Well, so this is the episode I’ve been fearing for twenty episodes now: the match against Ryuoh. And unfortunately, while the previous matches were surprisingly good, this one… wasn’t. During the previous matches, you could really see that Adachi did a ton of stuff to spice them up. This one however, was different.
It’s very straightforward: Kou keeps hitting everyone out, apart from that cleanup hitter. The enemy pitcher meanwhile also hits everyone out. And then, when a person has made it onto a base, the team slips up and lets a point go. Nearly every baseball series has them: the match against the supposed best of the best, in which the stakes are highest. This is where Touch did a far better job.
As for the good stuff: Akaishi. I mean, the entire series has been building up to the fact that he would redeem himself in this episode (in the same way that Kou is bound to hit 160km/h in the next one…), but nevertheless it did allow him to develop. Even though he hit a home-run before, in this episode he really was able to let his worries go when he celebrated the point. Asami back home also was great to watch.
In any case, I really hope that the next episode will close off the game quickly, so that there’s as much time as possible for the series to go back to the slice of life, and conclude itself.