Kurata could learn quite a lot from Yuasa. This director is incredible in the way he tells his stories! The voice acting in this show has surpassed any that we have had this season, and last season as well. The beach guy showed up again at the beginning, and it is nice to see what the perspective of the outsiders within the pong academy feel. The pacing was still as good as it has been in pervious episodes. Jeez, I would really like to see the entire team who worked on this do a full on original romance series without all the fan-service. That would really be interesting to see!
They’ve done such a good job in developing the main cast and minor characters in this. Sanada as seen towards the beginning of his match has a lot of displeasure in his life. So much intense hatred towards Kazama having all the things that he doesn’t. Reminds me a lot of how Sakuma held in all his feelings in the previous episodes only to loose it and face the consequences of his actions. I like the fact that there is this correlation here between Sanada and Sakuma. They both experienced matches with Tsukimoto the lifeless robot that he is known for and lost. The match was done so well to illustrate this point. On one side there was Sakuma with a hearty intensity. On the other end was Tsukimoto, a calm player to the world of pong. Loads of development for Sanada in the one match! He accepted the fact that he was going to lose only to at least finish off strong. At that moment he lost he understood why Kazama wanted Tsukimoto on the team. Powerful direction here! Oh my goodness that was Sakuma with hair?! The people in this series continue to surprise beyond belief!
This episode’s theme was all about acceptance. I could see that with Sakuma’s conversation with Kazama in the bathroom. I can see why Kazama the type of person that he is was the strongest at Kaio Academy. He understood a lot about life, a lot about the game of pong, but he chose to accept it all and his release from all those emotions were in that stall. Figuratively speaking here. Let go of all the burdens before a match. I appreciate Kazama’s character a whole lot more now. Even in the previous episode I never could understand why he would always be in a stall before a match, but now after seeing that conversation with Sakuma I can clearly see why this is the case.
Peco and his knee. Another appearance of acceptance is illustrated here. He wants to go on winning without any hindrance even though he knows what he is going through is tough. Nice contrast between him and Tsukimoto here. Tsukimoto the lifeless robot that he is needed to add more feeling into his playing to continue on getting better. Peco wanted to be like the hero he created his mind of Tsukimoto. This drove him to believe in himself as a hero. The true savior of pong. At least that’s what I could see while seeing this episode. That ending though! Peco was leaning on Tsukimoto this whole time waiting for him and vice-versa. As players of the same game they learned a lot from each other and it will be curious to see how well Kazama fairs off against the newly trained Peco. Was it just me or was the animation this time around better than any of the previous episodes?
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9/10