Check out my episode seven review here!
Man, the writers did not hold back this episode. I wasn’t expecting so much exposition, but I am glad that we got it. It will be eventual setup for conflicts yet to come, no doubt. I am also relived that it wasn’t Shinjou’s mom that reported the team. We still don’t know much about her yet, what her deal is – and I still have not mentally given her any credit as a mother.
Maybe that’s not the best way to think, but ah well…
So it was Tsukinose Nao’s mother who complained to the school about the practice. Despite Nao mentioning that it wasn’t like that, his mother insisted it was in order to manipulate him into doing what she wanted. Eventually, Nao is going to have to stick up for himself and stand up to his mother, if he wants control over his life. I know it can be hard, I went through something similar. I thought just doing what was asked of me would stop it and it did, but in the end I wasn’t happy because of it.
Hopefully he is able to control the situation before it gets that far.
During the team brainstorm meeting where they decided to cross dress, (or rather Yuuta already wanted to do that and convinced everyone it was a great idea – which it was) Nao was scribbling in a notebook. He was just drawing dark lines that looked like a black hole, putting a lot of pressure on the pencil.
I knew a girl who did things like that in middle school. Her parents put a lot of pressure on her to study and achieve their own goals through her.
The poor kid must be so stressed out. Especially since he can’t play tennis for a week, which is his emotional outlet. Well, all of the boy’s emotional outlets. Nao put that same pressure on his chopsticks while eating while his mom told him about a cram school he would be attending. Obviously, Nao’s mother has a goal of getting her son to drop soft tennis. She would probably love if they disbanded. Then she could be proud of her son, as her view of pride seems to stem in academic achievements.
Hopefully he’ll be okay. I don’t remember if we were shown if Nao has siblings or not. But he does have the soft grasshopper tennis team at his side – provided they win the Summer Tournament and receive funding for the next semester, or year even.
I don’t have much to say about Yu, as he is young. He is still growing, and will eventually decide what makes him the happiest. Maki was already open-minded, so I’m not surprised he was supportive.
The boy’s have grown a lot through their shared (newly-found) passion of sport. In the beginning, I don’t think the group would have rallied around an idea like this to spy on another team. I don’t think they would have been so open-minded. This comes from talking to one another, working together, and understanding each other’s feelings on and off the court.
With that being said, I hope they dominate the competition.
And I’m glad we got more backstory on Mitsue! The little devil is growing on me. I’m glad Maki is so perceptive, I’m glad the boy’s all had Mitsue’s back during their espionage mission. It really does make me happy that they have grown, and that neither is as lonely as they started out. They are all coming into their own, realizing who they want to be, and their passions.
What to pursue, what to chase, and what to leave behind.
That makes me happy, even if they are fictional characters.
So, what do you think about Hatanooka and their ace player Joy? Can you relate to any of the struggles the boys are going through? Can you think of a time in your life when the support of others really helped you blossom into the person you are today?
Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more Stars Align episode reviews.
☆ In Asian Spaces