Posted by SuperMario on 25 September 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hanebado!

The angriest show of this season has come to the continuation of the final match between Nagisa and Ayano and overall it does a decent job. It has something to do with this episode is amongst Hanebado’s most traditional sport narrative, so it focuses more on the action, and tones down the excessive melodrama. On the narrative side Hanebado also does a lot of lifting, first they shed light to Ayano’s Mom point of view. Second, Hanebado uses this match as the way for Ayano to understand the importance of teammates. Moreover, Nagisa does a lot of lifting as well. If I have any complaint regarding this episode, that is Ayano’s eyes are different again. It’s not the “shifting from innocent-Ayano to youkai-Ayano” I mentioned last few weeks (which I pretty much take it as it is), it’s that she has her Mom’s eyes this week. As it stands, Hanebado seems struggle to visualize Ayano’s emotional conflict, hence this inconsistency in character’s design. As a result I never feel related or connected to Ayano as a character.

This final match spreads out pretty confidently. As this episode is much more action-packed than normal, I’m pleased to say that the production value maintains its quality throughout. We can sense very well every sweat, every footsteps from these two. Yeah, the over-analysing can become bothersome after awhile. Nagisa decides to throw Ayano off by covering the court instead of trying for winner shots. It sounds like a plausible plan considering that Ayano is much less efficient in attacking than defending, and Nagisa’s overall stamina is much better than Ayano’s. It’s not that Nagisa is only aimed at defense either, when Ayano’s shot become weaker, Nagisa uses her biggest weapon: her smash to win the point. Long story short, Nagisa has her leg up in this match.

It’s there that Ayano’s confidence starts to crumble. She had been, and now still playing with the affection of her Mom. Losing means that she becomes nothing, everyone will eventually turn away from her. That’s why the encouragement of her teammates, and the audience at large, makes her realize another joy of playing badminton: to play it with friends. On Nagisa’s part, I like the moment where coach Tachibana warms her not to overtax herself. It comes from a person who gone through the same thing and he definitely doesn’t want Nagisa to repeat the same mistakes he did. Everything comes quite nicely together for Hanebado in this episode (even the ex-members start cheering for Nagisa, it’s one of those small touches that are more effective that the contrived drama)

Finally, we get to learn Ayano’s mom point of view regarding leaving her behind, and it’s just cruel and loudsy, as expected. Well, she doesn’t deny that fact, and I find that “leaving her so that she can play badminton for herself” a huge pile of crap. She’s obviously displeased when she hears Ayano denying that she’s lost (it’s something she will have to work with, next episode probably), but for godsake she’s a preteen kid and you don’t just walk away and adopt someone else’s daughter like that evil mama. And the fact that she knows it’s wrong but she doesn’t regret that? It’s the same as the argument of someone who having affair and still assert that they don’t regret it. IT’S BECAUSE THEY AREN’T VICTIM GODDAMNIT. Well, it could’ve been worse so I still give credits for Hanebado for addressing that moment of truth as best as their humanly possible. Even though it has been a bumpy ride, I still hope that Hanebado ends on a good note next week.

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