「決戦ザムライ」 (Kessen Zamurai)
“Samurai’s Decisive Battle”

Sometimes, a dude can really like a girl but lack the courage to step up and ask her out. So it made me really happy to see Takizawa overcome his hurdle and ask Ayu out. I can’t tell if she’s into him. She has seemed rather annoyed by him in the past. But considering she came along and expressed a lot of concern for his condition prior to his performance, she definitely cares. Here’s hoping they achieve a happy ending. They might be a bunch of side characters. But the positive ways in which they’ve featured, helping out both Rei and Jotaro in their times of need, showed me they were good folks worth caring about.

As for the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnastics competition, Minamino was really off his game. That’s what video game players call ’tilt’, where his mentality veers off an edge, focusing so much on Jotaro’s performance that he lost sight of his own. But knowing Tetsuo, and just what kind of resolve he has, I am certain he will productively channel his frustrations and come back stronger than ever.

Finally, Jo managed to prove himself – topping the rankings on Day 1. However, his ankle twist is causing more problems than he’s letting on. And it’s just so tragic that now he’s beginning to hit his stride and find his form, that this extremely unlucky injury crops up to derail him. We’ve seen the blood, sweat and tears Jo has put in. How he came back from the edge of giving up. It’s just so unfair. Not to mention that Leo has decided to leave Japan.

His reasons aren’t so clear to me. I can’t tell if he’s genuinely resolved to face ballet again. Or whether he’s now scared to face the Aragaki family and seeks to cut his emotional ties with them. And it was really sad to see him call out ‘Rei’ instead of ‘Rachel’. It’s not that he doesn’t care about Rei anymore. You can see it in his eyes. I get the impression he’s using ballet as a pretext to avoid the Aragaki’s – due to guilt from being involved with Jotaro’s ankle injury. Now we can ask – what next for our samurai and ninja?

Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and see you all next week!

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