I am very impressed with this Noitamina. This show continues to be getting better than the previous episodes! Here, we had a look back into Peco and Tsukimoto’s past. We also had the outcome after the match of Tsukimoto vs. Kong. We also were shown Peco vs. Manabu and Kazama vs. Kong. We even had the aftermath of that too! All in 24 minutes! This just proves the pace of this series is perfect for a 1-cour airing!
Peco’s match was the best one we’ve seen yet! I really like how this series chooses to switch up its animation techniques for each game that’s played. Their match was slow, and then got faster and faster! Unlike Tsukimoto’s match against Kong where there was a few fast scenes in between full panel shots, we actually got a real game of pong here! This was incredibly animated!
Kazama was one scary opponent. Even before the match began and Kong’s coach wasn’t too worried, I knew something was up from the student of Kaio Academy. Yuasa definitely played on this here with his monster characteristics thrown in. Yuasa really distinguishes himself from a lot of other directors with the way he animates his series. The use of monsters in Kemonozume, the mushroom story of Episode 9 in Samurai Champloo and the symbolisms of college life in Tatami Galaxy. The imagery they used for Kazama was wonderful! I really like how he is very interested in Tsukimoto’s playing abilities. This is the second time he’s tried to recruit him with different methods. Having a strong script to work with and the dialogue from the manga really helped illustrate his conversation with Tsukimoto very well! Not only was Kazama a monster in the game of pong but the school he came from had all the possibilities available to their team to ensure they can win. This was greatly foreshadowed by Manabu’s tenacious match against Peco. What development there! Great episode that has furthered the characters at such higher lengths than before, and its not even at its half-way point yet!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10