Daiya no Ace Act II Chapter 76: The Way Home

We’ve seen Inashiro. It’s fair to see Yakushi, another team Seidou has to beat in order to get to Summer Koshien and another Tokyo team that manages to get further in Senbatsu than Seidou. It appears being in Senbatsu is more a burden than a blessing, because it’s not only Seidou that has problems, Yakushi too. Mainly, the Todorokis.

From nobody to somebody, from an underdog to champion, it’s a radical change that neither Todorokis are prepared for.

Fortunately, their Ace, Sanada, remains as reliable as always. Comparably with fewer numbers of their members, Yakushi gives more chance for their first-years to play in matches and gives them experience. Tomobe, the first-year pitcher looks promising with his calm and composure (he scolds Raichi who is his senpai), especially when we remember Sanada is in his third year. (Damn, there’s a lot of people we’re gonna miss, isn’t it?)

Furuya… is still unstable. But then again, Rome isn’t build in a day. He’s still taking his first steps. Everyone notes how he’s getting more self-aware and the team are willing to support him until he gets back to his feet, because they know better than anyone how huge a burden it is being an Ace. None of them forgets that this same person carried them through Senbatsu. He has won their trust, and it’s not easily lost. But it doesn’t mean that he’s off the hook.

Nope.

Furuya is still not entrusted to play full match, even against non-Koshien-level team. Only seven innings, two lost runs, six walks, and Eijun closes the match with only one hit and no run, with young, inexperienced catcher to boot.  How the tables turned, when it used to be the other way around. (That actually reminds me, Furuya is never paired up with any other catcher but Miyuki… my take is that his pitching is that unstable that only Miyuki who can deal with him and his pitches… I’m not sure whether it’s a good thing, regardless that Miyuki’s the main catcher)

I wonder what Coach Kataoka is thinking. While the team seems okay with Furuya regaining his footing, it’s pretty obvious that the team has to work harder when Furuya is on the mound (’they brace themselves’). The particular choice of words gives me the impression that it is taxing to support the current Furuya… and that’s not good for the morale of the team.

The overall statistics of the pitchers is fascinating.

Purely based on the results of the practice matches, Eijun doesn’t have the best performance. It actually goes to Kawakami, who plays most innings and only gives up two walks and two runs, second only to Eijun. In the last practice match, he even manage a shutout. While Kawakami doesn’t seem to have the presence of an Ace (or probably just because he’s lacking screen time), the result speaks for itself. Kawakami is still in the running for Ace position. However, if we consider that Eijun plays a full match against Koshien-level team… I’d say Eijun has the best performance. (I might be as biased as Oota when it comes to Kawakami as I am to Eijun ;p)

So if we are to list the best pitcher in Seidou, it’s a toss up between Kawakami and Eijun, followed Furuya, Kawashima and lastly, Kaneda. I’ve got a feeling that Kaneda is gonna be replaced by Kuki if he shows no sign of improvement. Toujou… doesn’t seem to be considered as pitcher, unfortunately. He makes too much of a good center fielder, I suppose.

The above panel particularly interests me because it doesn’t only show pitcher relay, but also battery relay. I wonder whether it’s possible to use that strategy in official matches. Baseball fans, has that been done before? Because well, Seidou have good pitchers and catchers in their current lineup, why not take advantage of it?

Yuuki-otouto finally hits his stride, though he still sucks at defense, and he’s in the outfield. ( ̄□ ̄;) So, pinch hitter is his best bet for now. Honestly, he’s like the comic relief right now with all the blunders and flat expression.

Let’s bow down to the greatness of the Seidou’s Keystone Combo: Haruichi and Kuramochi. m(_    _)m

Miyuki’s not only the one leaving a huge shoes to fill, Kuramochi doea too. Haruichi is good, and he’s considered the better second than his brother, but it is Kuramochi who has a role into raising Haruichi up to the level that he is currently in by forcing him to keep up with him and give his all. Haruichi is going to have a tough time doing the same/adapting with his new partner. (My best bet is Takatsu)

So far, my Seidou’s new team roster still holds up.  I’ll just wait to see the final match to finalize the Summer lineup.

