Not a lot pairing-wise, but a bit of TezuRyo and of course Fuji's brother-complex.
Tezuka gives this boring mini-speech about how losing the lead is difficult psychologically. Inui and Fuji barely refrain from rolling their eyes. If they had been next to each other, instead of on either side of Tezuka, they would have exchanged a glance.
Lalala. D1 goes into a tiebreak and everyone is confident that the Golden Pair will win. Everyone except Inui.
And Inui is right. They lose. It's sad. Oishi carries Eiji off the court. The whole tournament is abuzz with the tragic news!
Ryoma is off again, but at least this time he has the excuse of warming up for S3.
Mizuki is getting spooked by all the unpredictable things happening. He doesn't adjust well. It looks like his stomach hurts. Then Inui comes up and takes him roughly by the shoulders... Oh, wait, he doesn't. Darn.
Ah, the Fuji brothers meeting. Yuuta gets another Musical Sting of Doom and some Rays of Intense Frustration streaming off his head like the beams of a cranky sun. He's just so darling. And Fuji is so worried about him. Bad news for Mizuki.
There's a kind of weird exchange between Inui and Tezuka where Inui wonders if Ryoma finished preparing and Tezuka says that Ryoma said he wanted to "create his own mood". Whatever that means. I suspect that could have been better translated. Or Tezuka is getting confused between the tennis talk and the bedroom talk.
Ryoma is warming up like mad. I guess he must care about his senpais' loss after all. Or maybe he's just trying to drown out Sakuno's babbling.
But no! He's thinking about playing Tezuka. Ah, the golden-hued flashback of their match. Then Tezuka talks to Ryoma from inside the tennis ball. Seriously, Tezuka's face appears in it, like it's a crystal ball. (I wonder if Ryoma hallucinates this with every tennis ball now.) Ryoma catches the ball and squeezes it,
Obviously, Tezuka has had quite an effect on Ryoma. He's working harder, he's switched his focus. He's ready to prove himself.
Then he meets Yuuta on the court.
34. Twist Spin Shot
Do I even need to write down that Ryoma provokes Yuuta?
We get a long explanation from Inoue about how left-handers are at an advantage in tennis. Inui regrets not making Ryoma practice against Tezuka. Oh, Inui, if you ever find out, you'll be devastated that you your spying failed you.
Tezuka watches Ryoma impassively. Horio watches somewhat less impassively.
We get a long explanation from Inui about how the Rising Shot works.
Tezuka comments to Fuji that this is a "complicated situation" for him. Wow, Tezuka, keep that up and people might think you're interested in something besides tennis! Oh, wait, the complicated situation is about tennis. Well, scratch that.
There's a shot of Fuji and Tezuka standing together watching as Yuuta and Ryoma cross in front of them while changing sides. I wonder if there's meant to be a Fuji-Yuuta, Tezuka-Ryoma parallel.
We get a long internal monologue from Mizuki about Ryoma and Yuuta. And afterwards, Mizuki will beat the person Yuuta hates most. Mizuki really seems to want to bind Yuuta to him.
There are some brief flashbacks of Yuuta at Seigaku, but sadly they omit any wacky hijinks he gets up to with Momo and Kaidoh.
Ryoma boasts to Yuuta that he's played much stronger lefties. Tezuka muses that Ryoma is much faster now than when they played. Ryoma is showing off for
You know, after all the mention I made about Ryoma lazing under a tree while his teammates played, Kaidoh is doing the same thing now. He's beside the court, but he's sitting against a tree and facing away. I wonder why. Did he and Yuuta have a brief but bitter affair and now he can't bear to look at him?
Oh, but he just turned around and showed us his pretty face. *sigh*
Flashback to Yuuta's tennis school days and the fateful meeting with Mizuki. Oh, Mizuki ensnares him with his honeyed voice and the rays of mesmerising light flowing off of him.
And behold! The Twist Spin Shot! Way cool stance, Yuuta. But Fuji is worried.
35. Drive B
Can Ryoma return the Twist Spin Shot? Oh, the suspense!
Ooh, Ryoma disses both Yuuta and Fuji with one comment! "Your goal might be to beat your brother, but I'm aiming much higher."
Somehow, there isn't much to say about this match. Ryoma invents Drive B. Yuuta keeps his honour by not trying to hit Ryoma in the face with the ball and Ryoma wins. That's about it. But we do see that Ryoma's tennis is evolving, which was what Tezuka was trying to do for him. So, yay!
Fuji wants to play Ryoma. Not surprising.
There's a great shot of Evil Mizuki, with blue-green zombie lighting. He's not pleased that his dastardly deeds in regard to Yuuta and the Twist Spin Shot have been discovered. He ignores darling Yuuta as well. For now...
And Fuji gets a wind shot so we'll know he means business.