Resides in Austin, TX (USA). Long time connoisseur of anime and manga - I'm an art director, media critic and eccentric. I love to write, draw and travel.
DAYS isn’t joking around anymore. Seiseki has met its match and rivals have been set up against each other. The tension couldn’t be higher. My blood is still pumping fiercely while tackling this review and I’m really hoping to see some amazing things from Seiseki, especially from Tsukamoto. Lots of action this week – so let’s slide-tackle right into it!
Japanese Title: 俺はこのチームが好きっス
The stage is set and Seiseki is ready to go head-to-head versus Seikan High. Their opponents are their mirror image. A star first-year, an amazing passer, a headstrong forward striker, and the pressure to perform – especially in the beginning and end of each half. My wish for constant action has come true and after a recap, the match begins.
Seikan takes the lead quickly with their star, Taira, making an amazing pass all the way up field to Himura (the star rookie). Himura gains control of the ball while it’s in the air and shoots! He scores and puts Seikan in the lead. I’m as astounded as the crowd. Himura’s control is unbelievable and it sets the pace for the match.
Seiseki wants to close the gap after Seikan’s goal and Kazama tries to push the ball up to score. He shoots but he’s blocked. While Seiseki does regain control of the ball several times, the Seikan players are in the heads of Ooshiba and Kimishita. Kimishita is still fuming from his perceived betrayal by Mizuki, and Ooshiba is being hounded by Higuchi, his Seikan mirror. After several missed opportunities, it’s clear that something needs to change.
Taira regains control of the ball and is confronted by Kazama. Kazama bluffs him and manages to maneuver up the field. He dodges the entire Seikan defense and makes a shot going full speed with his heel. This trick shot goes in! Amazingly Kazama is on fire and part of it must be due to the mysterious woman watching the game from the sidelines. Kazama reflects on his history with her but at this point we’re still unsure as to who she could be.
Shortly after, Seiseki regains control of the ball and Kazama is the key player again. He moves the ball down the field again, making good headway. Higuchi can’t allow this and I gasp at what happens next. Higuchi fouls Kazama and we can hear something snap in his ankle. It’s gross and disturbing but it somehow doesn’t stop Kazama. Seiseki gets a free kick from the foul and Kazama uses his trump card.
I won’t give anything else away because the rest of the episode is full of surprises. The episode ends at half-time and Tsukamoto is ready to sub in.
Since I’ve started to highlight Kazama’s antics in every episode – I’m just going to title my first highlight as KAZAMA WATCH, from now on. This week in KAZAMA WATCH, Kazama casually disrespects Haibara by using the wrong honorifics. In an effort to pump up the team, he tells ‘Haibara-chan’ to do something. Haibara responds pleasantly until he realizes his slight. Kazama then adds a ‘-san’ to his accidental insult to try to make things better…but it only makes things worse! Manga.Tokyo‘s first article of its Japanese language column, Lost in Honyaku, is about honorifics. Check it out!
Tsukamoto does something – again!
Towards the end of the episode, we see Tsukamoto do something that isn’t out of character but is a bit of a betrayal towards a friend. While this isn’t as exciting as Tsukamoto potentially scoring a goal, the results of his action are going to haunt him for the next few episodes at least. I hope to see a resolution, but there’s even more tension now because of a seemingly well-meaning statement.
The show continues with the themes we explored in last week’s review. Everyone on Seiseki has come through the abyss now, though they are at different points. I think Kimishita and Ooshiba have to come to terms with people questioning their strength. They are both solid players but Ooshiba needs to learn to control his pride and Kimishita needs to learn to not jump to assumptions. I think we’ll see them round this corner, but unlike Tsukamoto, they haven’t made the personal jump they need to to perform efficiently. Kazama definitely puts his 100% into this match, for very personal reasons. There’s a lot of riding on this game for him and hopefully he can put aside some of his anger to properly see reason.
I thought last week’s episode was tense, but now we’re on astronomical levels of tension as our hero’s support has left him hanging. Ubukata is reasonable and sympathetic which is out of character, but the rest of the team seems ignorant. The game is tied at half-time and I think we’re going to see several episodes covering the events of this game. Next week should be Ooshiba and Kimishita’s time to shine and I’m hoping they can perform well.
This has been an incredible arc and it’s been even more exciting that the actual ranked matches. I have high hopes for the rest of the summer camp episodes and if the DAYS team can continue the high level of animation quality, while pacing the action and the story / character development – I think I’ll be able to say that DAYS is one of the top ten anime this year. Keep an eye on it and let me know if this soccer story has surprised you as well!
Don’t forget to check the rest of our Fall 2016 reviews.
NEXT TIME: Tell Me, Kimishita: You Can Do It, Right?