Despite all the jewels that James gave him, Dan is unsure about what to do about the new OCB league. James has been heavily promoting the match between the former BFB stars and the street players, and he’s been using money to influence everyone. For the time being, Dan takes one of the diamonds and heads back home to see Coco, but along the way, he runs into Slash, losing the diamond in the nearby river in the process. Slash figures out that Dan wanted to give the diamond as a present to Coco and questions if that’s what she wants, but when Dan turns to face him, Slash disappears. After fishing the diamond out of the water, Dan continues on home and tries to tell Coco about how he can join the OCB league and get more diamonds to pay for healing her legs, but she’s not in her room, and Dan realizes something and leaves. Having seen the whole thing because she had been in the bathroom talking with her own shapeshifting servant, Flora tells Coco about it afterward, and Coco explains that it’s not gems or money that she wants from her brother.
While this is going on, Sela and the other street players are discussing how their opponents are all-stars from the BFB league and how James is setting up the street players to get crushed. When Falcon and some of the others show up, a fight breaks out between the two sides. Sela doesn’t get involved, but she does catch Haruka’s eye. Dan meanwhile returns home again and goes back into his own room, remembering how Coco initially blamed him for her injury. He’s surprised to find that all of his fish are still alive after all this time thanks to Coco feeding them, and instead of sticking around, he heads back out, unaware that Coco is watching him. When the time for the match that pits Iceman, Sela, and Flora against Falcon and the other pros comes, Dan isn’t around, and the street players are getting hit with fouls and being outplayed. Miyuki finds Dan thinking by himself, but it’s Haruka who acts first by enticing people to clean up the court boundaries that James had painted around the city, thus confusing the referee robots.
It is shortly thereafter that Dan shows up in the Dangan, and he interrupts the match to publicly challenge the use of court boundaries and refereeing. Demonstrating what Basquash is all about, he gets the crowd and the other street players on his side, and Haruka uses this chance to interview James on camera. She calls the OCB a deception, however James claims that what he and the officials were trying to put on was not violence or something attention-grabbing, but rather a sport. Haruka feels that he doesn’t understand sports, and Dan caps it off by throwing a special ball at the building where James is. The ball breaks open when it smashes against the glass, and out of it fall all of the jewels that James offered Dan. James responds by permanently banning Dunk Mask from the OCB, but Dan doesn’t care and throws the diamond he was going to give Coco to James. In the aftermath, Dan and friends get away from the police and decide to go on the road to play all of the teams who saw what happened in Rollingtown and are now requesting Basquash matches.
This episode left me feeling somewhat conflicted. On one hand, having Dan appear at the same time that the OP started up in grand fashion was great. The Satelight team demonstrated yet again that they know how to make a really exciting sequence, especially when combined with some good music (and yes, this made me appreciate the opening song more). On the other hand, a lot of what happened felt trivial because it was quibbling about the playing styles of a game that I already have a hard time relating to. And the final shot of the episode was corny as hell. As my friend put it, “Iceman would be hard pressed to look any stupider.” The bigger issue though is that having Dan and company going on the road to basically promote Basquash seems like nothing but a detour from the more interesting plot of Dan trying to get to the moon or of Dan and Haruka going up directly against James and Slash. The preview didn’t really allay my worries any either, so for the time being, I’m not exactly looking forward to the next few episodes.