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.
I speculated in last week’s DAYS review, but my expectations have been blown out of the water. Episode 21 of DAYS is the absolute bomb and instead of just giving us a taste, it really takes us into a real soccer match. Hang tight, this one is incredible. Read on for more!
Japanese Original Episode Title: 面白ぇよな サッカーは
Kimishita’s face at the end of the last episode really stuck in my mind all week, and this week opens with the dramatic climax of Episode 20:
We don’t have just 3 arrows.
Kimishita says this and we learn why no team should underestimate Seiseki. After he pushes through and makes a break forward, Kimishita passes to Hayase. Hayase gets cornered but endures as he shakes off each of Keiou’s players. He eventually loses the ball but Tsukamoto intercepts it! Tsukamoto is growing in this match and you can see it with how he handles himself. Tsukamoto gets tripped by Keiou’s #7 but Seiseki is awarded a free kick.
This is an incredible scene and I’m not going to ruin it all together, but Kimishita sets up one of the craziest head games ever. Kurusu and Tsukamoto are forced to trust his crazy idea that gets Seiseki the breathing room they need to play more freely.
It appears that Keiou continues to underestimate Seiseki despite Kimishita’s warning. Indou Kaoru shows up at the game and tries to talk to Mizuki. Mizuki basically tells him to buzz off, but Indou seems a bit worried. Meanwhile Maruoka thinks that if he can break Usui and Seiseki’s defense that Seiseki will slip up. He uses some really bizarre footwork to try and get the best of Usui, but it fails and after a hard push, Inowara and Usui clear the ball up. The footwork reminded me of some Naruto jutsu’s and made me laugh pretty hard.
Kurusu is choking on returns but has an incredible ability to just hold the ball from attackers. He passes it forward and as the ball pushes forwards Tsukamoto comes to a realization about the three opportunities to win the ball:
Tsukamoto shoots the ball and nearly scores. I’ll discuss what happens next in the the Kazama watch.
Seiseki ends this episode one man down. Nitobe trips and falls and scores a red card, unfortunately, but Usui ensures him they will win – even with one man down. The episode ends on an even larger cliffhanger than before.
Kazama has stayed close offering commentary to Ubukata throughout the episode. Instead of being a goofball, he makes a realization about Tsukamoto. It’s one we were all thinking as well. Tsukamoto has been playing hard to be able to stay friends with the team – but now that he’s improving…it’s going to be incredible to see what happens to him in the future. I agree, the new Tsukamoto is a force to be reckoned with. Something has clicked for him.
I’m not really sure why Indou came to watch, but part of me thinks it’s because his team may have underestimated Keiou. Either way he comes up shouting at Mizuki who just straight up ignores him. This is fantastic because Mizuki is completely uninterested in Indou’s fear and nervousness about Keiou’s team. When he does choose to reply to Indou he basically says, ‘stop holding individuals on a pedestal’. Seiseki is great because of ALL of Seiseki.
Kurusu is really having a hard time under the pressure of today’s match. He thinks he can pass but he can’t. He boasted the entire time about being great, but he is choking. He actually reminds me a lot of Lammy from the famous rhythm game, Parappa the Rapper and Um Jammer Lammy. He’s nervous but SOCCER IS IN HIS MIND. He has an amazing affinity for keeping the ball and managing short passes – which prove to be critical to Seiseki’s success. Keep an eye out for this!
Well, I’m not rooting for Keiou anymore, I’m 100% pro-Seiseki again. They’ve hit their stride in the face of obstacles that seemed unsurmountable. With the guidance of the third-years and the passion of the first and seconds, Seiseki is making a good attempt at facing a tough team. They may even win. I’d say the theme is to trust your team and don’t give up in the face of tough challenges. A valuable lesson and one that’s carried through the series so far.
So, this episode was amazing. The past few have been so short and we haven’t had any real action in a while. This episode was pure soccer and back-to-back excitement. My favorite parts were Tsukamoto learning how to attack and the insane amount of awesome plays. This was basically the Goku-power-up episode and everyone had Senzu beans. Radical.
DAYS loves to end with cliffhangers and we are awarded yet another shocking cliffhanger at the end of this episode. Usui tells Tsukamoto to just do what he thinks is best and well – it’s time to see if that pays off. I’m curious what you’ve all liked seeing this week. I really am glad we got to see some new players on the field, it really mixes up the dynamic! Shout out in the comments, don’t forget to check the rest of our episodic reviews, and I’ll see you next week!
NEXT TIME: Right now, I’m Seiseki’s Captain! (今は俺が聖蹟のキャプテンだ)