Diamond no Ace Season 2 – 13

Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -3 Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -13 Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -26

The peculiarities of Japanese baseball never cease to surprise me.

Any way you slice it, the Seidou v. Ugumori matchup feels like a stop on the journey, not a real destination.  When you consider that this is a game against a secondary opponent – a preamble – and part of a secondary tournament at that, it’s remarkable just how exciting the series has been lately (maybe its best one-month stretch since the Inashiro game).  That just goes to show how important Eijun’s personal arc is to Diamond no Ace’s dramatic horsepower.

Still – this is clearly not a game Seidou is going to lose.  Inashiro is ano natsu de matteru, and presumably Yakushi awaits as the climactic opponent in this tournament.  So this is a pit stop albeit an important one, and this episode is a setup for the actual pitstop.  And it again focuses on the semi-anonymous trio (Watanabe is the only one whose name I remember), who are at most secondary characters in the overall picture.  Put it all together, and this is definitely a breather episode in every way.

At least now it’s clear why the story of Watanabe and his pals is in here at all, which was quite a mystery to me.  It’s here to highlight the fissure between the captain and the boy who probably should have been the captain, and call Miyuki’s overall authority with his teammates into question.  When Miyuki drops the bombshell to the other 2nd-years that Watanabe-tachi are thinking of quitting, Maezono takes extreme offense at the way Miyuki responded (effectively, “If you want to quit I won’t try and stop you”).  Maezono feels this is unbecoming a captain, and indeed if he were captain it would have been unthinkable behavior.  But he’s not, and Miyuki is a very different sort of leader.

I get where ‘Zono is coming from here, and indeed I incline more to his style of leadership – empathy-driven, with the view that a failure by a team member is really a failure by the leader.  But I think Miyuki sold himself short in recounting what happened – I think he did project considerably more empathy than he implied to the others, and having Watanabe scout the Ugumori-Inashiro game was his awkward way of trying to tell him he was still needed.  But in the end I think ‘Zono has a valid point about Miyuki – he was a guy who came in as a hotshot and never had to struggle with not playing or worrying about getting a number at all.  Maybe understanding what motivates the kids who do isn’t his strong suit as a captain (and I don’t think he has all that many).

Meanwhile, Ugumori seems loose and relaxed, taking their cue from Umemiya – though it’s clear that Nao is the real inspirational leader.  As for the Seidou first-years, they’re spared the drama the juniors are dealing with though they have a little of their own – Furuya has been declared the starter (as expected), and between that and losing his grudge match with Inashiro Eijun is feeling pretty pissed. His pals take him (along with Furuya and Haruchin) up to their room to show him some new stretches – something called “Mae-Ken” that’s supposedly good for the scapula (shoulder blade) before pitching.  This is a pretty funny scene as-is thanks to Eijun’s lovable bakayaroucity, but try this – watch the bit where the guys are watching the workout DVD with your sound turned down and subtitles off, and I defy you to tell me it doesn’t seem like they they’re watching some weird Japanese horror flick…

There’s a pretty amusing encounter between Umemiya and the Seidou grommets in the men’s room (this series seems to have a fixation with stadium bathrooms) that reveals more of Umemiya’s affable but brash nature.  How will his taunts effect Furuya – will he be able to channel his irritation into focused performance, or will he display his usual immaturity and try too hard, shooting himself in the foot?  We’ll see – but it’s clear that head games are a big part of what Umemiya is all about.  Those sorts of things don’t impact Eijun much of course (he rarely troubled by excessive thought) which would make a matchup between he and Umemiya even more interesting.  We’ll get it sooner or later, though I suspect not before the late innings.

Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -7 Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -8 Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -9
Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -10 Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -11 Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -12
Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -14 Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -15 Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -16
Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -17 Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -18 Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -19
Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -20 Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -21 Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -22
Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -23 Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -24 Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -25
Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -27 Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -28 Diamond no Ace 2 - 13 -29


  1. e

    I thought Mae-ken was the name of the pitcher hence they had just named that technique after him… did I misunderstand? :,>

    I guess once Miyuki was selected as the new captain he could not really refuse and could not see a better alternative at the time. A bit of humble chou does a Cheshire catcher good once in a while – and when even Kuramochi points things out at you in public… – As much as I like Miyu he still needs to improve his interaction with his flawed fellow human beings a tad.
    Btw what are his strong points as a captain as of now iyho?

