So this is it: the climax of Giant Killing (next episode will be some sort of epilogue, I guess), and THANK GOD it was every bit as awesome as I hoped. It was just one rush of adrenaline from start to finish, Dulfer’s team played to its full potential (it even switched out its attackers to focus on defence), the use of music was perfect (the creators even used a track that they hadn’t used before at), and I loved every minute of this episode.
I mean, I’m not going to deny that the outcome of these matches are predictable. We know that goals will be made. What makes this show so addictive though are the questions of “who?” and “how?”. This is especially why this final match kicks ass beyond belief: in every single episode, the creators pick out different members of the team to get their place in the spotlight, either because of their actions or by delving into their heads. This is a match that was constantly evolving with so much dynamics that I haven’t seen in any other sports series so far.
This time, it’s finally time for Gino to shine by, along with Sugi in order to make the second goal. Natsuki in the meantime only proves that he picked his role back up: he doesn’t end up in the spotlights. Instead, most of the credits for the final goal go to Murakoshi, for opening up the way to the enemy half, and Sera, for finally getting the chance and pulling off the stupid stunt that got in that third goal. And even beyond that, the creators never neglected the support of the rest of the team to get them there, with the possible exception of the Keeper since Osaka got no shots at the goal in this episode.
I really hope that this isn’t the last we get to see of sports series that focus on professionals, rather than high schoolers. They can lead to completely different series, and series that are based on adults have a ton of stuff that high school sport series don’t have, and vice versa. In this age in which the Japanese economy is doing poorly and there are more and more moe and bishie series, I’m really glad to see that there are still series like this one that try to be different in presentation, art, storytelling and execution. This final arc was really the perfect way to close off this series, and the results were really magnificent, and I can only hope for more series like this.
Rating: *** (Awesome)