Ro-Kyu-Bu! SS

March 8, 2014

And so… They couldn’t get enough of lolis playing basketball and thus decided to release another season of Ro-Kyu-Bu! SS. The same characters will be around to show us how much they’ve improve and of course their relationship with the coach that has guided them through thick and thin. More bonding. Face a couple of new rivals, then more bonding. Back to practice. More bonding. Wow. I’m sure no one can break their very thick bonding. It’s like he has become their second parent. Haha. Well, this is what you’re should be expecting if you’re watching the second season. I mean, when you put lolis and basketball together, what else is there to expect? Assuming nothing hentai goes on, then you should see where this is going. Hmm… It will be interesting to see if they can pull off a slam dunk trick as well. If they are tall enough to reach it…

Episode 1
Subaru introduces our loli basketball girls once more complete with their field positions. After another day of practice, when Tomoka returns home, her father lectures her about spending too much time on basketball and neglecting the way of the tea and dancing. She is severely affected that she can’t shoot straight. Of course she tells Subaru her problem and it is so bad that daddy forbid her to go to the summer festival with her friends. Her friends are devastated that Tomoka won’t be there but what to do? And then Subaru gets a message from Tomoka’s mom. With her permission, she allows her to go with him to the festival. She trusts him. I think she likes him too. I thought it was pretty funny seeing Subaru and Tomoka meet. Like as though they’re lovers reunited after a long time. Really. The duo think they must have been there early since they couldn’t meet up with the rest and Tomoka can’t get them. While bidding their time, Tomoka tries out a basketball stall and nails 3 perfect shots for the winner. As requested, she gets her personal reward from Subaru. That is, to watch the fireworks together with him. Once the other friends get Tomoka’s message, they go venture the stalls. Tomoka needs to use the bathroom so bad that she can’t move. Subaru had to carry her all the way there. While waiting, some jerk bumps into some elderly guy that causes him to lose his spectacles. Subaru helps this guy (which unknown to him is Tomoka’s dad) to find it. He mentions he is here looking for his daughter but isn’t good with crowds. Then he goes back searching.

Maho and Saki meet Natsuhi at a shooting stall. His annoying twin sisters, Tsubaki and Hiiragi didn’t like Aho Maho but Natsuhi lets her try his place to shoot, confident she won’t nail it. She stretches so much that she could fall over. That’s when Subaru and Tomoka appear. Fearing her panties could be seen, she panics and the shot ricochet and hit the prize. It’s Saki’s turn so Subaru goes up close to her to teach her how to use the rifle. Unknowingly, somebody took a snapshot of their close proximity. Once the gang gathers, they prepare to watch the fireworks when Tomoka’s father shows up. He drags her daughter back seeing he has warned her about it. Subaru apologizes that he is the one who made Tomoka broke her promise and that she wants to be with her friends. Father doesn’t think she needs basketball friends. The fireworks light up and they see each other’s face clearly. Hey. Aren’t you that guy earlier? Everyone pleads that they need Tomoka and without her, basketball is doomed! Or something like that :p. So please don’t take her away. After so much pleading, you’d be an ass not to give in so daddy allows Tomoka to stay with her friends. Though he cautions she did have a bad experience with the sport, it seems that sport has also allowed her to make great friends. He leaves Tomoka in his care. Isn’t this just great? And Subaru gets to fulfil his promise of watching the fireworks with her. Next day when Tomoka practises, a French loli goes up to her and wants to challenge one-on-one.

Episode 2
Mimi Balguerie may be good but she still lost to Tomoka. She is awed by Tomoka’s beautiful free throw. Subaru’s tanned dad, Ginga just returned. Mimi is his daughter. Just kidding! Actually his pupil. He was too coach his French professor’s daughter while they were on some excavation in Hawaii. Of course Mimi is transferred to Tomoka’s school and introduced to her friends. She is brought around by fellow classmate Kagetsu (who is also Hinata’s younger sister). Mimi goes to challenge Natsuhi’s basketball club. Because she lost to Tomoka, she wants a rematch and creates her own team by taking over the boys’ basketball club. That sounds like world domination, right? Meanwhile, Saki receives the close proximity picture. It is sent my Masami Fujii, her childhood friend. She intends to spread it around but Saki isn’t really panicking. She calls Subaru about it and that guy feels the need to do something otherwise he will earn the reputation of being a lolicon coach. Seems Saki and Masami’s families know each other and they both open a family restaurant. Masami’s hate for her started one day when Saki’s shop claimed top spot beating hers. So the duo meet her and Masami continues her threat to spread it. Saki isn’t fazed and tells her to go ahead. But that won’t change her shop’s reputation. Instead of relying on dirty tactics, she should improve herself. Masami is of course pissed and deletes the photo, vowing that she will beat her fair and square. Subaru wonders if she plays basketball because he noticed her basketball shoes but Saki doesn’t think so.

Natsuhi is walking back with his sisters and friends. The twins suggest he should team up with Mimi and defeat Aho Maho’s team. Natsuhi asks Kagetsu about her practice with Hinata and heard she has improved. He wonders if he would like to have a match with her sister. Back home, Kagetsu asks Hinata how she would view a challenge. It would be fun. Natsuhi goes to see Masami secret basketball practice and knows she has been practising hard to show off her skills to Saki. She is surprised he knows about it. There’s no secret about it. Her rivalry with Saki is common knowledge. And so the new basketball lolis introduce themselves to their seniors (complete with posing and all). The first challenge will see the winner having the right to use the gym. Come match day, obviously Subaru’s team has more experience and the upper hand compared to Natsuhi’s ragtag team. They’re all over the place and without synchrony. They easily get fooled by tricks and get the ball stolen many times. The gap is growing… Natsuhi is so young and he is already experiencing the frustrations of a coach. Even Subaru has to advice Natsuhi to cool them down or else they’ll burn out. Natsuhi laments he doesn’t have coaching experience but don’t worry. Ginga is here and he will help Natsuhi’s team out. Much to the dismay of Subaru’s girls. You can’t have everything, can’t you?

Episode 3
After explaining why the rivals need a coach, the girls are glad that they have an exciting game to look forward to. It’s amazing that after some advice, the girls are playing like pros and catching up! Subaru has observed and realizes Ginga’s tactic. Something about each one of the girls taking turns to shoot. Ginga adds he gave them a goal to work towards to and instead of forcing them, he made them want to play. The motivation is that he’ll treat them all to ice cream. It doesn’t take long for Saki to figure out so she changes the tactics with her friends. Once more, Subaru’s girls make a comeback because they have better teamwork. Tomoka tries a floater shot she observed Subaru did and it goes in. Once again, Mimi laments she lost to her. While our losers lament their first lost, Ginga hopes they will practise more for their first win. However he can’t be their coach as he needs to get back to Hawaii. But he has found a replacement: Aoi. At first Natsuhi is sceptical because she is Subaru’s childhood friend. When she struts her stuff, everyone accepts the new master. Later, Tomoka hands over to Subaru an invitation card to her birthday party this Saturday. Of course he’ll come. Then, Aoi and Kazunari talk to Subaru that they have found someone to join their club. Kazunari gives Subaru the person’s phone number so he could call personally. After that, Subaru needs a request from Aoi. It’s to accompany him to buy a present. But she misinterprets he is buying a gift for her. All that blushing suddenly turns to embarrassment when she realizes it is a birthday gift for Tomoka. More like disappointment. Duh… So disappointing… Come Saturday, Subaru and the girls celebrate Tomoka’s birthday. After the meal, Hinata hogs Subaru and sits on his lap but the rest of the girls feel it should Tomoka since today is her special day. Everyone conspires to put embarrassed Tomoka on Subaru’s lap. Don’t worry. Nothing explicit happened. Disappointed? Then, everyone gives their presents. The girls give a basketball, Aoi’s present is a hair ribbon and Subaru’s is a towel. One to wipe sweat and not when you come out of the bath lah! Oh, he has another present for her. This one is to teach her the floater skill.

Episode 4
Subaru and Aoi meet their new recruit, Banri Kashii. Does his name sound familiar? Yes. He is Airi’s older brother. Wondering why the duo know a lot about Airi, it reminded him of some perverted basketball coach in her school. He didn’t like how that lolicon bastard made the girls play basketball in their swimsuits during summer camp! OMG! Did that happen?! Did he try to assault them?! Oh wait… I think something of this sort did happen in last season. Anyway, Subaru admits he is that coach and the first thing he got was his punch. Ouch… Seems Airi and Banri are not getting along very well. They avoid seeing each other and Airi is always scared and now to the point of looking at him in the eye. Subaru and the girls meet at the basketball court where he used to play a lot. However a couple of girls, bratty Nana and slow Mayumi cut the queue. Of course a game is to decide who gets to use it. To their surprise, their coach is Ryuuichi Suga, the guy Subaru lost to in his last basketball tournament. Ryuuichi didn’t waste time putting Subaru down. While mocking Subaru’s school team is gone and he is on his way to becoming an ace player, he wants to see what Subaru has got. The 3-on-3 match has Subaru with Airi and Tomoka against them. Somehow, something is wrong with Tomoka as she isn’t able to take all of Subaru’s passes. Airi is under pressure from expressionless Mayumi and in the end, they lose big. Ryuuichi wants to go one-on-one now but Subaru loses to his jab step like he did in the tournament (something about feigning your movement using your footwork). In the end, Subaru lost and this gives Ryuuichi ammo to mock him that he overestimated him. He doesn’t have what it takes that’s why he ran away and coach some weak elementary girls’ school basketball team. Tomoka feels guilty that it’s her fault for letting him down but Aoi says that Subaru lost by himself.

The girls seem to know what is causing Tomoka’s slump but to do that, they want her to practice with Subaru as usual. And then go take a bath with him! Say what?! Or at least just wash his back. I guess Subaru realizes that she is still feeling guilty and lets her do so. Unless you’re a lolicon, the fanservice moment of Tomoka slipping and accidentally has her non-existent boobs hitting his back doesn’t amount to anything much. So they reconcile and promise to practise hard and be by each other’s side. Next day, Subaru feels better and apologizes to the girls for being a disappointment and big embarrassment. Aoi will also help them out with training. Subaru gets a call from Banri who apologizes for suddenly hitting him that day. With this also settled, Subaru requests he coaches Airi but he declines. Because he thinks Airi hates him, he feels he has no right to coach Airi as a short tempered person. When Banri returns, the rare meeting with Airi as usual make them at odds. But they realize it’s not doing them any good so they open up their hearts and reconcile. There, easily done. Banri helps out Subaru in coaching the girls. With Tomoka improving, the girls have Tomoka initiate the final plan to fix Tomoka’s slump. And part of that plan is to stay at Subaru’s house for the night! Serious! Yeah. She came all prepared anyway. It’s like she wants to go through with it but too shy.

Episode 5
The rational of Tomoka’s slump is that she is nervous being with Subaru. When they practice, they are always on opposing sides but that was the first time they were on the same team. So will anything happen while Tomoka stays at his place? Remember people. This show only has good guys and innocent girls. With Subaru’s words of encouragement, Tomoka gets her confidence back. See the way they hold each other’s hand… Not nervous now, aren’t they? Tomoka is back to her usual groove in training but Airi on the other hand still feels scared because her brother is like a menacing Hulk. Aoi tells him to cool off first before he scares her to death. Banri gives Subaru a disc of his team’s match with Ryuuichi’s school. So that guy burns the midnight oil just to study his movements and habits. Subaru then practises with Natsuhi because they both share the same fiery passion and aggression. In a way, it makes the feint hard to read. Subaru loses to Natsuhi because his feints are all obvious. Subaru thinks he can’t use what he learnt against Ryuuichi but Natsuhi gives him advice that it’s better to try and fail rather than being scared to try. On another day practising with Tomoka, he finally gets it on how to make a feint look natural.

