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Halrloprillalar

You can call me Hal.

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Tenipuri episodes 45-47
tezuryo kiss
prillalar
Note: There may be mild spoilers for future episodes in these write-ups. Previous: memories or tagged.

All about Akutsu versus Ryoma. With a lot of watching and a bit of commentary from Tezuka. Also Dan Taichi. Packed with flashbacky goodness!


45. The Devil on the Court

So, when we left off, Ryoma had just hit Akutsu in the face with Drive A. Akutsu seems amused. "That's for Kachiro," Ryoma says. Kachiro gets a little blushy over it.

There doesn't seem to be any reaction from Tezuka over this. Does he think it's okay for Ryoma to deliberately target Akutsu? Nanjiroh looks happy though.

I do love Akutsu's weird stance. And, my god, when he comes up from behind the net! It's chilling.

Nobody can figure out his style, not even Inui. But I think Nanjiroh wants to adopt him.

Everyone gets their chance to say something about Akutsu. When Fuji says Akutsu's tennis is completely different from Tezuka's, Tezuka says that's a compliment. I would really love to see them play.

I wonder if Akutsu is a possible path for Ryoma. Like there's the Tezuka path and the Akutsu path and if Ryoma isn't socialized properly, he'll take the wrong path.

Dan talks about The Wonder That Is Akutsu-senpai and gets all blushy as he fondles his headband.

Flashback to Akutsu's difficult childhood. He has no respect for tennis! Hence he will eventually -- years and years later -- be defeated. He crushes the older players in his tennis club. His crime seems to be being too good. Just like -- guess who? -- Tezuka. Only Akutsu taunts his elders while Tezuka is respectful. And Tezuka is the one who gets beaten up.

There's a lesson in there somewhere.

I wonder why Akutsu had all that special tennis coaching when he was young. I wonder how his mother paid for it.

Dan flashes back to his fateful meeting with Ryoma. Ryoma is so wonderful! Dan doesn't know which one he wants to give his love to now.

And flash back to Dan's fateful meeting with Akutsu. Dan is pretty clearly infatuated with Akutsu. Blush, blush, blush while admiring Akutsu's physical attributes. It's not even worth my making a joke over, because it's all so obvious in the text.

Dan picks up Akutsu's discarded sweatband. He keeps it as a souvenir. And this memory makes him certain. His true love is Akutsu, not Ryoma. Akutsu must not lose.

La la la, the game continues. Ryoma is losing.



46. Samurai Spirit

La la la. Ryoma is losing. He's shaken up pretty badly.

Flashback to Kawamura's Karate Days. The best karate student is a young J. Jonah Jameson. He beats Akutsu in karate, but Akutsu just beats JJJ up. Then he beats everyone else up. (Well, not Kawamura.) Kawamura is clearly traumatized.

He follows Akutsu and they talk. Akutsu makes like he's going to punch Kawamura, but just hits him lightly. Kawamura touches his cheek where Akutsu's fist has been. "...and it felt like a kiss."

Clearly, Akutsu has a soft spot for his fanboys. He doesn't harass Kawamura any more than he does Dan.

This match goes on for freaking ever because of all the flashbacks. It's like they stop the game and set up a projector and screen on the court every two minutes.

Inui gives a long explanation about why Ryoma is losing which boils down to "Akutsu is better than Ryoma".

Every time we see the team members, they look shocked and dismayed, except for Tezuka who has had his arms folded and his face set for about three episodes now.

Now Ryoma takes a ball to the face. I think this possibly causes Tezuka to unfold his arms, though we don't see if he actually gets a facial expression or not. And apparently Ryoma headed the ball or something because he takes the point.

Oh, well, Tezuka's arms are folded again. Actually, I think that's just a cardboard standup of Tezuka. He left it there so he could go on a date with Atobe. After the match, Ryoma takes it home and sets it up in his bedroom.

Oooh, flashback to the Ryoma-Tezuka match. The voice of his buchou and the memory of getting a ball past his father spurs Ryoma on to do some weird-ass thing and take a point. He strikes a cool, Fuji-like pose.

