「命かけて僕は生きたいんです」 (Inochi Kakete Boku wa Ikitain Desu)
“I Want to Put My Life on the Line to Live”

Holy shit. DAYS has won me over. Did not see this coming.

Last week I complained about how DAYS wasn’t providing much of any substantial character development. Now, at the prospect of introducing yet another character, I was really worried that the issue would be exacerbated, as the cast is further and further expanded with little done to flesh out their personalities. Oh ho boy was I wrong. This week’s more focused episode managed to wonderfully develop not only the freshest addition to our main cast, but also grant Tsukamoto the likability and depth he was very much in need of.

Episode four explores and expands on the series’ thus far most prominent theme: hard work pays off. Here, though, much of that is cast into doubt. Enter Ubukata, a jaded young girl who’s given up on her dreams—on her passion. As her past has taught you, you can’t always get what you want just by working your ass off for it. More often than not, there are inherent distinctions which separate most from the talented—which keeps us from achieving at the level that they do. No amount of diligence, perseverance, or passion can get you over this genetic hurdle. You just weren’t born to live your dreams. In which, why even bother? Why be so tortured and miserable at your failure and lack of ability when you can just forget it all and live a life of ignorance and bliss? It’s so easy, just let it go. Abandon your passions.

That’s why Tsukamoto is so special. In past episodes, the guy’s enthusiasm—while charming and likable—failed to garner any real sense of empathy because of how little of it was explained. This, episode, we finally get some insight into what keeps the guy going. He’s not an idiot, he knows he’s not the most athletic, or the most bright, or the most competent—really the most anything. He’s self-aware of his incompetence. He knows Ubukata’s right—that he’ll probably never be as good at soccer as Kazama.

But like he gives a shit.

All that matters to Tsukamoto is that he’s engaging in what makes him passionate—in what lights the ember in his chest, in what gives him purpose and meaning. He could give a flying fuck about the fact that he sucks at it, so long as he’s partaking in the thing which fulfills him deep within—in what makes him feel the most himself— he is content. This is a message that not only resonates in Ubukata, but I think a lot of people in general. Don’t be discouraged by the external circumstances in partaking in your passion. Though it’s important to be aware of them like Tsukamoto, it proves detrimental to be overly weighed down by it. Cast all that away and realize that what’s truly important is your own internal sense of fulfillment. If participating in this thing is imbuing you with life and meaning, then is it not most logical to continue doing so? Running away from this because you suck at it is counterproductive to your own internal progress. You can’t grow unless you come against obstacles bigger than you. Don’t turn your head away in ignorance, like Ubukata did. Face it head on, abandoning any sense of excessive thought.

Also just a quick shout out, I suggest checking out one of my favorite songs “Never Let it Die” by Watsky which addresses this very same topic with, I think, masterful lyricism. Give it a listen.

This wonderful theme enriches the episode’s primary characters, and grants them this really intimate, emotional dichotomy that does wonders for their relationship as characters. I’m really excited that Ubukata has been added to the main cast, as she’s arguably the best developed at this point. I look forward to the potential of maybe a burgeoning romance between the two? MmmMmmMmaybe? Idk just suggesting the possibility ;^)

I also have to praise the show for continuing to provide genuinely witty, humorous team chemistry.

I hope that DAYS continues to deliver on this phenomenal character development for the rest of the cast, and in tandem for some hopefully spectacular, adrenaline-pumping soccer matches. Inter-high is always when things blow up. I can’t wait.




  1. From was i read out of your post, this is now the “Brain” he need for not ruin his Body and healthy. Also, they show us he is aware of his Body limits, the spirit is willing, but the body is weak. Perhaps we have her now the “Rock Lee” sensei we all waiting for. Rock Lee is also an hard worker, but Sensei keep watching over him to not overdo it

    i was more afraid, that he work himself to death or at last injured for the rest of his life not playing soccer anymore (Arthrosis and worse). But with this new “Manager”? it looks now more promising

    1. Also, a Soccer team is not an 1 men Show, best example? Portugal’s EM Victory “without” RC7. it was good to see how still passionate RC7 was for the Team on the sidelines (after sometime of collection his feelings). He rooted for the team, and the Team gave it back

      Soccer is an Team play, as the Female WM Winners of Japan show us.

      Even an “Beckenbauer” need his “Crew” to bring the “Ship” save into the Harbor

      1. No offense but Portugal won because they didn’t have RC7. C Ronaldo might be very talented but his ability to work in a team is atrocious, while he play better in Madrid because they have a full year to make it works. National Teams just have one or two weeks to put together.

        CR7 just hug the ball in last 3/4 of the pitch and often show miscommunication with the rest of the team. With him out in the final they finally looked like a team when they have the ball.

  2. They had to put one scumbag to make sure Tsuyoshi is all heart, I expected that. But then, this flat chick is just obnoxious. There’s the good tsundere, the bad tsundere, and then this bitch!

  3. Just marathoned the first four episodes. I’m completely hooked. Isn’t it just overwhelming when anyone tries to tell him what he’s not about but then he just keeps on going? I want to scream and cry but cheer for him all at the same time. So amazing, can’t wait for next week. Kyaaa!!!

  4. By far the best episode so far because it showed real growth on the part of Tsukushi or at least improvement on the soccer front. I also like the introduction of the girl who kinda naturally slots into the equation without unduly becoming a forced love interest.

    I also liked how it unapologetically shows the metaphorical finger to the kind of thinking that most of us go through at some point between being kids and growing up


Leave a Reply

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