Japanese schools do not employ janitors. Im sure we’ve all either deduced that from various school settings or those mini documentaries circling Facebook a few months ago. Instead they put their students to work in order to enforce respect and so that they don’t turn into jerks to the maintenance crew. I personally think that is a great idea. But that’s besides the point.
Apparently the idea doesn’t come across to all students, and a bunch still slack off. Tsukumoto is one of the students on the maintenance crew, and he at least takes it seriously. We see a bunch of other students using brooms as swords. The lack of help ends up making Tsukumoto late for soccer practice, and come across as irresponsible. He is also made to run laps in the morning as punishment.
So he confronts this delinquent student, Ubukata. She always skips out on her duties, so he asks her not to. Well if she leaves early, why cant Tsukumoto? We all know that answer. He’s too much of a good person to shirk duties. He’s genuine, and that’s part of his established character. Plus making excuses is more of a trait you assign to weak or annoying character. It is an unlikable character trait.
Plus he is also very very naïve, so it probably doesn’t even cross his mind to begin with.
Well this Ubukata character has one of the worst personalities of the series. She lies, she is rude, and she gets very angry at Tsukumotos personality. Its explained though. She is mad at his blind persistence because she gave up. From the flashbacks I assume her ‘soccer’ was writing. We see a lot of rejection letters, mixed with a middle school Ubukata eagerly running to a laptop.
The episode is pretty repetitive. She sees him, becomes frustrated with him, makes a snide remark. She sees him do something else, becomes increasingly aggravated, and shittalks him again. It all comes to a boil where she chases him down, screams at him for being stupid, and then becomes the soccer teams manager.
Her bullying personality and his pushover personality will most likely continue. She doesn’t seem like the type who would suddenly wake up and not be a shitty person. She seems to have an established bad personality. Although at the end of the episode she did scream at the boys who were sword fighting to get their act together and help clean up, it was still more in a bullying manner.
With her being part of the soccer club begs the question: will the protective teammates will jump to Tsukumotos aid when Ubukata picks on Tsukumoto. They are protective over external attacks, but if she’s the manager, would it be an internal attack. Already he is performing tasks for her in order to get her to stay after class and help clean up.
Plus the female-male dynamic may play a role. She may be stronger and taller than him, but the ‘helpless woman’ card may be used by her. Tsukumotos sense of duty would play more of a role in the long run.
I would also like to see how Mizuki reacts to her as well. If there are as many similarities between Tsukumoto and Mizuki as we think, than his reactions to her could be pretty funny.
The second half of the episode was during a gym class. Tsukumoto forgot his PE clothes so he has to participate in his soccer tracksuit. This is seen as arrogant and a Judo club member takes issue. He tries to out-do Tsukumoto based off of his size. The Judo student is slower than the soccer players that Tsukumoto practices with, and ends up successfully blocking the ball by watching for ticks and scoring. Even as the judo student physically grabs him and tries to pull him away from the ball, Tsukumoto perseveres. The rest of the students cheer because the club member has been taken down a peg.
What I like about these episode is that they have 2 stories in them. The stories contribute to the overall story, and they feel fully fleshed out. It doesn’t feel rushed, sometimes repetitive, but there is plenty of information.
To read my previous posts on this series, check out the links below!