The Gist: Tsukamoto and Indou Kaoru face off in a casual but serious pickup game on the roof of a department store. With a bit of a nudge, Tsuka begins to realize that how he runs plays into what his team can do. After 10 sets, he blacks out and is taken home by Seiseki’s captain, who shares a nemesis moment with Indou.
The rest of the episode is devoted to Kimishita. He’s the team grouch and finds Tsuka’s style (and inabilities) frustrating. However, after Kazama takes Tsuka to Kimishita’s family sporting goods store, and Kimishita sees how serious Tsuka takes everything (he’s got soft shoes!) they become closer.
Finaly, during a practice game, Tsuka figures out that he needs to not only run hard for everyone, not only drain the life from the defenders as a distraction, but he must also be in position to score if he will ever be a target for passing.
Mimicking Kazama and putting many things he’s seen together, he lines up a perfect attack on the goal and Kimishita grudgingly passes the ball.
Only for Tsuka to ‘wiff’ and fall flat on his ars. Roll credits…
The Verdict: Tsukamoto is growing as a player and that was an effective vehicle for explaining what a young player should be doing to get better… if you were watching Days for some sort of instruction?
Otherwise, it’s another introduction and character name I will not remember in future reviews and Tsuka slap-stick we’ve already seen.