Ace Of Diamond
Episode 9 – With Chagrin in His Heart
There is an air of change in this episode of Ace of Diamond. With the truth of Chris now revealed, Eijun sees him in an entirely different light. On the flip side of that, Chris begins to open up to Eijun and even start pushing him in the right direction. With that, it looks like our diamond in the rough is in good hands with Chris, as Furuya looked to be with Miyuki. However while both Eijun and Furuya have risen to great heights, we now see them fall to great lows.
In baseball an ace must have something special about them, something that unites the whole team under their power. When Chris gets Eijun to pitch to him, he tells him that Furuya’s strength is his power and that Tanba’s power lies in his control. He leaves Eijun with something to ponder, what exactly is his strength? What is Eijun’s ace ability?
This is a critical component of the game that Eijun has really overlooked thus far. He needs something that sets himself apart from the other pitchers, but he still remains a diamond in the rough, not yet ready to shine. Furuya on the other hand is clearly shining already, however he is a diamond on the verge of breaking. He continues to push himself too hard and Coach Kataoka bans him for two weeks, exiling him to the second string until he can learn to take care of himself. Here we see both Eijun and Furuya hitting rock bottom. Both are once again on the same level, both down and out, both looking to rise up to the first string.
One of the things that has been rather interesting about Ace of Diamond is that we have yet to see any matches of significance outside of Seidou Academy. After 9 episodes, there hasn’t been any rival teams for Seidou to tackle, rather the rivalry has been thoroughly ingrained into the psyche of the team members themselves. Spots in the first string are something to die for at Seidou and it seems that for the mean time we will be focusing on the inner workings of Seidou and its team.
This is of course a brilliant decision by the original mangaka because it allows us to explore the team dynamics and understand the philosophy of these players and the goals they each individually hold. It makes it all the more important when they finally enter a tournament stage and begin facing against real opponents. By that point the characters and team of Seidou will be more than well-developed and the stakes will be higher and tensions felt strongly.
As far as Ace of Diamond goes, it is a special breed of sports anime through and through. Instead of being a match of the week style sports anime, we are instead witnessing a series about the things that go on behind the scenes of the games, the things that these players struggle with off the field and it is nothing short of compelling. Characters like Chris are highly realistic and his struggle in particular is one that many sportsmen have had to face over the years. It is this sense of realism that underpins Ace of Diamond that really makes it something special.
This isn’t your normal sports anime and this episode is proof of that. What other sports anime out their would do an episode like this? We see both of our rookies reach great heights and fall to great lows in one episode. There isn’t another sports anime out there that would be able to pull that off without feeling disjointed, but Ace of Diamond is just rapid fire energy and so much can happen in the span of 23 minutes that you’ll feel like waiting 7 days for another hit is justified. That is what makes Ace of Diamond so damn good.
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