Ryoma and Shinjyou. Possibly the most boring episodes ever. I was snarky. But probably not snarky enough.
83. The Best Masterpiece
Finally, the match that I really don't enjoy: Ryoma vs the Robot. Also, it's 1000000 degrees Celsius (1800032 Fahrenheit) inside my apartment and the fan on my computer is so loud I can hardly hear the soundtrack. Fortunately, there are subs.
Ryoma wins the first two games easily and everybody is happy. They have not been actually watching the show or they would know that winning at first does not bode well for the rest of the match.
Shinjyou, aka The Robot (he's an android, not a mutant), does this thing where his expression doesn't change but he looks suddenly menacing. He does some strange serves that make Inui and Fuji talk to each other in their scary voices.
It turns out that Shinjyou's got a special robot power called Mirage (he probably didn't name it, otherwise it would have a name like Special Robot Power) where he can hit heavy or weak serves without changing his form, so Ryoma has trouble knowing how to return the ball. Fuji explains this. Then Inui explains it for all of us, in case we missed it when Fuji explained it. Then Inoue explains it again, just for Sakuno and Tomoka.
The robot wins a game. I drink some ice water. It's still hot.
Since it's Ryoma's serve, everyone figures that Mirage won't work on return shots. They are wrong. Not only that, but Eiji observes the spin of the ball changing in mid-air. This is possible because...I don't know.
And now, just to change things up a little, a flashback. Inoue interviews Shinjyou and asks if he's got any interests besides tennis, like, for instance, girls. "No," Shinjyou says. "As an android, I have no need of companionship or hobbies. I am programmed to only play tennis. My goal is to become a tennis pro and kill all humans." To save money on the flashback, nobody's mouth moves when they talk. Or maybe all the conversation is telepathic. It could happen.
The robot is up 3-2. Everyone is agitated. I'm hot and bored. I wish Momo and Kaidoh would make out or something.
Ryoma switches to his right hand and hits a Twist Serve but to no avail. He does it a bunch more times and then says he can see through the robot's technique. He wins the game. Inui explains that Shinjyou is dodging slightly which throws stuff off a bit. It seems his programming is flawed.
At this point Ryoma makes an error: he mada mada danes "both you and your coach". This causes Shinjyou to switch from the "Win Tennis Match" program to the "Kill! Kill!" program. Yes, Shinjyou has exceeded his programming and fallen in love with his coach. He uses a freaky stance which causes Hanamura to jump up and shout Nooooooooo! Shinjyou serves anyhow and hits Ryoma in the face with the ball.
I can't quite bring myself to care.
84. Deep Impulse
Everyone is horrified at Ryoma's injury, including Hanamura. Ryoma, though, is grinning. Finally, things are getting interesting.
Well, interesting for Ryoma. I'm still pretty bored.
Hanamura ticks off Shinjyou for trying to destroy Ryoma. "Do you love him more than you love me?" Shinjyou says, with a drop of Mom's Old-Fashioned Robot Oil in his eye. "You don't need him when you have me."
Ryoma is really psyched up by the injury. Which seems to happen every time he gets hurt. Maybe all those FujiRyo BDSM stories I read aren't so far-fetched after all.
The ichinen trio mutter that things look bad for Ryoma and Tomoka lays into them with religious fervour. "We have always preached that Ryoma-sama will never lose!" She looks to Sakuno for a "So say we all!" but Sakuno just kind of blushes and Tomo gets after her too.
"Mada mada dane," Sakuno says and it's so cute I could die. "I'm sure that's what Ryoma-kun would say." And thus the crisis on the sidelines is averted and the match can resume.
I must say, the robot's Deep Impulse form is really cool. Legs far apart, arms crossed in front of him. He takes Ryoma down again.
The mutant side talks about how Hanamura forbade Shinjyou to use that shot but he's been practising it anyhow. It's designed to destroy another player entirely by hurting them and making them afraid to play tennis in the future.
