Oh, I’m loving this series more and more. Even though this was meant to be just a building up episode (its goal was to create as much despair as possible without making the match nearly impossible to win again), it still rocked and I enjoyed every minute of it. That’s really what I’m looking for in an awesome series.
At this point, the entire cast is just so fun to watch, and not to mention that the creators really have put them against an awesome opposing team that sparkles with personality as well. This episode also really took its time to flesh out the team, and explain the biggest reason in why they’re so dominant: Kubota. Quite an interesting character. And the interesting thing is this: yes, Osaka was completely dominant in this episode. And yet this episode gave away a few hints at how the second half of the match will not be as one-sided. I’m talking about the point at which Dulfer says that the guy didn’t have the stamina to really stand out as a defender. And yet here he was running all over the field. My guess is that this guy is going to get tired, and I think that that’s what Tsubaki is waiting for.
The forwards were also interesting here: a few attacks were made, but it looks like Natsuki isn’t really sharp, while Gino has trouble placing his shots well enough for Tsubaki to take advantage of them. Is this on purpose? I suspect the latter to be the case. The final minutes of the episode were also nerve-wrecking. The characters finally had this chance… and yet the whistle blew. It wasn’t as cheesy that they would have definitely scored if it wasn’t for that whistle, but still, it could have turned the tides.
Rating: ** (Excellent)