Gurazeni – Episode 6
This week’s episode of Gurazeni brings quite an array of topics that interestingly enough end up going together perfectly! First off, the episode title ‘Multipliers’ once again is very representative and relevant. Bonda tells the audience this time around a bit more about his hobby of memorizing other players’ stats, contract worth included. Bonda also pays close attention to players he calls multipliers, that is, players that double, triple or quadruple his own contract and so on. One of this players is his own teammate Akira who doubles Bonda’s contract.
As he talks about this, they’re playing against a team that has a starting pitcher that is made up of ‘three Bondas’ and another player that’s made up of ‘four Bondas’ and I liked the comment about there being something unsettlings on how neatly the numbers divide. I could agree!
Later after the game, Bonda and Akira are relaxing at a yakiniku restaurant and Bonda is stacking up the meat and enjoying a beer when Akira admonishes him for not having any vegetables and drinking too much. Bonda admits to himself that as an athlete he should take better care of his diet and he has some vegetables. Then, as they’re eating, the two multipliers that were on the team they were playing against show up, along with two younger players from their team. Bonda and Akira just stare dumbfounded as the 4 guys order round after round of beers and serving after serving of meat. How come these top pro baseball players smoke and drink and earn big while he and Akira are taking care of themselves and earn less?
I’d say that’s a Gurazeni thing, most likely, but it does bring something important into focus: a discussion of something that’s prevalent nowadays in Japanese society! The mention of carnivore men and herbivore men. Of course, they got into the topic through food, but really, the monikers refer to overall attitudes. Carnivore men are very masculine and aggressive types and herbivore men are more reserved and polite types. Bonda identifies himself with the herbivores and frankly, considering his demeanor, it makes sense.
Bonda then talks about the most fearful multiplier of them all the 10x of Bonda, Sekiya Masamitsu. This really throws me back to episode one when Bonda talked about a player’s standing according to contract and well, it must be terrifying to face off against someone who earns ten times as you because it potentially means they are 10x better than you! I can definitely sympathize.
Bonda and Akira feel a bit more motivated after overhearing the coaches talking about herbivores and carnivores so they head over to a hostess bar in Ginza where they end up running into Sekiya. He invites them to drink, but both politely decline and they call it a night early. The next morning when Bonda is going for his morning run he sees Sekiya again, still continuing the drinking party despite the fact he has a game later on.
During the game there’s quite a high chance of Bonda and Sekiya facing off, as they are both south paws and true enough, eventually Bonda is called to pitch against Sekiya.
Sekiya had been giving an overall good performance in terms of defense during the game, but he hadn’t gotten any hits at the at-bats. Then, with full bases and 2 outs, it was time for Bonda to step up.
I was inspired by how quickly he gained confidence against this powerhouse of a batter! In a flash of inspiration that reminded him of some advice Akira had given him in the past, Bonda eventually works out a strategy that tricks Sekiya and he strikes out the batter spectacularly, giving the herbivore club quite a victory!