What They Say:
“The Empty 3 Seconds”
After a fierce tackle, Kakeru gets back up a new man. His skills and footwork are eerily similar to those of a past player. Both teams want the win and continue pushing themselves to the breaking point.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Sadly, it looks like they had to go back to the rather stupid “he has his brother’s heart, and that means he has inherited his brother’s abilities” idea that had been floated near the beginning of the show. Why couldn’t Kakeru just improve on his own and become a great player? No, instead in a half-daze, he starts playing like Suguru.
He does eventually regain full conscious, but somehow his playing is better. It so happens that Enoshima gets back the two goals they were down and levels the match. And then, in the completely expected come from behind, Kakeru scores the final goal to win the game. Time for manly tears from the Tsujido side, and cheering for Enoshima.
The result of this match was never in doubt. After all, had Enoshima lost, that would have been the end of the show, wouldn’t it? So, instead we watch mainly to see how Enoshima was going to win. Apparently, they won largely because Kakeru’s memories of Suguru within him have somehow awakened, and thus he can tap into Suguru’s superior abilities and knowledge. The first major manifestation of that is at the end of this match, where Suguru tells Kakeru to be ready to take advantage of the opposing team’s slacking off immediately after they change over from offense to defense. Of course, being an opportunistic striker, Kakeru scored that winning goal near the very end of the game.
To a certain extent, middle episodes such as this one cannot but suffer from their role in the show. They are meant to keep us diverted while we await the main event, which will come much closer to the end. That is, when we will see Kakeru and his teammates go up against a Goliath, a team that is meant to dominate and destroy all opposition. That will probably come during the inter-high school tournament, the next stop for Enoshima, as they have just won the qualifying tournament for Kanagawa. In the mean time, we will have to put up with more episodes that will present either personal challenges for Kakeru or larger ones posed to the entire team. A holding pattern, with some likely sprinkling of backstory and/or spotlights being thrown on side characters. We can only hope they will be entertaining until we come to the “final crisis” that will mark the climax of Enoshima’s run to the top.
After a long and difficult fight, Enoshima is able to overcome Tsujido and win the Kanagawa qualifying tournament. The outcome was never in doubt, part of what removes some of the drama and tension from this episode. Of course Enoshima was going to win. It’s only episode 16. The question is how much in the way of intermediate material we are going to have to put up with until we come to the real climax of the show, likely in another 5 episodes or so. It’s not horrible, but it’s not exactly the height of thrilling entertainment during this stretch.
Streamed by: Crunchyroll Review Equipment: Apple iMac with 4GB RAM, Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard