「せめて少しでも恩返しがしたい」 (Semete sukoshidemo ongaeshi ga shitai)
“I Wish I Could Repay My Debt, if but a Little”
「八マればアイツは弾丸になる」 (Hachi mareba aitsu wa dangan ni naru)
“If He Gets into it, He Will Become a Bullet”
I think I’ve gone into enough detail about the show’s excessive and misguided focus on Tsukamoto. Too many episodes conclude with “Tsukamoto is awesome” from varying degrees of “because he works real hard.” This is unfortunate because with all the attention he’s allotted, Tsukamoto is still a severely underdeveloped character. The show has pretty much established that as a character—he’s perfect. He doesn’t need to change or improve himself—you know, grow as a person. He can just stay the same—others can undergo some minor revelations, but not much more than that. What results is just this character gridlock in which no one is growing or much changing as individuals. They’re fondness for Tsukamoto is just growing in intensity. That’s the extent of character development as far as DAYS goes.
That being said, these past two episodes provided some of the more exciting moments of this series yet. Most notably the field debut of the one and only captain Mizuki. We didn’t get much of him, but we were provided probably the closest thing to the high-adrenaline soccer matches I’ve been craving since the beginning. Like, one minute of it—but it’s something.
And sorry, I don’t play or watch much soccer (I’m more of a basketball nut myself), but is it not a bit absurd that no red or yellow cards were issued during the match with Ariake? Like seriously the episode didn’t even make an effort to show if the players were at least hiding it well or not. That shit was right out in the open.
Also, for all the crap I give it, the show still has some on-point humor. I would expect much of the comedy to be somewhat cringy, but the series continues to consistently make me laugh. The solid team dynamic makes for some really funny moments. One of the show’s redeeming qualities.
And I know I’ve been expressing my anticipation for it week after week—to continual disappointment—but I think we’re finally getting an exciting balls-to-the-wall soccer match. Or at least the closest thing we’ll get to it yet. The way the entirety of the most recent episode laid out all the star players, their specialties, etc. It’s uncannily reminiscent of building hype in more successful sports anime. This is the first time an entire episode has been dedicated to hyping up a match—the match as of now. It would all go to waste if the subsequent match wasn’t something to really write home about. I’m looking forward next week to an exciting match, even if it will inevitably end it Tsukamoto being somehow responsible for the (presumably) victory. If anything, I think the episode could’ve done a better job if conveying what this match means to every player, in order to provide weight and significance. This match should really mean something significant to these people—beyond just the proverbial love of the sport. There needs to be some emotional tie-in. I want to be somewhat ambivalent towards who I want to win. Perhaps that would be too akin to character development though, which this series seems intent on avoiding.
Also, is Ms. Childhood friend going to play a significant role anytime soon? No? Okay.
Oh, and serious eyes are in full swing.
Author’s Note: Severe apologies for the late double-post. Some personal things happened to me in the past few weeks that seriously put me out of commission—but now I’ve recovered a bit and am fully committed to being punctual again. Thank you all for your patience.