Taking The Court
So I was wrong about finding out that Sora’s mum was actually dead however hospitalised mum is still pretty standard. Also, as usually it is unclear what is actually wrong with her or why she is hospitalised. Likewise, a little confusing as to whether the hospital she is in is near or far given Sora says he can’t see her at the moment. Anyway, hopefully we get some more information about that situation but it seems unlikely.
We do get some more backstory of Sora’s mum supporting him and encouraging him to play better to make up for his height. Little Sora is so cute and this was a fairly touching moment. I liked that she didn’t tell him the coach was wrong but put it on him to put in the work if he really wanted to play. It certainly explains his current self who makes no excuses but works hard.
Understandably, the team is not ready for their first match. Not emotionally and not with a full range of skills just yet, however they are taking the court and between Momoharu’s jumping and Sora’s shooting with a bit of support from the others they are managing to keep just ahead (though I’m pretty sure they are about to get slaughtered next episode).
This was probably the best episode so far and that’s most likely because the focus was on basketball. The only real ‘delinquent’ moment was when the spectators from the other school were heckling them before they took the court and otherwise they just kind of trained and played. It is amazing how much more tolerable all the characters are when they aren’t being complete jerks.
Also, the animation seemed to step up much like it did the very first time we saw Sora take the court. It is so fluid as we follow his movements around the court. I don’t even like basketball and I was impressed at his efforts. While this story still seems to be heading on a pretty predictable trajectory it is doing a good enough job and I’m behind the main character at least and starting to not actively dislike the rest of the cast (though probably won’t get fully behind them any time soon outside of wanting them to help Sora out). Hopefully this one continues to find its feet and lives up to its potential.
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Images from: Ahiru no Sora. Dir. K Kusakawa. Diomeda. 2019.