So we’ve already had English, Dutch and French, and now this episode also throws in a bunch of Brazilians. Awesome. Their portrayal is a tad stereotypical, but they did well in contrasting with the rather uptight Japanese players. And who knows, something’s telling me that the next episode will add a lot more colour to them. One of the reasons this show is so awesome is because of its huge and incredibly diverse cast, and with this episode it became even more diverse.
This episode had no soccer matches, but for a series like this that’s no problem at all: it again showed that this isn’t just a series about football, it’s a show about everything that involves football, from the players to the fast to the press and the coaches and all of the other staff members behind a team who all have their own functions. With so many details, I can more than forgive the few unrealistic parts about the soccer.
The cast really is huge, probably the largest of the entire season, but nearly all of the characters here stand as individuals. Take the supporters for example: you have the loyal fans, then there are the fans with the most status who rally everyone on to cheer as hard as possible, and then there also are the older fans who long for the nostalgia of the old Tatsumi.
I also loved Tatsumi in this episode, you can really see that he knows that he’s not going to win easily, and even he has to motivate himself a bit after such a losing streak of five matches. I think that for a lot of people, they’re into a test of endurance: how long can they keep up with the team’s abysmal performance? How long will it be before Tatsumi will live up to his name and brings a victory to the team? Seriously, out of all of the sports series I have seen so far, this one feels by far the most unique.
Rating: ** (Excellent)