「でもへんでくでせ」 (De mo Hen Deku Dese)
“But, Give Us a Hendy”
The quest to recruit the 7th and final member has begun, but the ever-stoic Shuugo Amihama (Souma Saitou) is a tough shell to crack. After losing his brother in a tragic swimming-related accident, the star swimmer has seemingly left the sport for good, but Joujima and the boys aren’t giving up just yet! In what has been a rather eventful episode full of Rocky-like training montages, comedic skits, and dramatic exchanges, this week’s RE-MAIN was worth the 2-week wait. Let’s unbox the events taking place in the world of anime water polo:
The Introduction of Shuugo Amihama
It’s a known fact in psychology studies that young men are closer to the disagreeable end of the spectrum than any other class of people, but Shuugo takes this to another level. With a strong will demonstrated in his class recitation, we learn that he is a man who either gives 100% or nothing at all. Additionally, he seems to take on various responsibilities, living alone with his father and making bento lunches for the both of them. Indeed, he is a strong-willed, yet a calm and mature person with a tragic family past that has shaped who he is today.
The Boys Make their Move
It’s been a while since I’ve gotten a good laugh out of an anime, but the comedic skits in this episode definitely caught me off guard. The team’s attempts to recruit Shuugo were pathetic, cringe-worthy, and somehow absolutely hilarious to me. From Yutaka and Yoshiharu‘s awful library skit to Takekazu’s god-awful yelling in the bathroom about how great water polo is, and finally Minato’s hopeless attempt at “accidental” encounter, Shuugo saw through all their BS and immediately figured out their blatantly obvious motives to recruit him.
Despite their utter failures, the boys didn’t give up on Shuugo, and it was quite uplifting to see their efforts slowly pay off one step at a time. Shuugo claimed that their dysfunctional relationships with one another revealed that they had no bonds, but I believe the opposite. The way the group interacts with one another in such a disagreeable, non-conforming way just shows how free they all are as individuals, with each member expressing themselves authentically. As an accomplished swimmer, Shuugo is a man of individual brilliance, and his tragic history with swimming has resulted in his stoic-like personality. It’s going to take something major to sway someone so set in his ways to go back to the very thing he is running away from, but perhaps a challenge could do the trick…
The Battle to Recruit Member #7
The final part of the episode was a showdown between the water polo team and Shuugo, in a 1 vs 6 challenge to put the pestering to an end once and for all. It was a classic battle of individual brilliance vs teamwork and with a handicap given to the Joujima gang, victory seemed assured, but we soon learned just how great Shuugo really is. It seemed not even the power of friendship could beat the star swimmer, as the episode ends with a tight victory to Shuugo and no clues on what happens after the race.
We know based on the opening and ending theme song sequences that Shuugo will be joining the team, so I’m curious to see how he will be swayed at this point (perhaps another inspirational speech from Joujima?). Nevertheless, I’m excited to see how things pan out. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an exterior factor beyond the Joujima gang that finally sways Shuugo, such as a word from an important person in his life. One thing’s for sure though, things are gonna get awesome quickly once this team of very unique young men learns to work as a team.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Give us your thoughts down below!