Yeah, so the result of the match was predictable. But like always with this series, it’s everything around it that made it memorable. The euphoria, the different reactions of everyone,. That made this really into a colourful episode. It’s really refreshing to see another sports series in which it doesn’t mean the end of the world if you lose: in this series, what matters is the long run.
It seemed like everyone had a different way to interpret the match: Murakoshi was simply glad to have another win again. The fans on the other hand were ecstatic that they finally won again, while that one fan of Tsubaki in particular got his old passion back. That Japanese forward meanwhile was immediately thinking how he destroyed himself during that match. The Nagoya coach was more looking into the future (which really fits his professional outlook), while Tsubaki was already seeing more and more opportunities to break through his defence. The football is one thing, but what really makes this series memorable is how it brings all of these different characters together.
Also, I like how the creators handled Tsubaki: he’s really meant to be this future talent who is still very rough around the edges, but yet he’s far from your average shounen hero. He’s really still a rookie and this series knows it. He has the ability to pull these crazy stunts, but that’s all exactly because he just loses himself in his soccer. This episode also stressed very much that football is a team sport by letting Gino score. Also, I loved the way he was at a loss for words when those Brazilians came up to him, and had to answer that interview.
Rating: ** (Excellent)