Bowling and more screepcaps of Kaidoh's divine hotness than you can shake a stick at. Put on your sunglasses, because the hotness might blind you if you're not protected. Pillar of Seigaku? Fuck that shit. This is what the show is really about.
86. High on Rhythm!
Three of the top four teams have been decided: Rikkai, Rokkaku, and Seigaku. Fudomine and Yamabuki must battle it out for the final place.
I haven't been talking about the changes in OP and ED as I go along, but I really have to mention that in the current OP Inui is wearing a short-sleeved turtleneck sweater, which nobody else in the history of the world would ever, ever wear, not even Bill Gates. I'd theorize that he has to cover up a hickey and it's too hot for long sleeves, but, really, his fashion sense is actually just that bad. And yet, he's still such a stud.
So, Sengoku and Kamio face each other across the net. As you will recall, Momo beat Sengoku and Kaidoh beat Kamio, so you could think of it as a sort of proxy battle between Momo and Kaidoh if you wanted to. (I like to think about them as much as possible. I'm sure you understand.)
Momo and Ryoma race to the tennis courts, two hours late due to Ryoma's oversleeping and Momo's overeating. An is pissed off that Momo is late for their date. Momo should watch out, since Fuji is there and he and An do make a very cute couple. But then Inui is there too, so I guess Fuji is provided for.
Since I've already addressed the issue of Inui's fashion sense, I feel I should highlight his outfit for you. He looks like a total skater wannabe: short-sleeved baggy bunnyhug and baggy capri-length pants. (What do you call that length on a guy?) It really doesn't work. He needs something slim and dark. Maybe Kaidoh should take him shopping.
Anyhow, there's tennis. Fudomine is ahead 2 matches to 1. I'm ticked we didn't get to see D1, since Kiyasu voices Uchimura. (But I'm wondering if Kiyasu is voicing the ref this time around -- I just can't quite say for sure, but the more I hear, the more I think it might be so.) Inui seems to feel sorry for Banji, which is cute because he's there with Fuji. I think I've mentioned this before: Ryuzaki == Inui and Banji == Fuji.
There's hardly any crowd, which is depressing. Kamio changes up the rhythm, like he does. He wins a game and gets the nod from his beloved Tachibana-san. This fills him with the eternal fire of determination and devotion and maybe just a little bit of manlove. Really, all of Fudomine is gay for Tachibana. (And who could blame them?) I wonder what they get up to after practices.
Kamio and Sengoku play. People make banal remarks about the game. Sengoku pulls off a difficult shot which makes Inui talk, for which I am glad. I can't quite remember what Inui said, but I do remember his voice was low and thrilling in my ears.
Dan Taichi is there and he's wearing the Yamabuki Regular uniform, working hard to impress his darling Akutsu-senpai, who of course is not there. I wish we'd seen Dan play!
Kamio flips out and throws his racquet. Shinji goes on and on about how this wouldn't have happened if he'd been S2. (He was S3.) For some reason, Kamio starts playing with his eyes closed. Only he just stands there and lets the ball go by him for several serves. He seems to be doing that so that Sengoku can't predict his movements based on his eyes, but that's not going to work if he doesn't at least try to hit the ball. Finally, after giving up several points, Kamio uses his super-speed to catch up with the ball at the last moment.
And now, a sepia-coloured flashback to the first Fudomine-Yamabuki match, the one where Akutsu (which I still have trouble typing) brought the cat that ran into the road that caused the car crash that hurt the Fudomine players
Kamio does some shot that makes everyone gasp. I'm not sure why -- it doesn't seem that amazing, crazy, or dangerous. Just fast. It's the Sonic Bullet. Even the name is boring, by Prince of Tennis standards. He should have called it the High-Speed Super Squid Attack or something.
But even with the boring name, it's too fast for Sengoku to hit, even if he sees it. Kamio is so into the game, he doesn't notice Momo making time with An. Or maybe Fuji making time with An. Or...oh, Inui's talking again!
It's tie-break. They are both going all-out, yadda yadda. We get a mysterious foot shot, which can only mean one thing: Kaidoh Kaoru!!! He's wearing long pants, so we can't see his pretty ankles, but his pink tank top makes up for it. Seriously, that boy can wear anything. Well, probably not Inui's short-sleeved turtleneck, but anything else. He's standing by himself on the other side of the court, leaning on a pole, and looking cooler than anyone ever, even James Dean.
It's match point. Kamio trips and falls trying to get the ball. But Kaidoh's fetching pinkness catches his eye and drags him into Flashback World. This time, it's a treat for us all as Kaidoh throws himself around in the dirt and defeats Kamio. "Who the hell said it was over?"
