Ahiru no Sora – Episode 6
Aaaaand that’s a wrap on Sora’s very first High School Basketball game. And even though they didn’t manage to pull off the comeback of the century, I’m still pretty darn happy how things turned out. And while the game itself seemed to take a really long time, we still got a solid amount of development for some of our characters! (But also it’s a sport’s anime, it would make sense for everyone to actually be doing the sports a lot of the time).
Don’t get me wrong, that the single game did take longer than I would have liked. But when I think back on it, I am happy that they were able to develop characters and backstories during the episodes as well as giving us some pretty cool shots! We started out with a ragtag team filled with delinquents and basketball misfits. Naturally, the more experienced team looked down on them and expected the entire match to be a cake walk… that is until Sora steps in and shows them all that shorter people can hold their own and are a force to be reckoned with. This throws everyone off-balance, but then we have the cool pretty boy figure out Sora’s weakness and begin to exploit it. With this, we get a deeper glance at Sora’s experiences with the game, namely how he learned various tactics and that he’s never really played in a genuine match. So, Kuzu High gets knocked around, but a simple shot really turns the game around. (And, as a side note having all of Maru High’s delinquents jeer and tease Sora for his moves, but having the actual players start to worry was super neat! It really showed just how impressive he was!). And then Kuzu starts to make a comeback. Sure, they are a lost cause in terms of points, but their morale is back and their determined to stay in the game. And then we have the true turning point: Madoka and Chiaki.
If it weren’t for Madoka calling out Chiaki, the episode would have ended very differently. Once, Sora face-planted from tripping over the can I could honestly see the team getting ready to toss in the towel. Even though they were giving their all, they were exhausted and were going to be absolutely destroyed. And yet, Madoka, in shutting down Chiaki’s whole “It would be uncool to go into a game and lose” attitude managed to turn things around. Madoka, to me, is kind of the unsung hero so far. She’s managed to convince both Momoharu and Chiaki to return the game, and that’s pretty darn impressive.
And so Chiaki makes his grand entrance on to the court. His entrance had style, but most importantly he just launched a table at the delinquents and that was absolutely fantastic. I’m not surprised that he finally joined the team, but I loved his line about outliving Momoharu and that he’ll have plenty of time to shake off embarrassments. Like, not only is that a great turning point in his attitude, but it’s just generally a good thought to keep. I mean, heck, I could learn a thing or two from him! And I know, I said in my last post that Chiaki was the most uncool person in the group, but man he was…. just really cool in this episode. Of course he had his typical humor, but once he finally got in his grove in the game I was just like “Dang, so this is what he’s been hiding from us!” He was in the spotlight and he definitely deserved it. He practically carried the team to the end!! So, I we’ll settle for middle ground and I’ll admit, Chiaki’s pretty cool.
Despite the team ultimately losing the match, I think that there were a lot of good things that came out of it. Kuzu High finally pulled together and made a Basketball team and you know what? For the first time on the court they were pretty great. But I really liked the moment at the end when Maru High’s captain explained why he cared so much about height. It was kind of unexpected, I just kind of assumed he was like that because all teams have tall players, so if you’re not tall you won’t be good at Basketball. But instead, it really highlights just how many people have passion for the game but are continually not given a chance by other people and how that ultimately changes their perspective and drive. Sora worked with his height to combat stigmas, Momoharu quit the game because he didn’t have the skills, and even the Captain was essentially trained to believe that tall people were the only ones who had a chance at ever being good. It definitely stinks, but past actions of another person can definitely leave a big impact.
And so, I know it’s only episode 6, but I love just seeing how far everyone has come. Yeah, they’re still not the best team out there, but considering episode one and where we are now? I’m pretty happy. Plus we still have many more episodes to enjoy – it’s hopefully just going to get better and better. So, I’m excited for next week’s episode when everyone finally gets a chance to regroup off the court – plus! it looks like we’re going to get a new character and that’s always fun!