Ginga e Kickoff – 11

[Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 11 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FFFAE81E].mkv_snapshot_07.29_[2012.06.24_21.08.17] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 11 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FFFAE81E].mkv_snapshot_13.05_[2012.06.24_21.13.53] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 11 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FFFAE81E].mkv_snapshot_23.01_[2012.06.24_21.23.50]

That definitely would not have been my guess about who that guy was…

Before we blog episode 11, a brief word about an interesting poll from Sankaku Complex.  I normally don’t put a lot of stock in the particular site but then ran a poll this week – “Top 20 Anime You’re Wasting Your Life by Missing” – that yielded a surprising result.  Among the obvious and the distressing, the odd show of the bunch at #19 was none other than Ginga e Kickoff.  For the record this was an “all-time” poll, not current series, and I was pretty shocked to see our little soccer anime was registering strongly (indeed, at all) with what should theoretically be an otaku-dominated readership.  Is it possible that in Japan, “Ginga” is being recognized for the gem that it truly is?  I can think of few things in anime that would surprise me more, but I suppose anything’s possible.

All I know is, Ingerland could seriously have used Shou at the back today shouting out “Big Tri!” and “Build!”, because that display against Italy was pretty disheartening to watch.  You would have thought it was Spain, for how little the Brits possessed the ball.  I thought it was quite appropriate that Suguru-kun made a “park the bus” reference because that’s exactly what England has been doing for most of Euro 2012, and today they made the normally conservative Italians (just watch how they play against Germany Thursday) seem like at attacking swarm of hornets.  Negative football almost always produces a negative result and though I was still rooting for them, it would have been an injustice if England had won that PK shootout.  They should have let Joe Hart take one the PKs like he wanted.

So Murayama vs. Tsubaki was definitely the best soccer match on my TV today.  The wait was long, but the reward was another infectiously fun episode of Ginga, and the Tireless Terrier back in fine form and full voice (I especially loved his Mom’s “I’ve fallen for you again!”  What a troll she is).  While Megane-san sat in the bleachers tapping on his laptop the Predators assumed full control of the game, with Shou directing traffic and Ouzou once more proving that he’s nothing short of a football genius – certainly the most important member of the triplets to the team’s success on the pitch.  We saw a little of everything, including a fine nutmeg and goals from Uematsu and Erika.  It was a second-half domination as thorough as in their first-round game, to the point where Tsubaki even degenerated the match into dango soccer yet again until Ouzou shrewdly broke it up.

That’s where (as it so often does) Ginga took a bit of a surprising turn.  While the ugliness from “Owner” Kinzou (who I’ve neglected to mention is played by Nakamura Koutarou) on the sideline was expected, what was interesting was that the referee seemed to be taking a dim view of some of the Furuyas’ tactics – like Ryuuji intentionally causing an own goal and Ouzou’s giving Tsubaki the ball to break up the scrum.  Even more, he seemed to imply that Hanashima-sensei’s teams had a reputation for soccer than “lacked class” – not only weren’t his kids playing the beautiful game as the ref saw it, but it might not have been the first time.  Personally I didn’t see too much that really bothered me apart from the own goal, but when Ouzou said “This game is over – let’s have some fun” that didn’t sit well with me.  Suguru is a good player and a fierce competitor and he didn’t deserve to be humiliated.  At least Kota had the grace to say a few kind words to him after the match, but Masaru seemed to take the ref’s worlds pretty hard.

The other big development of the episode was the revelation that Megane-san was in fact Rin-san, and none other than the father of the triplets.  I see much, much more to come there – we have obvious tension between father (a university math professor applying his knowledge to soccer) and sons, and he also seems wary of not displaying class on the pitch.  And we have Reika Ojou-sama’s secret finally out of the bag – her Mom shows up at Shou’s family restaurant where Kin-san has sprung for a victory party.  The understanding housekeeper was acting somewhat suspiciously earlier – did she betray Reika-chan to her mother for some reason?  In any case next (last) week’s episode 12 looks to chronicle Reika’s attempt to sell her mother on the notion that soccer is a good thing for her little girl.