Tezuka has left a tape recorder behind the stand-up, to murmur his thoughts: people evolve when they face an overwhelming opponent. Now, show me, Echizen! (He uses that bit of the tape again later, in a different context.)

Ryoma provokes Akutsu some more. Because he just can't help himself.



47. Will Not Lose

Or maybe Will Not End.

Ryoma has evolved the ability to fly like a hummingbird so he's able to take a point by changing direction in mid-air. Inui can't figure out how this is possible, since it's clearly against the laws of God and man. Fuji asks Tezuka and Tezuka says it's possible. Ipse dixit.

Ryoma also evolves the ability to control the course of the ball telekinetically. Sengoku says it's scary that Ryoma hasn't reached his full potential, somehow forgetting that they are all in freaking junior high school and still have many years to reach their full potentials.

Momo says Ryoma is really strong and Kaidoh agrees with him. This causes them to bicker with each other. The Storage Closet Afterglow has already worn off.

Another flashback, this time to the match that Nanjiroh played in against Banji's team. Banji and Ryuzaki are wearing the same outfits that they do now, more than a decade later. Oh, but Banji doesn't have the stripes on his collar back then. They must be like notches for something.

Nanjiroh leaves the game. He's definitely interested in what Ryoma does next, so I'm not sure why he doesn't stick around for it.

Flashback to Banji feeling Akutsu's arms and shoulders in a creepy manner. He tries to seduce Akutsu into tennis by promising him he won't be bored.

The game grinds on. Nanjiroh eats lunch. Inui pontificates. Tezuka gives a homily on how mental strength can influence the game. Ryoma taunts Akutsu.

Ryoma is at match point! And the episode ends. But not the match.

Tezuka is doing the "watch Ryoma" thing here again. He and Nanjiroh both, waiting to see if Ryoma can push through yet another barrier. I wonder what Tezuka actually would do if Akutsu attacked Ryoma. I wonder what he thinks of Ryoma hitting Akutsu with the ball. (I think we get more of that next time, so maybe there will be some reaction from Tezuka.)

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Your summaries are, y'know, concise and interesting and all that, but what I always remember about them is the way they leave me weeping with laughter.

Hee! Healthy for you and good karma for me, then. :)

Ryoma has evolved the ability to fly like a hummingbird so he's able to take a point by changing direction in mid-air. Inui can't figure out how this is possible, since it's clearly against the laws of God and man. Fuji asks Tezuka and Tezuka says it's possible. Ipse dixit.

*just dies*

It was a bizarre moment. But I guess Inui just believes in science, while Tezuka believes in fairies magic. *g*

*giggles madly* your summaries are so amusing ^^

Kachiro gets a little blushy over it.
Kachiro is so totally Oishi to Ryouma's Tezuka. He follows him around like a puppy--so do the other ichinen, but Kachiro's the one who worries best. I also love the way Ryouma throws Arai in just for the heck of it and Arai's mixed reaction. He might have forgiven Arai, but he'll never let him forget it.

There doesn't seem to be any reaction from Tezuka over this. Does he think it's okay for Ryoma to deliberately target Akutsu?
Perhaps he expected it? He certainly seems to understand how Ryouma works, so maybe he knew that Ryouma wouldn't wait for Akutsu to strike first.

But I think Nanjiroh wants to adopt him.
More like divorce Rinko and marry Yuuki-chan. A pretty young wife and an amazing tennis-playing son. What more could he ask for?

I wonder why Akutsu had all that special tennis coaching when he was young. I wonder how his mother paid for it.
Possibly the tennis coach saw his potential and decided to develop it. Like Banji, only less creepy, and more willing to give up when Akutsu got bored and therefore violent.

Now Ryoma takes a ball to the face.
I find it interesting that this is the only time during the match that Akutsu actually tried to injure Ryouma, and it's only because Ryouma taunted him into it. It's like Ryouma's opening the match by nailing Akutsu took that option off the table: because Ryouma fought dirty, Akutsu had to fight clean, when it's usually the other way round. This could have been much more like the Kirihara-Fuji match, but Akutsu is determined never to fight by the rules his opponent sets.

