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.
The epic conclusion of the DAYS Keiougawara High SHOWDOWN. I’ve been on the edge of my seat since last week’s review, and there’s some pretty crazy stuff this week. Make sure your shin guards are on and your cleats are broken in as we slide-tackle into this review after the jump.
Japanese Original Episode Title: 僕だって、聖蹟サッカー部の一員なんだ
Our recap shows the amazing free kick by Kimishita. This makes two incredible goals off of fouls by Keiou High. They’d better stop pushing Seiseki around, because karma is coming back ten-fold. This goal by Kimishita puts Seiseki in the lead 2-1. It’s Seiseki’s game to lose now.
Keiou’s Kai has a lot of internal conflict this match. He and Maru are determined to win and with Seiseki one player down, this is their chance to push heavily against Seiseki’s defense. Seiseki is also incredibly exhausted from having to stave off Keiou High’s aggressive attacks on goal.
There are many incredible crossfield passes by Keiou and the pressure on Seiseki’s goal is higher than it has ever been. Tsukamoto pulls back to defend and does a decent job, especially with an extraordinary slight tackle. He’s got guts! All of Seiseki’s players put up a good fight. Kurusu clears the ball and then Kimishita actually defends with a slide tackle as well.
Usui goes into defend against Kai and Maru and looks like he’s going to clear it from Seiseki’s side of the field, when suddenly he hits the ground. He’s exhausted – this gives Maru the opportunity he needs and he shoots on goal. He scores and ties the game 2-2.
The crowd roars and everyone expects an overtime. There are only two minutes left in the match and Seiseki’s hopes seem shattered. Everyone is exhausted. But there is one flame left on the team, Tsukamoto. He grabs the ball and shouts, ‘Seiseki Fight!’ The flame sets Seiseki back on their feet and they seem motivated at the restart.
Seiseki pushes their defense to the offensive, and after an incredible push on Keiou’s goal, Keiou manages to defend and make a shot on Seiseki. Inohara predicts the shot and sends the ball soaring back to Keiou’s defensive line.
Tsukamoto recovers the ball and time slows down. All you can hear is the heartbeat. Five seconds left. He looks like he has an open shot! He goes to shoot and is fouled by Kai. FREE KICK!
No need to spoil any more. Go see the episode!
The time-stoppage scene in this episode is really beautiful. The colors are inverted except for Tsukamoto’s point of vision. The crowd stops and the only things moving are Tsukamoto and the defenders around him. The heartbeat sound-effect picks up speed as the scene continues and really adds an extra bit of anxiety. This may be one of the best scenes in DAYS to date and is definitely worth looking out for.
Ooshiba the Fool:
Ooshiba decides that he can’t just sit silent on the sidelines. As next year’s captain (in his own mind), he believes he needs to let Seiseki know what plan of attack to take. Unfortunately, yelling from the stands means everyone, EVEN KEIOUGAWARA HIGH, can hear these plans. Kimishita is definitely not pleased by this and Ooshiba is dragged away by his sister. The resolution to this scene had me laughing out loud.
Teamwork! DAYS is a series about soccer and we talk about the team all the time. However, this week’s focus is on teamwork and practice. Not from the perspective of Seiseki, however. Kai struggles with what’s happening on the field and doesn’t realize until late in the game that the best part of soccer is the bond between the team. He also realizes that hard work and practice may actually beat out raw talent. We’re seeing a new Seiseki and their cohesion is strong enough to teach valuable lessons to their opponents.
We’re nearing the end of the season and the end of this match. It has been a crazy three-episode arc, but well worth it. I’ve said before that I like longer matches and we definitely got a taste of that in DAYS episodes 21-23. If you were to sum up the entire series, I think it could be done with these three episodes. They have everything from action to character building – and even a little bit of that DAYS humor I’ve come to love so much.
I’m hoping to see Seiseki win the tournament and I’m not entirely sure what happens next. This week concluded an epic battle between two strong teams and how that affects Seiseki’s future will be seen next week. Will they come out on top or be forced to retire? Let’s hope Seiseki fights on!
Don’t forget to check the rest of our episodic reviews!
NEXT TIME: I Want to Play More Soccer With This Team