Ginga e Kickoff – 23

[Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 23 (1280x720 8bit h264 AAC) [C16828C2].mkv_snapshot_06.23_[2012.10.18_22.50.09] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 23 (1280x720 8bit h264 AAC) [C16828C2].mkv_snapshot_17.11_[2012.10.18_23.00.56] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 23 (1280x720 8bit h264 AAC) [C16828C2].mkv_snapshot_18.26_[2012.10.18_23.02.11]

That’s quite a character turnaround for Kota in the last couple of episodes.

I think Masaru-chan-san may just be one of the most interesting coach characters in sports anime (and it certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s voiced by a stalwart like Koyama Rikiya).  He’s a complicated person rather than a caricature – at times he can be inspiration and ingenious, at other times peevish and childish.  He’s already had several eps dedicated to him (#24 looks as if it may be another one) and they’ve all been standouts with some real emotional depth.  Adult characters in anime about kids and teenagers tend to get shafted when it comes to character development, but not here.

Of course, that didn’t stop me from wanting to wring Masaru’s neck this episode.  I think it was pretty clear from the ep last week that his major issue was going to be with Kota’s injury, and how it reflected on him as a coach.  There were some “adult problems” as Erika called them too – namely finding a job and earning a living – but that was clearly a cover.  And I actually have a certain measure of sympathy both for his guilt and for his pride at not wanting to have things decided for him by other people.  But at the same time, I just kept thinking to myself that he was a bit of an ingrate – what Masaru should have been thinking about was how lucky he was.  Lucky to have kids that love him as a coach and are willing to fight for him, lucky to have a girlfriend who’ doesn’t care about money and puts up with his immaturity, and lucky to have a benefactor willing to give him a job just so he can keep coaching a kids’ soccer club.

He – and the Predators – are lucky, too, that he has an old mentor like Coach Nagabuchi who still cares about his former player.  It was he who recommended the Predators to the Future Cup, and 8-player tournament that could potentially offer a rematch with the Amarillo and a trip to the Nationals after all.  Nagabuchi gives Masaru the best advice he gets during the entire episode – “If you’re worried, you should just grow up along with the kids”.  But even that isn’t enough, not even when Shou – as expected – goes into full Tireless Terrier mode and stakes out Masaru’s apartment again.  Indeed, the only person as perversely stubborn as the coach is Kota – which Ouzou points out – which makes him the perfect man for the job of finally shaming some sense into Masaru.

“Grow up along with the kids” is a good theme for this episode, because it’s Kota who’s grown up an awful lot in these last few eps.  He takes responsibility for his injury, and this comes on the heels of taking responsibility for defending Mini-Maradona Aoto even at the cost of surrendering in his personal battle – because the team was more important.  Being around Shou and his relentless team spirit has clearly impacted Kota most of all, and Masaru’s decision to quite is more personal to him as a result – because, after all, he’ll surely blame himself if the Predators really do lose their coach. And it’s seeing so much of himself in Kota, I think, that Masaru-chan-san finally relents on a contingency basis and agrees to coach the team at the Future Cup (in Spain -Ronaldo!).

Speaking of Aoto, that gleam in Erika’s eye at the end leads me to believe he’s about to join Shou’s soccer harem at last, and bring Tagi with him.  With the fifth-graders out for the tournament the Preds need two more (including a keeper, conveniently) and I suspect that Erika saw this both as a chance to help the team and to get some face time with her crush.  And I further suspect that Reika being “away at the family villa” provides the perfect stage-setting for her shocking transformation – and paired with Erika’s grand scheme, finally bring the foreshadowing of the OP and ED to pass.

