Finally we’re off with the monopoly and entered the duopoly. Another Fansubber has appeared, with more time in his/her hands. Now we can get ahead with this show, and holy cow, this show intense.
The Dynamics of Team Play
This is one of the intensive match we have in this series. A lot of the development with the characters and the team are definitely in play here,seriously. With a lot of revolving on their dynamics as a team. The show clearly isn’t a single focused game. The match feels grounded that everything is in play. We see how Aoto-kun dominates the match, but it is not in a raw shounen way that other sports series used to play with strong opponents. He may be a genius but he’s only human. They also didn’t let his team be that faceless team mates that happen to share the same jersey (is that what they call it in football?) with. When Aoto-Kun realizes that the trio will gang-bang him, he immediately changes his strategy and completely changes the pace of the game. The Predators are also changing their pace, with Masaru-chan finally going all-out and actually gives orders to his team. With all the training and development they have in the past episodes. Leaving the micro details with Shou as captain. Freeplay is no longer the option here. It needs precision and you can just feel pressure with both of them neck-and-neck with each other.
I did have some expectation that Aota’s team may play that “team that doesn’t want him because he’s too strong”, more of a Aomine scenario but more grounded and realistic. The scenario with the Brazilian kid has some potential. I like bromance. I like Shota Bromance. I think this is the turning point where we get Aota joins the Predators, but it is unclear on what is the trigger on it.
Then we have the injury conflict. It’s nothing new in sports anime. But I felt that the added conflict in the plot put more pressure on the team just right. It also plays with Masaru, since he did have a past with players overexerting themselves. Will he play cautiously and let the team lose the match, or will he risk one of the Furuya’s for the sake of winning? We also see some concern with their father, loosing his cool for a moment. Let’s not also forget other nitpicks that are interesting with Reika having hots for Aota (We have the same taste huh), and Masaru’s GF’s cooking.
All in all. These 3 episodes back-to-back is like finding an oasis in a middle of the desert with you almost dying from thirst. You should be ashamed for not watching this. This is the best sports anime right now.
Episode Rating (Overall): 5/5
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