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« Ro-Kyu-Bu! SS – 11

Ro-Kyu-Bu! SS – 12 (END)

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「智花(キミ)がいるだけで」 (Tomoka (Kimi) ga Iru Dake de)
“Because You’re Here, Tomoka”

After a close game and a tearful conclusion, the unspeakable happened – the girls graduated. They may be middle schoolers now, but this story definitely isn’t over!

Down To The Buzzer

What an exciting last match…is what I would like to say, but aside from two parts, it was mostly a victory lap for the series in general. It wasn’t bad, in fact I found it quite touching, though it did make me realize that, when something plot relevant isn’t happening, the basketball in this show is pretty simplistic. I feel like there are a lot of steals and drives past set defenders, not enough missed shots or set plays (picks, etc). Maybe that’s how mini-basketball works, I don’t know. I mostly just appreciated how they brought back Subaru’s nicknames for the girls, which I’ve always liked for reasons I can’t adequately explain. Fireworks, Innocent Charm, Prismatic Bud, Ice Age, and Shiny Gift…they’ve been through so much! *sniffles*

As for the parts of the match that were exciting (or at least interesting), first was Maho’s duel against Rena. It speaks volumes about Maho’s maturity (and innocence) how she encouraged Rena to give it her all even though most people (myself included) would have taken the advantage or her hesitation and bled her for points. I also really liked how Rena ended up fouling out. After all the crap she pulled, it was good to see her tossed for it – and even better for Maho to pop back up from another tumble with her trademark cheekiness. Loved it!

The other moment was Tomoka’s buzzer beating fade away jump shot for the victory…!! Not. What the hell! *flips table* Bullshit! That was a shitty call and you know it, ref! Can we get an instant replay over here? Someone must have paid him off! Ref gave the game to Suzuridani, GAH!

*cough* Ahem…sorry. So after my initial dumbfounded explosion of disbelief, this actually ended up being a great moment. One of the things I like about sports anime (and by extension, any competition like them…martial arts tournament arcs are another example) is that the protagonists can actually lose. It’s harder to get away with that when the consequences are death, destruction, and/or pain for all the protagonist’s friends and family (or whatever the stakes are in more action-oriented stories), but in sports anime they can lose without too dire of consequences, and that uncertainty makes matches even more exciting. Besides, it did end the series without a dumb montage of the rest of the tournament, and the girls took their loss well. A good ending, even if that ref is still a hack.

A Tearful Graduation

I knew they would ask Subaru to keep coaching them when they went to middle school, but I expected it to be something that Tomoka asked him alone, not a big, tear-filled moment that left even Subaru crying. I’m glad I was wrong! It was a touching moment, and even though it wasn’t the end for them, it showed how much they mean to each other, and it was an appropriate time to reflect on it as they got ready to move onto another stage in their lives. It also means the story could going on!

This just goes to show you that it’s not elementary girls that are the best, but these girls. Subaru definitely knows that. Middle school, high school, college, and beyond…I’ll keep following their story for as long as it keeps going.

“Will you please stay by my side?

Subaruuuu, you effortless casanova yoooou! This has always been one of the things I liked about Subaru, the fact that he’s a genuinely good guy who says all the right things and actually seems to deserve multiple girls falling for him (you bastard). Sure he’s a little dense, but most guys are, myself included. He’s the harem lead that all other harem leads should aspire towards, though if his sleep talking is any indication, there’s only one girl on his mind. “Tomoka…saikou daze…” You finally got it right, Subaru.

Looking Ahead – It All Began…

In case you never caught it, go back and re-watch the OP and you’ll find a tantalizing bit of foreshadowing about this final scene. I’ll admit that I love the old osananajimi trope for reasons I ought to write an MWotA about one of these days, so the revelation that Subaru and Tomoka met when they were younger just fills me with so much D’AAAAAWWWW I think I broke the Squee Chart. (It’s a thing, totally.) And once again, this means the story isn’t over yet! (Edit: apparently it is. Frack!)

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – After a close game & a tearful conclusion, the girls graduate. But Subaru is still their coach, & the story isn’t over yet! #rokyubu END

Random thoughts:

  • The more I think about it, the more it makes sense that Suzuridani won. They had a lot more talent, and it was only Rena’s dysfunction that kept the game so close. Still…that refs a hack!

For more from yours truly, check out my blog on writing, art, and the book I’m working on at stiltsoutloud.com.

Full-length images: 37.

