This series stands out quite a bit with its characters! Mushishi may have the best collection of stories, but Ping Pong without a doubt is the show that has such a strong variety of characters. The best characters of the season. We had such intensity this entire episode! Just like the previous episode, this was a bit all over the place yet this time we had a correlation to work with here. Determination.
Tsukimoto was breaking out of his robot phase finally giving us some emotion! It was great to see him telling coach Koizumi how he would feel going to play over at Kaio. I did NOT expect that scene at all! Also, we were left from last week when Peco had the final push in getting back into pong. Here we saw him in action! Obaba is a great parental figure in this series, she doesn’t give two cents about feelings just that suck it up and give them the love they deserve for the sake of sport. Koizumi does worry about the emotional well-being of his team, and we see that a lot. The members of Katase High are for the most part all laid back and want to have a good game. Tsukimoto has pushed his emotions aside due to over exertion and here we can see him growing out of that. Thanks to Koizumi’s behavior this is how Katase High acts. Kaio on the other hand is a rough bunch of players. Kazama’s teammate whose name escapes me right now was so brash in his affections towards Yurie. He wants to truly overcome Kazama as a player and as a lover in the eyes of Yurie. Such a fantastic way to develop animosity within the team by placing Valentine’s Day in the heart of all this motivational drive of all the players here!
Kazama and Tsukimoto are both taught in entirely different ways but are standing on the same mat with the same kinds of ideals and motives. I can see why these two are similar. Kazama is very mature for his highschool age just as Tsukimoto is. They both have a hidden passion or fondness for the game that they don’t want to be flashy with it. In terms of direction we can clearly see Masaaki’s reason for delivering such lively scenes within the actual matches. The practice match scenes here were animated so traditionally with normal cuts. The big games we had in the previous episodes had flair only to show how important they were in developing the characters further.
What an incredible episode again! Also the musical score is very good. Loved the aggression in that scene when Yurie was spinning her car around in circles! This just shows that this series has adolescent themes like Captain Earth does in an entirely different way.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9/10