"I rode the rhythm," Kamio says, remembering that special time. Probably why he's so unconcerned about An.
Even cooler than before, Kaidoh walks off alone, like there's nothing in the world he cares about. Hearts break all over the court and stands. (Also, here in my office. ♥)
Fuji and Inui look at the tournament rankings and Inui talks about Rikkai and Rokkaku. There's a shot of Sanada, Kirihara, and Yanagi. Oh, Inui. He deals with the pain in his heart by making out with Fuji. It's good for what ails you.
Ryoma chases down Kaidoh and chats him up! They exchange about a sentence each, but for those two, that's quite a lot. Oh the sweetness of the RyoKai. Good thing Inui has Fuji and Momo has An now. Kaidoh walks off some more and Ryoma can't help but sigh, partly with love and partly because he knows he will never be that cool.
Since we're talking about the OP and ED today, there is the cutest damn shot of Tomoka and Sakuno in the ED. Whenever I see it, I want them to have a sleepover and practice kissing with each other.
87 & 88. Chibi Adventures & Bowling
So, Ryuzaki and Banji are a chibi grandma and grandpa. Seriously, I don't know why they aren't dating in their non-chibi state. They clearly have it bad for each other.
A giant can of Ponta comes along in the river and inside it is baby Ryoma! After growing up a bit, he leaves for the big city. On the way, he drops his lunch down a hole. Inside the hole, he finds a bunch of really weird guys. They are, of course, the other Regulars. Who seem to be carnies. They romp around in loincloths doing various circus tricks, half of which I wouldn't find OOC for them in real life. Like Momo on the unicycle or Eiji juggling. Kaidoh's snake charming, though, not so much. But I could see him playing that flute in
The best part is that Inui and Tezuka are skipping rope together, showing that their Love is True. They are both completely serious and I'm a little more in love with them than I was before.
Ryoma stays and plays with everyone. But when Tezuka tells him to become Seigaku's pillar of support, he says he doesn't want to and runs off. God, I love that. It seems more in character for him to do that than agree.
He resumes his journey to the city, asking directions from Sakuno, who of course sends him in the wrong direction. He ends up on the beach, where Horio, Kachiro, and Katuso are the cutest little turtles ever. Atobe, Kabaji, and Akutsu are poking them with sticks. I guess they're going to grow up to be serial killers. Ryoma tries to leave because he doesn't want problems.
But the carnies have shown up and they are Against Bullying OMG! Kaidoh is the cutest cute thing in the whole damn history of cute things.
Oishi drags Ryoma along with them and suddenly Ryoma is back in his loincloth. The bullies are scared off! The turtles are saved!
The turtles give the carnies a choice of boxes and Ryoma chooses the small one since it's easier to carry. The bullies show up and take the big box, which contains Kamio and Ibu as ghosts.
Back at grandpa and grandma's house, they open up the small box and it's full of tennis racquets. They get used for beating rugs, scratching backs, cooking fish, and scrubbing loincloths down by the river. Kaidoh seems rather interested in Inui's unclad nether regions.
Personally, I'm just surprised Inui's loincloth wasn't uglier than everyone else's.
The Prince of Bowling
At last you have come to me, precious. There will be lot of screencaps. Lots, precious, lots.
The Regulars are having a recreation day to celebrate being in the Best 4. The first-year trio are also invited, because of their constant supportive cheering. Also, Horio may be needed to substitute for an injured player! They meet up with Ryoma. Momo show up and calls out to them. But then he bumps into Kaidoh.
Now the first time I watched this episode, I was utterly shocked and amazed by Kaidoh's outfit. Also the second time, the third time, and however many times this is by now.
HE LOOKS LIKE A HUSTLER.
I mean, the low slung jeans to flash a bit of navel are really nice. No bandana so we can see his pretty hair. But the sleeveless vest unzipped to show the man-cleavage? Who bought him that vest? His mother? (Maybe she thought he was going to wear it over a short-sleeved turtleneck sweater.)
The only reason to wear something like that is to make everyone who sees him want to take hold of the zipper and pull. And it works. My god. It works.
Kaidoh totally ticks off Momo for being so friendly to the first-years. He's so concerned with the proper order of things. I figure that's why we often see him sitting with Momo on these outings. (Well, also so they can feel each other up whenever possible.)
(Such gorgeousness. Even Momo looks good. They look so wonderful together.)
They pick up Fuji and walk to the bowling alley. Kaidoh is annoying me so much today, Momo thinks. Why is he so annoying?
Fuji walks behind Kaidoh to get a good view and to plan how he'll talk Kaidoh into making out with him in the bathroom in between frames.
