Ahiru no Sora – Episode 3
This episode continued the themes from last episode and shed more light on Momoharu’s relationship with basketball. An honest way to describe him would be someone who was absolutely dedicated to the sport, but quite wasn’t great at one aspect of it. Granted… that aspect is pretty important, but nevertheless, if their one thing that Sora has taught us it’s that anyone can play Basketball as long as they put in the effort.
The episode starts off with Momoharu still thinking about Sora practicing his 1,000 shots a day. And even in that moment we see Momoharu make practice shots with his wastebasket to no avail. His passion is starting to spark again, though Chiaki doesn’t seemed to fond of it. And if anything, I just want to know why he’s wary of this development. But that’s probably something that will be unpacked in a later episode, regardless he’s not too sold on Sora’s whole “well you should practice to get better, and if you’re still not good enough you just need to practice more”. That’s easier said than done though. I’m sure we’ve all had our fair share of putting in our all and not seeing results; practicing more usually isn’t the first thing on our mind. So Chiaki, though a character we haven’t gotten to dive into, is most likely looking out for his brother and to avoid seeing Momoharu getting hurt (or maybe I’m completely misreading it and he just likes to mess with people)
This episode focused a lot more on the interactions between Momoharu and Sora. Despite the two being a major focus in the previous episode, they didn’t actually interact a whole lot. We now officially learned that Momoharu has never made a shot in Basketball, which is due to his depth perception and why he quit the sport. However, with his passion sparked again he continues to miss each and every shot, he catches Sora’s eye with an incredible set up for a dunk (of course it back fired, but it gave a great way for the two to connect). I’m excited for them to dig more into this hidden skill for Momoharu and to get a good second chance (second shot?) at Basketball.
Once Momoharu is on board to actually participate with Sora on the Basketball team we finally have our first match on the horizon. Of course, it’s with Kuzu High, but we have to start somewhere. The bulk of this section is on Sora trying to convince the other three delinquents to participate in the match and practice which ultimately leads to him dribbling around the court completely naked. I didn’t expect him to go above and beyond, so I’ll give him kudos for going that far. Leave it to Sora to surprise us all. Ultimately, he is successful in keeping the team together, so the next phase of the plan is to spy on their opponents and see what their made of.
I’m a big fan of underdogs, the last part of the episode was something I particularly enjoyed. Despite only visiting the other team Sora, and a few others, are singled out for being too short to play Basketball. That they should just give up and that there will never be a place in the sport for them. If there is anything that this anime has told us, it’s that height isn’t actually an obstacle and that anyone can play Basketball if they put their heart and soul into it. So Sora shows them what the short kids can do and boy oh boy did the basketball team under-estimate him. Sora’s biggest strength is height because everyone will immediately write him off for being so short and yet his skills and technique to combat his height always catch the opponents off guard. He’s really working with what he’s got and I just can’t help but cheer him on.
For those of you checking in to see if this anime is worth a watch after the first three episodes, I do recommend that you check this out! I wouldn’t call it groundbreaking by any means, but if you enjoy a classic sports anime and an underdog story I think this will be worth the watch!