Baby Steps Episode 10
With the way everything is progressing, it is clear that Baby Steps is probably (if not already) now part of my top three favourite sport anime. There is nothing more satisfying and exciting to see Eiichirou’s growth as both character and player of tennis. His abilities to take precise notes have paid off once again, revealing Miyagawa’s strategy and gave him a chance to counter-attack it by attempting to beat him at his own again. And so far, he had successfully managed to do so by turning the game around and counter-attacking Miyagawa before he had the chance to wrap up his plans and end the game sooner than later. However, as Eiichirou had realized that Miyagawa was analyzing his style and way of play to know how to win the game, he knew that he had to change things up, he had to break his repetitive routine- something which he excels in. It makes me so proud of Eiichirou though because repetition is his strength, and when we look back to the earlier episodes, he was not an adaptable person and had the tendency to over-think everything. So by realizing that he needs to change up his game despite the fact there is a huge risk involved, it just shows how far Eiichirou has come when it comes to adapting to new/different circumstances. Another important factor that was revealed in this match was that Eiichirou doesn’t have a ‘special move’ aka one that is known as a winning shot. For example, Miyagawa’s strength lies within his groundstrokes and the way he makes the ball spin because, as we have seen in his flashback, it was the one move he dedicated all his time to so that he could finally win his games. This is a great contrast to what Eiichirou have been doing and what he needs to do in order to improve as a player. Right now, his trump card is his sharp eye-sight, of being able to catch even the slightest movement that indicates where his opponent will be going and where they will likely to direct their returns, and his ace is his court-covering skills (which pays off against a player like Miyagawa). But in order to get past his obstacle that is preventing him from proceeding to the fourth round, Eiichirou needs to decide what technique he wants to ‘specialize’ in since he needs to have some sort of strength instead being average in every moveset.
At this point there is probably a 50/50 chance of Eiichirou winning his match against Miyagawa, but who knows, the guy might have another trick up his sleeve that he rarely uses (especially against rookie players) in order to assure that he still has the game in the bag. Yet that being said, I would be ecstatic if Eiichirou finally breaks past the third round! GO EI-CHAN GO!