Kuroda's tantrum over Tatsumi's coaching style has him walking off the field, but it's there where he may learn the most.
What They Say
After hearing a rumor that Kuroda is about to transfer, Matsuhara feels uneasy. However, Tatsumi declares again that the starting players will be picked with the soccer tennis game. Amongst the disgruntled players, Kuroda finally lets his anger explode and boycotts the training. Matsue, who also left the training, begins to tell Kuroda about a mistake that they as center backs had not noticed yet.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Kuroda's frustration with what Tatsumi is doing is like a very public outburst compared to how Murakoshi handled the way Tatsumi treated him. Murakoshi has had issues with him from the start because of their shared past, but Kuroda has been snapping at him because of that a bit and Tatsumi's style overall, which he feels is haphazard at best. He's got the belief in his head that Tatsumi doesn't really want to win since he keeps taking out the starting players that he feels want to win much more than anyone else, and him in particular. His leaving the practice has hardened him even more now that he has to sit out of the next game and watch from the stands, which gives him a very different perspective from what you see from the benches and on the field itself.
Which is important considering that Kuroda regularly says he's thinking of the big picture. All of the players are having their things to think through and we get to see an overview of some of it from Kuroda's perspective with Matsuhara sitting next to him. And we see it through Tatsumi who talks about it on the field where Macchan is really still not understanding it. The team has spent so long losing prior to this season that when they start to score and then get taken down a peg, or even just a lucky shot gets in, they panic and draw back instead of playing aggressively like they started to. Tatsumi's use of the rookies in pushing the regular players more worked well in getting their running game going better, but they pull back when things don't go well, but they haven't started to realize that until now. Interestingly, there is a really good conversation that briefly occurs on field where Gino gives Tsubaki some polite choice words about the way he's still watching himself because of the penalties he got in the pre-season game, which is really coloring his play.
What the team is lacking is a serious motivator to get everyone pumped and prime. Gino isn't that person because of his laid back character and even Murakoshi as the captain doesn't fulfill that role because of his own particular style. The closest they get is Kuroda, but he hasn't been inspirational but rather seems to berate and get angry with everyone else. Dori has a couple of good moments where he tries to turn the tide on things, to encourage people to go forward instead of dealing with regret over a bad play or a lost goal, but he's the darkly serious type so he can motivate them only so far. His wisdom is sound but he can't inspire them to take their positions with vigor and enthusiasm to try and turn the tide.
Sometimes the squeaky wheel can be fun, as long as he doesn't get too intense with it. Kuroda fits that role and he goes through some growth with this episode as he's forced to watch things from afar while complaining about everyone and everything. Of course, because of the things he's done, it's little surprise that Tatsumi would tweak him a little going forward as he's continually adjusting the team and their positions, so sometimes it pays to not be the squeaky wheel as well. Not that Kuroda would know how to be like that. This episode is a touch slower in some ways but it has a lot of good segments where we see different players being analyzed and ways to turn the tide for the team in general. It's definitely inspiring stuff and fun to watch both on and off the field.
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.