Rematch day is here. Those not playing are reduced to cheerleaders and they’ve come dressed for the part. Although Subaru isn’t confident in beating Ryuuichi, he is confident he can win it with teamwork. Ryuuichi’s team is surprised to see the vast improvement and this time the tables are turned because they are winning big this time. Although Tomoka is in perfect sync with Subaru, Airi is still feeling the jitters. When Mayumi commits a foul, Banri tries to encourage his sister. Airi breaks down, lamenting about her uselessness. She is so scared that her body won’t move. Banri wonders if Mayumi was that scary. How scary? Can’t be as scary as him, right? Suddenly it’s like her phobia just disappeared. Not only she got her confidence back, she doesn’t fear Banri anymore! She views him as a kind person. Wow! The power of words. Just unbelievable that a person who has been scared for so long just to be the opposite in an instant. Super big improvement that no psychiatrist or drugs could do. Subaru and Tomoka’s teamwork allows them to prevent Ryuuichi from doing his feint and steal his ball. They realize his habit of passing. Whenever he does that, he has got this angry look. Now that Subaru’s team has won, the main event now is if he can best Ryuuichi one-on-one. Ryuuichi is taken by surprise of Subaru’s floater. That wasn’t a fluke because Subaru shows him all the other tricks he has. Now the fates are reversed with Subaru winning this time. So how did he do it within a few days? Subaru credits that someone (Tomoka) made him realize his playing style. He might not have the talent of dressing up his fakes to look like the real thing so he just went with the natural look. Of course their score is even now and this means the next time they are going to settle this, it would be on the court, full 5-on-5. That will be next year. Be there or be square. With everybody celebrating their victory, Airi hopes Subaru could be her partner like how he did for Tomoka. But the other girls don’t want to be left out and they want to be his partner too. Sounds horny… Don’t worry. They’re all his precious partners! Sounds horny…

Episode 6
Aoi wins the grand prize for two to Kyoto. Because she promised she would share half of what she got with Subaru, guess who is tagging along. Oh, Kyoto is the place, right? That happens to be where Tomoka’s school is having their field trip too. What coincidence. So Aoi packs her stuff like as though she’s packing her house. Panicky, isn’t she? Her friends give her a farewell gift: SEXY RED LINGERIE!!! On the train, dense Subaru fails to realize why Aoi is blushing. Ever thought of how close he’s sitting to her? She thought he was thinking about her since he says he is glad he gets to go with her. Till she realizes it’s because of their relationship as childhood friends, her parents put their trust in him. Bummer. Since he’s talking about Tomoka and co, she just wishes he stop talking about them and be just the both of them. While touring Kyoto, Aoi thought Subaru has a serious loli fetish. Because when dressing up as the Genji Hikaru character, he thought he is shaping the girls his preference just like the character himself. Then there is a store that sounds like a toddler shop but it turns out to be a toothpick store. Don’t jump the gun too soon. Even more coincidence is that everyone ends up staying in the same hotel. Since it’s fully booked, Subaru and Aoi share the same room. Don’t worry people. Nothing explicit will happen. Yeah. Disappointing. Tomoka and co pass by Natsuhi when they’re on their way to the bath. Natsuhi spots Maho dropped her panties but he couldn’t give it to her since his friends are calling him. But does he have to keep them? When Subaru goes out to get drinks, Natsuhi leaves the panties on the floor. He must pick it up… Now it’s his turn to run and hide. Aoi ponders if she should wear the lingerie when Subaru returns. The both of them end up not being able to sleep because they’re thinking of what to do with the panties in hand.

Next morning during breakfast, Natsuhi comes up to Subaru to tell him to return Maho’s panties tonight. So in the toilet, both guys have a confrontation. Natsuhi explains how it happened but why Subaru? At least he got no intention to frame him. Natsuhi will help him return it tonight. Or is it Subaru is the one who will be helping him to return it. Hmm… Did something like this happen last season too? Deja vu? On their way that night when the girls are in the bath, by some twist of fate the panties got blown away up a tree. Subaru climbs to get it but the other side of the fence is the girls’ bath! WTF?! Who the hell planted this tree next to a fence that isn’t tall enough?! Don’t they get complaints? Unless there were no creative perverts before. I don’t know how but Subaru managed to get it without almost getting spotted. And with Tomoka and co enjoying their bath, they even wonder what Subaru is doing right now. Oh, you don’t say… Because too much time has been wasted and the girls are out, the only tactic left is to make an excuse to play in their room. Of course the girls are glad Subaru came and they start having a pillow fight. I don’t know why they didn’t just leave it on the floor or some corner because when Subaru does his floater as distraction, Natsuhi does his slam dunk of the panties into Maho’s bag. Safe. When Subaru returns to his own room, he sees Aoi putting on the lingerie!!! OMG!!! SEXY FANSERVICE!!! Later Aoi barricades herself in the bathroom. She calls her friends. She wants to die. Although Subaru got slapped and he apologized like hell, she thinks he now thinks she is some sort of underwear pervert. Just when she got the courage to put it on, then this. Her friends thought it was a pretty success. Next day when everybody leaves for home, Subaru cheers her up by buying her a hairpin souvenir. All is forgiven.

Episode 7
Suddenly Subaru and co are at Maho’s mansion. Her father, Fuuga wants to throw a lavish party as thanks for taking care of his daughter. Also, this is also a reception of their wedding. WHAAAAAT?! Maho doesn’t know of this and tells daddy he is wrong. Because Subaru belongs to everybody and he should marry everyone! I think this is more wrong. Putting marriage aside, Fuuga is impressed Subaru is a fine man. He wants to grant Subaru anything. Be it his own basketball court, to watch an NBA game or invite the Dream Team to play here. Name it! Well, he does have something in mind. Fuuga soon puts up posters of a mini basketball tournament for lolis elementary school girls. Of course Aoi’s team sees this as a chance to get their revenge and start training. However they have no sync so they start arguing. This prompts Aoi to think they should not enter. Because they’re all over the place and aren’t acting like a team. Basketball is a team sport, right? Those words hit the girls hard. They agree to set aside their difference and train hard under her. Aoi can’t guarantee victory but she can teach them so they’ll have equal chance. The day of the tournament is here. The loli rivals square off before the match, both confident of beating the other. Saki suggests if they lose, they’ll be their training assistants. It is revealed that this is part of Subaru’s plan to get 10 people for the basketball club because they can enter official tournaments. Wait a minute. Why not just let them join or combine them? Wouldn’t that be easier? Unless you tell me they have this pride thingy.

Also participating at this tournament is Manaka’s team from Suzuridani and her leg is recovering well. Although Miyu won’t be playing, she introduces a rookie basketball player, Aya Miyakoouji. She was once in gymnastics but she grew too tall and was scouted for basketball. She looks up to Airi as her idol because she too had this big size inferior complex. Airi has been there and done that so she knows what it’s like. Perfect chance for them to give moral and emotional support to each other. Banri is so impressed of the change in his sister that he becomes emotional. They grow up so fast and big. Pun not intended. But why use Subaru’s t-shirt as his tissue? As the match begins, we don’t pretty much care about how many teams or all the other teams that our heroines face because all that matters now is the semi-finals and it’s Subaru’s team against Aoi’s team. Although the game is evenly matched, Aoi’s team eventually starts pulling away. Their stamina and speed training paid off and they’re much faster than their senior counterparts. Can they exact revenge for real? Half time and the girls are brimming with confidence that they can win. They can as long as they play their own basketball. Believe in yourself and others.

Episode 8
Don’t press the panic button yet. Subaru has a plan. To put it simply, Airi and Saki are to play defence while the rest make up the offense. As a result, Subaru’s team catches up. Masami is the team’s long shot expert and Saki has observed her well enough to know the distance she can make her perfect shot. So she pressures her by pushing and defending her further away from the line, which causes her to miss her subsequent shots. In the dying seconds, both teams are tied and Aoi’s team are running out of steam. But it is Tomoka that nails the winner when her perfected floater floats in. I think they’re trying to exaggerate it as we see Tomoka sprouting angelic wings!!! Of course it’s always bitter for the losing team and though they congratulate each other for a great game, except for the twins they are not too happy about it. They don’t want to be their ‘slaves’ and would rather quit basketball. They even blame Aoi for not coming up with a winning strategy. Not cool. So while Natsuhi tries to find his runaway twins to talk to them, we see Aoi breaking down in the arms of Manaka before the final match begins. It’s hard being a coach, right? And so the final is here. Subaru’s team against Manaka’s team. It is the former that is leading by a mile! Totally different from the Suzuridani team they played against in last season. What happened? Are they that bad or has Subaru’s team improved so much? Airi guards Aya and because the latter is quite afraid, she takes advantage of it.

Because there is not much to see, we fast forward everything and Subaru’s team wins the tournament. Yay! Why am I not surprised? Aya thanks Airi that because of her, she now loves basketball. Everyone converges in the after-game party. Looks lavish. Why not? Hosted by Fuuga. Because they won, he also takes this opportunity to introduce their basketball uniform. You thought the girls would change into it to try it out but instead they change into their swimsuits! WTF?! Fanservice? Well, it’s because they’re going to celebrate by splashing non-alcoholic beer for children. Wait a minute! WAIT A MINUTE!!! Beer that is non-alcoholic and for children?! WTF?! Things are going to get wet… Oh, Maho is the poster girl for that beer? In the end, Subaru notices Tomoka acting strange. She drank lots of those beer and is drunk. Seriously. Non-alcoholic and this is what it did to her? Let’s say she is acting very slutty to him. I wonder how he’ll get out of this. Meanwhile the twins are still sulking. They are approached by a bratty girl, Rena Ashihara who mocks them how she loves to see their dejected loser face. It makes her feel better since her coach acted like she didn’t care after losing the finals. Of course the twins won’t take this lightly and the best way to settle this is via basketball challenge.

Episode 9
Only Mimi and Kagetsu turn up to practise. The twins continue to practise themselves because they can’t forget that bitter lost to Rena. Despite having both of them, they couldn’t beat her. Masami also practises alone and remembers her childhood days with Saki. Although Saki doesn’t hold any grudges, but not Masami. She really wants to beat her not just in basketball but everything. That’s because there is going to be some gourmet fair soon and she is adamant she will beat her in this one too. So she gathers her other friends to help out. Only the twins agree but Mimi and Kagetsu don’t feel like ‘betraying’. Of course majority vote 3-2 means they have to. And then everybody starts groping and molesting Aoi’s boobs because they think it’s too big. Yeah. For a flat lolis. How come it seems as though they’re taking out their frustration by squeezing her boobs? I don’t know how but in the end it’s like Aoi got stripped close to naked and molested. Saki’s friends also help her for the fair’s preparation. Not short with bloopers and little fanservice. It must be fate because on the day of the fair, both rivals’ stall is placed next to each other. While Saki and co are encouraging, Masami and the twins consider this their revenge act. They even show off their specialty but Saki and the rest are genuinely impressed. Not the kind of reaction you’re looking for?

When the fair opens, Rena is also there but only to mock the loser twins. Doesn’t she have anything else better to do? Then she accidentally drops her lollipop into Masami’s tofu brew and ruined all the hours of hard work. She wanted to punch her but Aoi holds her back. Rena doesn’t give a damn, doesn’t show any consideration and worse, admits nothing. Then she takes off. Masami is so sad that her effort (and her dad’s) is ruined that she cries so loud that I think the entire fair can hear. But Saki tells her to shut up pull it together. She even advises and is willing to cooperate with her. This is no time for their rivalry. They have to make food with the customers in mind. So both sides decide to help each other out and brain storm a new dish. They agree on Hinata’s rice burger idea and even had time to make new posters and flyers. Wow. Did time stop for them because I thought the fair already started quite some time ago. The collaboration and new dish is a hit. The girls hit the public bath and it’s like their rivalry vanished as they are good friends now. Masami thanks Saki for everything and changes her mind that she (and the twins of course) will come for the basketball practice. Now that the team has 10 players, it will take some time for them to work as one. But Mihoshi has good news for them. Because Keishin’s basketball club has been officially recognized, they have been registered to take part in the national tournament. That was pretty quick for a club’s official recognition, don’t you think? Guess who is their first opponent? Suzuridani. Great timing for revenge. Let’s get to practising!

