Panic starts to set in as the tide turns in favor of the ETU against Nagoya.
What They Say
In Giant Killing a ragtag bunch from East Tokyo are struggling in Japan's top football league. The team is going through an abysmal spell right now where they are nearing the bottom of the table and have lost 5 matches in a row. The losses haven't done much to team morale, because it was already low. Fan support, on the other hand, is looking bleak. In the world of football, once the fans turn on a team the end is near. Teams don't recover. Coaches are fired, players are sold, and teams drop to smaller divisions where profits often prevent them from ever being successful against even mediocre top division programs. East Tokyo United, ETU, can only blame their coach right now. And Coach is ready to give up this next game to prove to his team and fans, that against the biggest club in the nation he can make this team win.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Watching the frustrations of the Nagoya team is rather amusing since there are some strong internal schisms going on there affecting everything. With the Japanese forward Itagaki not getting passed to as the Brazilian born players are essentially playing an offensive game by themselves, there's a lot of anger and tension being brought into play now that the ETU is starting a strong offensive of their own. With the amount of raised voices and finger pointing going on, it's not a pleasant place to be. Fortunately for the Brazilians, they don't speak Japanese and just look on at it, though they obvious get the gist of it.
Watching the game play out as the ETU gets a fair bit of wind under its sails is really a lot of fun. Everyone is slowly coming together as a team and with Tsubaki as a focus for the moment it has the energy of youth combined with the skill and experience of the veteran players who are working with him. Gino and Murakoshi want the team to win and as much as Gino is flashy about things, he's not doing it just to attract attention to himself. And he has no problem in turning over the glory to someone else as so much attention is suddenly focused on Tsubaki as he's finally started to unleash his true potential now that he's seeing the field as something else entirely. Thankfully, that doesn't mean he's suddenly a massively gifted player and still makes mistakes, mistakes that the veterans are able to work with to help lead the team further towards victory.
As much as Tsubaki shined in this round, I think it's Dori that gained the most exposure in the end. With his role as goalie and having the defensive men around him, he's also become key in guiding them on the field by giving some of them the larger picture view of events playing out. Dori's got the older feeling to him that comes from a veteran but also the voice to give commands to help the younger players out and set the flow of the game from that end of the field. For him and Murakoshi, a win like this against Nagoya means a whole lot as it's something that can definitely help turn the psychological tide for the team and get them moving forward with even more gusto. It doesn't hurt that Tatsumi makes some amusing public nods towards taking down the Nagoya coach dramatically.
Giant Killing has a whole lot of fun here with the game as the intensity of the match in the second half really turned things around. The roar of the crowd was great to hear as well as seeing so many on the team, both management and players, really rallying behind everything as it just added to the energy overall. The crowning moments come in the post-game material where the Brazilian's come to congratulate Tsubaki while not speaking a lick of Japanese and the way Tatsumi rubs it into the Nagoya coaches face without him realizing what's going on at first. Giant Killing has hit its stride in terms of actual play on the field while the show itself hit its stride from practically the first episode. This is one of the most exciting shows airing right now.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.