The focus of Episode Two is on Midousuji’s plan that was referenced at the end of the previous episode. The episode opens with a scene going back to before the start of the third day of the Inter-High, where Midousuji and Yamaguchi are meeting with Ise from Kumamoto Daiichi High. This scene reminds the audience of how Midousuji used Ise and his team during the previous day of the Inter-High, and it shows Ise begging Midousuji to come up with a method to help Kumamoto Daiichi turn things around. At first, Midousuji mocks him, but then says he feels he owes Ise something, and comes up with a plan. Of course, we know that Misousuji isn’t one to give out information for free, and we see that he’ll only share the plan under one condition.
We also get a flashback to the previous night, when Midousuji demands that the rest of the team cut their hair. We see the protests being made to Midousuji, and surprising everyone, even the quiet Yamaguchi speaks up. Unfortunately, Yamaguchi’s words don’t make an impact, and in fact, Midousuji becomes more creepy in his mannerisms and speech. As we see the team members getting their hair cut, Yamaguchi mulls over the fact that he’s failed to become Midousuji’s conscience and thinks it’s better to just stay in the background. After the hair cutting experience, we see Midousuji approach Yamaguchi and tell him he has an important job for him. We also see that after Ise’s request, Midousuji says he has to adjust the plan a little, but that Yamaguchi is to still follow the orders he was given the previous night. With Yamaguchi’s role in the plan, it puts him front and center instead of in the background.
What we learn is that Midousuji is having Ise take charge of the pack, and that they will swallow up the riders in front of them like piranhas in order to catch up to the lead pack. But when they catch up with Yamaguchi and the other two riders from Kyoto Fushimi, Yamaguchi takes over leading the pack in order to reach Midousuji and Mizuta.
But before that point, we see the Sohoku and Hakone Academy team members who are cooperating with each other come across Midousuji and Mizuta, who are no longer with the lead pack. Naruko leaves the line to talk to Midousuji, and in Naruko’s way, he’s trying to show concern for Midousuji if he had overexerted himself over the previous two days of the race. While this was a nice gesture on Naruko’s part, I felt bad for him because I already knew that Midousuji was up to something.
It was kind of amusing, right before the pack catches up with Midousuji and Mizuta, when Mizuta admits that he doesn’t know what a piranha is. I was like, “Dude, how do you not know what a piranha is?” And when the pack catches up, we discover that Midousuji didn’t let Mizuta in on the plan because he was shocked by the arrival of the pack and the fact that Yamaguchi was leading it. For a team captain, Mizuta is certainly out of the loop when it comes to what his team is up to! This scene made it pretty clear that Mizuta is basically a puppet and that for all intents and purposes, Midousuji is the one pulling the strings. There’s no doubt in my mind that Midousuji will be the team captain after the current third-years graduate, and that point, he’ll probably be worse than ever (since he will officially be leading the team instead of browbeating the previous captains).
This episode was definitely focused a lot on Yamaguchi, which was nice to see. While we saw hints of Yamaguchi’s personality over the past couple of seasons, this episode finally allowed the audience to really see what makes Yamaguchi tick. And with the focus being on Yamaguchi and on Midousuji’s plan, this allowed us to have an episode that had a focus on the Kyoto Fushimi team as a whole. While we’ve had the occasional episode focus on Midousuji, we really haven’t had one that was able to have a broader focus on the team until now.
And now that the pack has caught up to Midousuji and Mizuta, my guess is that Midousuji will be taking charge of the pack. And from the title of the next episode, I think it’s safe to say that the pack is going to be the focus of it.
For both of the episodes of this season, there was no omake included at the end. I can only figure that with the way the story and the race is progressing, that the writer(s) and director aren’t able to come up with ideas for omake that would work with where the story is right now. While it’s a little disappointing, it’s also understandable.
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