Episode 10
Aya is making vast improvements. Rena returns to the club and thinks of playing basketball again but Manaka points out there is no place for her since she didn’t put in the effort like the rest. However Miyu pleads for them to reconsider her to come back. Subaru watches his girls practice and is pretty worried what Natsuhi told him about Rena. He observed her play and used high level skills to beat the twins. Something which only older pros could master. Natsuhi tries to replicate those moves to show it to Subaru. Masami and the twins are pretty aggressive in their practice. To a point that the twins even argue with each other. Maho and co are pretty relaxed. They don’t seem serious. Well, sometimes it’s good when to know to relax. Rest well. Eat well. They’re like pros now, huh? Of course they still won’t believe that and in the next practice, they bug just about everybody to give them a harder training menu. Subaru has the girls play a mini game. In the end the seniors trounced the juniors. Thinking they did not practise enough, the seniors relate their experience that there are more important things to winning. Because they were trying to win in practice, they’re over pushing themselves and it’s having an adverse effect. Tomoka also tells them her experience. She was once like that but soon got comfortable and better playing alongside everyone. In short, don’t think too much about it. When nervous, just relax. Enjoy the play. The juniors agree since the seniors have had a fair share of disappointing and frustrating experience. They want to redo everything properly from the top again. With everyone practising hard, the day of the tournament is here. For the first quarter, Subaru uses the seniors as the starting line-up. Don’t worry. The juniors will have their turn as there is a rule that says all players must play. Tomoka and co show their Suzuridani counterparts all that they have learnt, trained and the experience that goes with it. They make it look so easy. The opponents stunned. Even with Miyu playing, they still can’t best Keishin. During the break, Keishin leads by a slim margin. Rena even mocks her own teammates the loser they are. Miyu cautions her that her words will bite her back. Keishin has improved a lot and not like before. Even so, she is confident she can win this on her own. The juniors make their debut in the second quarter. Masami and the twins are really out for revenge against Rena. In addition to being cocky, Rena swiftly uses her advanced technique to trick and pass Masami and score by herself. Mighty confident, isn’t she. But isn’t basketball supposed to be about teamwork?

Episode 11
The twins put up some sort of ‘infinite’ barrier to stop Rena. This gets persistent enough for Rena to collide into them and commit an offensive foul. Rena commits this foul many times because Subaru’s tactic is to exploit her single player mentality. She might be good in one-one-one games but her refusal to cooperate with others like not passing to them or when getting the ball and scoring by herself means she’s an easy target. Yeah. The Keishin girls hog around her! Then when Masami’s three-pointer goes in, Rena doesn’t feel it’s fun anymore. She even thinks of going home. Aya calls her a coward. Rena talks back but Aya tells her off she is not taking responsibility for her weaknesses. Aya may have just joined the team but Rena has not been playing basketball at all. Rena blames the rules! How b*tchy can this girl get?! Aya throws her the ultimatum. Do you want to help us win or lose? The thought that she will be held responsible for the team’s failure gets to Rena. She starts fumbling. Realizing the great teamwork Keishin has, she realizes she can’t win by herself. Took her long enough to realize that. Her teammates still trust her and this time when she gets the ball, she pulls off an amazing alley-oop move that nobody would think lolis could pull off. By the end of the second quarter, Suzuridani makes some ground. Subaru now rotates the seniors to play for the third quarter. Rena pleads to Manaka to play in the next quarter. She finally realized what it means to play basketball and that it’s quite fun playing with 5 people. Wow. She just turned over a new leaf like that. She agrees and Aya and Miyu will also play in this quarter.

Rena wanted to go up against Tomoka but was made to guard Maho. I guess this got pretty annoying so Rena gets desperate again and causes Maho to slip and sprain her ankle. With her out, Kagetsu substitutes her. I think Rena isn’t stumbling when her opponents whizz past her. It’s more of because she has committed so many fouls, one more and she’s out. Time to take it carefully. Of course we can’t have Rena hogging the limelight so we shift a little to Tomoka battle with Miyu. Miyu has her own trick and so does Tomoka. Especially with her floater that scores despite having 3 people guarding against her. At the end of the third quarter, Suzuridani takes over the lead. Maho insists she wants to play and says her sprain is no more pain (oh, really?). The twins chide her if this is how far she believes in the team. Remember, there are 10 of them so believe in us! Maho didn’t get disheartened for being scolded by the twins but she hugs them instead. Now they’re like a true team, eh? Both sides give all they’ve got for the final quarter. Keishin continues to trail Suzuridani by 2 points all the time. In the dying seconds, they remember Subaru’s words never to give up. Masami passes the ball to Saki and the fate of the game is in her hands. Can she land the shot? The ball… Is… Going… IN!!!! Keishin ties the score and the match will go into overtime. The girls are so happy like as though they’ve won the match. Subaru is so glad they’ve matured beyond their abilities, he thinks these girls are the best. He sounded like a lolicon, didn’t he?

Episode 12
Maho has recovered so she and the rest of the seniors will play in the extra time. The juniors agree with this arrangement since they want them to show their full power. When the game begins, Maho thinks Rena is still feeling bad about hurting her and thus not impressed with her sudden drop in performance. You better give all you’ve got or you’ll regret it. It might be history repeating itself when Rena uses her super block over Maho and she tumbles over her. Thank goodness she is okay but this is Rena’s fifth foul and out she goes. Miyu substitutes her but Rena has vowed to play basketball properly. Thank God for that. Maho only manages to score 1 of the 2 free throws. This means the gap between both teams is now a single point. You know what this means. The lead goes back and forth between them in the tense game. Tomoka and Miyu strut their stuff to show us how much they’ve grown. They even mature in terms of sportsmanship because they are having so much fun that losing is not the important thing. In the dying seconds, Tomoka’s ball rebounds. I thought it was funny to see everyone trying to reach for the ball. On collision course? Eventually, Maho grabs it and throws it to Tomoka. Can she make the shot? Good news: It went in! Bad news: She didn’t throw it in time so it didn’t count. And so the win goes to Suzuridani. Keishin isn’t sore in their loss and since they had a great time, they would love to play with Suzuridani again in the future. After the game, Subaru and the girls did some ‘post mortem’. Each trying to shoulder the blame for the defeat. Each trying to encourage the other it’s not his/their fault. Subaru sadly notes that this is their final game as elementary students. So? They have to advance and enter middle school, right? Don’t tell me he is a lolicon! Without you we won’t be here or improve much, we’ll always be by your side, you’ll always be our coach, blah, blah, blah. I guess they want to make us cry too so everybody starts crying as they speak. And since they can’t hold it anymore, time for an emotional group hug!

Later Subaru and Tomoka are alone together as they watch the stars. Some promise they made upon the Pleiades star which is some Taurus constellation that means Subaru in Japanese. And yes, yes. We get it. You’ll always be together, right? Don’t have to renew your vows for the umpteenth time. Subaru is one lucky guy because Tomoka personally visits his home one morning just to show off her middle school uniform. Can’t wait, huh? Even more good news for Subaru is that Kazunari has managed to get signatures for his petition (thus the reason why he didn’t appear so much) and has the basketball club reinstated. He is the vice president. After the entrance ceremony for our girls, what else is there? Practice more basketball! Their first as middle school students. Otherwise everything else is pretty much the same. Subaru wonders how Tomoka started playing basketball. When she was young, she was waiting for her mom to show up at the park to play. She didn’t. Then she saw young Subaru making a cool free shot. She got interested and he thought her about the basics of basketball. So that’s how it started? Man, why doesn’t he remember? What the heck. Let’s call it fate.

No Game Is Too Big For A Loli!
I suppose that’s how it is. Nothing really special or extraordinary but in order not to spam us with the bonding between Subaru and his girls, that’s why I suppose they brought in the juniors as their rivals as in the second half of the series, a lot more focus was put on them as the ragtag team tries to make it as a team. The relationship between Subaru and his girls had already reached its peak. Maybe it can go higher but the point is that they are so closely knitted and well bonded that it can’t amount to anything new that will surprise us. Unless they turn it into loli rape or that kind of stuff! That kind of relationship, if you know what I mean. And thus for convenience after all that rivalry between them, it is also amazing and a good thing that both the seniors and juniors (more of the latter) could put aside their difference and work together as a team. Miracle? Thank friendship and teamwork for that. Yeah. The theme of the series. Loli style.

I figure that Rena was obviously put as an arrogant and obnoxious b*tchy genius so that we could hate her and root for the Keishin girls. Despite being talented, she doesn’t stick to the rules so that makes her pretty much a person who isn’t a good basketball player at all. And just to show us the power of friendship and teamwork, she too finally realizes what it means to play real basketball and as a team. She is after all human. Yeah. Believe it or not. For a girl who has been a b*tch and conceited for the most part of her life as I can see, it just took a single game for her to realize and turn over a new leaf. Is this possible? I think so if you’re up against Tomoka and co. Aya as a new character introduced this season also feels very lacking in her presence. It’s like as though her role was just to wake up Rena when she told her off about her solo playing.

Besides the bonding growth and basketball improvement, there isn’t any much difference to expect in the usual quintet. Tomoka still nervous at some things but with more practice and putting her mind to it, she overcomes the issue without much problem. Maho is more of a happy-go-lucky girl this time around and she wasn’t as angry as in last season. To a point that I think she is a little airhead. Airi is no longer concerned about her big size but was easily afraid by anything that is slightest scary. I think she would even be scared if a cute kitten snarled at her. Just like it’s all in the mind perception, once she sees things in a cute way rather than a scary one, she plays better. Hinata is the moe loli of the pack for those who can’t get enough of loli goodness. No sign to tell us that she was once a girl with a weak body since she’s moving fast and at lightning speed in a cute way. And Saki, she’s the brains of the group, right?

I felt Mimi to be quite lacking. I mean, at first I had this impression when she came into the scene that she would be Tomoka’s next rival. And then after Ginga left, she became less important. It’s like as though her role was just to create an alternative basketball team to challenge Tomoka but since she always failed to beat her, there’s this saying that if you can’t beat them, join them. It boggles me why would Ginga’s professor leave his kid in his hands, and then he dumps her here in Japan before flying off to Hawaii. And that’s the last we’ll see of that cool dad. Unless you tell me that was the initial plan. Why Japan? Why this school? I guess questions like these aren’t important. The other new Keishin basketball lolis not only provide some rivalry to further enhance Tomoko and co’s ability, having seniors around means that there is room for improvement for the newbies. Even stubborn girls like the twins and Masami eventually recognize the top notch ability of their seniors. Thanks to Rena I guess, it fostered both the groups closer because it’s something like your enemy is also my enemy. The enemy of my enemy’s enemy is also my enemy. Get it? A common enemy.

I feel that Banri after he and Airi reconciled, he has somewhat a mild sister complex. Notice how he is always crying for the slightest improvement that he notes on Airi? Siscon… At least they are on good terms now. From the looks of it, there is definitely going to be another score settlement between Subaru and Ryuuichi. Whether or not this will happen in the event there will be a third season, I think most likely it will be given some prominence. Now that Subaru’s school has its basketball club reinstated, it is likely that Subaru and his friends would return playing basketball at high school level and avenge the humiliation the club suffered before and especially Subaru’s personal score with him. And this time round, it will be the girls who will be cheering on him. But all this together is a different story save for next time. Tomoka and co may have graduated to middle school but everyone goes to the same school so there is continuity in terms of their basketball play. Most likely they’ll meet more basketball rivals and cross path with Nana and Mayumi as well as the Suzuridani counterparts. Also not making much impact this season is Mihoshi and Touko. The latter I remember having penchant to give her students nicknames. We don’t hear her do that this time because it would be amusing to see what kind of nicknames she would come up for Mimi and co.