Ryoma also evolves the ability to control the course of the ball telekinetically.
Buh? I must have missed that bit, what with all the hummingbird flying.

Flashback to Banji feeling Akutsu's arms and shoulders in a creepy manner.
Banji is more pedophilic than Shiba, and that's saying something. You totally know that the only reason Akutsu didn't beat him up is because he knew Banji would enjoy it.

I like Kachiro a lot. He's the one who tried to help Ryoma by taping Kaidoh's game (and got a black eye for his troubles). The way he stands up to Arai later is just lovely to see. And their subsequent mutual respect. I'm hoping they'll be a doubles pair next year.

I find it interesting that this is the only time during the match that Akutsu actually tried to injure Ryouma, and it's only because Ryouma taunted him into it.

That's a good point. And Akutsu probably would rather beat Ryoma with tennis than just beat him down. That would be too easy.

You totally know that the only reason Akutsu didn't beat him up is because he knew Banji would enjoy it.

LOL! Oh, and speaking of paedophilia, I have a favour to ask. I noticed that on the poker card scan posts on tenipuri that you requested the scan of the Yamato-Tezuka card. If you get that, would you forward me a copy? (hal@prillalar.com) I thought I'd ask you instead of the OP since she'll probably be busy for ages sending them out. I just...have to have that.

He's the one who tried to help Ryoma by taping Kaidoh's game (and got a black eye for his troubles).
Not to mention that Ryouma didn't even bother watching the tape, and didn't need to, either. I do like Kachiro, but while he's well-meaning, his help is not always well-timed. I also felt similarly about the way he stands up to Arai; it's admirable, but somewhat misguided and unnecessary. Well, it'll come with age and experience, I guess. He does seem like more a doubles player than a singles, though I tend to match him up with Katsuo. Those two are so synchronized already; can you imagine what they'll be like in a couple of years?

speaking of paedophilia
*chokes* Really, I have great difficulty picturing this pairing, though I don't know why, considering I ship Tezuka/Ryouma. Perhaps it's just that I can't see Yamato and Tezuka ever considering themselves equals; it's such a purely senpai-kouhai relationship. Anyway, scan is sent! Though, unfortunately, the image on the card is a bit warped. I don't think it's the scanner's fault, but that the makers were careless. Yamato seems to have his right side cut off. Tezuka, however, has this utterly adorable sideways hero-worship smile going on. And I love the green tracksuit!

Speaking of tracksuits, I've been thinking about them lately. Ryouma's class seems to wear red--their t-shirts are outlined in it, anyway. Momo and Kaidoh's classmates wear blue tracksuits (as does Momo when he's dropped), and in the flashback to the start of their rivalry, the two of them are wearing t-shirts with blue trim. Inui wears green pants once he's dropped, and the various flashbacks show that class wearing green tracksuits, t-shirts, and shorts as well. At first, I thought the colours were a means of ranking: first-years red, second-years blue, third-years green. But from the flashbacks, it seems that they stick with the same colour throughout their time at Seigaku, and that they simply cycle in rotation. Which seems to indicate that the senpai who hit Tezuka was in fact a third-year, because he was wearing a blue jacket. No wonder he was pissed off; just when he thought his time to shine had come, along comes a spectacular freshman.

Thanks so much for sending me that scan! I didn't notice the weird cut-off-ness of Yamato before! My theory is that wee Tezuka photoshopped himself into a picture he had and the result is less than professional. :)

You're right about the tracksuits -- I'd noticed that before. Ah, Inui's green trackpants of LOOOOOOOOOVE. *g*

I love your summaries! They make me crack up, but then you have these insights, like the one about Akutsu and Tezuka and Ryoma...although the way I just put it sounded wrong. XD So anyway...

...hummingbird flying. *dies laughing*

The summaries are more serious in the beginning, since the insights are the real reason I'm doing this. But the snark just crept in over time. I like it best with both. :)

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