So the soccer club and the soccer team are very different entities.
So the Seiseki soccer team is compiled of 17 club members. One of those members is Kasuhara. He is an older teammate who practices with Tsukumoto in their free time. He has not been a focussed on, or even mentioned character before now. If he was then it was miniscule and not noticed. His appearance is not that of a main character either. It is standard, short black hair, square-ish face. There are no distinguishing features. So far that’s not very encouraging for good news.
The hope is that Kasuhara makes the soccer team. He is well known as the hardest worker on the team. Unfortuneately, he doesn’t make the team. Kazama does, and Tsukumoto. At first he doesn’t notice his name has been called. He just hears a name other than Kasuhara.
If you’ve ever doubted Tsukumotos genuiness, then watch this scene. He is praying for Kasuharas name to be called, with no concern to his own place on the team. When he doesn’t hear Kasuharas name, he’s floored, he’s so upset. Everyone else is in disbelief about hearing Tsukumotos name. Even when he realizes what just happened he is insistent that it’s a mistake.
While the scene is pretty cliché, it would have been even more so if both of them had made the team. For the series to continue Tsukumoto didn’t necessarily have to make the team, but getting the jersey on was an important step.
After the announcement Kasuhara summons Tsukumoto to the field. Is a showdown going to happen? Is Tsukumoto going to decline a spot on the team? Its clear from the reaction of all club member that they do not accept Tsukumoto on the team. Possible bullying ahead? Tsukumoto most likely wouldn’t fight against any kind of bullying. After a quick cry in the bathroom, Kasuhara ends up helping Tsukumoto train. This guy!! He has a heart of gold and its heartbreaking.
Now in the first game of the tournament, Tsukumoto is a benchwarmer, or so you’d think. The coach monologues a bit about how the players are stiff, and well into the game neither side has scored. In an attempt to mix up the game, he throws in Tsukumoto.
We all saw that coming. The coach put him in to loosen up the players. Already there is a change in their demeanor when Tsukumoto repeats the coaches instructions of ‘I want to win’.
Now, as exciting as sports animes are, as hype as the games are.. This one isn’t. There’s no building feeling of hype, even in the climax. You don’t feel that bubble in your chest that makes you grin like an idiot. Even as Tsukumoto is barrelling down the field chasing a ball everyone has declared dead and bound to go out of bounds. He saves the ball and gives a cheer, but still no hype.
The only hype felt is when the captain of Saku Highschool, Seisekis rival school, introduces himself to Tsukumoto and asks to play soccer with him.
This whole series is filled with Hinatas.
After watching a video taken by the first years, and hearing the conversations and cheering from various members, including Kasuhara, both Tsukumoto and the Saku Captain were in tears.
In a majority of sports animes the characters are serious and hard and it’s the main character, the sucky player who is the comic relief and the change in attitude. There are plenty of characters in Days that fit that description and I love this show for that. The non-regular characters are funny and inspiring.
Now its just a matter of how close the pre-OP scene in the first episode is.
To read my previous posts on this series, check out the links below!