All, New Anime

Ryman’s Club – 04

After a beverage and bonding (the two centerpieces of adult male life) episode last week, Ryman’s Club is in full sports-anime mode this time.  There are basically two types of enjoyment I get from the sports in anime – recognition (as with baseball or soccer series, for example) or revelation.  Not only do I not know much about badminton, but this whole “corporate sports” subculture is pretty new to me, so Ryman’s Club definitely falls into the latter category.

On the other hand, there are elements of this show that are very familiar.  For example, Mikoto’s sports-related PTSD revolving around his ex-partner Azuma is very traditional indeed.  As teased last week Tachibana Azuma now plays for Tomari Transport (unlike most of the companies in this show, I can’t figure out what real-life firm it’s a stand-in for).  They’re the 800-pound gorilla (almost literally in this case) awaiting Sunshine should they survive to the fifth round.  Which they do, with relative ease – so much so that their B doubles team doesn’t even have to unzip their gear bags in the first few rounds.

Meanwhile, Mikoto and Tatsuru take a field trip after the matches on the second day, as their “negi-ginger ale” product development isn’t going so well.  After a delicious serving of grilled green onions at the izakaya they head to a farm in Fukuya, a town in Saitama (or “Dasaiatama” as snobbish Tokyoites call it) famous for its negi.  By chance, the boy from the elementary school gym is the farmer’s grandson (anime coincidence 101), and the farmer’s wife serves the boys a delicious salad of green onions and apples, the latter of which mask the smell of the onions.  You can pretty much hear the light bulb click on in Mikoto’s head, but while I like both ginger ale and negi, I’m highly skeptical that they could successfully be wedded.

Back in the gym, it turns out Mikoto isn’t the only Badaryman with performance anxiety.  Takeda-san is totally frazzled by Tomari’s obnoxiously loud cheering section, rendering him pretty much useless in the first match (the coach having switched the order to try and avoid “wasting” his A team against Tamari’s top pairing) of their tie.  Having boys go on stage in high school to confess to girls sounds like an absolutely sadistic and awful tradition to me (this is the first I’ve heard of it), but irrespective of the cause Takeda tanks the pairing.  Fortunately Souta takes care of business in the singles match, clearing the stage (naturally) for Tatsuru and Mikoto to decide the tie.

As fate would have it, Azuma’s team is their opponent.  And full-on PTSD kicks in for Mikoto.  It seems these two were a team from middle school on, even following each other to the same high school.  And we already knew that Mikoto somehow caused Azuma’s injury in that fateful match.  There’s no indication that Azuma ever blamed him for it, but Mikoto never gave himself the chance to find out, lacking the courage to face Azuma given the seriousness of his prognosis.  There are eight episodes to go, and it’s pretty much a given that Mikoto and Tatsuru will lose here – the question is how that goes down, and how Mikoto grows from the experience.  I’m expecting a stern tongue-lashing from Azuma to be a major part of that, but we’ll likely find out next week.


You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.