Hanebado! Episode 2
This week’s episode was surprisingly a slow one that focused almost exclusively on Nagisa. However I am glad her issues are being addressed this quickly, because she had become and continued to be a toxic to others, when ultimately she is the one to blame.
The coach may be a creeper with a hand fetish, but he ain’t stupid. Now that the club has someone who has more experience and authority than Nagisa, she isn’t allowed to run rampant on everyone like she used to. Even though she has acknowledged what she was doing was wrong, bad habits die hard, and the best way to deal with it was for Kentaro to identify the problem. He was able to do all that by challenging her to a match, and realized that the girl is insecure of what she is capable of, desires recognition for her effort, and her ‘Jump Smash’ is her ultimate weapon, but her lack of faith of pulling it through makes it a double-edge sword.
For the longest time, it bothered Nagisa how her peers would feel she has an unfair advantage because of her height, or assume she is a natural when in fact she pushes herself to reach that level. Being taller than average himself, Kentaro understood her insecurities and knew what she needed to hear: She wins because she works hard.
The moment he said it, you could see how much weight was lifted off of the girl’s shoulder. It was she could finally breathe again, after being trapped in this toxic waste of self-doubts. Finally, she formerly apologized to the remaining club members for her actions, and hopefully we will see her to the same to those who couldn’t stand to be in her presence anymore.
However her insecurities weren’t just affecting her game, but also caused her to gravely misunderstand what a lot of people thoughts or intention. The one who quit the club clarified to her what she envies about her, is her passion for the sport. Another misunderstanding, is where her complex comes out of being told to sit out by the coach, feeling like he only wants to use her to make Ayano look good, because she’s special.
Truth to be told, I am a bit surprised Ayano allowed herself to remain in the club, even after having walk away from the match. I was actually happy to see her do that, because if she doesn’t want to do it, nobody should force her to. But in the end, she stuck around because Elena decided to become the team manager, and told her she should be playing. It is almost as though Ayano is tied to her hip, as she will go wherever she goes, so as long as she isn’t alone.
Yet to some extent, it is clear Ayano still likes the sport, otherwise I can’t imagine she would be willing to participate in the club activities. Her trauma or discomfort seems to stem from her mother, who by the look of it is a famous badminton player herself.
Overall, this was another great episode, and there was no better way to wrap up the episode that revolved around insecurities and self-doubts with a girl who is absolutely radiating in confidence, ahahaha!
I must say, I am loving the animation quality of the actual plays, they are so fluid and easy on the eye, and the sound of the birdie hitting the racket was surprisingly satisfying to listen to. I didn’t realize how much I liked the sound, but it really brings me back to when I played the sport. It really does bring back a lot of memories, especially since I wasn’t particularly talented, you could say badminton is one of my weakest sports, but it was still so much fun to play and watch those who were so exceptionally good at it.
Nostalgia aside, I am still uncertain about whether this is something I can continue blogging for the rest of the summer. I have already decided to give this three episodes to get a feel for it, and by then, I will have a better sense of what my options are this summer, and which of the few shows I will be picking up.
That being said, I think it would be a shame for people to overlook this series. It is one that hold a lot of potential, and there are a handful of other members of the club that have been quietly lurking in the background who I want to learn more about.