As I found out Episode 34 of Ginga e Kickoff was available, I soon realized I never did write about Episode 33. Oops. Well, my bad. So, what’s left to discuss anyways? We all knew The Predators would win right? Yeah sure it wasn’t easy but it was expected! So, instead of looking at how and why they won, I think it’s time to look back with this episode as a culmination of our 8 main leads, and how their struggles ultimately led them to win the Future Cup.
- Reika: Thanks to the OP, we knew at some point Reika would be useful not just because she helped the second iteration of the Predators — little did we know she would be useful in the third iteration, and in a major way. The methods of how she lost weight I called into question (because surely, despite the fact her family is rich, would set up a training resort the way they did), but her desire to actually know more about soccer showed how much she wanted to get better. And all of those skills came into play during the match against Amarillo, since she was the difference maker.
- Kota: Remember, none of the Demon Triplets wanted to join the team at the start unless Shou could find a coach. They found a drunk one (hey, remember when Hanashima was drunk), but it just so happened to be one who was a former pro and could kick the ball like no one else. Very interesting time for Kota however to try and do a similar shot! But he still has a ways to go with that.
- Aoto/Tagi: They once played together, but one doubted his ability, and decided to quit the game. But in the end, he returned, because it’s something he loved. Let’s not overlook the Aoto/Tagi connection, as they showed why they were needed in order for the Predators to get to the Future Cup. And it looks like they’ll try and go farther after this upcoming tournament is over.
- Erika: She just had to remind everyone that Shou basically is the same guy on the field demanding for fun back in Ep 1 just like he is in this match against Amarillo, of all teams. Yep, you just so happen to still be on the same team of a dude who could barely kick the ball right and sucked at heading the ball (I mean he sucked, period). What does that say about you? Well, it probably just says more about him than anything else, but it also shows she wanted to just have fun too. Why keep playing if you’re not having fun right?
- Ryuuji: Hey, stop using the other player to do your bidding! Yeah, this is one matter that I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree with. And in this case, he didn’t use it to score an own goal — he used it to pass. He didn’t exactly get a lot of the limelight in recent episodes, but we know he has his own style, and that can’t change if he wants to have fun on the field.
- Ouzou: I basically talked a bunch about him last time. I think the only thing I add to it is you work hard, you can compete at the highest level. I think.
- The Three U: Uchimura, Uematsu, and Ukishima. They weren’t exactly welcomed when they joined the team by the Demon Triplets. But through their time together they earned their respect, and the salute by Kota and Ryuuji after the match only confirmed it. I do wonder though, shall this be the last time we see them?
- Hanashima: Welp, he’s gone from “Oh man he’s gonna really get these kids to play” to “Man, he’s so useless” to “Damn it, he really just wants to play soccer again!” So with all that in mind, it makes me wonder if, depending on how the trip in Spain goes, will he try and play again…chances are it might be too late.
- Misaki: Well, she appeared again in this arc for a reason, and since it’s a culmination, she reminds us of what she did to help Shou and Erika form the Predators, and she even manages to help out Kageura, who has to deal with a bitter loss. I also wonder if this episode is the last we’ve seen of her?
- …Well, it only makes sense that the last person to talk about is the one who managed to win the game on a header and clinch the Predators’s trip to Spain, and that would be Shou. Loud and excited, his introduction was a failure, if only because he sucked. I mean, it was pretty bad. It didn’t seem like anything could make him better. Well, that was until he ran into Hanashima, who taught him how to…you know, play soccer! And man did it take a while until I could actually believe he could end the game like he did. And well, he did end the game. So his progress from someone to laugh at to someone to laugh at and with is pretty cool, and I liked the added touch the GeK staff made by not showing a flashback of Shou learning how to properly do a header.
So thanks to these cast of characters, we got a game that really showed me what soccer is made of. Well, at least, that’s what Mine said. And well, as Ginga E Kickoff starts to wind down, will we get more games that showcase why soccer is so fun? Well…we’ll just have to see..
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