Things are rough for Hisa, which comes as little surprise since the competition is fierce and dramatically it makes more sense to have Kiyosumi go down at this point in the match.
What They Say:
Episode 6: “Hand 6: Withering”
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Instead of moving on to the next round of Kiyosumi’s match, instead it’s time for lunch. So, we go around and see various people we have met, commentators, coaches, players, having lunch. It’s something of a waste of time, or perhaps a necessary break from the action, a lull before another torrent of supernaturally tilted play begins. We also get a convergence with Episode of Side A, as we see Shizuno and Ako having lunch with the outside players (who qualified for the individual tournament, but whose schools lost the team competitions in their prefectures) the Achiga team played in-between matches while the Side B block had their second round. If anyone cared, these little bits of connection could make it possible to splice together the two series in exact chronological order. If anyone cared.
After five minutes though, it’s about time to get things rolling, however, so Hisa arms for battle and goes to the competition room early. While there, she has something of a bad premonition, a sensing that there are powerful and dangerous forces lurking among her direct competitors. Facing her are Haru Takimi of Eisui, Kurumi Kakura of Miyamori, and Hiroe Atago of Himematsu. Sadly, Hisa is feeling very nervous and can’t concentrate. It is very much as I predicted from last week’s preview. Kobayashi decided that Hisa would have the be the sacrificial lamb to be slaughtered in order to put Kiyosumi down and give Nodoka and Saki the chance to win things back, all to provide dramatic tension. The problem with this is that Hiroe of Himematsu is a talkative annoyance. It’s bad enough that she keeps on scoring direct hits on Hisa, but she likes to rub it in verbally as well (so that even Kurumi of Miyamori tells Hiroe to shut up as she’s too chatty).
Can Hisa regain her composure? She’ll have to if she is going to go on to the finals. So, it’s time for Hisa to break out of her depression, which she does. Cue the Saki “I’m fired up” music and set up a hell wait for Hisa. It’s not a sudden recovery, but things do improve for Hisa. Though one thing’s certainly true: Mako is the player who gets short-changed the most in this show as both Yuuki and Hisa have more than one episode in the spotlight while poor Mako doesn’t even get a single complete episode to herself.
Less supernatural and more tough play from skilled opponents this time around. It was sad to see Hisa get knocked around, since she’s one of my favorite characters, but it makes sense from a dramatic standpoint to have Kiyosumi fall into last place at this point, setting up the chance for Hisa to make a determined last stand before handing things over to Nodoka and Saki, who will do their utmost to get them on to the next round of the tournament. One problem, from a character consistency viewpoint, is that this sudden breakdown in concentration appeared rather out of character for Hisa. Not that it’s beyond the realm of belief, but it almost seems too much by way of convenience. “We need to have Hisa have a mental breakdown here, so we’ll just have it happen even though it doesn’t really make sense in terms of her character from what we’ve seen over the course of the show.”
The only question I have at this point is how much of a recovery or standing of ground Hisa will be allowed before it will be time for Nodoka to get her turn to shine.
As was to be expected from last week’s preview, things are rough for Hisa in her turn at the table. From a dramatic standpoint, it makes sense for Kiyosumi to be placed in the underdog position, since it would be fairly boring if they just floated along without any challenge in their run to the Finals. Still, it was kind of hard to see it happen to Hisa and somewhat out of character.
Streamed by: Crunchyroll
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