Eiji and Kawamura join them. Everyone is staring at Kaidoh. Seriously.
They arrive at the alley where Inui, Oishi, and Ryuzaki are waiting for them. Inui's Kaidoh-sense has been tingling like crazy. He knows he's going to have to use extreme measures to make sure Kaidoh leaves with him.
Kaidoh is randomly hot some more.
I love that shot so much. Momo is just transfixed. As am I. And you too, if you're human.
"Get your hand off my ass, Momoshiro," Kaidoh says.
Anyhow, Ryoma is ticked off because he got up early for bowling. He tries to leave, but Inui is there with his Inui Special Recovery Juice: Aozu. It's blue. Anyone who gets a gutter ball has to do a shot and the losing team has to drink it all.
You know, Inui's outfit isn't too bad here. He's in a dark blue shirt and black pants with a wide grey stripe. I guess it's just hard to notice anyone else beside Rent Boy!Kaidoh.
Eiji tries a tiny taste of Aozu and flips the hell out because it tastes like straight vinegar. Inui, bless him, is actually offended that Eiji disses the taste of the juice that Inui has made specifically as a punishment. I love that boy so much.
Sweet Kaidoh tries to show his faith in his boyfriend by saying that black vinegar is good for the body. You might think from this cap that he's being evil, but it's really him just nervously defending Inui while fearing for his life if he has to drink the Aozu.
Momo gets all in his face about it, because Kaidoh is JUST SO ANNOYING today for some reason, much more annoying than usual, and wouldn't he be less annoying if Momo could just rip that stupid vest off of him?
They almost go at it, but Kawamura, damn him, breaks it up. Somehow, the thought of Momo's hands on Kaidoh really bothers him.
The pairings have obviously been fixed here: Momo/Ryoma, Fuji/Eiji, Inui/Kaidoh, Kawamura/Horio (hey, I'd write it), Kachiro/Katsuo, and Ryuzaki/Oishi. Tezuka is hardly gone and already Oishi is stealing his old lady girlfriend! Creepily, Oishi and Ryuzaki have the same weird bangs.
Oishi is going to bowl with his left arm, since his right is injured and this is just recreation. Some bowling happens. Horio does fairly well! Oh, everybody be quiet, Kaidoh's bowling now.
He's so, so, so hot. Only he does a snake-like shot and gets a gutter ball. Probably he's just not very good at bowling, poor lamb.
Inui brings over the shot glass, looming with such evil intent. Not even Kaidoh is safe when there is juice torture on the line.
"But I'm your boyfriend, I mean, bowling partner," Kaidoh says.
"Sorry," Inui says. "These are the rules. You remember our rules, don't you?"
Kaidoh remembers. In fact, he still has the marks. He drinks the shot and passes out, hotly.
Everyone races in to see if there's more skin showing now that he's collapsed. "No, you can't take advantage of him in this state," Oishi tells Eiji. "That just not right."
So, Inui, ever the attentive boyfriend and teammate, leaves Kaidoh unconscious and bowls. He has it all worked out mathematically but he can only knock down one pin. "Illogical!" he says, raising one eyebrow.
Fuji, in a charming sweater vest, has never bowled before and gets a gutterball. Inui comes over with the juice and Fuji tries to grab his ass. This really happens. (Well, maybe it does off-frame.) Fuji drinks with relish, but it's too strong even for him and he passes out face down on the floor. Unusually for Prince of Tennis, everyone goes super-deformed in response to this event. Nobody in the bowling alley calls emergency services.
Eiji and Kawamura drop to their knees, calling their beloved's name. Oishi is just glad that Eiji isn't mauling Kaidoh for a change.
Aozu is terrifying, everyone yells. In Germany, Tezuka wakes from a nightmare. This really happens. (Really.) He's worried about everyone back in Japan. I'm pitifully glad to hear Okiayu's voice.
Inui continues to hit only one pin. It turns out that Ryuzaki and Oishi are bowling geniuses. They even have special bowling gloves. Oishi's is for the left hand. Clearly, they planned this whole event to cruelly crush everyone on the team. It's the evil bangs. Maybe they belong to a bowling team with two other people with bangs like that.
Now this is one of the reasons I don't find Oishi and Eiji very slashy. If they were that close, Eiji would have known that Oishi is such a bowling freak. But clearly he does not. I think they're close as doubles partners, but not really as friends.
Oishi gets another strike. "Saa," he says, "yudan sezu ni ikou." This causes Tezuka to wake up again. He senses that Oishi is stealing his identity now too. "I thought you loved me," he says, wiping away a tear. "But you just wanted to get close to me to take everything away."
