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Area no Kishi – 04

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「ラストパス」 (Rasuto Pasu)
“Last Pass”

Three episode rule or not, I’m still not sure where I stand with Area no Kishi even after four.

I certainly wasn’t surprised to find out that Grey was Nana – that seemed pretty obvious to me from the first time we saw her. But the much more interesting question is this – how did she know Kakeru was going to start practicing at the park that very night? Has she been staking out his house, Yuno-style, waiting for him to appear with a soccer ball? Hanging out at the park every night, hoping he’ll show up? I hope it’s not the latter – even in a country as safe as Japan that’s not a very good idea for a middle-school girl.

I’m not entirely thrilled with the metaphysical angle the series seems to be taking. This whole business of “The Heart Speaks” – organ transplant recipients taking on the behavior of the donor… I know there are people who believe in that sort of thing and I always try to keep an open mind, but I would say that such a belief is pretty far outside the realms of anything medical science can tell us today. I think the concept of Suguru living on through his brother is a valid and even powerful dramatic device, but I’d much rather see it inferred in the odd glance here, the silent memory there (think of the way Adachi used Akane to suggest Wakaba in Cross Game as an example of what I mean). I really think treating it so literally as the series seems to be intending to do sucks a lot of the drama and poetry out of the notion, and it doesn’t help that the psychiatrist Mine-sensei is coming off as a bit of a crackpot, and not a very likable one at that. This whole plot point would seem to have much more potential as symbolism than literalism.

Be that as it may, the cat is out of the bag now and however Area no Kishi deals with the idea, it’s clearly here to stay. I think Nana was definitely out of line in telling Kakeru that the heart in his chest is Suguru’s. She certainly didn’t know he would take the news, and at the very least that’s something for his parents to decide – though she meant well, and in any case I think telling him at some point is the right thing to do. After an initial shocked reaction and a lot of tears, Kakeru seems to have turned the corner and decided that he’s glad to have his brother’s ticker – helped along by a chance meeting with Brazilian U-15 star and Suguru-friend Leonardo Silva (Shiratori Tetsu – please note that the name is not “Silver” as the Crunchyroll subs had it) at Suguru’s grave. Leo told Kakeru that Suguru had shared his view that Kakeru was the “Knight in the Area” he’d dreamed of – and when Kakeru finally breaks down and reads Suguru’s diary later, he confirms this with his own eyes and the meaning of Suguru’s “Last Pass” is rather poignantly revealed.

It appears that Kakeru (how about that cool referee’s whistle ringtone?) is off to Enoshima High School next week, and we’re in for a major time skip. I haven’t read ahead in the manga but I was certainly under the impression that the middle-school arc lasted much longer that this – perhaps it’s a concession to scheduling realities that Shin-Ei is aware of but we’re not (I still haven’t seen an official episode count, which leads me to believe it’s undecided – early ratings have been low, but the manga saw a huge increase in sales last week). Joining him there will be Nana, which leads me to hope that we see some romantic development – Kakeru and Nana together are my favorite part of the series so far – and that Enoshima has a girls’ team. Because unlike hardball, soccer is a sport that girls can pursue all the way to the World Cup and professional ranks in a big way if they have the talent. Also at Enoshima is going to be Araki Ryuichi (or?), the same age as Suguru was and possibly as great a playmaker – a “Fantasista” as Suguru called him, the Italian term for the great #10s who act as a conductor for the orchestra on the pitch. Araki indeed looks to be the new King to Kakeru’s Knight…

 

Preview

Area no Kishi   04   Preview 01 Area no Kishi   04   Preview 02 Area no Kishi   04   Preview 03
January 27, 2012 at 8:11 pm
33 comments »
  • January 27, 2012 at 8:49 pmBass.EXE

    I really think the fat guy in the preview is modern-day Araki, and Kakeru is going to have to convince him to start playing football again. I mean, with that bod, he’s probably not exactly staying active.

    • January 28, 2012 at 3:25 amshin

      Yup I am pretty sure thats him. although you need to wonder how in the world he got that fat in one year or so since suguru’s memories. Getting someone really skilled but quit the game or something is rather common in sports series.