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  1. I

    Italy may have won the match with some classy attacking and defending, Pirlo being a enjoy to watch with all his great passes and of course Paneka Penalty but Italy do seem to have problems actually scoring. 35 shots on goal, 20 on target and 0 goals is worse than Liverpool profilgacy.

    While Germany will not play with 9 behind the ball, it still seems that on the counter and when shown some pace Italy's defence will fail. England (who played rubbish throughout the tournament for me) didn't use Walcott or Rooney well at all. The few times that they were in position and made the run it came to nothing as there was no support. Hodgson's plan to follow the Chelsea was stupid as it was all down to luck and luck doesn't last for more than a few games. They deservedly lost a match they were outplayed in for 120 minutes.

    Looking forward to both semis as all four teams are the ones that have consistently played well and beautiful. The smart bet is still Germany vs Spain for the final.

    Back to Ginga and it's really good to know that people, particularly the doujin and eroge loving group of Sankaku, think that the show is worth watching. Even the animation was a bit better than usual. I think it shows the difference between Ginga and AnK when this one doesn't have ridiculous strategies but players using simple basics to win and still seems exciting. I thought Mr. Megane was Reika's father not the triplets, although it's a nice twist.

    I don't think a referee who is officiating a 2nd round match between elementary kids has any right to look down on the Triplets for being a bit arrogant. I hope that this doesn't come back to haunt them later though. And anyway football isn't a gentlemen's game, so that Ref shouldn't try to impose his own pathetic opinion. Sportsmanship should be limited to not stamping on another player and that's as far as it goes. Anything else, including show boating, is fine by me.

  2. B

    Yeah… I agree that the intentional own goal was a dick move but who does the ref think he is to lecture the coach? There are boundaries and that was way beyond them, he's a ref for elementary school soccer, it's not like he's some kind of moral authority.

  3. J

    I also found the poll (which has a lot more series) here, since Sankaku is Sankaku Well, so much for thinking only a handful of people knew about the show. I can only guess this means the show will run until next year 😀

  4. J

    Ar, link didn't work. Can you fix that Enzo?

  5. N

    What a great episode, I missed EnglandxItaly yesterday because of work, but ginga totally made up for it. I can see why Masaru coachie wanted Kouta to play a more backward position – this way, when the defense is busy marking the forwards, Kouta can use his speed to emerge as if from nowhere, unguarded, and score. Also, I personally see no wrong with how Ryuuji caused Tsubaki to own-score, or with how Ouza broke the dango-soccer (although that was more far fetched) – the way I see it, if you have the skill to pull this off, go for it. If I could shoot curve balls like Ryuuji, they'd be all I'd shoot at the goal..

  6. R

    Spain vs Portugal should be interesting. Those two go at each other's throats when they can. Must be something to do with being neighbors… XD;

    That aside, this episode certainly was a lot of fun, but when Ouzo and Ryuji basically took the ball and changed the last few minutes of the game into a free-for-all type situation instead of properly competing, it did piss me off a bit, so I understand where the ref is coming from. On the other hand, they're 6th graders and I've done stupider, ruder things when I was their age, so I can't complain that much.

  7. The Iberian rivalry is an intense one, that's for sure. The good thing for fans is that Portugal won't be scared of Spain and park the bus – they'll try to possess the ball and score goals. They obviously can't hold the ball against Spain, but they'll get their chances. Spain should win but it ought to at least be an entertaining game.

  8. L

    A russell peters joke is in order:

    I understood where the ref was coming from but unless these kids are using drugs to win the game as oppose to using their own strength to play then he should let kids be kids. That being said I do agree that the Furuyas need to be taken down a peg or two it's great to be confident in your own abilities but to disregard others whom are putting the effort in the game is not cool. Fortunately Kouta acknowledged Suguru abilities and thanked him for a good game.
    More and more I'm loving how the team continues to acknowledge Shou abilities and seeing Reika gradually getting better at the sport. Everyone had a chance to shine in this episode I love it ^_^ I wonder what kind of father Rin is to his furuyus lol I bet he trolls them on a daily basis they are too serious for kids lol

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