I thought maybe I'd try to see if I could just do the bowling episode again, but then I'd never get done. This instalment features Dan Taichi, RyoKai, and some hot hot make-out action. And this takes us through the crack so we're back with actual matches next time.
89. Seigaku, DaDaDaDan!
We fade in to the sound of Horio panting. That's pretty hot. You think so too, right? Right? Jeez.
Okay, I find this episode difficult to watch because it hits my embarrassment squick pretty hard. But I'll do my best, even if I have to type with one hand while I hold the other in front of my eyes and watch through tiny slits.
Cute little Dan Taichi shows up to practice with Seigaku for the day. But, much like Oishi tried to steal Tezuka's identity last episode, Dan is a Ryoma-wannabe, same equipment, same shirt, same hair, same cap. (Just scrub the creepy faux TezuRyo images out of your brain, k? I find thinking about Kaidoh helps. Running, maybe, or making out with Inui or Momo or Fuji. Or standing in the river, droplets of water glistening on his bare chest. Or saving me from a burning building. That sort of thing.)
"Is that your twin brother?" Eiji says. "No one like that exists," Ryoma says, but 300 fanfiction.net authors can't be wrong, can they? In fact, it's Ryoma's twin sister, Brenda, newly arrived from America, pretending to be a boy so she can play on the boys team and romance Fuji. Next year, she'll transfer to Hogwarts and romance Snape.
Anyhow, the whole thing is a thinly veiled excuse for Banji to come over and romance Ryuzaki. She stands by the window so he can check out her ass. "Your daddy must have been a baker," Banji says, "because you've got a nice set of buns."
Dan is starry-eyed over the Seigaku regulars. The trio, who play with Dan at the court down by the river, harass Horio about losing to Dan. But I'm sure Horio had a high fever, stomach cramps, and a broken leg. Also the sun was in his eyes.
Aw, Dan is sending a mental postcard to Akutsu-senpai all about how happy he is to be here today! Or maybe they can communicate telepathically. Or maybe Dan thinks they can communicate telepathically. Even though Dan is all Ryoma-fied, he's still wearing Akutsu's headband under his cap.
It turns out that Dan snuck around the Seigaku practices and took Ryoma's data. His notebook is smaller than Inui's, though.
The trio talk Dan into challenging Ryoma to a match, since anyone can challenge a Regular. There's a minor bit about how only Momo has no challengers that day, but it's really not that funny. Meanwhile, Ryuzaki and Banji are entwined on the couch, hands all over each other, feverishly kissing. But they are both fantasizing about Oji, the Rokkaku coach.
Ryoma says he won't go easy on Dan and his voice makes me wish there were more slash about them. Also, the random student chair reffing the match is voiced by Kiyasu Kohei! I hope there are lots of calls. Dan psyches himself up by remembering Akutsu-senpai in the most scary black and white shot imaginable.
Either Dan has no colour vision or he's more creepy than Akutsu.
Dan imitates Ryoma's Twist Serve and Ryoma is surprised enough not to return it, which means that I get to hear Kiyasu say, "15-0." And again: "30-0." But then, of course, the tables turn, and Ryoma returns the next serve.
Boring, boring. Elsewhere, Inui and Kaidoh have finished their matches and are making out behind the clubhouse. Kaidoh has Inui backed up against the wall and Inui is clutching his notebook so hard it's crumpling in his fist. His face is red and Kaidoh pulls his head down and kisses him hard, his other hand on Inui's hip. He doesn't say anything, though, because Kiyasu is already busy.
I guess I missed some stuff with Dan and Ryoma while I was writing that down. Dan is sweating or crying or something and Ryoma calls him uncool. There are some flashbacks to the Ryoma-Akutsu match, which you can just go watch for yourself if you can't remember how it went.
Then back to Ryuzaki and Banji. Ryuzaki is sitting at the extreme end of the couch, facing away, her arms folded in front of her. "That never happens," Banji says. "I swear! Maybe it's because you're not a first-year boy."
In the end, Dan loses, but Ryoma gives him a vague compliment, and Banji and Dan walk off into the sunset together. Really.
Ryuzaki is frustrated and she can't even call Tezuka into her office now. If she had only sent him off to Kyushu, like in the manga, instead of Germany, she could at least have visited on weekends and got a little satisfaction. But maybe Oishi will go bowling with her...
90. Cheap Housing Beach Volleyball
We're at the beach in Chiba. The boys are in somewhat indifferent beach outfits. Kaidoh's bandana is still green, but the paisley pattern is in blue. He has a green sleeveless shirt with a sort of v-neck. He looks really, really hot. Inui, on the other hand, is dressed like your dad.
There are many gratuitous shots of bikini-clad women frolicking in the sand and water, but the boys are not paying any attention whatsoever. Sakuno and Tomoka look deadly cute, but the boys aren't paying them any attention either. Except for when Momo says in an irritated voice, "Why are you two here?" You can draw your own conclusions.
