Kimishita Atsushi is certainly a different sort of role for Ono Daisuke than the one he plays in the other series I blogged today (does that make Tsukishi Yumemi?) but he’s proven himself quite the versatile actor this year. Days is taking its time in letting all the important sempai take their turn in the spotlight given that it’s only running two cour, but it does manage to pack quite a lot into every episode whether it includes an official game or not.
Futsal is a relatively unknown sport in America, but it’s crazy popular in Japan – which I suppose makes sense given how scarce open space is in Tokyo. Indou taking Tsukishi to a pickup game on a rooftop (I assume this is a depiction of the Adidas Futsal Park on the roof of the Tokyu in Shibuya, as I don’t know any other futsal venues on department store roofs) is a good way for him to get a sense of Tsukishi’s current level of ability (not much), as well as show Tsukishi his own. Indou is obviously a little too much class for this environment, but he gives Tsukishi a lesson in involving his teammates. He and Mizuki are friends, so I assume Indou is going to fall into the “fated rival” category for a while at least.
Kimishita is rather the opposite of Indou, personality-wise, and seems to be universally feared by the underclassmen. Apart from Kazama of course, who takes Tsukishi to Kimishita’s family sporting goods store when he needs a new set of laces for his cleats. It’s fair to say Kimishita respects Tsukishi less than any of the other seniors we’ve met, but he does respect someone who takes care of his equipment – which he can see Tsukishi does when he forgets his gym bag in the store. When he returns them he asks if Tsukishi is poor, and Tsukishi discretely avoids answering directly while calling out his single mom for praise (I do hope the OP isn’t lying and we see more of her). He may be an unrepentant prick towards his kouhai but Kimishita clearly respects effort, and not even he can deny that Tsukishi has made whatever strides he has due to hard work.
At some point, though, Tsukishi’s development has to veer off just being a perpetual motion machine towards developing real soccer skills. That can be mental as much as physical, and experiences like the one Indou gave him are helpful in nudging Tsukishi towards an understanding of what it means to be a soccer player (especially an attacking one). Running all day long for his teammates was the first step, the foot in the door. The second was running with a purpose – and Tsukishi shows he’s put enough pieces together to see what that looks like. Now the next step is a killer – actually learning how to put away the perfect setup Kimishita gives him. But baby steps is a good term when it comes to sports series, and Tsukishi is definitely making them.