There’s an interesting sort of transition happening with Moshidora as it reaches the late innings. Maybe it was inevitable, but Drucker is becoming less and less important as the show focuses on the drama – there is an imperative to have some sort of dramatic conclusion after all.
The problem lies in the fact that the show’s narrative is so ham-handed that efforts at both drama and comedy are somewhat neutered. The events at the close of this episode should have been a dramatic crescendo, but I didn’t really find myself feeling much of anything when Minami got to Yuki’s hospital room. You could argue that’s because it was flagged in advance, but character deaths in anime are telegraphed all the time and still have emotional impact – look at Sayaka from Madoka, arguably the most death-flagged demise ever. Of course we don’t know Yuki is dead – she could be in a coma or some such like.
Actually, more dramatic by far was watching Yunosuke make three consecutive errors in the ninth inning – though the third won’t go down as one because Tomura saved him. I’ve seen that happen to players all the way up to the professional level, and the emotional scars can be brutal. It stretches credulity to think that a team would keep such an unstable player at the most vital defensive position (just as it does that Niwa, their second pitcher, could hold a national finalist scoreless for 5 innings – but that merited barely a blink from the show). The most interesting aspect of the ep was the debate over whether he should remain at SS for the final of the qualifying tournament – and especially what Drucker might have to say about it. “Management” was finally brought back into the limelight as the managers made that decision, and I can’t help but wonder what Drucker really would have had to say about it. I think the decision to stay with Yunosuke was a concession to dramatic license – what about all that talk over “results” in the last episode?