I freaking love scary!Oishi. He can be my daddy any day. Tezuka is so his bitch.
Eiji is also bowling very well and Oishi is momentarily transfixed by his hotness. Momo and Ryoma are determined to win, which surprises nobody. Kachiro and Katsuo just want to make sure they don't drink Aozu. Inui still can only hit one pin and it puzzles him.
Oishi and Ryuzaki play dirty and distract Eiji as he's bowling. He has to drink. Kawamura drops out too.
Inui can still only hit that same one pin. He's worried that if he changes his throw, he'll hit the gutter. But his team is last, so if he doesn't, he'll have to drink the whole pitcher of Aozu! So he determines to throw a gutter ball on purpose.
Darling Kaidoh can sense this in his unconscious and pretty state.
He crawls over and grabs Inui's ankle. "Until the end," he hisses, "don't give up."
Inui stumbles into Ryuzaki and they both gutter. "Let's drink together," Inui says and they both pass out. Inui and Kaidoh get to share the same bench, at least. Somewhere, in dreamland, Fuji is annoyed.
Horio gutters and drinks, I must say, very bravely. He doesn't whine like some people who are a lot older than him. Poor darling Oishi slips in some Aozu on the floor and gutters too.
It's down to Momo/Ryoma and Kachiro/Katsuo. "I don't want to drink!" Kachiro yells, tears streaming down his face, and gets a strike. "If I drink that, I'll die!" Katsuo yells and throws a strike as well. "Okaasan!" Kachiro yells on the last shot. Strike! They win.
This means that Momo and Ryoma lose. The Aozu bubbles at them menacingly. All the passed out players rise in a zombie-like state and compel them to drink. Kaidoh has a snake coming out of his head, very Goa'uld-like.
But Inui has a reward for the winners too: Inui specially-made Nutritional Strengthening Juice, Akazu.
Back in Germany, Tezuka is wearing ugly green sweatpants!!! Oh, honey. He breaks his shoelace.
At the bowling alley, everyone is passed out. This seems pretty normal to me, as the bowling alley here is notorious for serving beer to underage kids. But the workers there are mystified. They still don't call for help, though.
Whoever wakes up first gets to take Kaidoh home. Unless I get there first.
Back to the chibis. Inui washes his face at practice. But his glasses are gone! He goes to the police, holding up a little flag so that no-one can see his eyes.
Tachibana is the police chief. Sakurai, Shinji, Taichi, and Akutsu are his subordinates. Dan Taichi is actually less cute as a chibi than his usual self.
As Inui recalls what happened, it is revealed that he came across Kaidoh playing with Karupin. Kaidoh is so blushy and cute! Inui as good as accuses Kaidoh, proving that he is a bad, bad boyfriend and should have to suffer while Kaidoh dates Momo and Fuji and Tomoka and Ryoma. (Probably not all at once.)
Akutsu and Dan go to check up on Kaidoh's alibi. Akutsu handcuffs Kaidoh. Even though they are chibis, I have to take a moment at the thought. At the station, they interrogate Kaidoh and it's a battle of wills between Kaidoh and Akutsu. "I would never tell you even if I did it!" Kaidoh says. Dan jumps around trying to get them to calm down. It's kind of like the Starsky & Hutch episode I watched last week.
So, who has the better ass, Kaidoh or Starsky? I really can't decide.
Anyhow, they go for Ryoma next. This time Sakurai and Shinji go after him. Inui keeps remembering more people he saw and they drag in Kawamura who has truly impressive sideburns. Eiji can only say "Hoi". The ichinens try to escape, but there's a helicopter and riot police after them. Also, a sniper.
"Anyone else with a grudge against you?" Tachibana asks. Inui realizes that pretty much everyone has a grudge against him because of his juice. Momo. Fuji and Oishi (who have just been to see a movie together!).
Even Tezuka gets picked up in Germany. He and Tenma are holed up, hiding out from the police. "I'll give myself up," Tezuka says. "Make sure you get away."
"No!" Tenma says. "I can't let you do that for me."
"Don't let me down," Tezuka says, and after a last desperate glance, goes out and lets himself be taken. Tenma watches, cut to the heart by Tezuka's sacrifice. Then he slips away and does some back-alley surgery on a dying grandmother.
The jail cells are bursting. Even Tomoka and Sakuno have been picked up. Inui tries to finger one of them. (Okay, I didn't notice how that sounded until I came back to edit.)
And then he finds his glasses on top of his head. He is beaten up by the rest of Seigaku. And we're done.
There are some cute images over the ED this time around, including Ryoma with a rose between his teeth.
But I don't care because BOWLING!KAIDOH.
Maybe next time I'll do the bowling ep again.