      • January 28, 2012 at 4:11 amThe Story You Don’t Know

        You wonder how fat he got in 1 year? Well, you’ll have more wonders awaiting for you in the future episodes :)

      • January 28, 2012 at 10:59 amAlec

        that’s so true xD

  • January 27, 2012 at 9:33 pmAnonymous

    I thought this was a really good episode, definitely the best so far. I’m really enjoying this series.

  • January 27, 2012 at 9:34 pmDented

    lol If that is Araki in the preview, that would be hilarious. Though he does seem to have Araki’s haircut if it was tied back, he’d need to start working out now (or maybe that’s a flashback of his – and he’ll go through a whole “soccer helped me lose weight” story lol).

    And as much as I’d like to see Kakeru and Nana end up together, it seems a bit wrong to me since she seems to be seeing Suguru in Kakeru. If she keeps that up I wouldn’t want her to end up with him. Besides, wasn’t Kakeru a great soccer player in the first place (enough that his brother wanted him to be in the pros with him in the future) so I hope she also doesn’t keep thinking that his skills are a result of the heart transplant. After his brother’s death, Kakeru probably just gained some new confidence, which he really lacked before.

    • January 27, 2012 at 11:47 pmGuardian Enzo

      That did occur to me that it could be him… That would be one hell of a plot twist.

  • January 27, 2012 at 9:43 pmleokiko

    HAHAHAHAHA. Leonardo SILVER!

    Man, I wish my last mine was Silver. Well, anyway, in all seriousness: Crunchyroll failed big time on this one O.O.

  • January 27, 2012 at 10:03 pmLuxor

    Lol Enzo, it looks like nothing satisfies you. :P

    • January 27, 2012 at 10:17 pmGuardian Enzo

      That’s harsh, Man. ;-P I don’t think I’m trashing this show – it’s pretty good with some flaws, and that’s what my POV is.

  • January 27, 2012 at 10:38 pmmarinelzen

    I’m at least glad that they did not have Kakeru wallow in dispair and guilt for a couple episodes. This way he’s back on his feet and walking down the path we all know he’s going to go down.

  • January 27, 2012 at 10:59 pmwebkid94

    I really want to know what Divine thinks of how Area no Kishi has been, his thoughts of the manga made me check this show out. I’m really not liking the supernatural angle at all, it feels so out of place.I’m glad the characters are still likeable though.

  • January 27, 2012 at 11:05 pmChillax Mang

    When the shrink busted out “The Heart Speaks” book, I felt compelled to google it and what do you know its actually a real book. Further digging tells me about the cellular memory theory. Some people actually try to research it. Although most of it is just anecdotal evidence. I can’t blame the psychiatrist lady for taking it seriously. Fictional science can be intriguing, like time travel, teleportation and aliens. Even some sci-fi ideas became reality eventually because people believed enough to try.

    To me, the brothers memories literally living on inside Kakeru is far more interesting than the whole cliche spiritual and inspirational, love-hope-courage, symbolic version of it. I don’t think it always has to be dramatized in that way. The metaphysical take on it sets it apart from Adachi’s work. Besides, it’s a crazy yet plausible reason for Kakeru to power-up suddenly.

    Oh and concerning Seven showing up at the park conveniently, I’m sure she practices soccer at night herself since she doesn’t do it during the day. She has to keep her skills sharp somehow. And Suguru did tell her about Kakeru secretly practicing. There’s no mention of it, but it could be every night.

  • January 28, 2012 at 1:39 amMing

    Check manga if you wanted to know more .. I know who is he :D~

  • January 28, 2012 at 10:56 amAvgJoe

  • January 28, 2012 at 10:58 amAlec

    They’ve already deviated from the manga, and skipped a lot of chapters

    Comparing both manga and anime. I can say that what the anime did is better. However, I would’ve prefered to see more of the ‘previous’ characters. It’s as if they’ve been completely forgotten.

    That being said, I’m happy that my worst fears, regarding this anime, won’t come true (Suguru-trance-device happening more frequently than the manga).

