The match against Nagoya Gran Pulse sure is going the distance in terms of being animated, with this week only covering the middle portion of it. After all the defending that ETU’s been doing, Nagoya actually manages to get some good scoring chances until Tsubaki comes out of nowhere to be a shot-blocking defensive hero. Not once, not twice, but three times does he shut down the opposition’s Brazilian superstar trio and their backdoor option Itasaki. Despite his clutch plays on all three accounts, I do have to agree with Matsubara that it does look like ETU’s being driven into a corner with little to no opportunities to win the game. Subsequently, that thought turned out to be a pretty hilarious moment when Tatsumi reiterated that fact like it’s a good thing, prompting Macchan to criticize him for rooting for the wrong team. I may have been sleep deprived and slightly delirious when I saw that scene, but I couldn’t stop laughing at it.

Actually, I found this episode quite amusing on a few occasions, such as when Kuroda spouted out his life story about how he studied a Columbian player named Domingo inside and out when he was unable to read his style of play and stop his offensive rushes. Ishihama and Kiyowaka’s reactions to getting more than they bargained for about asking about how he’s able to shut down Itazaki so effectively was priceless, which put a nice comedic twist on things before Kuroda went on to explain how Itagaki mimicks Domingo’s style yet is noticeably inferior at it. Similarly, Pepe praising Tsubaki for his blocked shots led to a pretty nice and confused reaction from ETU’s rookie and showed that the Brazilians aren’t as bad as Fuwa and Itazaki have been made out to be. They’ve been shown to be easygoing to the point that Fuwa even has problems handling them, so I’ve never really looked upon them as characters that are intended to be disliked.

As for the flow of the game, I’m curious as to what Tatsumi actually has planned for the second half after giving no further instructions during half-time. It seems like whatever strategy he’s come up with from the very beginning is still going accordingly, suggesting that their priority is shutting down Nagoya’s offense and counterattacking on Itazaki’s side when the opportunity presents itself. At the same time, he’s allowed Murakoshi and Sugie to better their play against Zelbert and Pepe respectively, while Tsubaki continues to impress everyone with his speed. I’m still a bit confused by the end where Tsubaki starting seeing the field completely differently, as I’m not sure if it’s due to getting hit in the head earlier, receiving new-found support from the ETU fans, or simply being in the zone where everything looks like it’s happening in slow-motion from his perspective. I’m leaning towards the last possibility, but I’ll have to see how things play out in the remainder of the match. I’m still hoping to see a game-winning goal from Tsubaki at some point and this game would be perfect for that in the team’s first giant killing.

* According to his jersey, “Zelbert” is the correct spelling of his name as far as this series is concerned, so I’ve decided to go with that.




    1. I sure hope so. But still, patience is probably running out for ETU fans (and myself as a viewer too) with such the long wait for a win and the fact that I’ve seen only blunders and bad misses from Tsubaki so far.

      Rooney10 (KiraYamatoFan)
    1. Watching their game with Cameroon, its obvious they did NOT watch this show prior to playing. Which is a darn shame, as they probably would have improved their game. They won, but still…

      Amir Saffar
      1. Its cool they won there first game off home soil, thats a huge accomplishment in its own self. I wouldn’t put my money own them to advance. I got my eye on S.Korea.

      2. That’s hard to say. Everyone else is playing pretty badly. Only germany hit several goals and that was because the Aussies opened themselves up in attacking. Like the south africa coach mentioned, the first game is very dangerous on morale, so losing is very bad.

        Against a team that is technically superior to you, parking the bus in front of goal followed by counter attacking is the best bet. Its not exciting but it wins more often than not. Tatsumi may be depending on that, so when the opponent goes full on attack because of the first half, there is a good chance of scoring. However he might be going for the last 15 min to reduce a chance of the opponent coming back.

        Also Tsubaki may end up converting to the defensive mid, sweeper or central defender given the position when he looked up at the field.

        Zaku Fan
      3. @Zaku Fan: What position does Tsubaki play as now? I keep thinking of him as the inu-who-follows-Gino or guy-who-runs-about that I forgot about his official position OTL

        In the OP, there was a scene where Tsubaki’s vision “narrows” into what I interpret as a route to the goal (and hopefully not because he’s getting a concussion from being sent as a human shield all the time). I’m guessing maybe that he has seen a way to score and will execute it out in the next episode.

  1. I hope next episode, we finally see the game end and Tsubaki/Gino take home a goal and win. I too, think that Tsubaki’s in the zone rather than bleary-eyed from that head-hit. Would be such a dudder if that happened! =3=

  2. Dude, this exactly happened with Spain and Switzerland today. It might look cool in an anime, but in real life that way of playing football is just plain boring. Defense all the way and counter… This might be effective but makes the game boring… How this episode would look in real life could be seen earlier in Spain’s and Switzerland’s match. I guess we’re lucky those annoying vuvuzelas aren’t in the anime.

    Nevertheless, good goal by fernandes. lucky, but he was there at the right place and used his chance. Unlike the Spanish players… But yea, Ottmar Hitzfeld the couch is pretty awesome. Maybe better than Tatsumi.

    1. Actually that match wasn’t boring. If it was the swiss vs the swiss that it be boring, but seeing the swiss throw themselves into defense vs an obviously much much much stronger foe and the fact the massive underdogs scraped through is enjoyable for a neutral. Its a bit like GK but not compressed into Tsubaki blocking shots.

      Zaku Fan
  3. The ending of Tsubaki feeling that way… I’m afraid that might be fatigue. Everything is slower because everything is getting slurred. The stadium ground gets huge because the distance you have to run feels multiplied.

    At least that’s my interpretation/concern. Come on ETU.

  4. I just realize we haven’t seem the coach speech/game plan from Tatsumi to the team. Maybe is too keep us guessing his strategy for each game.

    PD. I understood the brazilians better than the japanese 🙁 argh *goes back to study room

    Island Esper

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