Episode 2 of Days was more similar to what a sports anime typically is. It fast tracks a lot, to the point where that amount of improvement is improbable.
Tsukumoto sucks at soccer. He’s new, he’s inexperienced, he has no aim, and no stamina. So because the second years are in charge of the training means that they are cruel and mean to those underneath them. They make them run laps and work harder because that what’s was done to them the previous year. So its all fine, all of the running will help them build their stamina.
Well the players arent too happy about that because all of the extra laps are because of Tsukumoto. Because he fails, they are ‘awarded’ extra laps and the first years are very resentful of that. While running you see the first years speeding past Tsukumoto, leaving him in the dust as he falls further and further behind. The second year in charge is yelling ‘first years must run together’ to which I took as a motivation to run with Tsukumoto and show teamwork rather than speed past him and get mad. But that was never said out loud. That sentiment is very sport anime cliché, but its emotional and tugs on your heart. Granted if the team doesn’t like him at this point than why would they help him? If they helped him at this point then there would be no climax because there would be no struggle.
Well mid-lap, one of the second years turns to Tsukumoto and basically screams at him for being so unskilled and useless. He brings up that all of this is fault, and the other first years clap after the speech. What an ass…
And you’d think, because of your training in watching Shoujo anime that Tsukumoto would run off crying, well he ran off, but he wasn’t crying. Everyone else assumed he was crying though. But nope, he had a plan. If his teammates hated playing with him because then they had to run laps, he would run their laps for them. But not in a ‘well im gunna run your laps, you better appreciate it’ type deal. He didn’t even tell them. It was their captain who told them. The way he said it reinforced the idea that he was running the laps so that the team would enjoy practicing again, despite the sucky playing by Tsukumoto. He didn’t directly say this, but between what the first graders were mad about and Tsukumotos personality, that is the conclusion I drew. It was also the captain who predicted Tsukumoto would, in 2 years time, be the captain of the team. This is where the clichés start coming in. Of course the weak protagonist is going to be the captain. Of course the weak protagonist is going to be the star of the team. Of course the first years will start doing their own laps, more out of guilt than respect though.
Time skip… who knows how long, to the Golden Week interschool training camp. Its essentially a ‘Bring It On’ type camp were everyone has their different colors. Seiseki apparently is the best team in at the camp, with black track uniforms and stony faces. Mizuki is a popular fellow as well, despite being injured Tsukumoto is mistaken for a manager because of his size, and when he reveals that he is a player, you can see the opinion of Seiseki lowering. If this kid is good enough, then they are just letting everyone in aren’t they? Well jokes on them.
During the opening run, Seiseki overtakes everyone by a large margin, and at an incredible speed. Part of the race is up one of those ‘1000 stairs’ type things. The teams can barely see the team setting the pace, but it is Seiseki. And not just any Seiseki members, the first years. Everyone assumes its Mizuki cause he’s so skilled and revered, but because of his injury, he’s walking the course. The front runners are the first years, and leading the first years, not my a huge amount but he’s definitely in front, is Tsukumoto; the kid everyone hated, the kid everyone made fun of for his size. This little kid is overtaking every single soccer player in that camp. This of course is a accompanied by loud drumming and theatrical music of triumph.
Now a few inconsistencies. 1. No one looks behind them while running upstairs successfully. You fall on your face and roll back down. 2. you don’t struggle to run on a flat surface for over a week, roll your ankle, and then suddenly become a streamlined pro. 3, you cant run with your hands in your pocket. Here’s looking at you Kazama.
The episode was fine, but it didn’t say a lot of what people were thinking. Those key lines or key sentiments that made it emotional, were not included. And just because you don’t say it doesn’t make it no true. If those were not the sentiment, if Tsukumoto wasn’t running laps so that his teammates would enjoy running with him again, then you have to give us a different explanation, so that the motive is available. Or you leave us to our own devices to figure it out.
The ending was pretty standard in a sports anime. The setting is a training camp, so we all know how this is going to turn out, a ton of new characters, new skills, new achievements, and only in the first 3 episodes! We don’t even know the majority of the Seiseki team…
The information may be overwhelming, so im not looking forwards too eagerly…
To read my previous posts on this series, check out the links below!