「何度負けても」 (Nando Maketemo)
“No Matter How Many Times I Lose”
This episode gave Special Week some redemption with her recent victory this week. Not all was golden right away as she had to train meticulously, pack on those carbs, and lose alongside TM Opera O, the second horse to pass away during the airing of Uma Musume Pretty Derby. However, everything that she has been told about trying to re-contextualize why she races in the first place is finally paying off as she starts to process the inspiration that she’s had up til now.
Although she’s faced the idea of her mother and foster mother offering her the motivation she needed to push forward and start racing, it took her visiting her foster mother’s home for extended training to help get her back on the right track. She put Spe-chan through some standard training exercises, but the most valuable thing she saw during her visit was how much her accomplishments have been truly valued and commemorated. Her foster mother had always followed and documented Spe-chan’s victories this whole time through albums and signage, but her devotion to her late friend and her daughter put into perspective how meaningful it is to Spe-chan to see in-person just how much her accomplishments mean to her and what they would have meant for her mother. As a side note, the dedication to the carrot motif is endless with Spe-chan’s favorite meal being a Salisbury steak with a giant carrot stabbed through the middle.
The stance that the Trainer had tried to instill in her by making Silence Suzuka her rival worked for the both of them as well. They have been on very friendly terms throughout the series, but with Spe-chan promising to be a formidable rival to Suzuka, it gave them both the motivation to be able to try to compete against one another. As Spe-chan won her most recent race with the drive to surpass Suzuka and make her mothers proud, Suzuka used the extra push to challenge herself to not let herself lag behind after her injury. It’s encouraging to see them make it through to their ideal performance, and it was especially touching to see how the animation had the two of them nod to each other as they reach their own personal milestones for the episode. There’s still some work for them to do, and with Team Spica gaining a winning streak of their own, it’ll be interesting to see how it all culminates in the next few episodes.