DAYS has an incredible ability to leave off with an intense cliffhanger and then jump right into a new episode. Episode 15 does just that! When I reviewed Episode 14, I was curious as to whether or not Tsukamoto or ANY of his team members would score a goal. Well, it’s another one of those episodes – read on and find out!
Japanese Title: っとこれ以上聖蹟にいてはいけない
Instead of a recap, this week DAYS starts off with some humor. Kurusu seems to have discovered something in his laundry and it’s huge. It’s not something you’d expect to find at a soccer camp full of guys… It’s an E-cup bra. He shows it to his friends and they joke about it, saying it’s too big to be Ubukata’s bra. Unfortunately for them, it’s just as she steps up behind them to summon them to a first-year meeting. These guys definitely aren’t appealing to Ubukata’s good side with constant stunts like this! At the meeting, Kazama is missing (as usual) but so is Tsukamoto. Turns out that Tsukamoto has gone to Haibara’s room, the third-year’s star right-center defender, to review tapes of the match.
It’s in these tapes that I find out the result of last week’s game. While we don’t ever learn if Seiseki won or not, we do learn that the first-year’s playing in the second half didn’t end up well. Thankfully, this is all practice and is giving the team some experience and experimentation. We can see Tsukamoto running around and he comments that he wants to be like Ooshiba. Haibara hits him and tells him to be himself and find his own weapon. It’s true…Tsukamoto could never be Ooshiba; for one, he’s too nice. I’ve noticed that there’s also quite a bit of physical abuse on the team towards Tsukamoto.
The next day, the coach outlines the strategy for the second soccer camp game. Seiseki will be up against Genbu High School and will be starting with the same line-up that they played in the second half of the previous day’s match. Both myself and the rest of the team thinks it’s a silly idea, but I’m excited nonetheless. The first-years are ecstatic. Coach makes one slight change, though. He tells Tsukamoto to play as a defender… a position he’s never even thought about!
The match starts and Genbu applies a ton of pressure. Thankfully for Seiseki, Haibara is an amazing defender and Nakijin is doing his best under the goal posts. This obviously isn’t enough though and someone will need to change things up in order for Seiseki to make a move. This someone is going to have to be Tsukamoto.
It was actually a smart idea to put Tsukamoto into defense. Since he is such a fresh player, he still doesn’t have a full understanding of how each team player works together in the game. By giving him an opportunity to experience new positions, the coach is making Tsukamoto a better player. Tsukamoto eventually learns how to defend and at the same time Haibara learns how to lead.
We don’t learn how this match ends, but it apparently worked well enough to put the first-years to start again for the next big game. Tsukamoto is back on the front lines, but he’s feeling a bit down. It’s up to Kazama to knock some sense into him.
There’s a player on the Genbu High School team that we only see for a few moments in the game. He’s hyper aggressive and kind of a jerk. That’s not the highlight though. The literal highlight is the sparkling in his hair. For some reason, the DAYS team decided to give this character magical sparkles and the entire time he’s on the field, I can’t seem to look away from his dazzling looks!
Kazama never does ANYTHING. I’ve officially decided that Kazama is my favorite character in this series. His attitude is a perfect reflection of my own. I’m masterful and rarely need any practice…right? This episode’s specific instance of Kazama doing nothing is him skipping out on a team meeting to play ping-pong. But Kazama NEVER winds up paying attention / attending these meetings. He’s usually sleeping or goofing off. The reason why I am bringing this up is for two reasons. 1. He really comes through for Tsukamoto in this episode, despite being nonchalant. 2. Everyone always works hard and practices, but Kazama doesn’t. He’s the single contrast to the rest of the show’s message that hard work will pay off. Kazama just has to be there!
We continue this week in building on self-criticism. I think for everyone, no matter what the activity, they reach a point in building a skill where it may seem easier to give up. Sometimes you can run your head into something so much that it never seems like you’ll grow. Tsukamoto is clearly going through this now. Haibara discovers that he finally has grown through a similar process, but Tsukamoto doesn’t have enough experience to know how he’s personally grown. He thinks he may be too friendly to play soccer, but he needs to realize that the team needs him and giving up is going to hurt them more.
This week, the soccer matches were too quick. I understand the purpose: this is training camp and it’d waste too much time if we got to see every game to its natural conclusion. Still, this constant feeling of “WHAT HAPPENED IN THE LAST EPISODE?? WHO WON THE GAME??” is starting to tire me. I need to see a good solid match to know that these players are still in it to win it! Thankfully, I think we may be about to see this.
JUST SCORE A GOAL. TSUKAMOTO!
With Seiseki trying their crazy first-year lineup one more time, I think we’re going to see the first-years go all-out in the next episode. Tsukamoto seems to have one last shot as an offensive player and I’m hoping he doesn’t ‘drop the ball’. Maybe he’ll kick the ball into the net though. Next week’s opponents are going to be really tough and if Seiseki can score a single goal, it’s going to go a long way in ensuring their future victories. I’m counting on Kurusu to score, but who do you think is going to be the star player next week? Do you think ANYONE will score? I can’t wait!
NEXT TIME: The Endless Waves that Keep Crashing In
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