Although Dan has brought about the birth of Basquash, it’s hard for anyone to play it because the police are now everywhere. During the day, Dan still has to do his delivery jobs, and on one occasion he delivers a container to a guy waiting with a Bigfoot. The container turns out to contain a basketball, and the person who received it challenges Dan to a match. Dan gets knocked around by the new guy’s skill, but before he can do anything himself, the police arrive. Much to Dan’s frustration, only he gets beat up by the police because they all recognize his opponent as the renowned BFB player Falcon Lightwing. Haruka meanwhile tries without much luck to get the police and local government to allow some Basquash matches, and her meeting with the mayor gets interrupted by the appearance of a man named James Lone.
Haruka knows James as a hall of fame basketball player who obtained a passport to the moon, and he’s now the chairman of Mooneyes’ Sports Culture Development Committee. James has come to Earthdash because he’s interested in what he calls the open style of Bigfoot basketball, and he moves quickly to publicly announce the formation of the Open City Basketball league, frustrating Haruka. James invites all players to audition, and Falcon specifically tells Dan to go. On the day of the tryouts, everyone who’s a basketball player shows up. Many players qualify, and soon it’s time for Dan and Falcon to compete against each other. Dan is faster, however Falcon is able to read and limit Dan’s movements.
When their match gets briefly interrupted by the arrival of Iceman, Dan doesn’t let it stop him and uses the opportunity to try for a dunk. He misses though, and Falcon makes an easy shot afterward to get the basket. Despite this, James decides to allow all three players in and wants to sign Dan to a contract. He offers Dan money and jewels, but what really gets Dan’s attention is how James knows of Coco’s injury and promises that the league will be a shortcut for young people to obtain a passport to the moon. James also announces a match in Bigfoots between the street players and the stars of the old BFB league as a final qualifying round. Afterward, Falcon declares to Iceman that he’ll break with his past for the sake of his future and his dream.
Unbeknownst to the others, one of the players who qualified was none other than Flora in disguise after she had been coached by Coco. As she’s practicing that night though, she’s found by her now sinister-sounding butler.
I know I haven’t been the biggest fan of this series in the past few weeks, but I feel a lot more positive about it after this episode. They didn’t jump around as much, so the story feels more coherent, and the appearance of James and Slash as what I assume to be antagonists is promising. Neither of them have been shown to be really evil yet – merely mysteriously sinister, and James’ ball fetish and groping Haruka was even amusing – but there are still plenty of episodes left for them to reveal their plans to take over Earthdash or assert Mooneyes’ superiority or whatever (at least, I’m hoping that the scope of it isn’t limited to just basketball). This episode also introduces Falcon as a rival to Iceman, which is a good sign that they’re going to give Iceman some better character development soon. Anyway, my point with all this is that I like where the story is going, and even Flora’s involvement is getting more interesting.