Diamond no Ace Season 2 – 15

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Leadership can take many forms, I suppose.

I know we should be used to recaps from Diamond no Ace by now, but seriously – three minutes worth before the OP, and then you show the same damn clip again after it?  Making use of the same scene three times is a little beyond the pale for me, no matter how long-running a series is.  Surely Madhouse and Production I.G. between them have enough cash to avoid that sort of nonsense without passing the hat?

Once it got around to new material, this episode was pretty much the Miyuki show from start to finish.  It’s really a continuation of what we saw last week, which was the somewhat narrow channel in which Miyuki’s leadership style can be really effective.  He walks the walk, plain and simple – he may be a shit communicator in most respects, but he has some authority because he always brings it.  He plays hard, he hits well in the clutch, and he controls the game from behind the plate with a vise-like grip.  That’s reflected in the big hits he delivered off Umemiya, and in the rally-killing thrown-out would-be base stealers.  I still think his snarky and blunt communication style severely limits his effectiveness as captain, but he does have his moments.

No question about it, it’s Miyuki’s presence that’s dominating this game.  His hitting spurs ‘Zono forward (not wanting to be overshadowed) and he’s cowed Furuya into being obedient for once.  I disagree with Ugumori’s insistence on stealing at any cost as a matter of philosophy – getting thrown out as the first out of the sixth inning trailing by three runs is stupid.  But Furuya is actually showing the merest glimmer of growth here, recognizing his own weariness and simplifying his approach on the mound.  Baby steps, to coin a phrase.

Meanwhile, Pompadour-kun is barely hanging on.  He gives up six runs in five innings, and when Haruichi steps up with the bases loaded in the sixth it looks like the end is nigh.  Eijun pipes in hilariously with a “This is when you become a man!” from the dugout (yes, that sound you heard was doujin writers all over Japan jerking upright in their chairs), but a great play by the second baseman keeps “Haruo” a boy for a little longer.

Given the conspicuous focus on how cheerful Ugumori looks, it seems clear they’re going to make one more run before this over, and either Eijun or Kawakami is going to have to save the day.  Also of note here is the presence of Inashiro’s token captain (and Miyuki’s polar opposite) Fukui-kun and their first-year catcher Tadano-kun – sent their by their coach to do a little growing up, study a veteran catcher at work and embrace the pain of losing so they won’t forget it (and to remind the audience what the real war is, no matter the present battle).

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2 comments

  1. e

    Hey they recyled those clips twice but changed the bgm… they made a little effort :,D. And yep that 'man' line felt totally like they were throwing a certain section of the audience a bone along with the rest of Thanksgiving turkey.
    Leaving my Miyuki bias aside ( I find his brand of snarky bluntness refreshing in context, coupled with his actual game skills ) it was an ok episode on the whole but this time around I found myself increasingly annoyed by Eijun being relegated to the role of loud fool on the sidelines while Furuya hogs the mound all the time. Just make the lad pitch before this game ends and before he shouts and Mae-kens himself into the stratosphere already :,).
    P.S.: with all the nods to Watanabe's help and gladness for this game we can be certain he's here to stay.
    P.P.S.: I'm feeing the lack of Chris to contrast Weelchair Mastermind Bishie here.

  2. A

    I didn't need the preview to tell me something else is going to happen in this game–Wheelchair-kun's near-constant grin actually sums it up for me. I wonder what else Ugumori could have up their sleeve. Now, it'd be a shame not to see Eijun on the mound, but Furuya pitching a full game would make him that much more difficult an obstacle for him, and Kataoka seems like the type who'd let Furuya barrel on if he has the stamina. The way the episode ended got me excited also because as much as I want to see Eijun win the Ace fight eventually, it won't be worth it if Furuya doesn't become stronger too.

    I just hope this match lasts at least 2 more episodes. I really enjoy Ugumori as an opponent, and having this only be a 3-episode game would be a waste.

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