Wednesday, February 24, 2016

AOKANA: Four Rhythm Across The Blue Episode #7 Review

The fear of losing something shows that you enjoy it.

What They Say:
The Kunahama Institute is one of the first in the world to give out new anti-gravity footwear to its students. Not only does this invention change the way the basic world functions, with students now being able to shoot across the sky, but it also gives birth to a new sport -- The Flying Circus. Asuka Kurashina is a new transfer student at Kunahama who has never wanted anything more than the ability to fly. Suddenly mixed in with students who have already mastered the art of flight, Asuka must overcome physical and mental barriers as she adapts to a new environment filled with new people, all while trying to master a new way of life.

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
The finals are here. No, not the test finals that anime characters seem to dread more than real people -- the finals of the spring tournament. With two-time reigning champion, Shindou Kazunari slated to go up against Inui Saki, a first-time tourney player in Japan, there is a clear favorite to win the match. However, Saki and her second have a trick up their sleeves (Or spandex). Once the match begins, Saki launches an all-out battle of the wits against Shindou, controlling him every step of the way. As the match goes on, the reigning champion falls into a deficit that becomes deeper and deeper by the second. And before he can even think about turning the tide, the whistle is blown and Inui Saki is the new champion in a match that was deemed "The upset of the century."

Now, you'd think that out of anyone, Shindou would be the person to take this loss the hardest. But in all actuality, it's Misaki Tobisawa off on the sidelines that's about to be hit by a wave of despair. (I still can't really figure out why, though. I'll never understand girls). Anyway, following Shindou's loss, Misaki is devastated. Now, on top of Shindou already paying more attention to Asuka than her, there is some random third girl thrown into the fray that is actually able to beat him. We don't really figure out exactly why Misaki is taking everything so harshly, but I think it's safe to ascertain that she just feels extremely insignificant compared to some of the other players out there. That becomes extremely evident in the following days.

Deciding to distance herself from her team for the time being, Misaki spends some much-needed time at home, picking tomatoes and ignoring text messages. As days go by, no one from Kunahama can even reach her. After drowning her sorrows in some shopping at a nearby mall, Misaki encounters none other than Shindou himself, as the two wind up trying to escape the rain. Of course, this lights a fire somewhere inside Misaki that ultimately results in her asking Shindou why he was so complacent with losing. His response, however, is actually extremely logical and very dissimilar to how viewers perceive him up to this point. For a brief moment in time, he is the philosophical embodiment of hope and perseverance that Misaki should have needed to talk to in order to cope with her deteriorating emotional state. However, instead of drawing inspiration from him, she leeches negativity, dwelling on one very important thing that he said, "If I stop having fun, I'll just quit".

The next day, as Asuka and the others meet up near their clubhouse/school bus, Madoka (Who is also the new team captain) crashes through the trees with some disturbing news. In the midst of the confusion, she displays a resignation letter from Misaki, who apparently no longer has interest in playing flying circus. Of course, this sparks a short bit of hysteria from the girls (Particularly Mashiro, who can barely even get words out) that basically forces the episode to end on a note that can parallel Misaki's emotional state -- distraught.

In Summary:
Even though we get to witness the final round of the spring tournament (Which, in itself, was exciting), this episode seems to mellow down that tone of the past several weeks. The excitement is tossed to the side and, instead, the focal point becomes just how much Misaki Tobisawa was impacted by recent events. Character development is prevalent in this episode for both Misaki and Shindou, and we even get a glimpse into yet another side that we haven't seen from the previous champion. Personally, I'm impressed to see just how far Shindou has come, considering he's just a side character. One more interesting thing about this episode is just how little Masaya has to do with it. If I'm recalling correctly, he only had a few lines in the entire episode. On the other hand, we get to see a bit more of Madoka who is quickly becoming my favorite girl on the show. Oh, and also, there is some fanservice again. Hooray.

Grade: B+

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

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