As expected of Tatsumi, he wasn’t quick to hop on the Natsuki bandwagon and bench Sera following the return of ETU’s top scorer. Unfortunately, Sera didn’t have too many chances against the Yokohama Mariners since they shut down Gino pretty nicely, nor could he make good on one of the chances he did get. While it was probably stressful as hell on him with the pressure of losing the sole starting forward position on the team, the desperation in his play as he constantly pushed himself wasn’t a bad side effect. I don’t think he was handling the pressure all that well, but no one could really blame him for not putting in the effort. In comparison to Tsubaki who was actually making careless mistakes and getting grilled for it a bit post-game, the only thing Sera was missing were results on the scoreboard. Scoring goals is undoubtedly a big part of being a striker, but Sera looks like he’s just in a bit of a slump and not playing badly enough to deserve being benched. The question of course is how long Tatsumi is willing to wait to see if he gets out of that slump when he Sakai and Natsuki around as alternatives.

As things stand now, Sakai actually seems like a better choice since he had a very good scoring opportunity when he was subbed in for the remainder of the game, whereas Natsuki’s just come back from a long-term injury. Still, it was good to see Tatsumi stick with Sera for their next game against Shimizu Impulse and not shake his confidence even more than it has been. In hindsight, it probably wasn’t a great idea since it looks like he sprained his ankle by pushing himself too much though. In terms of confidence, it’s hard to say whether taking yourself out or letting the coaching staff do it is better, but this injury does look like it’s going to sideline Sera for a while and that’s clearly not a good thing for the team in general. On the plus side, ETU looks fairly confident after continuing their winning streak with Gino’s perfect corner kick play that set up Murakoshi beautifully. I feel bad for Sera, but I am curious to see what Natsuki can do when he gets put back in.

On a separate note, I went and double-checked all of ETU’s players’ positions last time for those wondering what formation they use. Typically, it’s 4-5-1, meaning there is only one forward. For the game against Yokohama this episode, Tatsumi swapped out a defender (Ishihama) for another midfielder (Hotta) to play 3-6-1, but the regular line-up is as follows:

Position Number Name
Forward 20 Sera Kyouhei
Offensive Midfielder 10 Luigi “Gino” Yoshida
Left Half 14 Tanba Satoshi
Center Half 7 Tsubaki Daisuke
Right Half 15 Akasaki Ryou
Defensive Midfielder 6 Murakoshi Shigeyuki
Left Side Back 16 Kiyokawa Kazumi
Center Back 3 Sugie Yuusaku
Center Back 2 Kuroda Kazuki
Right Side Back 22 Ishihama Osamu
Goal Keeper 1 Midorikawa Hiroshi




  1. i thank you Divine. for posting the formation and the first squad this time lol
    i like soccer…so whenever my friends talk about best anime this year i say GIANT KILLING! 🙂
    but i don’t get why tsubaki is center mid… lol i think he fill fit more at left or right side with his fast speed and dribble.

  2. Sera needs to stop grilling himself when he’s playing well and doing his job. It’s clear Tatsumi wants him on the starting squad for a reason and he even showed genuine concern when he got injured. Hopefully losing Sera won’t screw up ETU’s winning streak

  3. There really is no other anime on right now that makes me anticipate the next episode like Giant Killing. It’s amazing to me how it present football in a realistic way. Sera is simply supposed to tire a defense up, he pressures the opposing defensemen, he works his ass off, his job isn’t necessarily to score. He isn’t the typical lone forward, he can’t hold up play, and he needs service to score goals.

    I do wonder why Sakai hasn’t been given a go though, he seems more suited to being a lone forward, he also is taller and he’s more dangerous from crosses coming in from Akasaki and Tanba.

    It’ll be interesting to see if Tatsumi decides to change up his formation with Sera out.

    1. Sakai was the original starter until Tatsumi came along, so it’s probably safe to say he’s not a bad player to put back in. Sera was likely put in due to the stamina Tatsumi saw in his 30m sprint times back in the very first episode. I’m guessing it’s for the very reason you mentioned — to tire out the opposition’s defense.

  4. It’s not a 4-5-1 if there’s a DM and an AM. The typical 4-5-1 would be England during the WC with no specific holding midfielder (Murakoshi’s role), nor specific midfielder in the hole (Gino’s position). It would be 4-4-1-1 with a DM for the 4-man midfield line and another midfielder (the first “1”) in support of the lone forward. The 3 others from the 4-man midfield line will support the attack and “flow” towards the penalty box, with the full-backs (or “side backs” as you have noted) providing the width and crosses, if and when possible.

    The names for the positions though, specifically the “half” and the “side backs” are quite archaic terms already. They’re just simply “midfielders” and “full backs”. If the midfielders are offering width in the formation and are a bit ahead of the usual midfield line, they then become “wingers”. Tsubaki is basically like a winger playing from the middle.

    1. 4-4-1-1 would be one way of looking at it if Gino’s seen as the player in the hole. I was under the impression that ETU used something very similar to that, except Tsubaki and Murakoshi wouldn’t necessarily be side by side. It would be closer to this 4-3-2-1, with one of the offensive midfielder moved behind the center line as a defensive one.

      The “side backs” I noted are from the Japanese naming convention for the positions. i.e. 「左サイドバック」 「右サイドバック」. The same goes for the “half”. i.e. 「左サイドハーフ」 「センターハーフ」 「右サイドハーフ」.

      Tsubaki is listed as a center half and seems to come all the way back defensively as per the Nagoya game, so it doesn’t seem like he edges up more like a winger would. My understanding is that he stays with the midfield line, though I suspect they float around a bit since Akasaki always seems to be ahead of him.

  5. Ahh, I feel for Sera. After all that work he sprains his ankle at such a crucial moment but I think ETU would still plough through. It would be interesting to see Natsuki playing. Again another awesome episode; I’m so glad I picked this up.

  6. Oh no, not the ankle. I’d still be playing soccer if it wasent for my previous ankle injuries, so I feel for Sera in this aspect. I wonder if Sera will be out on injury for the rest of the anime, or if he will make a comeback later on.


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