Episode 4 demonstrating pride before a fall with both Peco and Wenge, who normally make it a point to affirm their greatness, being shown the door by the Demon & the Dragon. It's amazing how much love has gone into crafting these characters with all being very easy to empathise with. You can completely understand Sakuma's frustration with Peco, with all the effort he puts in just being a big joke to one with the talent to easily skim by. Wenge under all his bravado just being a village boy that loves his mum and who'd done good until his downfall. I loved the old timer's chat around Smile's insight and confidence into his own talent to the extent that he felt no need to prove anything to anybody - if there is any lesson one must learn to be content, it's to be comfortable in one's own skin whatever that may be, and Smile does it with emotionless panache! Everyone wants him to have the drive to win, but I want him to stay himself if that gives him contentment, or to fight on if that will, but certainly not take the road that will lead to sorrow. Then again, is not taking on a challenge not a matter of contentment but more the fear of failure, as Sakuma put it beautifully that the only way not to lose is to not fight.
Episode 5 shows that the sea does not agree with our Afro senior and he journeys onwards, next to the mountains. I did not bloody recognise Peco at all except being muddled but his trademark star on the cap and then the sweets talk! Smile seems to have gotten serious, and seemed pretty arrogant in his demolition of Sakuma and even his teammates being relegated to ball boys. I hope he doesn't let it get to his head. Sakuma's backstory (so is astigmatism in anime always depicted as vertical eyes??) & the brief bit with Wenge, both depicted lovingly. The Dragon in his quest for his school's glory is willing to forget the human element in his compatriots that fortunately his coach does not.
The music remains stellar and the opening grows on me with each episode and reminds me of the energy of The Pillows with their FLCL soundtracks.
We also got a very brief look at the imagery that defines him and his struggles. In fact, this episode was rich in that regard: the falcon, the plane, the chrysalis...
All that is done brilliantly along with Sakuma's samurai off to the final showdown walk - awesome.
We also take a better look at Wenge's background and the talk he had with this trainer was very sweet.
There was one bit where Wenge retorted he is indeed finished...in table tennis, where his coach affectionately responded that he meant that his whole life is ahead of him - I would read that very much as oh okay so you agree I'm finished in this sport then, thanks a lot you @£&##$€!! but I'm glad that Wenge had the maturity to not react that way!
I'm sure at one point Kazama was becoming the beast titan from AoT
Heheh they should've used that imagery, not something as clichéd as a dragon!!
We are introduced to @João Gomes profile pic in this episode.
I think there was also a flash of it in episode 2
Baldies won all the top spots in the tournament I make it?
Their dorm is surely a Buddhist monastery
There is a lot of interesting chat in this show generally about how people handle and prioritise winning/losing. In this kind of game though innate talent really makes up a lot of the skill level of the players. Training can only go so far. Sometimes you can just have opponents you can never defeat.
I think so far this is one of the show's greatest strengths and that psychology can easily be related to any aspect of life.
I honestly wish more anime would have this kind of focus, rather than making the assumption that you ain't nothin' if you ain't number one (I know I'm oversimplifying a tad but like, this obsession with winning is a bit er... mentally perverse and unhealthy yeah there I said it.) Also the OST for this series is amazing I hope I can get the CD one day
I concur and again the psychology points raised as mentioned are fascinating. Being content like Smile is what we all need, but then it's also noble to strive to achieve one's potential and do the best possible, without degrading to negative aspects and grinding oneself to dust trying to achieve the impossible. I guess for those who have the talent to be number one like Kazama & Smile, there is nothing wrong with pushing themselves, though that certainly would be perverse to foist on to those naturally limited and not able to do so, as Sakuma's story this far demonstrates. I do like it when anime, such as some slice of life ones, show fulfilling normal lives being led without the need to be number one or isekaing into an impossible harem to go beat the
demonlord to a pulp.
It's on Spotify, along with his work on A Silent Voice, Devilman Crybaby and the latest Heike Story (talk about an eclectic set of anime)
I'm finding that Spotify is certainly a fantastic resource for a lot of anime soundtracks and music in general.
I still enjoy how they are all bald. Maybe Smile doesn't want to join the team because he wants to keep his hair.
Heheh yeah he wasn't fooled by the tour Kazama gave, conveniently skipping the cupboard where the elite