They didn’t put in too much basketball action except in matches that is concerned. That’s only when Subaru’s team are up against Aoi’s team and Suzuridani, right? Sometimes I feel it’s a bad thing that they ‘cheated’ us over the potential matches we could see but it is also a good thing because we can skip those unimportant schools and get to the main ones. Because if we see the girls release their new skills on these nobodies and then on their main rivals, it won’t be fun anymore. And that’s why I figure Keishin was paired with Suzuridani in the first round of the nationals. Because if they had to advance, more episodes will be needed to see how they work their way to achieve glory on their first try. Since it did not, the first round match with Suzuridani felt like a final and when they lost, it didn’t matter anymore if there was a national tournament or not because they had fun. But they still lost, right? At least the skills we see like floater and alley-oop are realistic even if we know they’re too much for a little loli to pull off. Nonetheless in this sense it is better than Kuroko No Basket, right? With those players having super enhanced human abilities and powers, I wonder if you can call that playing basketball anymore.

In the romance department, don’t hope anything will progress between the coach-student relationship. I guess this order has been settled in so nicely that even as Maho put it, Subaru belongs to everybody! Good luck finding a country that accepts polygamy. Even when they try to slot in an episode to give Aoi a fighting chance, I feel that was just for more fanservice purpose rather than anything. Because as we see it, Subaru is too dense to notice her feelings a bit. He only thinks about his lolis. So many chances Aoi thought she had that could at least make him see her feelings but I guess the best thing she could do now is be his friend and conveniently she could be close to him (physically) by being his rival coach and eventually his coach assistant. Also don’t expect anything much between Subaru x Tomoka. Although there are scenes that suggest they are bonding closer as compared to the other girls, it won’t cross the line that they will take their relationship to any new level. Because fighting over Subaru is like fighting over themselves and could be the start of World War III. Thank goodness for the subject of innocence and friendship. Now wait till they turn into their teens with those hormones and overflowing pheromones… On a trivial note, Touko’s twisted love is leaning towards more to Mihoshi as I could see. But Mihoshi plays it cool and even notes that she might become a murderer if ‘that’ really happens.

Fanservice wise, this second season is peppered with them just like how they did it in the last season. But of course in order not for everyone from the producers and audiences to break the law and commit lolicon crimes, those heavenly white lights are streamed across the scene to control our loli passion that may overflow and burn. And of course as for not the lolis to hog the spotlight, we have one lousy episode ‘dedicated’ to Aoi just to showcase her case in sexy red lingerie. Mmm… I would prefer this but honestly, red isn’t my favourite colour. Honest! Oh, there is that scene whereby Aoi got her modesty outraged by the lolis… Make that 2 fanservice ‘great’ scenes for Aoi. Even if there are such ecchi scenes, the fanservice is still under control and won’t amount to anything that suggestive. Or would it? Because if there were more scenes of drunk Tomoka, I’m figuring all hell will break loose.

The opening and ending themes are sung by the same senior quintet of the Keishin basketball girls. Just like last season, the opener, Get Goal sounds as lively and filled with motivation suitable for any sports themed anime. The ending theme, Rolling! Rolling! has amusing lyrics. Starting off with “Rolling! Rolling! Growing!”, others include wanting to have their dreams as the size of LL (isn’t that supposed to be XL?) even though their body and heart are SS (shouldn’t that be XS?) and the Earth is one giant basketball (you mean, it’s not a giant bowling ball?). And of course it ends with the line that elementary school students are the best. Sure. If you’re a lolicon, that is. Although technically our elementary girls are now in middle school but it’s hard to shake off that loli status. They might still be barely considered so… Our junior quintet also have their own song, Kakyuusei Groove but this is merely reduced to an insert song in only one of the episodes.

Although the mid-intermission is still filled with details of the girls, I suppose this time around they didn’t have that silly data about their first swimsuit and replaced with the person whom they respect or admire the most. Sounds better, right? Some of our girls like Tomoka again get featured in the mid-intermission. I’m not sure if any stats have changed or not since I did not bother to check back. Why would there be any changes? Because of the all-important 3 sizes stats… Who am I kidding? There isn’t really any much changes ‘there’, no? Also continuing from last season’s tradition, whenever the girls are in some online forum discussing, they’ll be in their cute avatars and the location theme will be something like on a boat in the rivers of Vietnam, exotic India, underwater palace of Ryuuguujou, a sushi conveyor belt and even the mysterious ground symbols at Stonehenge! Did Maho just get abducted by aliens?

Overall, this second season doesn’t create anything new or in the sense to make it memorable. Not to say that this season sucks but with so many animes out there using the moe and cute girls concept to sell, it’s hard trying to be unique and stand out from the rest. Although this is the only anime that has cute girls playing basketball in a cute way. If they really make a league out of this and brand it so that it will become internationally popular, people might just swap to watch this rather than the NBA. Yeah. There will be a sudden boom in lolicons all around the world. And if they want to get us into watching any sequel, perhaps they should put in more scenes of drunk Tomoka. Now don’t you agree that elementary school students are the best?

Ro-Kyu-Bu OVA

September 6, 2013

Hmm… Am I seeing some sort of trend here? Before yet another anime that gets a second season, we have an OVA released. It feels like some sort of appetizer before the main course, no? It’s like trying to jog our memories and make us remember what the first season was all about and to whet our appetite for the coming season. However, Ro-Kyu-Bu OVA as I found out wasn’t released as part of some DVD release thingy. Instead it was bundled together with some PSP game of this series. But nevertheless, it still feels like an introduction to the second season (which is in the midst of its run at the time of this blog). If you remember the lolis playing basketball and the single guy who is coaching them, yeah, that’s what this anime is about. But don’t get your hopes up in seeing any real developments although you can just feel it is about Subaru and the girls. Subaru and the girls. Subaru and the girls. Like always. Subaru and the girls. Oh. What was this series about again?

Tomoka No Ichigo Sundae
What seems to be Subaru and Tomoka trying to get each other to take a bath first, be disappointed that we won’t get to see them going in together because it turns out Tomoka wants Subaru’s help with her homework. Meanwhile the other girls are about to errands for a girl from the cooking club (they’re supposed to cook something for Mihoshi). They think of preparing it for Tomoka first so first they will need to head to the library to do research before the supermarket and buy ingredients. So as Subaru coaches Tomoka, he didn’t realize he was getting too close to her. He flusters. He gets away. Her eraser accidentally drops. She goes to look for it underneath her table and he almost caught glimpse of her ass. Suddenly she freaks out thinking she saw a cockroach. She clings on to Subaru tightly but upon closer look, it is just an almond chocolate. Once they calm down, they realize Tomoka is sitting on top of him! Subaru’s mom, Nayu walks in to give them drinks as refreshment and I think she misinterpreted what she saw. Taking that kind of break, huh? However she seems pretty cool about it. In fact, I think she’s rooting for it. The other girls are researching in the library when Maho spots a yaoi book. Saki doesn’t want her to look at it and accidentally she tumbles over her. Wow. Now this looks like a yuri scene.

Subaru and Tomoka after realizing they’ve been watching a basketball video too long, decide to go out to the living room for a while. To their surprise, Tomoka’s mom, Kaori is here to pay a visit. They are sent to do an errand to buy ingredients for lunch. Lots of flustering from Tomoka because she misinterpreted about the lobster is only reserved for wedding days when Subaru picks it up. Then the fishmonger notes how the duo look like newlyweds. They bump into the other girls (on their shopping errand now) who do not hesitate to tease them as newlyweds. Seems they have texted to Tomoka about their intentions but she never replied. That’s because she forgot to take her handphone when she left home. The girls are about to depart to Mihoshi’s house but Subaru suggests using his home’s kitchen and he can contact Mihoshi to come after it’s done. I suppose they don’t want to pass this up, right? Would they not want to visit Subaru’s home? While cooking, the lobster leaps out of the box and clings on to Airi’s body! This is one pervy lobster because it is holding tight to her clothes?! Maho pulls it out. I don’t know how hard it was but her bra came out too. Thankfully Subaru had his eyes closed. During lunch, Kaori wonders if Tomoka is dieting since she’s not touching her food but she flusters. Petite Hinata couldn’t see the pot so Airi thought it was her height. Before she turns into depress mode, Hinata sits on her lap like a comfy cushion. Feeling good? Hinata tries to pick up the tofu. First time it slips but the second time it breaks. Before the tofu can fall onto Tomoka, Subaru pulls out her right leg and uses his hand to catch it. Woah! What the hell is this scene?! For that moment did you see her pantsu?!

Hinata didn’t like leeks so she feeds Subaru. Soon, all the girls want to feed him. Maho has prepared dumplings and from her cheeky look, we know she has put in some mischievous prank even though she assures it is something ‘edible’. Airi is first to eat it and she suddenly starts coughing. What Maho put in was pepper but what she didn’t realize it is hot pepper! Quick! Water! Nayu prepares yogurt for Airi to wash her throat. Maho thinking she needs another helping rushes but slips. She spills it all over Tomoka. What does this scene look like? White sticky thing all over her… Suddenly Kaori takes off Tomoka’s clothes!!! Thank goodness Subaru saw this coming and closed his eyes. And Kaori wants him to wipe it off her daughter?! That’s not going to possible, right? While the girls take a bath, Maho repents her action. Kaori thanks Subaru for taking care of Tomoka and saving her back then. He says he was the one who has been saved by her. She is glad he is around and hopes he will take care of Tomoka. The girls have finished their bath and see how friendly Kaori and Subaru are. They think Kaori is trying to hit on him. Well, I think Kaori likes that idea too. He’s such a popular guy after all. Saki remembers the recipe they should be making. They make a strawberry sundae with marshmallow and chocolate chips for Tomoka to taste. Yum! After getting their energy recharged, they practise their basketball. Subaru feels he is forgetting something. Don’t need any reminder now because here comes Mihoshi. She is one pissed woman. She was waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting… Nobody came so she went over to check what’s holding up. And what does she see? She’s going to get her revenge… Oh Subaru, you’re so screwed this time.

Subaru And The Girls…
Well, just like how the first season like, it’s always about Subaru and the girls and less about the basketball. They are already close to him and they can only get closer. Just short of dating him. Yet. I don’t think this will ever descend into some cat fight over him since the girls themselves are good friends with each other. The first half, in fact this OVA if I should say, is mostly Subaru-Tomoka so I guess fans of this pairing would be delighted. Lots of such close moments between them. Blushing here, flustering there. The kind where it makes you want to scream out “Just confess you like him already, girl!”. Then there are nearly-nearly fanservice, something which the TV series has a little of but there is only so much you can have lolis for fanservice without making this series into a dirty one, right? It is the cute moe factor why anyone would want to watch this show. So yeah. Because I didn’t think the first season was that bad, I’ll have my go at the second season. I mean, what else is there to expect? Subaru and the girls… That’s not really a bad thing, right? Subaru and the girls… Subaru and the girls…


May 6, 2012

Finally! This is the long awaited female version to the male dominated Slam Dunk! That’s right, now we have girls doing the dribbling, jumping and shooting. But if you are thinking you’re going to see some bouncing boobs, you’ll be sorely disappointed to know that almost every girl here is as flat as the washboard because you’re talking about lolis playing basketball. Oops, sorry for the insult. After what happened with the sports themed Softenni, I was also expecting somewhat the same with Ro-Kyu-Bu but if you want to compare both series in terms of fanservice, this one isn’t as bad and mindless as the former.

Oh wait. Did I mention lolis playing basketball? And I really mean little girls from elementary school playing basketball. What’s wrong with that? Well, if you’re trying to look for grammatical errors in the sentence then you won’t find any. You know basketballs are usually played by tall people, right? So see my point now? How the heck are they going to pull off any cool slam dunking moves when they can’t even reach the hoop?! But that is not going to be the issue though it is a point it kept bugging me throughout the series. Unless they readjust the height of the hoop, that is. I mean, there’s a reason why they call it mini basketball in this series. They can’t be referring to the players only, right?

