Well, the cat is out of the bag in terms of ETU’s formation change to two forwards with the announcement of the starting lineup. It still doesn’t look like it’s enough to turn the tides of Osaka Gunners’ four forwards, and even if they do somehow weather the onslaught storm, they’re up against two midfielders and two defenders from the Japanese national team, one of which is also on the Olympic team. On paper, I’d say it’s pretty clear why Osaka’s undefeated thus far and blew out Vanguard Kofu eight-to-nothing in their last game. All I’ve heard up until now is about their four forwards — Katayama, Hatake, Hauer, Kubota — who have been credited for their success, only to find out that they have national caliber players in the midfield — Shimura, Hiraga (captain) — and on the back-end — Terauchi, Komuro (Olympic representative as well). It sure must be nice forming teams in a salary cap-less league when you have tons of money to throw around! It’s almost ridiculous in a way, but that’s what makes it all the more interesting. In the true essence of the term, this is the “underdog story” as far as the Japan Football League in this series is concerned.

No one’s really expecting ETU to pull out with a victory — including their own fans — yet there’s still a glimmer of hope with Tatsumi behind the bench. There’s no doubt that ETU has turned more than a few heads this season with their drastically improved play, so it’s basically gut-check time to see if that was a stroke of luck or if the team’s really come around with the makings of a championship team. While a huge upset win here would probably have the media start acknowledging them as such, it’ll probably have to be a convincing one before anyone starts hopping on the ETU bandwagon. Interestingly enough, Sera looks like he’s fired up and focused more than ever to make that happen, whereas Natsuki‘s a bit shaky in the knees alongside him. Given how the entire episode was devoted to the build-up towards this big match for ETU — with all eyes watching including national team manager Blanc — Natsuki’s lack of confidence was the only thing that had me second guessing how ETU would perform offensively. With Gino thinking that he’ll actually try for a change in light of how spirited the rest of the guys are, I’m expecting big things to happen up front if Natsuki can pull himself together and show why he’s the team’s top scorer. Sera is long overdue in terms of output, so the arc detailing his struggles may have been a precursor to a stellar performance here.

Quite honestly, I would’ve liked to see the game get underway this very episode, but I do appreciate the extra time invested into making setting the stage for it. Dulfer and Tatsumi’s stand-off where they tried to read one another gave us the coaches’ perspective, which I’d say went according to Tatsumi’s plan since Dulfer remained confident in his current team’s play-style. It’s almost like Tatsumi was banking on Dulfer to not feeling intimidated by ETU’s ability to adapt to the opposition’s play and attempt to prove that his Osaka Gunners can’t be stopped. I wouldn’t quite call it arrogance because Osaka has every reason to believe they can do so, but this does allow Tatsumi to put his plan into effect. At twenty-six episodes long, I’m kind of wondering if this is the last big match that this adaptation will cover. The other big one against Nagoya Gran Pulse spanned four episodes, so this one may as well. Seeing as the anime’s been fairly faithful to the manga (from what I’ve seen), I gather it’s unlikely we’ll get any sort of real closure at the end. A huge giant killing would open the way for a continuation however, should that be what’s in store. For now, I’m just going to enjoy this match whether it takes one episode or all the rest in the season.




  1. The Gunners are playing 4-2-4, meaning that the midfield is only used for quick deep passes for the forwards. Tatsumi’s idea of playing a 4-4-2 is to occupy the midfield and lock any accurate pass over the 4 attackers. ETU midfield is a diamond-shaped with Gino as spearhead, Tsubaki and Akasaki as mixed volantes (attacking and defending labor) with Murakoshi as defending volante. Intellingent move as Gino can be free to fed both Sera and Natsuki behind the Gunner’s back.

    This play is really shaping as an epic one

  2. I’ve always been confused on what the heck their 4-5-1 formation was. 4-4-2 always made the most sense for them to do, though I guess they were lacking a second quality forward.

  3. Well I noticef some animosity between the Gunners forwards, If etu can bank on that the match can be really good. I’m expecting another draw, or a dubious victory of etu like a wrong call from the referee.

    Island Esper
  4. @Divine
    Sorry if I’m acting like a football (I’m European, so yeah) nazi, but shouldn’t it be Olympic squad < National team (the rules for Olympics are that the teams for the football tournament must be composed of Under-23 teams with max 3 over-23 players, as opposed to World Cup where "A" national teams are used)? I mean, Olympic teams are usually composed of the up-and-coming youngsters, while World Cup teams are the kingdom of older, more experienced players (although with many exception, like Germany at the last World Cup; this wasn't unfortunately the case of Italy, where the players were selected from the best retirement houses in the country -__-;)

    1. Hmm, I was always under the impression it’s the other way around. This episode of GIANT KILLING made it sound that way too. I’m not all that familiar with age requirements for football, but if we’re talking international hockey for example, Olympic team >> National team.

      Do European football leagues take a break so their players can compete in the Olympics for their respective countries?

      1. Quite frankly, nobody in Europe cares about the Olympics in football. So statictravel is right, the National team is the powerhouse and represents their country with the best lineup possible. In the Olympic squad you will often find the future upcoming players.
        As for your question Divine, the leagues wont take a break (as far as i know), therefore you will see all to often struggles between the league teams and the national organisations for assigning players to the Olympics.

      2. Divine, international ice hockey and basketball is backwards due to influence from the US and Canada. In soccer, the World Cup > Olympics. In ice hockey and basketball, Olympics > World Championships.

      3. just a word to clarify… haZ says european football leagues won’t take a break for olympics… in a way it’s true, but only because they’re already on break(with the exception of Scandinavia, Russia and other “cold” countries, football leagues in Europe are held from the last days of August until half May; as Summer Olympics are held, well, in summer, it’s rare for them all to overlap); nevertheless, the struggles between clubs and national FAs remain, for the fear of possible injuries (and this happens also for international friendly matches – the last example of this has been FC Barcelona vs Spanish FA)

  5. Hi there, – came across your current internet page by accident while roaming around the net this afternoon, and pleased that i did! I like the layout and colorings, but I should point out that I’m having issues when it loads. I’m making use of Lynx 2.6 web browser for mac, and the menu block won’t lineup the right way. i am sure I’ve made use of an identical layout on a client’s site, but the menu seems alright on mine. I imagine the mistake is at my end and maybe it’s about time to switch!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *