Each Quarter an Eternity
They are really stretching this first game out. Like incredibly so. Like I couldn’t believe they hadn’t reached the half-time and I was checking the run time on the episode because I just wanted it to end.
So if they wanted us to emphasise with the players and feeling like they were trapped in a never ending game: Success! If they actually wanted me to feel some kind of hype then they have failed miserably.
It isn’t as though there aren’t some good moments. Seeing Sora getting shut down by a more skilled and experienced defence is both logical and necessary for his growth in the future. Seeing Momoharu continue to support him despite the extreme loss the team is suffering is a semi-nice character moment for him though now that he isn’t being a thug he seems to be utterly devoid of a personality. Then there’s Sora using his mum’s advice to get a shot toward the end of the episode. All good moments.
Surrounded and embedded in a trial of only semi-decent animation, pretty dull characters, and inane dialogue that just keeps going on and on. The spectators here are the worst offenders and really have absolutely nothing interesting to say but we will hear it all episode.
What is worse is the game really hasn’t ended yet. They are prolonging this another week. This isn’t a nail-biter and regardless of whether the characters insist it isn’t over, it really is. They’ve learned that they lack experience and that everyone outside of Sora lacks technique (though I guess they already knew that) and they can now either train and get better or call it quits. Dragging the game out any longer probably isn’t going to change that outcome.
Prior to this point Sora’s enthusiasm has been enough to keep me on board. But here he has too little of it as he has a lot of downtime between being defeated and bringing back his can-do attitude. In the absence of that vibrant personality, the rest of the cast just can’t fill the void and I’m not interested enough in the sport for the ball bouncing around to keep me hooked. Hopefully next week picks up the pace again, or at least gives the cast more to do.
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Images from: Ahiru no Sora. Dir. K Kusakawa. Diomeda. 2019.