Like in many sports themed animes, it is tempting to give the main characters a special skill or two. Be glad to know that the exaggeration factor is almost non-existent here and the moves are more down-to-earth. So don’t expect to see jaw dropping moves of someone who can jump higher than the building or throw the ball so fast that it is on flames so much so the opponents can’t touch it. Really. That is what I thought if you’re going to put mind blowing moves in this anime. Though we have a fair share of screen time of the girls in action on court, what drives this anime most is the interaction between the girls in the team and their coach, who happens to be the only guy in the team. Harem? Love triangle? Fanservice hijinks? Heck, maybe better than those exaggerative moves I mentioned.

Episode 1
High school student Subaru Hasegawa reluctantly drags himself to Keishin Academy to be the coach of the elementary division girls’ basketball team. The girls comprising of Tomoka Minato, Maho Misawa, Saki Nagatsuka, Airi Kashii and Hinata Hakamada greet him dressed in maid outfit! Are they trying to land a good impression on him? As the girls go change to their proper attire, Subaru remembers how his aunt Mihoshi Takamura (f*ck! I thought it was his sister!) wanted him (blackmail is a more appropriate word) to coach them for 3 days. Why? Because she was appointed as the basketball club’s advisor but know nuts about the game. And since Subaru has experience in the game since middle school, why not? Only thing is, Subaru thought he had disassociated himself from the game since his basketball club was suspended for a year when his team captain was caught in a scandal having an affair with the coach’s daughter. So the only way to get Subaru to say yes to her wish is to threaten to tell everyone his embarrassing ambition essay about how he loves mommy dearest so much. Subaru starts off with coordination exercises on offence and defence. He thinks Airi should play the defence since she is tall but she starts crying! Airi has height complex and she is one of those girls who think big is weird. The girls have a hard time consoling her out of this one. Later Subaru sees Tomoka nailing a successful free throw and wants her to show it to him again. The girls take a shower as Airi apologizes for wasting precious time during their practice. But they are okay with it and think her size is proof that her body is growing at the right pace. I guess it’s a cue for them to grope her boobs. What the hell is this groping combo?! Back home, the girls must really love the game because they are seen doing basketball related stuff like playing a video game, reading manga and drawing. Next day, Airi gives her friends each a charm (as read from the horoscope) and hopes Subaru’s opinion on them will improve. The second day continues with Subaru giving more basic coaching as he observes their movements. For instance he can tell Tomoka has experience in playing the game judging from her shooting and passing while Maho can jump high and is fast. Subaru notices Tomoka practising using her own training menu when excited Maho thinks they can level up several times a day to reach the prefectural games in no time. However Subaru has to bring her down the ground because levelling up will take a month the fastest. Maho becomes upset because they can’t wait that long and runs off home. Subaru finds a note in his locking instructing for his resignation. The final day comes as Subaru’s mom, Nayu talks about the team he is in charge and how worried Mihoshi wanted to keep him in contact with basketball in any way she could. Subaru didn’t like what he heard and excuses himself. In school, his childhood friend and former basketball club member, Aoi Ogiyama invites him to go watch street basketball later but he turns her down since he has coaching to do. As Subaru makes his way, he runs into a group of boys led by Natsuhi Takenaka, who has business with him. The girls do some stretching while noting Subaru’s tardiness. Is he still mad over yesterday?

Episode 2
It seems the boys are the ones who sent the letter. But upon finding out he’s only coaching for 3 days, they felt relieved (they thought Maho’s bragging about finding a real amazing coach was a threat). Because Subaru is in the dark, Natsuhi lets him on some information. Seems the boys and girls basketball team are going to have a match next Sunday over the gym hall time usage. The boys are ambitious and want to seriously practice to go further than last year. However Natsuhi thinks the girls can’t improve and are just fooling around. Sharing the hall is no go since practising with those losers will be a waste of time. So when both teams take it to their advisors, the argument (praying mantis vs tiger aura?!) ended up in a match showdown. If the girls win, they get to practice the usual 3 days a week. But if the victory goes to the boys, they will have 6 days a week and the girls must disband. Subaru maintains he is on nobody’s side seeing that it is impossible to turn the girls into pros within 3 days, much to the boys’ relief. Subaru returns to the gym and as the girls are about to apologize, he lets them know what he has learnt. He apologizes he can’t make them win and there is no other way. Just when you thought Maho was over that incident, here she goes again throwing another tantrum before running away. This time Saki chases after her. Later Subaru and Mihoshi discuss about things. She thinks he is running away and the fact that he didn’t agree to coach because of her (I think she’s still partly responsible). Even if he’s still not interested, is he going to just abandon the girl (Tomoka) whom he thinks has great potential?

Next day, Subaru meets up with Aoi and Kazunari Uehara. Kazunari teases him for losing his touch since he quit basketball and challenges him to do 10 free throws. Subaru takes up the challenge and amazes the crowd with each amazing clean shot. However with each perfect shot, he feels unsatisfied that he can be better. By the time he realizes it, he has finished and scored them all, winning the bet. Then he leaves and meets Tomoka on his way home. Seems she wanted to practice basketball at school but the gym is being used by the volleyball club. He invites her to play at his home. After preparing the necessary equipment, Tomoka doesn’t want to just practice herself but play a 1-on-1 game in which if she wins, he must continue to coach them. Subaru agrees and sets several handicaps for himself which may seem unfair but he thinks otherwise. He won’t jump and Tomoka wins if she can score a point. Tomoka surprises him with several fast reflexes and moves but at the end, she is still no match for experienced Subaru. As they take a break, Tomoka explains that she would not play basketball other than the team she has now. It’s because of them she gets to play the game. Before she transferred to Keishin, she was in a basketball club and was so passionate and practiced hard every day that she snubbed her teammates’ feelings and began isolating herself. After her transfer, she was a loner and one day Maho and Natsuhi were in an argument so Mihoshi let them settle it out via basketball match and picked Tomoka as part of the team. The girls won though Tomoka singlehandedly did everything herself. She thought she might be hated again but Maho was so impressed and decided to form a basketball club together. The rest is history. That’s why she feels they are important to her and have taught her a valuable lesson. So if the girls lose next Sunday’s match, she’ll never play basketball again. Not because she hates the game but she would rather stay with her friends. After she leaves, Subaru suddenly has a change of heart and wants her to continue playing. He feels she just can’t quit basketball like that. Not after the amazing talent he saw. He vows to do everything he can to protect both her place and passion. Oh Subaru, you made a loli cry… Subaru sees Mihoshi to get any information on the boys’ team. Yeah, she already knew this was coming and handed him a box of info! I guess this means he’s back as their coach. Hooray! Though their winning chance may seem slim, the fun part is turning that around. Being the underdog is always fun. If you’re a favourite, you get lots of pressure. Next day as Subaru returns to the gym thinking of apologizing to everyone, the girls greet him in their maid uniform once more. Deja vu?

Episode 3
The girls apologize for not taking things seriously and vow to train harder. After Subaru coaches Saki and Maho on shooting practices, he sees Hinata collapsed outside for pushing too hard. I guess he got motivated being called “onii-chan” so he rushes her to the infirmary on his back. Hinata likes his back so much that she is literally ‘healed’. Really. Plus, she won’t let him put her down when he’s supposed to take off his shoes. Then they come across Natsuhi who isn’t happy he is still coaching the girls. He panics thinking Hinata is hurt but is relieved when it’s nothing serious. Hmm… He may have a thing for her. Still, coach or no coach, he is confident the boys will win. At the infirmary, they meet Touko Hatana who has a penchant of giving students nicknames. All except for Tomoko whom she hasn’t come up with one yet. As Subaru puts Hinata on the bed, Hinata mentions she loves basketball very much and will do her best. Even if this means practice will be tougher from now on. Bring it on! Late that night as Subaru studies the videos of the boys in action, he gets a call from Tomoka. She is concern about Airi. She seems troubled. Subaru thought if Airi was the centre due to her height, they could cover more area but it’s going to be tough with her complex. So conscious that words like small or big can mean life or death. Getting superstitious, eh? However Subaru has an idea. Next day during practice, Subaru tells Airi that she has gotten shorter! Actually she didn’t notice him standing on his hind legs. Airi thinks sleeping in the closet made her growth stop! WTF?! Isn’t like sleeping in a coffin?! Later as Subaru goes over the game plan with Tomoka, he needs her help into tricking Airi and keep this from everyone else. For the next few days, everyone practises and trains hard. They get enough motivation to do their best. Match day arrives and as soon as the game starts, the girls quickly take the lead and surprise the boys with their fast pace and steals. Mihoshi is impressed especially Airi’s improvement. Subaru reveals when he was going over the player positions, he made Airi a small forward. He wanted Tomoka to have this position but he has Airi take up the challenge failing which he will have to change her position with Tomoka, which is the centre. And they call that Big Man. Scared enough? Better do a good job. So practically Airi is actually doing the role of the centre in the game but thinks she’s the small forward since she’s not the main attacker but Tomoka. Plus, with Airi close to the basket, her shots will be easier. During time out, the girls take a healthy lead as Subaru predicts the boys’ team will realize a man isn’t enough to cover Airi and will use two-man defence instead. In view of this, they will exploit this one-man opening. The trick is working because the ball is passed to the girl who is not guarded, confusing their opponents. However as time passes, the girls start to tire and make blunders. This allows the boys to catch up as the score is levelled.

Episode 4
During time out, Subaru changes his strategy for the girls to pass around to stall for time and for Airi to receive any rebounds. However it’s not working as the boys manage to steal and take the lead for the first time, stretching it by 6 points. But the girls didn’t give up and fight and claw their way back. When Natsuhi has the ball, Subaru gives the cue to Hinata to block him. Taking advantage of his love for her, he is in a dilemma. Hinata feigns a collision offence when Natsuhi passes close to her (as previously instructed by Subaru). In the dying seconds, the boys lead by a point as they try to stall for time. Three of them are trying to guard against Tomoka. Then she shoots. But it’s a fake shot. She actually passed it to Maho who successfully nails the ball in before the buzzer reaches zero! The girls won by a point! What a dramatic comeback! Time for a big emotional group hug! They celebrate at Subaru’s home as Airi thanks Subaru for her small forward position. But Subaru starts apologizing for deceiving her. To calm her down, Subaru mentions of her courage and beauty so Maho thinks he is proposing to her! Tomoka starting to feel irritated… As Subaru setups the fireworks, Tomoka wishes Subaru to reconsider coaching for them because without him, they wouldn’t be where they are now. She wants to continue receiving his lessons. He still thinks they need a proper coach other than an amateur like him. Mihoshi suggests that if Tomoka manages to do 50 consecutive free throws, he must continue coaching. But he thinks it’s simply unthinkable. Next morning, he receives a surprise visit by Tomoka who wishes to practice her free throws. Since they didn’t set any deadline, looks like she’ll be coming here till she gets 50 in a row. At school, Aoi and Kazunari tell Subaru that they are assembling people who want to play basketball after school twice a week. They decided this after seeing him bat and should do so to prevent getting out of shape. Subaru attends the meet and even coaches several girls nearby, something that Aoi mentions he would never have done and only to guys. Tomoka continues to practice her free throws but doesn’t reach her desired target. As change of pace, he shows her videos of Japan’s basketball team in last year’s FIBA World Championship. Subaru is confident she can do it and it’ll be hard not to see her throw those shots. On another practice day, the sky suddenly started raining but Tomoka continues to throw. Finally she successfully lands the 50th shot and Subaru saw how beautiful she is and calls her Shiny Gift. Something about a flower blooming after the rain. I don’t know if the rain affected her throws… So with Subaru back as the girls’ coach again, it’s that déjà vu scene again. But this time, the girls greet him in a swimsuit apron outfit. Yeah, I guess a change is sometimes good.

