This is a part of a collaboration review between myself and Irina (of I Drink And Watch Anime) with my parts represented by bold text and Irina’s in regular.
So this week we found ourselves in flashback central as we seemingly constantly switched between the past and the present (at least in the first half of the episode) to learn more about where Tsubasa and Ryo’s rivalry came from and the big middle school game that shaped both of these girls’ futures in baseball!
What did you think of these flashback scenes? I enjoyed the flashback to the big game–seeing Tsubasa’s positivity lead her team to a ‘come from behind’ victory was pretty inspiring. It was cute is a little too sunshine and rainbows. Nobody is that happy about losing. Then again, Tsubasa got really depressed about winning which makes me think one of us doesn’t quite understand how competitions work.
Joking aside, it was a nice inversion. The classic trope is to choke in a big game, lose your nerve and quit before cautiously returning to the sport. It was interesting to see the idea of a team falling apart under the pressures of success. Not something we get to explore too often but it does exist. Not that we got to delve too deep into it in this episode either. I still liked it as a concept.
I also enjoyed the flashback with Tsubasa’s best friend Tomoe getting her back into baseball after she decided to give it up. It was next level sappy friendship pr0n. I wish the girls were just a touch better distinguished from one another. It was still very cute.
It was interesting how she mentioned that she couldn’t continue with her current team because her goals weren’t in line with the boys. I kind of wish they’d elaborated on the ~exact~ reasons, I don’t know if I missed something but the only thing I could infer was that Tsubasa wants to play for fun and not for serious–which I’m not sure how I feel about that… I’m going to bet that the moral of the season is that the two aren’t mutually exclusive. You can really care about the sport and take it seriously while having fun, or something along those lines. You know serious fun!
The second half of the episode–while good–I don’t think was quite as good as the flashback first half. And while I hate to bring it up because I generally don’t have an issue with it, there was some really average art (particularly in the facial department) that kind of undermined the overriding emotion of the episode. I actually noticed it more in the flashback friendship scenes, At one point Tomoe’s proportions and really her entire shape was really weird. I have to admit, I found the second half a a little boring. I zoned out a few times and had to remind myself to pay attention. Not that the show was awful or anything, but it was just not that gripping to me.
Also, I didn’t think they’d have our rival character join the club so quickly, I thought they’d stretch it out a bit further but hopefully that means we’ll get to playing some baseball with our team soon! (Oh hey look, I’m actually looking forward to some baseball in this baseball anime.) Well we’re already a 3rd of the way into the season. The have to have one training as a team episode. Then they need to lose their first match, one of them has to have some personal issues, Tsubasa needs to get super moody and disillusioned over something, then they need to fight sexism, win the big game, prove that girl’s baseball is valid and become bestest of friends!
I watch a lot of sports anime…
Point is, they still have a lot of ground to cover!
Anything else you wanted to add, Irina? I’m think now that the rival girl with the long hair is NOT the president but I’m still not entirely sure which is not a great sign. But I am looking forward to all that stuff I said. I wonder how much will actually come to pass.
Oh oh – do they need a coach? I now mean girl is kind of their coach but they need a faculty advisor, don’t they? Think they get a pervy one like in Pretty Derby? It would be extra creepy in this show since it doesn’t fit the vibe at all. (Pretty sure they already have a faculty advisor—she was the one who helped them find their field in Episode 2…)
Anyway, that’s our review for Episode 4–join us next week on Irina’s site for more!
Previous ‘Cinderella Nine‘ Reviews:
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