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Area no Kishi – 12

“Enoshima Soccer Club Reborn”

I’m sort of hoping that the medical profession in Japan isn’t using Area no Kishi as a reference, because some of the stuff that happens to human bodies in this series seems a little hinky to me.

So here’s the 411 on Araki as explained by Coach Iwaki – because Araki never trained hard in middle school, his cardiovascular system never developed and his heart and lungs can’t support him for maximum effort for an entire game. So his plan is to let Araki play fat so that his heart and lungs get fit enough to support him in that condition – so that when he does get thin, his stamina will be improved too. I don’t know how much of a medical basis there is for that (or for guys losing 60 pounds in two weeks for practice matches or people receiving memories from transplanted hearts) but it least explains why Iwaki was letting his star player walk all over him.

Speaking of which, there had to be some sort of method behind Iwaki’s madness of going soft on his team, and there way. The whole notion of working a second job on a construction site to earn enough money to rent a stadium for a practice match seems a bit out there, but the fundamental notion of letting his players see for themselves how much they need the SC guys by putting them up against a college team makes some sense. And thanks to Kondou doing his part by bringing the SC ringleaders to watch the beating (which ends up being a respectable 4-4 tie, though the college team hardly seemed to go all out) is the basis of reuniting the split halves of Enoshima High in time for the inter-high matches.

I would say that the match elements of the episode suited my tastes a little better, as there was much less one-on-one dribbling and more of a focus on buildup. Generally speaking Araki, surprisingly, seems to be very focused on individual ball possession and not so much on passing and setting up his teammates. I’d expected him to be more like Suguru as a player, but so far he seems to have the mentality of a striker than a playmaker – in fact he scored the FC’s first two goals against Kanazawa College mostly through individual effort. Kakeru did finally get into the action himself, scoring on a header and then setting up Takase with a nice cross.

The payoff of all this is the selection for the Inter-high matches, and that’s a problem when you have about 40 practice players on your roster. It was obvious that Araki and the core players from the SC like Sawamura and Oda (Araki nabs #10) would get in, but I wasn’t sure about Kakeru – I could see an argument that the dramatics of the series would be better served if he wasn’t chosen immediately. He was (though scraping by with the #20, likely meaning he’ll start on the bench), which leads into the best scene in the episode as he shares the good news with his family (including Suguru). There’s also the matter of the secret alignment that Iwaki and Kondou have chosen for the first Inter-high match, teased but not revealed. The strength of this team seems to be in midfield, and Kota was added to the roster as a midfielder when he’d been playing as a defender – so I’d be surprised if they don’t use 5 in midfield – but a normal 4-5-1 or 3-5-2 would hardly be a surprise worth teasing. So perhaps something radical like a 2-5-3, which would explain Kota being shifted upfield.



March 23, 2012 at 9:00 pm
  • March 23, 2012 at 9:38 pmJoojoobees

    Unfortunately, I know less about soccer than I do about Karuta at this point, but I think the strategy is going to be shocking. I think this show is all about shocking revelations/events (Shock: Araki is fat! Shock: Araki is thin! Shock: Araki is fat again!) , so I’m sure the coach has some sort of shocking strategy that will be revealed. I think the coach’s night job was a bit much (shock!) but I’m glad they resolved the division within the team so we can get back to the action on the pitch.

  • March 24, 2012 at 1:01 amcatalyst

    Not that I’m defending this show’s medical malpractices and terrible advice, but I think what Iwaki was getting at with Araki is that he can order Araki to go lose the weight, but Araki will simply crash diet and his weight will yo-yo like crazy. Instead, he’d rather force him to develop his stamina during weight loss, rather than develop it after the fact.

    That being said, I’ll be sticking to my medical textbooks and won’t look to this show for my career training ;)

  • March 24, 2012 at 1:27 amfungku

    I’ve been questioning if the creators know anything about the game for a while.

    Looks like they had a better idea this episode but still…

  • March 24, 2012 at 6:01 amWerpi

    Is that fat player a girl or a guy, what a combo

  • March 24, 2012 at 6:23 pmTheSethAffect

    There are many circumstances where people from all over the world (in real life) suddenly start liking/disliking foods they never have tried/loved, recalling “memories,” etc. after having organ transplants.

    I’m in no way describing this in any detail, I just wanted to mention it.

    I’ve never heard of scientific explanations for it, but some people swear it’s true.

  • March 24, 2012 at 9:01 pmMatroid

    Bubbas dream on– gaining fat on your belly cannot “train” your body in the way suggested in this episode. Don’t try that at home– at least don’t complain if you remain a bubba.

  • March 25, 2012 at 1:14 pmBass.EXE

    The whole stamina thing makes sense…kind of. I mean, think about it. He has to exert a lot of energy to lug that fat body around the field, so it’s naturally going to take a toll on his cardiovascular system. So if he’s able to play a full 90 minutes as fat-Araki, once he loses weight, his body will have less mass, meaning he won’t need to exert as much energy to run, jump, shoot, etc. meaning his cardiovascular system, if it’s able to support fat-Araki, will be able to handle skinny-Araki with ease. Losing 60 pounds in two weeks, though…that’s a whole other story.