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[Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 23 (1280x720 8bit h264 AAC) [C16828C2].mkv_snapshot_12.55_[2012.10.18_22.56.40] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 23 (1280x720 8bit h264 AAC) [C16828C2].mkv_snapshot_13.25_[2012.10.18_22.57.11] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 23 (1280x720 8bit h264 AAC) [C16828C2].mkv_snapshot_14.43_[2012.10.18_22.58.28]
[Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 23 (1280x720 8bit h264 AAC) [C16828C2].mkv_snapshot_17.24_[2012.10.18_23.01.09] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 23 (1280x720 8bit h264 AAC) [C16828C2].mkv_snapshot_18.14_[2012.10.18_23.01.59] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 23 (1280x720 8bit h264 AAC) [C16828C2].mkv_snapshot_18.24_[2012.10.18_23.02.09]
[Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 23 (1280x720 8bit h264 AAC) [C16828C2].mkv_snapshot_18.44_[2012.10.18_23.02.29] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 23 (1280x720 8bit h264 AAC) [C16828C2].mkv_snapshot_20.14_[2012.10.18_23.03.59] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 23 (1280x720 8bit h264 AAC) [C16828C2].mkv_snapshot_20.36_[2012.10.18_23.04.21]
[Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 23 (1280x720 8bit h264 AAC) [C16828C2].mkv_snapshot_21.51_[2012.10.18_23.06.05] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 23 (1280x720 8bit h264 AAC) [C16828C2].mkv_snapshot_22.30_[2012.10.18_23.06.43] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 23 (1280x720 8bit h264 AAC) [C16828C2].mkv_snapshot_23.06_[2012.10.18_23.07.19]
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8 comments

  1. e

    Another great episode for both adults and kids alike.
    The coach's coach ascended to numinous status in my eyes. Oh wise mentor.
    And then Kota. Auntie Eli is so proud of you, my darling artichoke boy :,).
    Also, Kyoko is a patient and understanding woman. And no less stubborn than Masaru for sticking with him through thick and thin and pushing him in the right moments. Go Kyo-chan!
    Erika's expression at the end means Aoto Luring-Out Time I agree. About Reika… well, that seems also a likely setup for her 2.0 looks, if a bit fast.

  2. B

    If there's one complaint I have about the show right now, it's that Kota's character development seems to have happened a little too quickly. Maybe once all the drama blows over he'll go back to monosyllabic mode, that'll make me feel better about it.

  3. S

    Ginga is such a rewarding show to watch. I just finished area no kishi and it is so mediocre. Even though the characters are older it is so much more childish and has so many loose threads. Not once since the first episode does it have the courage to exPlore any characters and even though there's a blatant love interest it amounts to nothing, neither good nor bad.

    Kakeru has only one unique ability that is his own and it's a ridiculously flawed trick (phi move) and the other is letting his brother take over his body.
    In comparison Shou has a great view and expertly directs his team from the defence, the rest he can improve upon. Theres just more potential in Shou and I never understood why Kakeru would be compared to the other geniuses he's playing against. For example Nana.

    Anyway, i don't think Kota will revert to his old self ever. Instead I think he will get some romantical development soon ^^ hint hint, nudge nudge

  4. B

    Well, I don't really want Kota to go back to his old self, that would defeat the point of having character development in the first place. I just think his development has been a little too abrupt and would like to see evidence that it's at least partially because of the current high drama levels and that he'll go down to a more normal level of character development once things are back to normal. It feels like he went from totally selfish "I must score points" mode into completely selfless "The team comes first!" mode within the space of 1 and a half episodes, and now he's voicing his opinions non stop to boot? It's too fast IMO.

  5. S

    well, it's not like he didn't have any reason to being less selfish. As long as there is several reasons for it, and if I feel the character somewhat realizes them then I don't mind that the character development happens rapidly. It doesn't make it any less believable, at least not for me. In fact, that's how I would react to something challenging my views. I'd pause for an instant, arrive at a conclusion and subsequently act on it when applicable. Even though I'll think a lot about different scenarios and outcomes during and afterwards, giving that screen time would make for a boring show. Not every process is slow for every person.

    Anyway, I feel that the expectation everywhere that every change must come slowly (or be a sign of mental illness) is unrealistic. I would think the authors would just say:"Yes the change could have gone slower, but for this person change didn't come slow. Something (major or minor) hit him like a ton of bricks, and he was changed because of it"

  6. R

    I honestly think kids LIKE Kota change the quickest in real life too. He's talented and arrogant, but I doubt he's ever had anyone really dedicated to something tackle his point of view from the other side of the spectrum, or for that fact had anything he wanted to dedicate himself to either.

    Kids in general show amazing changes in short periods of time. When I was helping out at elementary school before, there were some weeks where I'd walk in and I swear someone had swapped the personalities of some of the more rambunctious kids or something.

  7. e

    That's it. I quite agree. And I can second witnessing those changes IRL kids as well.

  8. Rita, you nailed it. Kids like Kota change the quickest – and both the "kids" and "Kota" part are important. He's at an age where personalty transformations can happen as quickly as physical ones, and he's really being exposed to the kind of team-oriented motivation he's currently getting for the first time.

    If I could rep comments here (which will never happen as long as I have a say about it) I would!

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