After a surprising win and some harsh training, the ETU is back on the field to take a stab at another win.
What They Say
Experiencing a long streak of poor performances for several years in the Japanese professional football league, the East Tokyo United (ETU) hires Takeshi Tatsumi as manager to try to break the curse that seems to have fallen over the team. Will he be successful in turning the team around?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The East Tokyo United had a really great game where they had their first win at a time when Tatsumi was going to be really pleased by just tying things up. In order to make sure they don't get cocky and overthink their victory, he spent a lot of time working them in practice to keep their focus on while the show spent an episode on the supporting cast and how much goes into their jobs. It was a nice bit of humanizing that helped to expand the cast and give it a little downtime from the game itself after a few episodes worth of the Nagoya and ETU match.
Their latest game is certainly going well as they're scoring more than they have before and putting up a very strong offense overall, keeping the other team on defense more often than not. There's a new energy to the team and a real drive to win that wasn't quite there before that's really fun to watch. The fans are getting enthusiastic, the players are wanting to stay in as long as they can and there's a frustration in not being able to score at this point. When the team wins their second game in a row, the first time they've had consecutive victories in a very long time, it's the kind of uplifting and still surprising win that just warms them to the core. Watching how the fans react alone is worthwhile.
There is a new change to the dynamic this time around that could be causing some problems. While Sera is concerned about how well he's doing in the game since he can't get the score he wants as a forward, he's even more concerned when another player who has been away for awhile returns. Natsuki's an odd duck and makes an amusing first appearance when Tatsumi staggers out onto the field after doing research all night and he sees him in regular clothes just rolling around on the field. For Tatsumi to call someone a weirdo, well, that says a lot. But after his injury, he's finally back in the game and has an immense amount of spirit and a very outgoing nature compared to the others. He's definitely reminiscent of some of the Brazilian players from Nagoya than anyone else on the ETU. As we start to get a bit of his history, it's clear he's got some real skill but it's something that could disrupt the way the team has been coming together recently.
Giant Killing moves along in an interesting way with the ETU adding another win for the team and the return of a player that Tatsumi hadn't even factored in or really knew about it appears. Natsuki has a lot of potential, but watching how he's going to have to handle being on the ETU with Tatsum in charge is going to be problematic for him since it's a very different style than before. Natsuki doesn't throw a lot of uncertainty or concern into the mix overall, but it's something that can change how the team that's fielded will play. And Natsuki has to prove himself not only to the coach but to himself as well and there are those like Sera that won't want to lose his position to someone who has been gone for so long. It's a nice fly in the ointment to see how it will all be resolved.
Japanese 2.0 Language
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.