Is Losing Fun?
The stars very nearly did align as Maki and Toma gave the obnoxious champion from the other school a run for his money. Fortunately they didn’t try to pretend that this make-shift team with one months experience could actually take the victory, but they certainly made the other team work for it. That might actually bite them later because I’m pretty sure they just made the other guy a stronger player.
However, where an episode like this, where half the run time is given to the end of the match, what is critical is that it is actually fun or meaningful to watch and not just a ball bouncing around a screen. Here is where the episode actually succeeded quite admirably. Maki’s observations and the way he and Toma acted on it to claw back points and hold the other team in check for as long as they did, as well as the frustration and then realisation from the other guys all played out pretty well. Good enough at the very least.
Where it gets a little less admirable is the follow up after the match. The boys have a barbecue and all things considered that’s actually pretty cool even if it is a glorified outdoor cooking sequence. And then the guy from the other school shows up because he’s walking his dog and they are suddenly all happy friends after one or two comments are exchanged.
The guy trashed talked them before they even started and was given no personality other than being petty and nasty during all the lead up to his match and during his match was revealed to have a short fuse temper. Why are they suddenly all friends? The transition here was rocky at best and even if the near loss made him a little more cordial, the rapid alteration of his attitude toward the boys is ridiculous.
The odd thing though is that the lack of character logic doesn’t actually take away from what is in essence a fun enough episode to watch. I did however hear some alarm bells when they did the post credit sequence because it looks like the threat of the student council cutting their club due to a lack of victories isn’t enough petty drama to keep things moving. We now have another challenge thrown at the club and given the story is already struggling to balance the whole domestic violence side of its story with the tennis club side it seems adding more complications is exactly what this story doesn’t need.
Thanks for reading
100 Word Anime.
Reviewing all the drama in Stars Align.
Images from: Hoshiai no Sora. Dir. K Akane. 8Bit. 2019.