「フライング決闘！」 (Furaingu Kettou!)
It’s only the second episode, and they’re already giving me more of what I wanted – more basketball!
Forming the Rival Team
Last week I wondered whether Mimi and the others would be at the same school or even the same team, and this week we found out. I like the path they’ve taken. Starting off as rivals will allow all the girls to grow as players (not to mention, give us a lot more opportunities for fun basketball games!), while opening up the possibility of the teams eventually combining, and then being able to compete in tournaments.
As for how they actually went about forming the team, it’s a touch convenient that most of the main characters had rivals of some sort. Takenaka’s past with Maho was already established, so having his imoutos not like her was fine, and likewise, Hinata’s imouto Hakamada Kagetsu (Seto Asami) getting pulled in for similar reasons was understandable, but suddenly introducing a rival osananajimi for Saki in Fuji Masami (Taneda Risa) – who just happens to have been practicing basketball all summer in order to defeat Saki – was a touch convenient for my tastes. I did enjoy her rivalry with Saki though, especially since it inspired such dismay in Subaru. Beware of the lolicon coach!
What I really enjoyed was that Takenaka – I guess I should start calling him Natsuhi now, since there are multiple Takenakas running around – was the one who helped form the rival team. I don’t think he was scared by Mimi’s dojo challenge to the boy’s basketball club, I think he just saw that all the pieces were there and decided to put them together. The way I see it, he’s basically a younger, more tsundere version of Subaru, so he couldn’t help but give them all the opportunity to improve and enjoy the game he likes so much. He’s just missing one thing…
The “Dojo Challenge”
Whereas Subaru is a bit of a natural as a coach (though he’s also had plenty of practice by now), Natsuhi is not. I think this is mostly because he never intended to be a coach – he put the team together because he realized that all the pieces were there, but he didn’t intend to organize them or anything. Turns out that some direction is what they needed – when they started the game with Kage covering Hinata of all people, I knew they were going to get run over by the 6th years’ teamwork.
Turns out I was right. Partially it was the coach, but the 5th years also just don’t have the experience or the teamwork that their sempai do. Individually they might be good, but they’re just not a team. Fortunately, at least one of their problems has been (temporarily?) solved by the introduction of Hasegawa Ginga (Koyasu Takehito), AKA Subaru’s otou-san.
Looking Ahead – Like Son, Like Father
I would be very surprised if Ginga can forge the rival mini-basket team into, well, a team quickly enough to win this match, but I suspect he’ll stay on as their coach throughout the season, in time for a proper rematch by the end. What I’m looking for is the gap to narrow in this game as Ginga helps the girls work together, and for Subaru’s team to get some proper rivals. Expect more basketball next week, woohoo!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – More basketball, yes! These rivals need some work, but they have potential. A good start to this season’s plot #rokyubu_ss
- A reminder: I tweet my thoughts on every show I watch, including (from now on) the ones I’m blogging. I’ll continue to post the best ones + a few unique ones here, though.
- All the girls fall for Tomoka’s jump shot (& Subaru).
- Those baka parents are so in love. N-Not that I’m jealous or anything!
- Airi is forgotten again. Everyone else has a rival (& Maho has two!), except for her. FOREVER ALONE!
- Hinata continues to be the best girl. Thigh-highs + moves like that? Saikou daze!
- I haven’t decided whether I’m going to pick this up or not (my weekends are pretty busy), but I’m trying it out with less caps to see if I have the time. I’ll decide whether I’m picking it up or not by the next episode.
For more from yours truly, check out my blog on writing, art, and the book I’m working on at stiltsoutloud.com.