Hanebado! – 09 – Turnabout is Fair Play

Ayano and Nagisa’s preparations for their finals match are interrupted by the inauspiciously conspicuous return of Connie Christensen, who wants a rematch with Ayano. Ayano, who as we know is not the same Ayano Connie embarrassed the last time they crossed, stays cordial, but her first words to Connie—that her panties are showing—demonstrate how unseriously Ayano is taking her.

Ayano’s attention turns to her broken Wei-Wei mascot on her bag, and Shiwahime invites her to a kind of Wei-Wei theme park with Connie (Erena also tags along). The Wei-Wei-ness is like catnip to Ayano, who switches off Badminton Mode and has a lot of fun for once, to the relief of Erena. Meanwhile, Shiwahime inadvertently sabotages Connie’s olive branch to Ayano in the form of a Wei-Wei keychain.

It turns out Connie didn’t return for a rematch at all; she came to express her desire to be a family with Ayano and her mother Uchika. When Connie finally gets the words out, Ayano completely brushes them off, and affably leads Connie to a badminton court, where her first devastating shot sends a clear message that it won’t be a friendly match.

We see more of the perennially lonely Connie’s past when Uchika takes her under her wing and essentially adopts her, while all the while Connie’s knowledge of the existence of a “big sister” who is Uchika’s biological daughter looms over her as a kind of challenge to clear. She wants the acknowledgement of both Uchika—who never once told Connie she was better than Ayano—and Ayano herself.

She doesn’t get it, and I’d argue she doesn’t really deserve it after how she entered Ayano’s life. Sure, Connie thought Ayano was playing mind games with her when they first met, but it doesn’t change the fact that Ayano sought a friendship in good faith, unaware of Connie’s identity.

That being said, Ayano lays the contempt on a little thick, as she essentially transforms into a Badminton Youkai, all crazy eyes and twisted smirks, in utterly rejecting Connie on the grounds she’s resolved to abandon her mom the way she abandoned her.

While Ayano refuses to forgive and forget or turn the other cheek, a dejected Connie returns home with Shiwahime to find the rest of her team has done all three, giving her emotional support when she’s never felt lower. Sorry, Hanebado, but this whole “actually Connie is the victim now, let’s all feel bad for her” isn’t quite working for me.

Who has two thumbs and doesn’t care about Yu’s attempts to get one of the male players to notice her? [holds up two thumbs] This guy. Also, I’m not confident Nagisa practicing until her knees give out is the best strategy for having a good match against Ayano. If Ayano doesn’t clean her clock I’ll be very surprised.

What could turn the tables slightly in Nagisa’s favor is the fact that Ayano returns home to find her mother, big stupid hair bow and all, waiting there to greet her like nothing’s happened. However unpleasant a character Connie may be, she’s no match for the awfulness that is Hanesaki Uchika, Ten-Time Worst Mother of the Year.

Author: sesameacrylic

Zane Kalish is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

2 thoughts on “Hanebado! – 09 – Turnabout is Fair Play”

  1. It should be noted that the anime was taking some major liberties with the manga source.

    In the anime, Connie was awful when she met Ayano. Especially her “your mother is with ME, you’re not needed” hit below the belt was truly ugly for maximum drama impact. From this horrible start, I can figure it’s difficult to dredge up sympathy for her now.

    In the manga, Connie was never so nasty towards Ayano. Rather, she teased Ayano to tell her more about her mother the next time they met at Interhigh (in order to fire the still-unmotivated Ayano up to rekindle her Badminton spirit). Here, Connie is still prideful and opinionated, but not nasty towards Ayano – rather even a bit helpful.

    So, we have a logical inconsistency created by maxing out drama… I prefer the manga version.

    1. You hit the nail on the head, Menta…Connie was a completely different character this week! And while I certainly liked her better, the fact she was so awful the first time she met Ayano made no sense.

      I’m usually pretty forgiving towards a heightened, almost stylized high school drama (cough food wars), but it’s gotta keep its characters consistent.

      On the other hand I’m liking how fractured Ayano’s personality has become, and how she seeks refuge in simple childish things like Wei Wei, even if I’m sure a reckoning is coming regarding her increasingly arrogant attitude on the court.

      Erena has provided stalwart support to her for so long, but I’m sure even she has her limits as far as how nasty she’s willing to see Ayano get.

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