「トレードオフ」 (“Toredo Ofu”)
Each episode so far usually had a dominant theme, whether it was more focused on salaryman or badminton life. However, this time, we truly see how these two worlds collide and what it truly means to be a “Badaryman.” From threats directed at disassembling the badminton team to the risk of resignation on Tatsuru’s part, there was plenty of drama to keep this week’s Ryman’s Club hot and spicy. Lowkey, though, the episode’s highlight will have to go to the Saeki brothers, who pulled off one of the most spectacular yet wholesome doubles wins for Sunlight Beverage.
The Cycle Continues
I mentioned in last week’s review how this series has a concept of “what goes around comes back around” to a certain extent and this week’s episode continues to highlight precisely why that is the case. With the badminton hater himself going full steam ahead to disassemble the badminton team, Tatsuru decides to make the ultimate sacrifice by announcing his resignation, but not before Mikoto steps in to save the day. While Tatsuru brought Mikoto into the world of badminton, Mikoto was the one who kept Tatsuru from leaving. Indeed, the badaryman duo is totally inseparable, and it’s great to see that they both have each other’s backs on and off the court.
The Saeki brothers have been the core of wholesomeness ever since they were paired up following Takeda’s move to a coach position. Seeing the pair get their first big win together was absolutely tear-jerking, particularly with the accompanying flashback scenes that gave us even more insight into their brotherly bond. With their secret technique developed from years of understanding each other, the Saeki brothers were able to pull off an incredible clutch win to give Sunlight Beverage a chance at the S/J Championships. One of the best developments to come out of this farce was the character arc of Sato Saeki, who went from someone who never believed in trying his best against opponents who are more skilled than you to now putting his whole body on the line and pushing himself to the absolute limit for a single point.
Looking ahead, I would predict that Mikoto and Tatsuru will steal the show for the remainder of this season. With just two episodes remaining, it is plausible to expect the dynamic duo to play the deciding match for the S/J Cup, and it’ll be interesting to see how far their doubles play has come along. Tatsuru’s ability to keep the ship stable and afloat, combined with Mikoto’s impulsive foresight plays, is a deadly combination for their next opponents. On the downside, there is still the issue of Tatsuru’s injury compromising their chances of winning. However, this just makes things even more exciting as we will soon see the results of their special doubles training with the legendary para-badminton coach himself. It’s set to be a fiery final two episodes of Ryman’s Club and here’s to cheering for Sunlight Beverage at the finals!