  • January 28, 2012 at 11:14 amPera

    I really love what I have watched so far! I really like the whole brother’s heart thing :P Sure it doesn’t sound that realistic, and I don’t either want to trade my heart with Messi’s or Ronaldo’s heart, though being a international football player would be great…

  • January 28, 2012 at 11:57 amasdf

    I wonder if there’s gonna be “Nana loved Suguru, but now Kakeru now has Suguru’s heart so …” drama

    • January 29, 2012 at 5:50 pmyugandasekai

      Ugh…I’m getting the impression it’s more like “Mine-sensei” instead of “Nana”. It’s weird how she seems so obsessed with Suguru.

  • January 28, 2012 at 12:22 pmleslie

    The reason why Nana knows about Kakaru’s practice habits is that Suguru told her about it and asked for her help in helping Kakeru improve. I read the manga and that’s how I know. The anime skips a lot of parts.

    • January 28, 2012 at 3:56 pmGuardian Enzo

      I know – but Kakeru had a heart transplant and hadn’t practiced for something like 4 months. How did she know he was going to practice that night?

      • January 28, 2012 at 8:27 pmSora no Kaze

        Sh waited every single day… or she had Kakeru parents tell her. Who knows. I’d think it would be the rather. Who knows, either way that’s shoddy plot devices for you… all I can say it was chance by fate, coincidence and moved the story along.

      • January 29, 2012 at 5:54 pmyugandasekai

        Maaaybe she lives really close by? Maybe she can see the park from her bedroom window? I’m trying here…

      • January 29, 2012 at 7:16 pmLynn

        “How did she know he was going to practice that night?”

        In the manga she knows because she asked the doctor to tell Kakeru to practice a bit of football everyday to keep his physical condition.

        Unfortunately, in the anime it doesn’t make sense because they’re cutting out all the scenes that connect the plot. It’s a pretty shitty adaptation really. The writer obviously sucks.

      • January 30, 2012 at 12:33 pmSora no Kaze

        Oh yeah… that’s true she did say that in the Manga… I can’t say that I like how they cut out the final game they played at middle school either. It’s a very important arc, especially in showing how much Kakeru trained and wanted to fulfill there dreams together as well as convincing Leonardo Silver to stay in Japan.

    • January 30, 2012 at 7:26 pmZooZoo

      but in the anime didnt suguru told nana at the cafe that she should help kakeru to improve? and also he told her that kakeru is secretly practising in the park. So she knew that hes there to practise ^^ the question is why she knew that hes going to practise at that very night … i would suggest that nana knew that kakeru is going to practise again after he met silv(a)er at his brothers gravestone so she just had to check from time to time the park after this meeting ._. and i think it wasnt neccessary that she had to meet him at his very first training in the park … it is my thought on how to explain this but its still very strange xD (I didnt read the manga >.>)

  • January 28, 2012 at 4:54 pmLJkAze

    OMG they already skip something in the Manga next episode by the looks of the preview.

  • January 29, 2012 at 4:03 amSetsunai

    I don’t like that they skipped some things from the manga.

  • January 29, 2012 at 6:03 amRoOtZ

    • January 29, 2012 at 6:04 amRoOtZ

      -DEAD END-

  • January 30, 2012 at 8:48 am7godeohs

    I’m with Enzo on this. I’m not sure where I stand at this point. I keep wondering if some people are just going to say “well he has Suguru’s heart, so that’s why he’s good” I don’t want to see him play, then the critical moment comes and he goes into ‘Suguru Mode’ for the shot – that’s just weak and would undermine the character.

    Also, does Seven like Kakeru or Suguru or what? It’s extremely nebulous and almost seems like Seven like Suguru through Kakeru. I don’t know at this point.

  • January 30, 2012 at 12:27 pminnerchihiro

    Yeah, the heart thing is just weird. I follow the manga, and I must say that while Area no Kishi does a lot right, if you’re comparing it to a masterpiece like Cross Game, it’s not going to fulfill your expectations. It’s not nearly as subtle or well thought out, and the romance is undeveloped, but it’s still a really good sports drama.
    Oh and the fat guy… Show Spoiler ▼

  • February 4, 2012 at 7:01 pmFalkner

    I think it is pretty obvious that Nana is in love with Kakeru. This show just isn’t subtle at all, and makes it quite obvious.