I guess Shinjyou didn't read the FujiRyo BDSM.
You know, whoever made that robot did a pretty bad job with his hair. It doesn't look natural at all. It's like you could peel strips of it back from his forehead. Maybe it's made out of duct tape.
Ryoma tries to distract the robot by talking about taking his shirt off. It doesn't work on him, but Fuji takes note. Ryoma notices that robots don't sweat like people.
They play some more. Shinjyou hits the Deep Impulse a bunch and Ryoma gets marked up. People worry about Ryoma. I think about my personal problems instead.
While planning out my next career moves, I almost miss a flashback where Hanamura comes to Jyousei and for the first time, a young robot finds love. In order to win her heart, he destroys his rival. Not by killing him and dumping the weighted body in the river, like Inui might do, but just by using Deep Impulse and making him too scared to keep playing tennis. Which probably means he was too weak anyhow.
Oh, wow, Hanamura hands Shinjyou a towel! She should know better than to lead him on like that.
So, the game continues and Ryoma runs up to meet the ball. This works and he blows Shinjyou's racquet away. He's doing this Stuttered Step thing that gets explained a bunch of times by a bunch of people. So if you want to know how it works, watch the episode yourself. It looks really dorktastic, like something Naruto might do.
Ryoma taunts Shinjyou to use more Deep Impulse. The robot starts to leak more oil as the game gets harder and harder. "I need to reboot," he says to himself and throws away a game so he can have Hanamura press his secret reset button.
"It's fun breaking a perfect masterpiece," Ryoma says. "Just like when I spilled water on my dad's vintage porn collection."
And we have yet another episode of this match to watch. *sigh*
85. The Result of the Deathly Duel
Shinjyou's reboot is complete and not-getting-annoyed circuits are now working. There is more tennis. Ryoma wins. The end. I wish.
There are lots of weird-ass special effects. I think the animators are admitting that the match is boring and this is all they can do to liven it up.
Ryoma does a Deep Impulse or something and bruises the robot. Inui explains how Ryoma is using the robot's own power to make the shots. Maybe Ryoma is actually manifesting mutant powers here. If so, he'll have to go with Hanamura after all.
Kaidoh makes a random remark and I wake up for a few seconds. Sadly, though, he was commenting on the match and not asking Momo to come check out something in the bushes with him.
Actually, one thing that's interesting: we get some of Ryoma's inner monologue during this match. Of course, it's all about tennis and his confusion over which shot will come when, but we usually get none of his thoughts, so it's remarkable.
The robot's Just-Like-Real-Skin-Synthetic-Covering is all bruised up. The winner music starts to play and the match is...wait for it...almost...any minute now...OVER!
Lucky for Shinjyou, Hanamura still loves him.
Afterwards, Kajimoto, who is a real sweetie and hardly a freak at all, comes over and congratulates Oishi on their win. "By the way," he says. "Who was Singles 1?"
"Me," says Fuji and Kajimoto does a double-take, startled by Fuji's delicate beauty.
"I would have loved to play you," he says and they shake hands. I would be lying if I said it was lingering, though, so sorry.
For some reason, it only just occurred to me now that the Jyousei uniforms are the same icky green colour as Inui's new sweatsuit, the one he bought specially to seduce Kaidoh with. Maybe this means something.
And everyone repairs to Kawamura's for sushi. Kaidoh isn't at the same table as Inui or Momo, but he and Momo are back to back. Um, in case you cared about that. Every scene, I note where Kaidoh is and who he's next to and how close they are. Because that's the kind of thorough and dedicated fan I am. But since I'm not Inui, I don't write it down. Except for just now.
The boys eat so much that Tomoka is impressed. "How manly!"
Momo and Inui have to eat wasabi sushi since they lost their match. Momo whines and complains, but they have nowhere to run. The episode fades out to their screams.
Dear god, that took forever. One more episode, and then it's BOWLING TIME!