Episode 5
Seems Mihoshi has set up Subaru to take the girls go on a training camp since he’s free. Yeah, very free alright. The girls make him onigiris (coming in all shapes and sizes!) and also miso soup. He praises Saki that she can be a good wife so the other girls also want to hear that comment from him. He just didn’t say who would be their husband, eh? Since their next opponent is Class 6D, it will be another match against the boys. Subaru thinks of roping in Natsuhi since he is in Maho’s class but was told he moved on to football. Something about wanting to avoid playing basketball with Maho. As the girls go practice, they are surprised to see Natsuhi practising basketball. Subaru is called in to break up Maho and Natsuhi before the fight gets worse. As mentioned, he did want to play football but his teacher messed up and put him into basketball. So no choice he is here to practice. Subaru confirms this with Mihoshi who says that Natsuhi didn’t refuse the offer when asked if he was fine competing in basketball even though he wasn’t supposed to. But as for mediating the argument part, Subaru will have to figure it out. I guess being a basketball coach isn’t enough. Subaru tries to ask Natsuhi himself and to practice together but was being mocked that he’s a lolicon, since the girls’ basketball team still exists. Maho wants to settle with Natsuhi through basketball to see who will make the regular team but he refuses because it’s not worth seeing her play. Maho’s blood is boiling and if her pals didn’t hold her back, she could’ve exploded. Subaru asks Tomoka for help seeing he can talk openly to her than the rest. Though she feels she isn’t good, till she learns he was going to ask somebody else did she change her mind to try her best. They start off with video games. Team Maho-Natsuhi is doing well. When Saki switches with Tomoka, the former team lost badly and they start blaming each other how they suck! Yeah, another fight! Tomoka still playing the game by herself… Next is a card game but the rivals start arguing when they think each other is holding the game up. I don’t know about the next plan to cut onions together. It’s odd to see them pick up a vegetable weapon and fight while crying! Radish against cucumber? Subaru sees Tomoka to redo their plan. Tomoka thinks it’s her fault but he doesn’t think so. Because it was dark, Saki saw them and misinterprets they were having that kind of relationship. She even assured them she didn’t take pictures with her handphone? You mean, she planned to do that? Anyway Subaru dismisses that thought. Late that night, Subaru has Natsuhi accompany him to buy some stuff. He asks her about his strained friendship with Maho. He reveals Maho will quit basketball. Since young, she has this skill to learn things very fast. As not to lose out, Natsuhi practiced like hell and once he is able to master it, Maho lost interest and moved on to other things. In short, once she gets good on something, she’ll quit. He couldn’t stand it if she does it for basketball and to prevent that from happening, he severed their friendship. So the only thing left for her to master is free throws. When they return, they see Maho practising free throws alone. Subaru says that even if there’s no club meeting, she’ll still practice every day. Not for herself but for the girls of her basketball team. That’s why he thinks she’ll not quit. He also thinks Natsuhi has reached his target to not play around but make her dedicate herself to something. The team didn’t exist for a while, so it took more time to realize it.

Episode 6
A short flashback sees young Natsuhi and Maho arguing. Saki threatens she’ll leave if they don’t stop fighting. In an instant, they did. Saki notices Natsuhi practising together and could guess Subaru worked his magic last night. He also tells them what happened so Saki mentions Maho’s pride began when she entered the basketball team by giving her a pair of eye guard glasses even though Saki couldn’t play the game. And since she can’t turn her down, she started playing basketball. Later Saki, Maho and Natsuhi are cleaning the gym together. Saki hints what she knew from Subaru and tells him that this is his chance since nobody else is around. Natsuhi goes up to Maho and apologizes for avoiding her. Maho is so surprised (she really didn’t expect this) that she is starting to feel weird inside. When everyone else returns, they are glad to see the duo back on good terms practising together. Though, the ‘friendly’ argument and teasing are still there. Subaru announces tonight’s dinner will be okonomiyaki. The rest seem alert. It’s not that they hate that food, it’s rather Saki suddenly turns into a strict slave driver in making okonomiyaki! It’s understandable since her family runs that kind of shop so she wants the dish to be perfect. In the ends, I guess she does everything herself. After dinner, they realize Hinata and Natsuhi missing. No Maho, he didn’t kidnap her. Saki thinks he may have taken her to the shrine seeing Natsuhi once created a basketball hoop there. Because Maho is afraid of the dark, she glued 3 torchlights to her forehead!!! Along the way, they see something strange on the ground. Subaru goes to investigate and is surprised to see Hinata’s panties! He has no choice but to keep it and give an excuse as some cloth scrap. The gang see Natsuhi coaching Hinata in throwing shots. Subaru realizes Hinata mistook her handkerchief and brought her panties along instead. They leave them practice for a while more after hearing Hinata’s determination to play well so that everyone can be happy. Back at the shower, Natsuhi must be one happy guy because Hinata gave him a high-five after landing a successful throw. He is surprised to pick up Hinata’s panties in the basket. When Subaru is about to come out of the shower, he has no choice but to hide it and make a run.

That night, Subaru wakes Natsuhi up on a stealth mission to return the panties. Yeah, he left it there in hopes one of the girls would picked it up. So both guys equally at fault? They manage to sneak in and as Subaru is about to put it into Hinata’s back, Maho’s sleep talking startles him and causes the futons in the closet to drop over him. The girls wake up (except Hinata who sleeps through everything) while Natsuhi abandons Subaru and dashes out. Subaru needs to hide somewhere quick before he is busted. The girls roll and put up the futon back. It seems Subaru is hiding under Tomoka’s futon (she allowed him). Later he goes out when all is clear. Tomoka wonders what happened so he gives an excuse he left some basketball material and came to get it though it’s not important. When he goes back to his room, Natsuhi is still awake (apparently who can sleep after that close call). Natsuhi reminds Subaru about the game rules that unless a player is injured, he cannot substitute them. This means he has to choice which of the 6 will play in the game. Natsuhi wants Subaru not to bench Hinata because she is working hard. But Subaru has no intention of benching anyone. Well, you can’t let all 6 play, right? So how? Next morning, Natsuhi leaves the girls so they can participate by themselves. They aren’t happy he’s leaving so Subaru says he is leaving because he thinks they can win without him. Natsuhi adds that he may reconsider rejoining if they can’t win without him. I guess with him saying that, they can’t back down and take up the challenge. However Subaru makes Natsuhi the coach from now on and he’ll be just an outsider. On match day, Subaru is watching in a vaulting horse box. Well, he really did want to watch so Mihoshi had made arrangements for him. Haha. Just don’t get caught. The game ends with the girls winning the match with Hinata using all she learnt from Natsuhi to throw the final shot in. A teacher notices the box and carries it back to the storeroom. Then the girls come in and Subaru thought it’s his chance to ask them for help to get him out. However, they start changing their clothes. Yeah, best view of the game alright. Hinata bought a new pair of panties since she lost hers during the training camp but the girls feel Subaru and Natsuhi couldn’t be the culprit. How confident are they? Oh, somebody is going to get the towel on the box… Oh Subaru! Is this Doomsday?! Is he going to be busted for good?! Is his status as basketball coach going to turn into lolicon voyeur?!

Episode 7
Subaru brings Tomoka to the sports store to get a new pair of shoes since hers is worn out. He panics upon seeing Aoi and her friends coming in but manages to get out without them spotting. Tomoka thinks back that her pals teased and supported her over her ‘date’ with Subaru. He gives her a packet of towel as thanks for always practising with him in the morning. She is happy and will treasure it. Meanwhile Aoi’s friends talk about her and Subaru. Aoi mentions they don’t hang out as often as before so they get an idea in tomorrow’s group meeting. They suggest Aoi to coach Subaru for his exams next Sunday giving an excuse they won’t reinstate him in the basketball team next year if he doesn’t do well. Obviously it’s a plan to get him and Subaru together but Kazunari couldn’t read the atmosphere and offers to coach Subaru himself. And got punched in the gut. During basketball practice, Subaru notices something bothering Airi as she’s not concentrating. Since she won’t say, Subaru has to mention ambiguous stuff like how irreplaceable she is to him, causing the other girls to misconstrue his words. They thought it was a second confession. He learns they will have swimming lessons next week but Airi can’t swim. Subaru offers to teach them next Sunday. Erm, isn’t that his ‘date’ with Aoi? Apparently he went to beg to Aoi to give the next group meeting a miss but will make it up to her next week. Realizing his folly, Aoi isn’t ready to forgive him and lands him a straight kick. Later, Maho and Hinata ‘ambush’ Subaru to ask his opinion on their swimsuits. They were caught and reprimanded by Saki. Subaru and Tomoka arrive outside Maho’s house for the swimming practice. Make that mansion. Very HUUUUUUGE mansion. They are greeted by the household maid, Hijiri Kuina. The girls get into proper attire and it seems Airi is very ashamed of showing herself. When Maho unwraps her, she panics and accidentally heads straight into the pool. Subaru dives into save her from drowning but she’s clinging like a leech. More like a certain body part of hers is suffocating him. Subaru promises to hold Airi’s hand when they enter the water. Due to his restricted movements, he got into an ambiguous position with Tomoka so the other girls also hop into the fray. This is called teamwork? So Subaru is out for the second time as the girls argue about their flat washboards. Hinata unhooks Airi’s top but Tomoka snatches it back to restore order before Subaru ‘revives’. During the break, Airi reveals her fear of water because she fell off a boat into a river alone when she’s young. Airi breaks down as she berates herself as a useless coward slowing everyone down. However Subaru is confident even if she’s slow, she’s making progress and that everyone is with her. She should do things at her own pace. This motivates Airi to do her best and back to the pool practice, she manages to submerge her head to the count of ten with everyone’s help and support. One day when Aoi goes looking for Subaru to give him notes for the exams, she couldn’t find him in his classroom. Then coincidentally she spots him riding a bus and tails him to Keishin’s gym. She is horrified to see him playing with a bunch of lolis. I’m sure any girl would if the guy they like looks the part of a lolicon.

Episode 8
Luckily Mihoshi was there to explain he’s been coaching this team of girls that he has become proud of. As they’re about to leave, Airi comes up to them and ekes out her thanks. If Subaru hadn’t forcefully shut Aoi up, she would’ve mentioned about her height and its advantage on the court. As for Subaru’s exams, Mihoshi has arranged for him to study at a hotel and she can arrange for Aoi to study in the same room if she wants. I think she’ll pass that. Aoi learns about Airi’s height complex when she gets home. Next morning, Tomoka’s concentration is a little off during her practice. She thinks it’s not good to continue coming here to practice as it will bother Subaru and his girlfriend. But to her relief, she was told Aoi is just his childhood friend and from the same basketball club in middle school. What is more important is Tomoka’s practice. Tomoka relays the good news to her pals. Are they glad they can monopolize him again? Aoi sees her friends and they learn about the failed study lesson. Flashback reveals Aoi and Subaru were captains of their respective basketball team so much so they’re like husband and wife. Aoi decides to go hand the notes again but finds him not at home. She manages to find him at Airi’s residence and instantly becomes upset upon seeing him frolicking with lolis in bikinis. Now she’s on fire! Aoi forces Subaru to return because she is worried he may flunk his exams but Subaru is adamant to stay and coach the girls. The argument escalates with Aoi noting he’s too nice for his own good and when it comes to basketball, he picks up responsibilities left and right. Tomoka and co go into Subaru’s defence and don’t want Aoi to take him away. Subaru adds everyone here re-lit his basketball passion and will definitely affect him when the basketball team is revived next year. The other girls also say without Subaru, they wouldn’t be here together and they need him. Aoi challenges them to a basketball match with Subaru at stake. If Tomoka and co win, Subaru can continue coaching. Otherwise, you know what’s going to happen already.

