalbazier

    I’ll agree on the horrid quality. It was quite a let down after the quite interesting previous episode. I was expecting it to get better when the action but it didn’t. Ah, well.

  • July 17, 2011 at 5:07 amKinny Riddle

    “Elementary school girls are the best!” – QFT for LOLWUT-ness, even if it’s quoted out of context.

  • July 17, 2011 at 7:07 ammac65

    I agree that this episode wasn’t as strong as the last,
    but there’s good potential yet.

    I see the interaction between Subaru and the team as more
    surrogate father than as a lolicon – but I hope the series
    doesn’t decay to that level.

    And yes, “Elementary school girls are the best!” as a person
    who raised a daughter through both elementary school and the
    teen years – I’d sooner swallow a thousand needles than deal
    with a teenage girl again!

    Divine, another vote (and thank you) from me for your
    continued coverage of this series…

  • July 17, 2011 at 8:41 pmRyuuzaki21

    ahh! damn i hate lolis!!

  • July 18, 2011 at 3:45 amx

    Not as good as the last episode, but we finally get a basketball match. I’m happy.

    Agree with mac65 100%.

    Divine, another vote for continuing to cover this. Thanks a lot for the coverage so far.

  • July 20, 2011 at 5:45 amkuroshi_nazo

    Divine, this episode was pure lolicon bait. If you drop coverage I’ll support it.

    • July 20, 2011 at 6:42 amamado

      people who say that are the usually lolicons themselves…

      these are kids, not lolis. come back once you can tell the difference.

  • July 20, 2011 at 8:59 amMitsuba

    lolicon desu

  • July 22, 2011 at 8:46 amBlacksun88

    amazing support cast list indeed