Ace of Diamond
Episode 5 – A Clash
Now that was one hell of a curve ball. Going into this weeks episode of Ace of Diamond, we knew a few things for certain. 1. The first-years would get a chance to play. 2. Eijun and Furuya would be in direct competition for the ace position and 3. We would witness an unforgettable clash. While we got all of those things, none of it was in the way we could have ever expected.
Things kick off with Eijun once again being forgotten, not even being asked to participate in the first-years game with the upperclassmen by Coach Kataoka. However that all changes after a fateful encounter with the Coach in the bath house. In a moment that is part funny and part gar, Eijun responds to the Coach’s inquiries as to why he refuses to attend the teams games in a very interesting way. Eijun claims that the reason he doesn’t attend their games is because he cannot stand to see anyone else on the mound. Seeing another person in ace position stands directly in front of his promise to his friends back home. He cannot sincerely cheer on another ace, because in his heart the only true ace is himself.
The Coach respects his honesty and grants him a go in the game, however it isn’t exactly what Eijun was expecting. Kataoka sends him to the outfield where he flounders terribly. Eijun is faced with a pretty harsh reality here – he can pitch like a beast, but he is awful off the mound. He struggles to adapt to other positions, but there is just no clicking for him, his place seems to be very much on the mound.
Interestingly enough the clash we witness isn’t exactly between Eijun and Furuya as one would have expected. Instead it is a clash between each and every Seidou player all vying for that spot on the first-string. In the most shocking moment of the episode, Furuya makes first-string after one single pitch. It was a pitch so powerful that Coach Kataoka himself states that none of the first-years could possibly catch it. In this we see a side of Furuya we haven’t seen before. A mean streak in him, a cocky side that takes immense pride in his flaming fastball.
While Furuya is reaching great heights, it is a decidedly frustrating week for Eijun. He continues to mess things up, his immaturity serving as a source of a great deal of his problems. You get the feeling that the thing that is holding back Eijun is his own immaturity, but it is that enthusiasm that may very well be a strength to him, if he can channel it correctly. Right now Eijun is all energy and no focus. What he needs is focus. Until he can get that, he will only continue to struggle in his journey to become ace.
As it stands right now, Eijun is lightyears behind Furuya. To make matters worse, Tanba has been brought back into the fold of the first-string, an interesting decision by Kataoka considering he just added Furuya in as well. Perhaps Kataoka plans to pit Furuya and Tanba against one another? Regardless of that, Eijun undoubtedly has his work cut out for him and with the score heavily in the upperclassmen’s favour, it is gonna be a tough fight to turn things around. Will Eijun get to show Kataoka that he can be ace or will this game prove to be another pitfall in Eijun’s path to becoming ace? Well it looks like next week’s episode will give some insight. For now, we can only share in Eijun’s frustration that he has yet to get his feet on the mound. It’s time for the pay-off.
One of the things that stands as the mark of a great anime, is the kind of anime that feels like it is over too soon. Ace of Diamond proved this week it is one of those anime series. What a way to leave a guy hanging! This is sports anime at its very best.
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