 

ED Sequence

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Epilogue:

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Ro Kyu Bu SS   12   46 Ro Kyu Bu SS   12   47 Ro Kyu Bu SS   12   48

Final Impressions

There are many things I like about this series – the comedy, the endearing characters, the wholesome competition, Subaru inadvertently stealing the hearts of all the girls. The first season left me laughing sometimes, inspired me during others, and constantly kept me looking forward to the next episode, if only to wait for the inevitable day when Tomoka grows up enough for her and Subaru to get together. What can I say, I’m a romantic at heart, and they’re perfect together! They’ll get there someday, just you wait.

Coming into this season, I was hoping it would gives us more of what it did during the first season while expanding the cast with the arrival of the fifth graders. It did that with flying colors. The fifth graders really enhanced the story by giving a larger and more varied cast on the court, as well as by having new character flaws and lessons to learn that the sixth graders were already too mature to need. And the Subaru x Tomoka shipping was still strong! Yes, that’s still my favorite part. So sue me.

Of course, not everything was perfect. As I mentioned earlier the basketball could be a bit simplistic, and some of the arcs were either too short or simply not executed to their full emotional power. What makes up for it all in my eyes – and what makes me like this series, even more so than the aforementioned shipping – is heart. To paraphrase one of my favorite sports movies, you’ve gotta have heart. Miles and miles of heart. These girls have it, and it showed in nearly every episode, from Maho befriending the twins to Airi growing as a player and all the way to Saki making the buzzer beating shot she missed last season. After all the junk each of us deal with in our everyday daily lives, it’s nice to see characters with such innocent heart. It does the soul good.

This show isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. You don’t need to tell a story for everyone, you just have to tell it to the people who will appreciate it, and tell it well. This story was told pretty damn well, and I enjoyed every episode I watched. You could call this my guilty pleasure, but after blogging a season of it I don’t think I can claim that anymore. I’m pretty shameless about it! This is my Shiny Gift, and hopefully we’ll get another season someday, or maybe just an OVA showing the girls in high school or something. Until then, let me paraphrase Subaru – Ro-Kyu-Bu wa saikou daze!

September 30, 2013 at 12:25 am
26 comments »
  • September 30, 2013 at 12:51 amThe_Green_One

    Well that’s the end of this, it will be missed. It was disappointing to see them lose, but upon reflection it was more of a moving moment indeed. After all Suzuridani didn’t win so much as survived, the girls fought Suzuridani tooth and nail the entire way and forced them to go all out just to barely get the win. Still it was a fun ride and watching the girls mature into the powerful players they became at the end. It truly is a pity that some won’t be able to look past the lolicon fanservice bait to the more endearing parts of the series.

    Though Stilts I hate to break it to you but the anime showed the novels all the way to the end. This is the end of the main story, the author said there may be a few side stories later but barring that this is the end.

    • September 30, 2013 at 12:55 amStilts

      …I’m going to go cry in a corner now ;_;

      All grown up OVA please!!

    • September 30, 2013 at 2:16 amEuzio

      Nooo! I demand a time skip! 10 years would be nice… but I would accept maybe at least 5 years!! Just gimme my Tomoka x Subaru!!! ;_;

    • September 30, 2013 at 6:15 amSetsuna Henry

      I told myself not to cry but still…

      And hoping for OVA…

    • September 30, 2013 at 8:34 ampahlavi5312

      Noooooo :(

      At least some ending/closure to the TomokaXSubaru ship. Seriously we need something to conclude that relationship, probably… yeah time skip could be okay too. But at least an ending so that we are not hanging :)

  • September 30, 2013 at 12:57 amKaitlyn

    I would like say that this series is an enjoyable one, even for non-lolis.

    I watched the first season, and it provided me much motivation for my middleschool exam.

    And now I’m in Highschool, the second season gave me the same feeling, and the spirit to fight for my dreams.

    Thank you Ro-Kyu-Bu ~

  • September 30, 2013 at 1:23 amILikePopCans

    I am still a AoixSubaru guy myself. THEY ARE CHILDHOOD FRIENDS

    I sure did like this show for what it was. Sure the basketball was not great, but each girl was likable and had their hills of problems to climb. It sucks the series ends here, but what can you do. Probably best to end on the high note.

    • September 30, 2013 at 1:50 ampaulrenzo

      Yay! I’m not the only one

    • September 30, 2013 at 3:56 amCybersteel

      Mokkan beat Aoi’s childhood friend status in the epilogue right?

  • September 30, 2013 at 2:38 amtaiakun

    The refs were shit in this game, with plenty of blotched calls. There are 2 that came to mind from just the last 30 seconds:
    (i) Where was the backcourt violation call on Maho? After Airi got blocked, it was clear that the ball went past midcourt. Okay, I was rooting for the girls. But come on!
    http://randomc.net/image/Ro-Kyu-Bu/Ro-Kyu-Bu%20SS%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2014.jpg
    (ii) The buzzer beater that wasn’t…

    Seriously though, Subaru and the coach of Suzuridani should try and teach their players how to play defense. There was a scene early in the game when Maho was guarding Rena. Aya was standing under the opponent’s hoop on defense and wasn’t even coming up the court for offense. Heck, noone could pass to her if she is standing there. 4 on 5 and there wasn’t even a double team for Rena.

