In the final match of Kanto preliminaries for the Future Cup against the Nenotoko Guts, something very important happened that basically represented the change in the Momoyama Predators. We had seen this earlier when Kota of all people was willing to listen to Shou’s advice, despite him being way more talented than Shou could ever dream of. But showing some toughness and not being afraid has been the trademark for the new Predators, so it’s not a shock someone on the team would step up and say something profound.
But still, for it to be Reika?
I think whoever has watched Ginga E Kickoff since it’s run in April already knows what type of personality Reika has: shy, definitely willing to take a back seat to everyone else, and not all that confident. We pretty much knew she would change eventually — it’s anime after all, and it’s not like the GeK staff was hiding it — but since she finally lost weight, she’s definitely become a lot more reliable on the field. But we had yet to see it off the field, and while maybe we should expect Reika mentioning something to the team at some point, it wouldn’t be a shock for her to say anything and take a “Listen to me” approach.
But alas, she went and did it anyways. She made an observant point that the opponent was dictating the pace of the match, and instead of playing their own brand of soccer, they tried to copy and keep up with the Nenotoko Guts. The only problem is they’re nowhere near as talented — they’re just getting by with their stamina and cheating when they have to.
But this ultimately represents how solid this new team of misfits are. I find it fairly refreshing to see, and the fact that Reika is able to speak means everyone has a voice and has their say. That is definitely one of the keys for them to win a championship. Now, whether they actually do it is up in the air, as there will be some tough opponents playing at the Future Cup — including their rival, the Amarillos — but chances are, and this isn’t a stretch by any imagination, they’ll compete in each match.