Aoi ropes in her pals for the game. Why are they in swimsuits? So they can dip in the pool after the game? The first side to score 10 points wins and to make it fair due to the age gap Tomoka’s team outnumbers Aoi’s team 5-3. Tomoka’s team makes a good start as Aoi praises Tomoka and also observes the other members. She can tell from her role that Tomoka is the centre instead of Airi. Soon Aoi’s team make a comeback because they can read their younger opponents like a book. They are just 2 points short of winning the game. During time out, Aoi eavesdrop into Subaru’s tactics. She praises Tomoka’s speed and form and not to lose confidence. However it won’t work against her anymore because of her height and you need someone equivalent or taller to stop her (hinting Airi). She wants them to think over what basketball means to them. Subaru thinks they may lose but Airi stands up and will do her best. When the game resumes, Aoi continues to pinpoints the girls’ movements and how they should improve on them. Then facing Airi who is blocking her shot as the defence, she can tell she is afraid of approaching her. She wants her to show her feelings for basketball are real or else she will snatch Subaru away. Not wanting that, Airi panics and manages to successfully block Aoi’s shot. Though she landed on her. Aoi mentions their team’s great teamwork and withdraws seeing they can’t beat them (even though they’re in the lead). She is also confident Airi can keep supporting them team like this. So Subaru gets to continue coaching the girls provided he does well in his exams and properly revives the basketball team next year. Aoi also coaches Airi how to swim since there is a limit to how much a male coach can teach a female student. The girls now have a favourable view on Aoi as Airi makes gradual improvements in her swimming. She no longer fears water. After the test, Subaru watches videos of Airi’s swimming progress but got kicked by Aoi thinking he’s ogling at lolis in swimsuits. The footage was taken by Kuina for them to watch. Subaru gives back the notes and thanks Aoi for being a great help but the tsundere denies it.

Episode 9
This time the gang will be heading to Maho’s beach villa for the summer. Why the need to buy swimsuits again when they had fine ones the last time? To attract Subaru? Or is it a certain part has grown? At least that’s what Tomoka feels. Aoi could’ve tagged along but she caught a cold. Yeah, a cold on summer. How ironic. Meanwhile Hinata’s sister, Kagetsu doesn’t want her to go for the trip but Hinata is adamant seeing Kagetsu always wants to tie her down. So at the beach, the usual show-your-swimsuit-to-the-guy, Airi’s swimming takes a drastic improvement (she can even swim in the sea without fear), playing tag with the girls becoming ‘it’ so that they can do anything to Subaru if they win but he’s so fast and agile they can’t even catch him and finally does when Mihoshi hints he is good at basketball and mediocre at everything else. So to stop him from running, they corner him in the ocean. Just as Tomoka is about to grab him, she got too close to him that their bodies contact and her top came off. Mihoshi was somehow there to give the lolicon a super kick. Either way, Subaru pays the penalty as the girls build a sand castle over him and tickle his feet. During lunch break, the octopus that took off Airi’s top became their meal. To their surprise, they see Kagetsu and she came here courtesy of Touko. She wants Hinata to go back with her this instant but she’s not budging. Subaru thinks Kagetsu should stay but she points him as a suspicious person. Someone who pretends to be a coach to touch her sister! It doesn’t help when the teachers somewhat agree. Hinata warns not to badmouth Subaru who is important to her so Kagetsu apologizes.

As she joins them for lunch, Touko explains to Subaru and Mihoshi an incident that happened 3 years ago that made Kagetsu always worrying about Hinata. It was a cold winter when their parents were out. Kagetsu was waiting for Hinata to return home from school but fell asleep. When Hinata returned and rang the bell, naturally sleeping Kagetsu didn’t answer. She was left waiting outside till Kagetsu found her collapsed outside. Though she was rushed to the hospital, she only ended up with nothing more serious than a fever. Hinata may be okay with that incident but Kagetsu continues to worry about her seeing Hinata was born with a weak body and was also the reason she was against her playing basketball. She is afraid she might collapse again. Although it might seem alright now for Hinata and her passion for the game is still there, the rate at it’s going, it’s not going to end well for either side. To rid of Kagetsu’s sinful consciousness, Subaru suggests Kagetsu do club activities with them. Kagetsu goes up against Hinata doing several special training activities. She is still worried and thinks Hinata is hiding her tiredness. Hinata suggests running a marathon together and her cute charming face convinced Kagetsu to agree. Yeah, that face. Putting aside Hinata’s endurance, but can Hinata win seeing Kagetsu was last year’s marathon competition winner. Subaru will run behind them for safety. As they start off, Kagetsu doesn’t push but Hinata wants to see her go all out. As she runs, Kagetsu remembers the times spent with Hinata. She looks back and is surprised to see Hinata still following close behind. As they reach the finish line, Hinata does a final spurt and I think they end up crossing the line together. Both sisters make up and Hinata apologizes for making her sister feeling playing with her wouldn’t be fun. In fact Hinata was able to be happy with everyone and run a lot today. Kagetsu goes up to Subaru to apologize and wishes for him to look after her sister. She is confident she can cheer for Hinata from now on. As the girls soak in the hotspring, Hinata mentions how Kagetsu will help with her basketball practice tomorrow. They talk about the fun they had today (including swimsuits slipping and octopus grabbing – something Tomoka and Airi don’t really want to remember). Hinata spots a gecko and follows it to the other side of the bath. The men’s side. Subaru is super shock in seeing her and for Mihoshi, it’s like she has this radar that detects any shameless situation that Subaru gets into and instantly pops up to give him another kick.

Episode 10
The girls continue to practice hard and Maho can’t wait to level up so much so she can play an official match. They have another chance to play an away friendly match when a relative of one of Aoi’s friend is a teacher at Suzuridani, a school at the outskirts and she is also the mini basketball advisor. Of course Aoi is also coming along as part of her friends plan to bridge the gap between her and Subaru and to see if that guy is indeed a lolicon. Because at this rate, the lolis are going to steal him away from her. Don’t want that to happen, eh? Halfway driving to Suzuridani, suddenly the MPV comes to a crashing halt. It’s not like Mihoshi wanted to see some ambiguous position between Subaru and Tomoka, her tummy pain is for real. So much so an ambulance is called in. However she wants the rest to continue with the game so they hike all the way to Suzuridani and meet Hatsue Nobidome, Suzuridani’s mini basketball advisor. Hatsue seems very strict and doesn’t take lightly Mihoshi let her team come all the way here alone. Then she brings them to their camp and won’t introduce her team because it would ruin their schedule (b*tch!). Oh, did she mention camp? Yup, they’ll be camping outside and making their own tent with the materials provided. I don’t know what’s the problem of letting them stay in the gym or dorm because Hatsue needs to check things out first. Aoi is concerned that there is a guy among them. Not to say that he’s a ‘wolf’ but you can never be too sure. In view that they have not come prepared for camping, Hatsue suggests cancelling the friendly match. Subaru is okay with everything and will put up with anything so long the match isn’t cancelled. As the girls set up their tent (fooling around included), Manaka Nobidome comes by to greet them (she isn’t sure why the message of accommodation arrangements didn’t reach them). She is Hatsue’s sister and a second year in Suzuridani’s high school division and also the basketball team’s coach. Subaru and Aoi remember seeing her team play in the finals before because of her habit of scoring shots from the perimeter. However she will be out of action for the time being and is on crutches.

Manaka takes them to a great clear spring water and on the way, Maho tries to snap a picture of a stag beetle and Aoi is pretty concerned that Subaru is interacting way too close with his girls. Subaru gets a call from his mom who is by Mihoshi’s side at the hospital. She is expected to undergo appendicitis surgery but nothing to worry about. Subaru informs the updated developments to Hatsue (meaning, Mihoshi won’t be able to attend the practice match) and thanks to Manaka’s ‘negotiation’ (she called her a bully), the match is still on and they get to stay. Since this is an all-girls’ school, looks like Subaru have to bath outside (if there is a proper one) while the girls head in for a hot bath. The usual antics as the girls wonder the connection between Airi and Aoi’s big boobs. They even think it’s because their names start with the letter ‘A’. Saki suggests Maho to call herself ‘Aho’ (Idiot). Manaka can tell by Aoi’s body reaction that she likes Subaru and will gladly help support her. Yeah, she has plenty of chances during this training camp. Meanwhile Subaru is doing push-ups with 1 hand (?!) semi-naked when a girl (Maho clone?) caught glimpse of him and runs away in fear, thinking she saw a giant salamander! After the bath, Tomoka brings Subaru to view the beautiful and starry sky. Returning to the camp, now the problem is where he should sleep. Subaru is okay to sleep by the entrance so Aoi thinks she should sleep next to him so that he won’t do anything funny to the lolis. However she got too conscious about it (because their sleeping faces were so close) that she couldn’t sleep well and was wide awake. Next morning as they meet in the gym, the girl who thought Subaru as a salamander, Miyu Aida is also part of the basketball team and is shocked to see a guy as a basketball coach (is she from some backwater town? I know the school is only all-girls and far out in the woods, but this…). She couldn’t expect a group of amateurs to practice with them so Hatsue thinks of letting them practice with the bench players. Maho stands up and insists they are a strong team and is confident of taking them down. But Miyu laughs them off to even note that they can’t even compete in the official mini basketball match because they need at least 10 people to make the cut (furthermore, they don’t even have their own uniform). Only Tomoka and Subaru knew this fact so the latter apologizes for not telling. Maho didn’t take this too well and runs away.

Episode 11
Hinata is unfazed and wants to practice and since they’ve come all the way, it would be a waste not to. Suzuridani sees Keishin in practice and thinks their moves aren’t bad but Miyu still thinks they’re novices. Soon Saki goes off to look for Maho. She finds her alone at the stream and talks some sense into her and bring her back to the ground. She shouldn’t be getting worked up and ditching practice because the 5 of them playing basketball should be fun. Manaka also talks to Subaru about things. Though she has a torn ligament grounding her, she still loves basketball and coaching is her way of doing basketball. Maho and Saki return as they seek to challenge each other one on one. Subaru becomes the referee to a game whereby one gets a point whenever she steals or defends the ball for 20 seconds. The one who scores 3 points wins. Soon the other girls come by to see them in action and join in. Subaru notices how much fun they’re having. In the end, Maho apologizes for being selfish and Subaru did the same about keeping quiet (Tomoka also wanting to share the blame). Saki knows he did so for their sake as they get pumped up to not only do their best but enjoy the game from the bottom of their heart. Subaru goes see Hatsue to request a match with the regulars but was turned down seeing she can’t waste any precious second of their practice as they need to stay focus to win their upcoming game since their reputation is at stake. Subaru wonders if that makes it fun and reminds her about their duty as coach to teach them how much fun basketball is. Hatsue agrees upon reasoning that it would be bad for their reputation if they decline out of fear of losing. With Subaru promising to do everything he can as Keishin’s coach, the girls are more motivated that ever. Manaka could tell Aoi is in a dilemma over her feelings for Subaru. As their coach, she wants the best for them but can’t help feel jealous at the same time. She reminds her of her promise to help her out.

That night when Subaru is making strategies, Manaka has booked some time for him to take a bath in the mist sauna. Suddenly Aoi comes in with just a towel, thinking it was Manaka who invited her. Before long, they knew it’s a setup. First thing Aoi did was to punch him (I wonder how many times he has got beaten up over situations like this). Then she tries to run out but the door is locked. This followed by her tripping and falling down on him, knocking him out. Manaka unlocks the door realizing her Operation Sex Appeal didn’t work out. Subaru comes to outside and wishes everything that happened was a dream. Next morning, Subaru and Aoi talk things over and she will let this one slip. In short, Aoi wants to help Subaru in coaching the girls. As the girls practice, Maho is all fired up to beat that ribbon b*tch. Later Subaru sees Saki and wants her to play the important centre role. The girls continue to come up with strategies against their opponents so much so they fell asleep and Subaru puts the blanket on them and comments on each of their abilities and personality. Next day, the match between Keishin and Suzuridani begins. Suzuridani makes a good start seeing Maho is making slip ups due to her hot head. The opponents take a healthy lead at the end of the quarter (Keishin couldn’t score) so Subaru thinks it’s time for Saki to be shifted to point guard. The match resumes and Keishin is able to make steady progress and their movements better due to Saki’s ability to assess a situation coolly and calmly. A tactic that tricks Miyu into guarding Tomoka so that Maho could shoot lands them their first point. Subaru feels that if Saki keeps up with a steady viewpoint and relaying it to everyone, Tomoka can focus on the offense and winning this match won’t be just a dream.

