The two look like they’re going to war. In a way they are. Mihashi is fighting to prove himself, and Abe wants to annihilate them for Mihashi’s sake. The moment Mihashi stepped out on the field he slapped his former team’s face and by stepping on the mound he threw down the gauntlet. Kanou is the only one who spoke to Mihashi last episode but his friendly demeanor is a fascade. Showing off his forkball was a challenge, clearly baring his teeth behind his smile. Mihoshi thinks it’ll be an easy play against their ex-pitcher but it’s Abe they need to worry about. He can easily read the batters like playbook. (Byakugan!)
It’s interesting to note the difference in how both teams treat Mihashi. Nishiura is supportive and encourage him on the field verses the cold shoulder by his ex-teammates as shown in episode 1. Nishiura actively communicate with him, engaging him as part of the team while they enthusiastically play. In contrast, he was ostracized by his former team and isolated on and off the field. Granted the circumstances are different. They had to deal with Mihashi for 3 years who stubbornly refused to share the mound. Shows he has some guts but he paid for it. They mentally castrated the poor guy. The question that comes up is could Mihashi have prevented it? It’s human nature to resent people who haven’t proven themselves worthy and get positions they haven’t earned. The fastest way to overcome this hurdle is by proving himself on the mound. It wouldn’t hurt to share the mound with Kanou and interact with the team more as a friendly gesture, too. In my opinion, Mihashi was doomed to fail. They had no intention of giving him a chance from the start.
Here’s a good example of how they’ve become blinded by their resentment: Mihashi is clearly striking out batters but his ex-teammates insist he’s still a bad pitcher. Even the new player, Oda, is confused. The rumors say Mihashi sucks but his pitching proves otherwise. Then Kanou makes his cryptic comment that alludes Mihashi is in fact a good pitcher.
Baseball prodigy, Tajima, lets two good pitches go but it’s not because he can’t hit it. He’s the kind of guy who likes challenges. He’s waiting for Kanou’s forkball.
Tajima seals Kanou’s fork ball by shuffling forward and smacks it into far outfield. The two people who stood out most was Kanou and Hanai. While everyone looked shocked, Kanou looked horrified and Hanai… looks far from being happy at Tajima’s brilliant bat.
Hilarious scene where Momoe orgasms when the team finally comes together and root for each other. Bonding mission complete! When it’s Hanai’s turn at bat, she lets him decide what to so she can guage his abilities.
Hanai strikes out. At the dug out Momoe calls him on his batting decision. She doesn’t say it out loud, but Momoe saw right through Hanai. She knows he was trying to compete with Tajima. She reminds everyone, though Tajima is prodigy, he can’t hit homers due to his small physique. He needs the team to help him score. Properly chastized, Hanai gets over his rivalry and focuses on what’s important, bringing in the runners! Win the game!
Oda dismisses Mihashi as a bad pitcher because he can’t get over the slow pitching. Miscalculation on his part because Mihashi is lethal teamed up with Abe. Abe is the complete opposite he doesn’t leave anything to chance. He’s willing to let Oda hit the ball to collect data. Oda has a difficult time hitting the pitches so he gives up and tells Abe he won’t hit the ball.
Oda was cool at the plate but he was really surprised by Mihashi’s pitching. Kanou theorizes Mihashi’s wierd pitches throws off batters because it’s speed an delivery doesn’t conform to the norm. Oda jokes he stopped trying to hit the ball because it was too difficult. He isn’t serious about winning the practice match at all. Kanou gets upset, he’s dead serious about winning the game.
Oda still underestimates Mihashi because he believes the rumor about the “favor”. Kanou says straight up it’s only Hatake who says Mihashi became pitcher because of a favor. Kanou actually thinks Mihashi is the better pitcher.
This whole time Kanou was desparately fighting to beat Mihashi. Those 3 years he never stepped mound wasn’t Mihashi’s fault (though he did contribute). Kanou simply wasn’t able to compete against Mihashi. After all, if Kanou was as great as Hatake made him to be, there’d be no reason why he wouldn’t be allowed on the mound. That sucks. Struggling hard against a rival and never being able to win. No wonder Kanou has a Mihashi complex.
Which means, Mihoshi Middle lost all those games because they didn’t help Mihashi. His former teammates sabotaged themselves and blamed it all on him.
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Tags: Ookiku Furikabutte