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Area no Kishi – 08

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「決着」 (Kecchaku)
“Conclusion”

Those who have lost, shall regain again…

This was a pretty eventful episode on Area no Kishi, as the landscape of the series was reshaped in pretty much every way. The highlight for me was the return of seiyuu legends Mitsuya Yuuji and Hidaka Noriko, who played arguably the most beloved couple in TV-anime history, Tatsuya and Minami from arguably the most popular TV anime ever, Touch. Their roles here are small but seem to give the series a significant shove in a new direction, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

This ep was titled “Conclusion” and while it opened many new plotlines, it did wrap up the events of last week pretty thoroughly. Kakeru’s bicycle kick died on the goal line, the ref blew his whistle and the match ended in a tie. Rather than a replay or PKs, Coach Kondou of the SC decided that he would resign as coach, and allow Iwaki to take over a joint SC/FC team to represent Enoshima High. He did this to make amends for not supporting Iwaki when the FC almost won the championship several years earlier, but this was all a bit too convenient for me – indeed, Iwaki and Kondou spent most of the ep telling each other how great they were. What can’t be denied is that there’s seemingly enough talent on the combined squad to do some serious damage, and the SC was only able to stall the FC charge by abandoning Kondou’s tactics – so kudos to him for recognizing that, I suppose.

Naturally there were some growing pains as the two squads merged – a clash of styles and two squads worth of players fighting for one squad’s worth of starting positions will lead to that. Most interesting, though, was that Araki showed up having regained every pound he’d lost, and just as quickly. Well, whatever – that ain’t a healthy way to live, that’s for sure. Iwaki is a bit too soft on Araki for Seven’s taste, and she put herself in charge of his diet and generally making his life hell. The weight yo-yo thing is pretty out there, but I have to admit Ishida Akira (who I don’t always care for) is having great fun with the role of Araki – his humor is on a different level than the rest of the cast.

Back to that main event though. Mitsuya joins the cast as Goto, coach of the Nadeshiko – the Japan Women’s National Team – and Hidaka is the captain, Taeko Ishiki. Seven’s football skills have quite an international reputation, evidently – and the two of them have come to recruit the “Little Witch” to join the national team. She’s reluctant because she doesn’t want to leave Kakeru’s side, but once she helps him figure out his fatal weakness on the ball (which was actually pretty obvious) he convinces her to go ahead and chase her dream. This is a positive, as I’m anxious to see her as more than a manager and while it’s preposterous that a team that was good enough to win the World Cup would add a 15 year-old as a regular, it should prove good entertainment. With a little Seven-Kakeru development thrown into the mix (I think they’re innocent enough that shoulder-bumping is practically a confession) it looks like we’re finally going to see Seven’s character come into her own. As for next week I guess these guys don’t know the six-episode rule, because they’ve held off on their onsen episode till #8 – but I’ll be shocked if it isn’t a pretty innocuous take on that anime cliché.

 

Preview

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February 24, 2012 at 9:34 pm
19 comments »
  • February 24, 2012 at 10:08 pmRyuto

    Woo! We’ll finally get to see Seven play some serious ball. I find it surprising that it’d be for the Women’s national team too (is it the women’s youth team? – Like under-21). And lol at Araki. Losing and gaining weight when needed is probably gonna be the trend for him. Maybe they’ll show how he actually lost all that weight next time.

    • February 24, 2012 at 10:27 pmLin

      is it the women’s youth team? – Like under-21

      Nope. Seven was asked to play for the actual national team, not the youth team. Even though she will be the youngest player by far, they want her there because she’s a prodigy.

  • February 24, 2012 at 11:24 pmKagura

    seven is the best character here

    • February 27, 2012 at 4:40 amFaint Smile

      Totally Agreed!.. Seven is one of the reason why im watching this anime and readind the manga!.. She’s totally awesome!..

  • February 25, 2012 at 12:06 amSerapita

    Now that Seven is playing for the national team… Show Spoiler ▼

  • February 25, 2012 at 12:19 amAlec

    IS it me, or did the anime just got rid of a few players in the opponents side? I’m pretty sure those players with non-distinct faces in had distinct faces in the manga… like the goal keeper for example xD

  • February 25, 2012 at 2:10 ampaulrenzo

    It’s been a while since we had a female lead who was more skillful than the male lead in a sports anime (the last one was probably Slam Dunk…but that was because Sakuragi was a total basketball newbie).

    • February 25, 2012 at 2:51 amAlec

      Tsukishima Aoba from cross game

    • February 25, 2012 at 7:47 amGuardian Enzo

      Kou was the best HS pitcher in Japan. In what way was Aoba more skilled than him, apart from being tsun?

      • February 25, 2012 at 11:28 amAlec

        “the last one was probably Slam Dunk…but that was because Sakuragi WAS a total basketball newbie)”

        WAS is the word

      • February 25, 2012 at 4:52 pmtokwa

        well kou just copied aoba’s style of pitching… She really is stronger than him…

  • February 25, 2012 at 4:37 amSynchronicity

    What? Seven already playing for the national team….in the manga that happens…wayyyyy later.

  • February 25, 2012 at 8:19 amVella Fetchko

    Nice going! Looking forward to next season already. Please do similar statistical analysis for NCAAB, and perhaps try HEAD-TO-HEAD there too instead of line betting.

  • February 25, 2012 at 8:53 ambluth

    This is the one thing that really bothered me in manga, no 15 year old in almost any team sport is going to be good enough to play at the national level, there are cases of players 16-18 being called up to the national team, but 15 is such an enormous stretch, I wouldn’t mind Seven being asked to play for a club team, or even better the U-21 or U-23 in the case of the Olympics.

  • February 25, 2012 at 9:16 amRS456

    Araki is hilarious. No wonder Suguru didn’t get along with him despite his soccar skills. Suguru was the serious type while Araki is the complete opposite.

  • February 25, 2012 at 5:05 pmyashau

    I’m constantly surprised due to the amount of material the anime manages to skip.

  • February 25, 2012 at 5:18 pmAnonymous

    Pleased to see that I was wrong, and that Seven is getting some time in the spotlight as well. Good work, Area no Kishi. Keep it up.

  • February 26, 2012 at 6:22 ampedobearmatt

    Is there some way to compare the main lead to Jeremy Lin? Since there is a similarity to their weakness.
    I love the part where the main lead encourages Seven to play soccer, he hit the bulls eye and knows his friend’s problem.