After a nightmare about a sword being swung at him, Iceman wakes up screaming on the morning of the championship game. He has a hard time keeping his left arm steady now, and Haruka notices and feels how hot it is. Despite this, Iceman joins his teammates to face Falcon and the King of Kings team in the final match, and before it begins, Flora senses a storm coming even though there are still blue skies at the moment. Regardless, the match starts without a hitch, and Dan manages to get the ball thanks to Iceman. Dan, however, fails at dunking into the very high net, and Falcon’s side starts getting some easy scores. Sela gets knocked down in the process and realizes that she’s destroyed her mother’s old home. Things get even worse for Team Basquash after it starts raining because they’re unable to keep their footing on the wet ground. The score gets all the way to 40-12 in favor of King of Kings before Ganz arrives with a shipment of new shoes. With Flora’s help, they re-outfit Team Basquash without stopping the game, and these new shoes allow them to start turning things around.
Team Basquash completely outscores King of Kings in the next few minutes, and Sela notices that her father has shown up to watch the match. That motivates her further, and the game is soon tied. On the final play, Falcon steals the ball from Dan, but Iceman struggles with Falcon and wins, giving him control. Despite his left arm having gone limp from the clash with Falcon, Iceman is still able to throw the ball to Dan so that Dan can make the last shot. Falcon manages to get in Dan’s way, and to everyone’s surprise, Dan passes the ball to a leaping Sela, allowing her to dunk to win the game. Unbeknownst to Sela, her father claps for her, but he then gets shot in the back by a mysterious man and falls out of his chair. This leads to Flora sensing what she describes as a sad and dark storm. In the aftermath, Dan is looking forward to going to the moon, but he’s first paid a visit by Slash in a custom Bigfoot. Slash still doesn’t think that Dan can touch him in a game, so they play a basket, and Slash easily gets the score. Revealing himself afterward, Slash is disappointed that Dan wasn’t able to touch him after all, but Dan just smiles and walks away, leaving Slash to realize that there are two gashes on the side of his Bigfoot.
Holy crap, what a difference a new OP and ED makes. I absolutely love the new opening song by THE SPIN – I’ve never heard of them before this, but their lead singer’s voice reminds me a little of YUI. And the new ending song isn’t too shabby either. It’s probably my favorite Eclipse song so far; very catchy. I did notice though that the animation sequence for the OP recycles a bunch of clips from the episodes, much like the original version of the first OP did. It made me wonder if they’re going to replace it again in a few episodes with a better sequence. Regardless, these two songs go a long way in renewing my excitement in this series.
So not only are the new OP and ED great, this episode was actually really good too. Sela’s father getting killed was probably the biggest surprise for me and has the most questions surrounding it (I assume the loss will impact Sela negatively as the OP animation sort of implies), but both Iceman and Dan got some significant character development too. Iceman’s apparently robotic arm and sword nightmare seems to indicate that he got his original arm cut off and became a cyborg, and I’m sure there’s a more intriguing story behind that. As for Dan, not only did he show that he could be a team player by passing the ball, he also, for the second episode in a row, ended things on a high note, this time against Slash. I’m not used to Dan being cool like this, but it’s refreshing to see him grow as a character.
I think my only complaint about this episode was that they put too much emphasis on the new shoes making a difference instead of the players themselves. That shoe scene made me laugh because of how over-the-top it was, but I can’t help but think that it’s part of the marketing strategy for Nike. Remember kids, new shoes not only allow you to win, but they can also sparkle and glow with power. In all seriousness though, I still really enjoyed this episode and am pumped up about the second half of the series. If they can keep this story momentum going, then Basquash may yet turn out to be a really good show, which is something I probably wouldn’t have said after just the first half of the series.