Both teams have fourteen points in the final set. Needing two clear points to win, this match could go on for a while yet. Can Haruka and Kanata defeat the number two team in Japan or will Claire and Emily prevail?
The first point went to Claire and Emily, which just added more pressure to Haruka and Kanata. Once more they were facing down match point and couldn’t afford to make a single mistake. Amazingly, they managed to recover the point and then Kanata took advantage of a bit of confusion to drop the ball to the back of the court and give them their first shot at winning the game.
The next point was epic as neither team wanted to lose. Either team could have won it, but the ball just wouldn’t touch the ground. Kanata made an incredible diving save to keep the point alive. It bounced back until finally, Haruka managed to get a decisive block against Claire and there was no way anyone could have saved the point.
Amazingly, Haruka and Kanata won the qualifiers and are now headed to Nationals. Of course, this was at the expense of their best friends. Neither team knew quite how to handle the result. Could Haruka and Kanata really celebrate and how would Claire and Emily handle being beaten by the pair that they helped to create? The best advice came from the most unlikely of sources – Narumi.
She told Haruka and Kanata to celebrate the win for Claire and Emily’s sake. If they couldn’t it would make everyone feel worse. So, with that out of the way, it’s time for a beach party. It had appeared pretty rocky for a while there, and Emily and Kanata both acknowledged that Akari probably kept the group together. As the party started to fade, the girls decided it was time to get back to training for Nationals.
What did you think?
This was an amazing end to the match and the way the characters reacted made the result that much harder. Seeing Claire congratulate them and then run off to be alone wasn’t any fun, but then neither was seeing Haruka and Kanata who didn’t seem to know how to take the win. I think they wanted to celebrate. After all, they had just won and secured themselves a spot in Nationals, but at the same time, they were sad for their friends’ loss.
It was a surreal moment, and I think it would have been the same no matter who won. It was nice that they gave Akari an actual purpose beyond just being another character. She definitely grounded the entire situation and reminded everyone of their friendship. I agree that it would have been hard to stick together without her contribution.
What have you learnt?
The most amazing thing in this episode was the reaction to the results. Everyone knew that someone had to lose. One team was always going to end up being disappointed, but I thought it was incredible the way that Haruka and Kanata took the result. Had the core message of the show not been about friendship, it would have ended with the typical winners jumping in the air to celebrate and the losers looking dejected.
That’s fine, but this was better. Much better. It mirrored how I felt. I enjoyed the series and felt a real connection with all of the characters. The actual game was electric. Seeing how much all of the players put into it, it was always going to be a hard one to lose. Losing is frustrating, but losing when you had a chance to win is devastating. Claire showed some real strength to congratulate them before looking for somewhere to be alone and truly accept defeat. It speaks to their sportsmanship and friendship, something that is all too often missing in competitive sports.
Other reviews in the series
- Season One
- Episode 1 – We Don’t Need Aces
- Episode 2 – Believe in Me
- Episode 3 – I Want to Regain My Former Self
- Episode 4 – Isn’t This Perfect For Us?
- Episode 5 – Until You Break
- Episode 6 – I Won’t Break
- Episode 7 – We’re Already Friends
- Episode 8 – I’ll Keep Our Promise
- Episode 9 – This Is How I Feel
- Episode 10 – The One I Wanted to Fight
- Episode 11 – At This Point, We’re Basically Playing Head-to-Head
- Episode 12 – And That’s Why We Choose Our Irreplaceable Partners