Ball Game Tournament Time

Synopsis

Karma, Nagisa and Sugino walk past the baseball team during practice and they all greet Sugino nicely. But it’s clear that all of them have a superiority complex. Class E gets to play against the team in an exhibition match, but Sugino, although he wants to win, feels it’s impossible. Koro feels the passion of that desire and decides to train them.

So the match gets underway with Koro in the background pretending to be a baseball giving instructions by changing the colour of his face. It turns out that Koro had the class undergo some harsh training for this match to get used to their opponents.

It pays off and class E score the first runs of the game. This leads Gakuho Asano to appear and Terai, the baseball team’s coach, is scared out of his mind and faints. So Gakuho takes his place and gives the team a team talk to adapt the strategy accordingly. And instantly 3 players from E are out.

Gakuho prepares good counter strategies against Koro and class E looks to be behind in the match. The final hitter is Shindo, who is the guy that Sugino has a problem with. Gakuho has been spurring him on since the start of this match for this final hit, Gakuho challenges Koro to see what he will do now.

Koro responds by changing the defensive position of the team to a very up close and personal approach. Gakuho doesn’t mind at all, even though class E are literally right in front of Shindo, a swing could actually kill them. But as Koro thought, class E’s nerves are much stronger so they simply dodge Shindo’s swing and he misses the ball. With this intimidation tactic and the fact that Shindo’s nerves are shattered, they win the game.

Koro declares it 1-1 with Gakuho.

Thoughts

Finally, we see Gakuho Asano again and another battle between the two tacticians.

I also feel that this episode built quite nicely from when Koro encouraged Sugino on his baseball near the beginning of the anime. It again shows just how much of a difference Koro is making to his class.

Again, we’re seeing more and more of this superiority complex that’s resulted from Gakuho’s system, and again we see the negative effects of such pressures. For example the teacher fainting, it’s not even just affecting the students, the staff are of course under immense amounts of pressure, so much that they actually favour better students. Whilst this is all fine and good and the teachers signed up for this, the students are still the ones mainly suffering. Like Shindo’s breakdown, someone who’s so used to being top is under pressure from tough opponents and you buckle under pressure. Whilst if it was someone who’s worked their way to the top and had to overcome many obstacles, he’s much less likely to buckle under pressure and would be likely to welcome the challenge of these weird strategies. It’s all about the mindset.

The amount of weird strategies from Koro are quite interesting though, but it seems like there was only really 1 strategy overall. And then Koro had to think of the spot to counter Gakuho’s moves, which were also quite amusing. Unfortunately I don’t watch baseball and it’s not really big in the UK, so I only really have a very basic understanding of it. I feel I can’t really comment too much on the plays made as I don’t understand it. Like the defensive strategies employed, though of course even I can tell that standing right next to the batter is both dangerous and very likely an illegal move.

But because of this competition we get yet another David vs Goliath story that’s very entertaining. And no one ever gets tired of cheering on the underdogs, especially when you get people like Shindo who just deserves to be knocked down a few notches.

I have however developed a little respect for Gakuho. Sure his tactics are questionable, but they are nonetheless effective. He just overestimated his students this time, but you can tell he’s a great tactician. If only his ideals weren’t so farfetched, he could’ve become a great headteacher. It was a good watch making the score 1-1.

Though I did have a few issues with this episode, the very slight favouritism involved in that the girl team was completely written off and we don’t even get to see them. I understand that they set up the baseball to focus on and of course having to do two games would be unwanted diversion and maybe a bit much. But still, it was disappointing to have left them out of the loop completely. I mean, if you planned to do that, why bother having the basketball game at all? A very questionable ‘move’ by the creator if you ask me.

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