    Toilet humour: this one worked for me. Some light yaoi goggles bait too maybe?
    Anyway… pitch that paper roll yey X,D – good thing it wasn't Furuya. It would have indented the ceiling probably – .
    Going by said toilet paper stall crisis I gather
    a) it was a number 2. Taking a load off your mind before important endeavours is a huge help…
    b) those stalls did not feature the kind of Japanese super WC with control panels that talk, wash you and serve you coffee.
    c) are those skewered solid soap bars? Not a fan of those for public restrooms D,: . Luckily they are not common where I live – those soap bananas are more of a Switzerland thing in my experience – . What about liquid soap wall dispensers instead?

  2. I see liquid soap dispensers…

    Mae-ken probably is the name of that guy in the video, but I did a search to try and find out if this was a real thing and could find no evidence that it was.

    As for Miyuki's strengths as a captain, I would say they're mostly in the "lead by example" category. He performs when it counts, he works hard, he clearly knows baseball very well.

  3. e

    I stand corrected. I had to watch it streamed and in a rush this morning (long story) and the video quality wasn't ideal hence soap bananas hallucination :,D . Now that I 've rewatched the epi via my usual means*** and nibbled on a berry tart everything is just peachy.
    However you slice it this paragraph got rather fruity *badum tish*

    ***While I was at it I checked the Mae-ken bit again. Eijun's shonen-ish guess aside ( see technique names and/or coreography in 1) Fist of the North Star 2) Street Fighter 3) Saint Seiya ) going by his team mates' dialogue that's definitely the on-screen player's name. If the latter is true here possibly comes another pun as the cherry on top: Mae-kun/Mae-ken… Yay? Nay?

  4. l

    "Maeken" is short form for the Japanese pitcher Maeda Kenta (Wikipedia link).

  5. That hadn't even occurred to me. He's been rumored tto be posted to America for a couple of years, too. Like Eijun, a southpaw without overpowering stuff.

  6. e

    @leongsh: thanks XD. The more you know…

  7. l

    @Guardian Enzo: err.. Maeda Kenta is not a southpaw. Per the Wikipedia entry, he pitches right and bats right. Not an overpowering pitcher but one that has very good control.

  8. Yeah, you're right, I misremembered.

  9. k

    Enzo, not sure if you tried looking for any videos after that, but the 前健体操 is something he really does do…

  10. k

    Oops…sorry, should be マエケン体操…

  11. g

    If there's one thing that's really kept me in love with this series, it might be how interesting the mangaka makes the opposition.

    Not every single enemy team of course, but there are at least 3-4 teams he's drawn up that would make for compelling protagonists in their own right.

    I think I see where he is going with this Watanabe kid…I think throughout the game he'll be contrasted with the wheelchair boy as an information specialist? Something like that anyway…

  12. A

    That would be cool to see, and it would give Nabe a bigger role than "that guy who indirectly caused a fight between Miyuki and Zono"

  13. A

    Nao – Definitely the inspirational leader, but I'm not giving up on him having a devious side. Hoping to learn more about him–his personality and his past–in the upcoming match.

    Watanabe – All that raving about those notes was just what I needed to actually care about Nabe. I'm definitively rooting for him not to quit the team now, and even if he quits as a player, maybe he can stay on as an information specialist like gigaknight says. (Despite his exceptional circumstances, Nao technically broke the barrier for male managers in this story….) My issue is, while you're right plot-wise he's instigated a review of Miyuki's leadership skills, I just hope his decision whether to stay or join has some long-term impact in its own right too.

    Miyuki – Yes, Miyuki sold himself short, yet he seems like the type who, when asked what he told someone, would provide the one-sentence summary no matter how many nuances get lost. It's his inexperience as a leader and an influential figure. I see some character development in Miyuki's future because of this though. (Wait, has Miyuki had ANY character evolution since this series started??) Unfortunately it looks like for now Miyuki and Zono's tension will spill over into the match. Not good. Not good at all.

    On that subject, after the bathroom scene (was anyone else reminded of an eerily similar scene from Oofuri?), I can genuinely say I haven't been this excited for a game since the first time Seidou faced Yakushi. Furuya vs. Umemiya, Miyuki vs. Maezono–so much character drama and so many variables for Seidou's performance. Because of that, I'm not quite as confident as you that Seidou will win, even though at the same time I can't quite see them losing this early either. Here's hoping whatever happens, we get the entertaining match this is looking to be.

Leave a Comment