After four consecutive episodes of the ETU versus Nagoya Gran Palace match, it looks like things are finally taking a break from the nonstop action to set up the next arc of the story. There was a lot of focus on the supporter side of things with Gorou and Shige trying to revive their Edomae support brigade, but a fair bit was on Yuri too, who’s been sidelined screen time-wise as of late. While watching this episode, I had a strange case of déjà vu seeing her get all fired up about the recent good PR the team’s received following their win. As such, I found myself flipping through earlier episodes wondering if this had already happened before, but it turns out that I had already read about this part in the manga three months earlier. Interestingly enough, Yuri fainting from overworking herself was actually supposed to occur before the training camp back in episode three. Looking back, it was a bit unusual for it to take place so soon after Tatsumi’s arrival as ETU’s new coach, so I found this reordering of events on the anime’s part a nice improvement. It wasn’t anything drastic, but Yuri’s attempt to do some additional PR centering around Tatsumi made a lot more sense after ETU’s big upset win over Nagoya.
That said, it was interesting to see Yuri return to the ETU club house to take a photo of Tatsumi for an article despite being sent home to rest. Much like when I read this in the manga, I couldn’t help but wonder if there’s some potential romance in the air between the two of them in the future, especially when Yuri noticed how office ladies her age were out dating after work. She did grow up admiring him as a player, except there’s a huge age gap between them. (Tatsumi is 35 years old, while Yuri’s probably a good ten years younger than him.) I guess it probably wouldn’t look good if Tatsumi started hitting on the ETU president’s daughter, but it’s still something I don’t see as being too far-fetched given Yuri’s reaction to Tatsumi’s unusual way of telling her to take better care of herself. Anyway, I don’t see much coming from the supporters’ side of things even though they’ve recruited a new member, so things should shift back to the match against FC Sapporo next time. The twist is the unexpected return of one of ETU’s forwards, Natsuki Youtarou, who looks like he’s going to bump Sera for his starting position. Team drama? Either way, it looks like his return’s going to mix things up in ETU’s locker room.