Yeah, this is what I meant. Last week when the creators suddenly decided to focus on the second years; they just needed more attention. The idea of this episode was nice, but at this point I just don’t care about these second years. The four of them are exact copies of each other: there’s nothing that sets them apart. And in the end, at which it turned out that they saved the match it just became a bit too obvious that the creators were trying to build up to it.
For the rest of this episode, I have no complaints, however. One thing I loved was how this episode never tried to prove something using the match against Miki. What we saw here was just a bunch of old friends who played against each other after having been apart for a few years. The part with the second years was forced, but apart from that it was just so wonderfully natural and charming. Friendly matches like this one are very rare in sports series and even when two friends are against each other, they tend to overact and make it way too dramatic than needed. Miki and Azuma were wonderful in this episode, simply because they stayed so down to earth.
Another big theme of this episode was Aoba, and the fact that she’s not using her talents. Next to Kou, it’s indeed very easy to forget that she also is an excellent pitcher, and she was pretty much the one who taught Kou everything he needed to know about being successful. As a teacher, especially so young, she should feel proud of what her student turned into. ^^;
Rating: * (Good)