    • October 1, 2013 at 12:49 amSK

      The defense deflected (steal/block) the ball so it isn’t a backcourt violation.

      For me, any minor stuff like that doesn’t really detract from the show, which was more about the growth of the girls and Subaru (or about lolis playing basketball, if you prefer)

      If you really want to get nitpicky about things, there’s lots of details in the basketball that I noticed, from the subtle (most players at that level aren’t ambidextrous, awkward footwork, etc.) to the not-so-subtle (alley-oops, blow-by drives from nearly everyone, how rarely anyone misses). A couple bad no-calls here or there are much more believable than some of the other stuff they’ve shown.

  • September 30, 2013 at 3:55 amCybersteel

    Tsk tsk Subaru making little girls cry.

    I guess in the end you can call those five kiseki no keishin.

  • September 30, 2013 at 4:44 amSylpher

    The sports movie that was mentioned, is it The Replacements with Keanu Reeves? Not really sure anymore, but I thought I recognized it.

    • September 30, 2013 at 10:55 amStilts

      Yup yup! What can I say, I’m a sucker for the losers with nothing to lose, and Keanu Reeves didn’t totally suck in that one.

  • September 30, 2013 at 5:14 amechykr

    IIRC This series covers up to the latest novel volume 13, with the girls entering middle school.

    I have been hearing word that the main arc is more or less completed, and that vol 14 will be a series of short stories to wrap the series up. This is a pity as I do like to at least see how the girls have progressed for one more year in middle school.

    Then again, the infamous quote: Elementary schoolgirls are the best!!!111 would no longer be valid, as our lolis would now become “overaged”. XD

    Not many shows mix cuteness with some impressive sports moves. I shall be missing this.

  • September 30, 2013 at 5:50 amAbel

    so how much of the original light novel did the anime cover?

  • September 30, 2013 at 6:20 amAbel

    my bad the answer was right there!! :P

  • September 30, 2013 at 6:27 amYES_YES_YES

    so the s2 of little girls basketball is over give hard work, fun, good times, & etc time to all end.

    give at least keep continue on now they’re in middle schools years & the story of how tomoka’s basketball interest indeed kind of way fate is bound of surprises.

  • September 30, 2013 at 7:46 amedo

    So subarun will be their coach in middle school too but at the same time he will play for the boys team….? It’s a happy end after all.

    I liked subaru asking tomoka to stay by his side, I really thought she was going to confess to him but I guess It was more like thanking him for everything(but of course she agreed to stay by his side )

    • September 30, 2013 at 10:56 amStilts

      They’ll be together forever, I believe it ;_;

      GIVE US A TIMESKIP OVA DAMMIT!!

      • October 1, 2013 at 11:37 pmergZay

        That’d break the lolicon’s hearts though. Unless they pull a kodomo no jikan, she’s still a loli in high school senior year.

    • October 1, 2013 at 5:44 amLord of Fire

      I’m convinced Tomoka did confess her love for Subaru, and he seemed to have gotten the message, promising her that he’ll be waiting for her.

  • October 2, 2013 at 2:45 amAnnyms

    (ノ °益°)ノ 彡 ┻━┻ <— My reaction to the no count call by the ref. Although we didn't hear the buzzer so he could've been right, but stil…

    Either way, the series ended on a good note. Although it's not looking good for Aoi. Those girls are in full swing puberty, and Subaru's going to have a harem on his hands. Unless, of course, Subaru really does think that elementary schoolers are the best and loses interest once they start looking like Aoi.

  • October 4, 2013 at 2:22 amlalala

    hahaha lolicon 4ever

  • October 4, 2013 at 1:27 pmRyner

    I’m not a lolicon, really I’m not, but seriously this series just either turns you into one or makes you appreciate lolis, a perverted gentleman like Araragi Koyomi you might say. But I digress, this show is much more than that, it shows the friendship, sportsmanship, and hardships one can face in their childhood and shows how these girls as young, innocent, and naive they were from the beginning in maturing and showing how they’ve improved.

    Seriously I’m a sucker for these stories, it doesnt matter even if the girls werent lolis, the story itself is what makes it stand out among the rest of loli shows out there like Kodomo no Jikan.

  • October 4, 2013 at 1:38 pmWilfriback

    He got all the lolis. Everything is right in the world.

    XD