Lastly, Miyuki and Mima!

Their exchange is hilarious! XDD  (Miyuki is a confirmed flip phone/non-smartphone/email-only user)

Mima is way too serious for his own good, I feel bad for him. Miyuki will take advantage of that. Honestly, I’m surprised if he doesn’t. He already calls Mima a sore loser in his mind. Pfft. But damn, that’s a lot of baseball teams scouting for Miyuki, like fifteen? It might be more after Summer Koshien.

So with this chapter, it should wrap up the practice matches and return the focus back to the team…. Except for Miyuki, with Tokyo Senbatsu????? Can’t wait!

3

Happy birthday from Terajima-sensei~

1st image:
Sawamura: Wahahahaha. Thank you~ Everybody~!! Haruo here~!! Birthday - 1st March
On sash: The leading actor for the day
Kanemaru: Uwah!
Toujou: He’ll get angry at you!
Furuya: Doesn’t look like him…
Kariba: What are you doing, Sawamura?

2nd image:
Haruichi: Identity fraud is bad, you know, Eijun-kun… I’ll end all ties with you!!

3rd image:
SFX: *tremble* *quiver*
On phone: Onii-san (aka Ryousuke)
Ryousuke: I’ll punish you!

Source: Official Twitter

3

lovely complex reference where it’s the first time miyu and mura share a room and the implication that comes with it…?

[this is a scheduled post]

Daiya no Ace Act II Chapter 73: Individual Strength and the Shape of the Team

The title is a mouthful, but it’s fitting for this chapter.

Because it’s not just about Eijun, or Miyuki, or Furuya, it’s about the team.

Starting from the ever reliable…

SHIRASU!! With his quick reaction and laser throw from the outfield.

Resulting in excellent 7-2 play. Miyuki smoothly takes out the runner to home. YESSSSS!!! I’ve been waiting for the spotlight to land on Shirasu. His growth and improvement have been noted, but more like a side note compared to others who are more flashy. ‘bout time! (even his triumphant mode is so modest)

Then we see the whole team move to support Eijun.

Understandably this has positive effect on Eijun.

He no longer hesitates, pitching more aggressively in second half of the game. Eijun never ceases to make me proud throughout this match. He lets himself be comforted and assured by his team. He allows himself to rely on his teammates. He draws strength from them.

He reflects on his every action, and figures out his mistake on his own without needing Miyuki to tell him. He performs admirably under pressure, throwing a pitch he’s not good at. He acknowledges his mistake, taking half of the blame as a the half of the partnership. He communicates with his catcher.

But most of all, his resolution is strong and his gaze is clear.

He wants to win for the team, and for his last summer with Miyuki.

He is as aware as Miyuki of the clock ticking down to the end of their battery. He has lost his chance with Chris, he undoubtedly doesn’t want to lose his chance with Miyuki, especially when he has been his reason and goal since he joined Seidou and yet… he manages to curb down his impatience, his anxiety and his worry, to work slowly, carefully, diligently.

And it pays off.

There’s so much to learn from Eijun, if only Furuya could see that.

Right now it seems Furuya is just realizing that he’s being left behind. For so long, they have been at each other’s heels, not too far from each other. For some time, he has been ahead when Eijun’s getting back on his feet. This time the roles are switched. His response to this realization will be important. If he keeps going on the way he is, he won’t be able to catch up. He has to change.

I still have no idea how Furuya is going to do it. Although it’s interesting to note that Furuya and Yui’s reaction are particularly highlighted in this chapter. Yui is in the right mindset, admiring and thinking at the same time, but how about Furuya? 

At this rate, Eijun is the ace. This is Seidou’s best lineup.

It feels like witnessing the team fully coming together, gears connecting together, individual strength combining and turning them into a strong, solid team, not unlike the old team we sorely miss.

I really, really want to see them go far and beyond with Eijun as the ace. Urgh, it feels still so far away. How will this match end? However it ends, it’ll likely to shape the team this summer.