I hate the cliff-hangers of this series with passion. I mean, keeping a hook until next week is one thing, but the tension is killing me here. The creators here have this tendency to cut off at the most tense episode of the series. This is just unbelievable: this entire episode was building up for something that happens two seconds after the end of the episode.
Aside from the usual tension, this episode really made the characters shine in so many different ways. I loved all those moments that were focused on character antics, ranging from Akasaki celebrating his goal to Hauer punching Kuroda because he had gotten so annoying (especially the way in which Tatsumi noted that Kuroda had a talent for annoying people). Most of the time, my favourite series of each season are dark, with quite a bit of angst, death and destruction. Giant Killing however is completely different. It’s an incredibly bright and fun series that hits just about all the right buttons.
I can only imagine how awesome the next episode is going to be: it’s there where everything in this series is going to have to come together: with twelve episodes left, and Tsubaki’s chance to score 2-2 ruined because of that defender who is really really tired, the match is at a point at which anything can happen now. I also love how this match is evolving with every single episode: first everything was focused on stopping the onslaught of attackers, most notably Kubota, then the focus moved to Natsuki as an attacker, and now this episode, instead of focusing on Tsubaki, it focused on Dulfer’s strategy collapsing and the main dilemma he has to face: what is more important, your ideals or winning every match you’re in? The long term versus the short term.
NB. This is also something I noticed as I started making screenshots, but the camera angles in this episode were really good here: they were varied, creative, and really helped to bring up the best in the characters. The animation in this series is generally nothing to write home about, but there are these rare scenes that are actually animated quite well and smooth.
Rating: *** (Awesome)