Episode 12
Keishin makes a comeback and draws level with Suzuridani. We see Hinata being the small one slipping pass by the defence and successfully throwing in her reverse shot and Airi unafraid to block shots from opponent. Now it’s Miyu’s turn to feel agitated so much so she can’t keep her focus. Maho’s turn to mock her? It’s like these 2 girls love trading insults when their side is winning. Manaka warns Miyu to buck up and not treating this as a serious game. If she keeps this up, she will replace her. I guess the threat is enough for Miyu to return to her serious and cocky cool self and get Suzuridani back into the pace of the game. In the final quarter, Subaru feels it’s time for his team to unleash their ‘one centre, four shooters’ strategy. With tall Airi at the centre, if she is double guarded, the unguarded member will take a shot and if it’s a one to one defence, a powerful centre and tall shooter will do the trick. It’s not complete yet but still the tactic works on several occasions. As the seconds are ticking away, the Keishin girls are running out of stamina. But they each think back why they continue to love and play the game with everyone thanks to Subaru and each other’s support and encouragement. In the dying seconds, Suzuridani leads by a point and the ball falls into Saki’s hand, she makes a jump shot… Did it go in?

Well in the aftermath, apparently it did not. Otherwise why would Subaru be looking so depressed? Tomoka runs into Natsuhi at the train station and though he heard they lost by a point, he thinks they played well. Saki looks dejected, blaming herself over the team’s lost but Maho snaps her out that it is a team game and it is thanks to her that she was able to control her anger. Mihoshi calls Hatsue to apologize and thank her for letting her team play with her regulars. However Hatsue wishes to thank her instead because they remembered something important that they have forgotten since they were too focused on winning: To have fun. As Subaru returns to Keishin’s gym, he is surprised to only see Tomoka in a maid outfit greeting him. She will do anything to cheer him up and promises to win the next match. Subaru takes her up on her offer and the rest come out of their hiding disappointed because they thought they would see something more interesting and heart throbbing instead of just Tomoka doing a successful jump shot. The girls planned this of leaving them both alone because they saw him depressed this morning and since they thought Tomoka was closest to him and the best way of cheering him up. However Subaru clears the air he wasn’t depressed and was just thinking what to do after the match. He apologizes for making them worry and notes they played a very good game. Just that they ran out of luck and stamina. So what else to do than to practice, practice and more practice, right? As reward, the girls think of giving him a massage as motivation for him to stay longer as coach. Didn’t he already promise to be their coach till graduation? Maybe they think he needs more? Then Mihoshi and Aoi come in with snacks for everyone only to be horrified to see them in an orgy! But would they listen even if it’s not? While the girls get treated to the snacks, guess what Subaru got from Aoi? Don’t they see their coach in pain? I guess the snacks were a better distraction, eh?

Well, what else can there be for the girls and their coach put to persevere and continue practising. After all, practice makes perfect as they say. They may still have a long way to go before becoming a real competitive team or even start thinking about getting into real competitions but they have notched up many levels in terms of their friendship and teamwork. You could say that they have grown closer than before. Not to say that they were not close in the first place but basketball and Subaru ties them up closer than ever before. So all we need is a chance for things to work out or to prove oneself. In Subaru’s case, he was being apathetic to basketball once his team was suspended. He didn’t want anything to do with the game anymore just because of that one bitter episode. After realizing he shouldn’t be imposing his misery onto others and that the girls have a bright future, he now goes all out to make sure their passion for the game is intact and most importantly to have fun. And the reason why they work so well it’s because it’s a two-way relationship between coach and players. Not because Subaru is a lolicon, mind you. Though he loves the girls but as his precious students and not in the otaku sense. It’s sometimes too bad that he gets into ambiguous situations and gets what he doesn’t deserve to. Well, no pain, no gain. Oh wait, that’s not rightly applied.

Initially you thought Tomoka would be the main star of the series seeing she is the one who had prior basketball experience. However it is a good thing that she doesn’t hog all the screen time during matches. In addition, basketball is a team game so it won’t be so good if you’re just focused on a player. Each of the other girls also play their vital part in the victories or the recent close defeat they encounter. Each giving them precious experience and memories. After all, you can’t be dejected after losing 1 game, right? No team is perfect, not even the best team and besides, they’re just a bunch a rookies so dreaming of a perfect undefeated record should be the least of their concerns. But it’s understandable and frustrating to lose so close a margin at such a climaxing do-or-die situation. It’s also good to see some of the girls overcoming their weaknesses for the betterment of their team. Airi puts behind her fear of being big while Hinata doesn’t let her weak body get to her. Maho as the cheeky and ‘noisy’ one of the pack should learn to take a little anger management and cool her head but I guess that is what Saki is there for. She is the most cool-headed among the girls and able to assess the situation and make necessary adjustments if deemed necessary. Even if these girls have lots more to do, you could say that each of their strengths also complement and cover each other. So as not to make this series a Tomoka-centric series, we also have episodes that focus on her friends like Airi’s fear of water and Hinata’s sister and her objection of her joining the basketball club. Hatsue and Miyu might seem like ‘antagonist’ at first but I guess they were just a little lost on their goals. That’s why we need underdogs like Subaru and his girls to make such teams who have lost themselves high up in the sky and bring them down. Once they’ve realized that, they’re not such bad people after all.

For those who are hoping to see any love triangle development, don’t put your hopes too high up. Obviously basketball and coaching the girls is what is all on Subaru’s mind. Too busy to even take a hint that his childhood friend has a crush on him. I guess you can’t blame him because with Aoi being tsundere, it doesn’t help much, eh? It is also obvious that Subaru’s girls also do like him but the more obvious one in terms of romantic relationship would be Tomoka. After all, she is the closest one whom he has spent time with, practising her shooting every day at his place. So it’s no surprise that Tomoka would develop a crush on her coach. Hmm… Maybe it’s best if that romantic relationship do not even blossom a bit for now. Remember what happened to Subaru’s basketball team? Yeah, that. As for the others, they still do love him but not towards anything that would lead to anything as romantic as lovers. For instance Hinata would most likely view Subaru as her onii-chan while Maho may be bold in saying and admitting her love, it feels like she doesn’t know the depths and meaning of it. It’s like she’s just saying for fun. Plus, they don’t really think that all of them could become his bride at once, right? I shiver to think once that happens because it will mean a dip in their friendship and performance. So yeah. Being ignorant in that kind of love for him should be beneficial for all parties for the time being. I’m not sure if Touko is a bi or what. She did hint that she is really prepared for that kind of love with Mihoshi, though the latter would pretty much rather not. Then she too loves seeing Subaru and his girls together, hoping something more would come out of it.

The next episode preview is an amusing section. We see the girls in their chibi avatar form either ranting or panicking away on some unrelated topic so much so they didn’t realize the limited time they have to do the next preview. Speaking of the chibi avatar, it seems the girls have an internet chat group of their own. Each time they log on and chat with each other, you can see them dressed in a particular theme at a particular place, whether it’s an exotic location or an ordinary scene. The mid-intermission is filled with not only bio-data of the girls of Keishin but some of the other minor female characters too. I find some of the information to be odd. I mean, it’s okay to know their height, blood type, specialty and their nickname (as given by Touko) but what the heck do you need to know when or what their first swimsuit was?! Even putting their grades at studying isn’t so bad. I’m sure the chest size information won’t be such a turn on to some, eh?

There is something I want to mention about the drawing and art of this series. I thought it looked very similar to those in Clannad or Air. However it is not Key or Kyoto Animation that this series is from but Project no. 9/Studio Blanc instead. Thus I was wondering what the heck was Air’s Haruko doing as Mihoshi or Negima’s Nodoka in Tomoka. Hey, am I seeing shades of Hayate No Gotoku’s Nagi and Air’s Misuzu in Maho too? I thought there was a live action adaptation of the series. However they only made that music video to promote the 2D anime and the video features the voice actresses of the Keishin girls. Makes you feel that the 2D version looks much cuter, eh? Okay, that may be bias because I still prefer 2D over 3D anytime :). Speaking about the fanservice, there are a handful of scenes such as when the girls bath together and when Aoi gives Subaru her super kick. The former will mostly be conveniently covered with steam so I guess it’s another one of those motivations if you want to see way past the steam. Get what I mean? For the latter, seems like the censors slip past the censorship scissors because you’ll get to see Aoi’s stripped panties each time. And as compared to Softenni, the fanservice here is not as mind numbing and kept to a minimum level. I guess in a way it is a good thing not to put fanservice is one of the main focus of the series. Otherwise, you’d be totally distracted by it than the game and character developments. By the way, the games may not have lots of action to satisfy sports junkie fans and doesn’t really last long (it may seem like it lasted 2 episodes but that’s because it started late in the previous one and brought over to the next so it’s safe to say the most it’ll be just an episode worth of a particular match).

Speaking of voice acting, Kana Hanazawa was definitely identifiable as Tomoka. That kind of voice, you can’t really run if you hear it the umpteenth time. Not as airhead as the titular character in Kobato or mysteriously cheeky as Shiro in Deadman Wonderland, though. I thought I heard that squeaky high pitched voice in Maho before. Then I found out it was Yuka Iguchi. Yes, that annoying sister Index in To Aru Majutsu No Index. I guess this kind of noisy loli role is best suited for her. My favourite Mamiko Noto (Enma Ai in Jigoku Shoujo) also has a role albeit a minor one as Nayu. Ayako Kawasumi (Saber in Fate/Stay Night) as Hatsue was also recognizable. I’m starting to think that Kanae Itou’s voice may be fit to play tsundere roles too. After that obsessed squid wacko Kanae in Shinryaku! Ika Musume and the cheery Saten in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun, I guess as Aoi here wasn’t so bad after all. The only voice which I find rather slightly unsuitable was Yui Ogura’s Hinata (Mint in Yumeiro Patissiere). Hinata sounded like a carefree girl and while it may be part of her character, it sounded like as though she’s somewhat of an airhead (maybe she is too). Each time she talks, it’s like as though she is talking from dream land. Other casts include Yuuki Kaji as Subaru (Akina in Yozakura Quartet), Youko Hikasa as Saki (Mio in K-ON!), Rina Hidaka as Airi (Konayuki in Katanagatari), Shizuka Itou as Mihoshi (Haruka in Amagami SS), Minako Kotobuki as Natsuhi (Tsumugi in K-ON!), Mariya Ise as Miyu (Riko in Hidan No Aria), Satomi Satou as Manaka (Wendy in Fairy Tail) and Rina Satou as Touko (Negi in Mahou Sensei Negima). Oddly, for a show with lots of lolis, I was expecting Rie Kugimya to have a role. But I guess not. You can’t have her voicing tsundere and loli characters in every anime, right? Both the opening themes are sung by the girls of Keishin basketball team, though I don’t find both appealing. The opening theme is the energetic SHOOT! The kind of song that is supposed to energize and get you motivated into the game. The ending theme, Party Love – Ookiku Naritai feels like an anime all-girl idol group. Just put in some basketball terms into the lyrics.

If the producers want to continue this series, I guess there are lots of potential to see this underdog team turn into a formidable one. Yeah, turning out to be a shonen type of story flow, eh? Power up, fight powerful opponents, qualify for the next stage, practice and power up more, battle even more powerful rivals, old ones become friends, repeat cycle. And maybe they can throw in love triangle and complicating romance relationships into the equation while at it as distraction. It’s always a challenge to train and coach amateurs who know nuts about the game into a team of players worthy enough for top teams to take notice of. But like the saying, it is often the journey that is more important than the destination. With Subaru around, the girls will be assured that they will not only have their skills level up in no time but have lots fun together for a long time to come. Sorry Maho. Having said that you still need to take months and years to reach that kind of professional level like you see in America’s NBA. No short cuts, cheat codes or magic spells to hasten the levelling up. Who says you need to be big and tall to play basketball? As long as you have the passion, you can score with the right attitude, teamwork and tactics. I have to admit that I once liked the game when I was young but didn’t really take it up besides watching it on TV. In that case, can someone get me a female instructor because I can’t seem to even do a proper dribble. And I think I did a ‘home run’ with that jump shot… Now where did that ball fly too?

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