GOAAALLL!!! E-T-U! Ra ra ra! E-T-U! Ra ra ra! … KIMATTA!!
Only in sports will you get this type and level of excitement. This may only be an anime, but with all the slow motion scenes, adrenaline pumping music, and the crowd going wild in support, I found myself completely caught up in the soccer match playing out before me. There was a brief scare when Itagaki put on the pressure and took shots at every opportunity, but some timely saves by Kuroda, Ishihama, and even Dori himself kept Nagoya off the scoreboard. Not only that, Ishihama’s clutch defensive play started Tsubaki off onto another counterattack where he was completely in the zone. Experience and confidence goes a hell of a long way and Tsubaki showed just that as he went flying down the field full steam and danced around Carlos with absolute ease. With the way he kept saying “I can see” (mieru), I was getting some serious Newtype vibes from him too, which other Gundam fans will know exactly how overpowered that is.
As that scene played out in slow motion for both Tsubaki and myself, I was totally taking in the crowd’s excitement just as much as he was. It all started when Murakoshi screamed at the top of his lungs telling Tsubaki to go for it, causing everyone to frantically try to figure out how the hell they’re supposed to stop him. The adrenaline pumping excitement didn’t diminish even when Tsubaki was stopped by Nagoya’s other defense, because there was clear indication that Gino was going to follow up like he did and put this game away. I just love how calm Gino is all the way too, which goes for his celebration as well. The team-wide celebrations turned out to be just as good after Nagoya pressed for some goals but ran out of time. Best of all, Tatsumi intimidated Fuwa with a bit of stare down before getting the last say after the latter tried to cast off the loss as no big deal.
Off field, it looks like Kudou and Katsura are pretty satisfied with the outcome as well, so hopefully this is the start of a huge momentum swing for ETU as a whole. The good thing is that it looks like Tatsumi’s not letting the win get to anyone’s head and going to make the team work on their game even harder than before. Story-wise, Tsubaki’s finally showing exactly why he’s the main character with respect to the players, as he earned the respect of the Brazilian trio for playing out of pure enjoyment for the game. It’s just too bad he can’t understand a word they’re saying and didn’t take them up on the tradition of swapping jerseys. Anyway, this has been one hell of a game and took four episodes to cover from start to finish, but I’m really looking forward to see where ETU goes from here after their first giant killing.