So, this was meant to be about the introduction episodes, in order to build up for the big matches as we reach the end of the series. And even there this show found a very good scenario: Chihaya’s loss against an opponent unimportant to the plot, and having the finale be amongst the rest of the main cast.
Also, this show really has the tendency to not show Taichi play. This episode really was apparent in that: for Chihaya it fully details how the match progresses. This episode also took a good look at how Tsutomu and Kanade played, but with Taichi we just got the description of “it’s fierce”. The episode ended with a cliff-hanger, so I wonder whether they’re going to keep this up.
One thing that is also apparent here is that the matches are kindof predictable. I’m not yet sure whether that’s an actual flaw here, because this show does not have any miracle comebacks or anything. While it’s of course natural for those to happen, I’ve seen so many sports series by now that those twists start to stand out as a bit convenient. To make up for it, this show plays around with its interesting match set-ups. Like, having the most important match right at the beginning at times.
Rating: ** (Excellent)