There is some sort of crisis over their hotel coupon, without which they cannot afford to stay over for training, even though most of their families seem reasonably well-off. Horio lost the coupon (probably because he was being mobbed by girls on the beach). Momo yells at the ichinen about it, but Fuji tells them not to worry.
And, in case you were worried that there wouldn't be quite enough crack today, here's Nanjiroh, with bandages all over his face like a mummy. He's managing a snack shop. Ryoma nearly has a stroke when he sees him. Nanjiroh says if the boys help out at the snack shop, he'll pay for their hotel fee. Nanjiroh grabs as many of the boys as possible and hugs them.
So, everyone is wearing pink aprons and serving food to people. For a second, I thought this was Kogure.
Maybe it is. Maybe he and Mitsui are there, at the beach, and they'll lie on the sand together and Mitsui will fall asleep and Kogure will watch him with a fond look on his face and once it's dark, they'll go somewhere out of the way and Kogure will coax Mitsui into kissing him and since it's dark and Kogure won't see Mitsui blushing, Mitsui does, and soon they're hot and panting and fumbling at each other's clothes and I guess I'm supposed to be writing about Prince of Tennis.
Anyhow, Kogure's meal is served by our charming Kaidoh, who gruffly tells him, "Sorry for the wait." It's a bit scary and Kogure flinches back. Mitsui grabs Kaidoh by the shirt and tells him he'd better watch his step. Kaidoh hisses in Mitsui's face and they throw down right then and there, while Kogure frowns and Inui grins and gets out his notebook and you don't really care about Mitsui and Kogure, do you? (Well, you should.)
So, Nanjiroh takes Ryoma out to the alley for a talk. Nanjiroh says he's managing the shop for the summer. He, at least, appreciates the attractive women on the beach. And the bandages are because he has a bad sunburn. Or some flimsy excuse. He promises not to reveal that he's Ryoma's father. But only if Ryoma will send Momo out to the alley next so that they can "talk" as well.
But Momo is busy "talking" with Kaidoh. It turns out that there is no more food and the customers are getting irritated. Which, of course, causes Momo and Kaidoh to fight. Or possibly something else. That looks like this:
Kawamura turns red. (Seriously. Though it may have just been a colouring error on that frame.) He tries to break up the "talk" and of course someone tosses him a racquet and of course the whole shop gets trashed. "Burning! Don't underestimate the food service industry!" (He really says this. ♥)
In order to make money to repair the shop, Nanjiroh organizes a beach volleyball tournament, where people can challenge Ryoma-Kaidoh pair. Neither of them seem very enthused about it. It seems that Nanjiroh picked them because he
Meanwhile, the first-years run into Sasabe pere and fils, who are terrorizing everyone in beach volleyball. So far as I can determine, "terrorizing" consists of winning and then being big jerks about it. Though, hey, in a shounen sports series, that's pretty much the worst thing you can do.
So Tomoka says she'll crush them with the hammer of justice! I get all excited because that just might mean that she and the other first-years are secretly Super Sentai and we'll get to see some kick-ass costumes and special attacks. But really she just volunteers Ryoma and Kaidoh to beat them. And then after the game, she and Sakuno will take the boys out on a double date. Which anyone could write some fic about anytime they liked.
Ryoma doesn't remember the Sasabes. Or he pretends not to. I'm never sure with him. They play and Ryoma and Kaidoh are so cute and good at beach volleyball. Super cute. They are so cute that the Sasabes resort to cheating and Ryoma gets sand kicked into his eyes.
Aw, Kaidoh is all concerned.
Momo gets jealous of the special attention Kaidoh is giving to Ryoma and says he'll take Ryoma's place. But Fuji wants to see the Ryoma/Kaidoh action and holds Momo back. Ryoma keeps playing, serving underhand since it's hard for him to see.
There is much exciting volleying and Kaidoh being hot. Eventually, they wear down the Sasabes and Ryoma's vision returns. Ryoma hits them with Drive A. They win, not that there was any doubt.
It is revealed that the Sasabes have the hotel coupon. But it blows away. Le sigh. They have to return to Tokyo. Ryoma stops for a drink and runs into an old man, one that you might remember from Ryuzaki and Banji's "discussion" last episode. This leads to a humorous misunderstanding with a mysteeeeeeeeerious stranger, whose name will be revealed in the next paragraph.
91. Rokkaku's Freshman Captain
The mysteeeeeeeeerious stranger, Kentarou, accuses Seigaku of being ruffians trying to harass Oji. But of course it turns out not be the case. And then Saeki shows up and we find out that he and Fuji used to date. Also the rest of Rokkaku are there.
Ryoma is drinking some sort of tinned drink that is not Ponta. Do you think that's a clue that this episode is just a dream sequence or something? Anyhow, Kentarou gloms onto Ryoma, as people do. There should be more slash about them as well. Kentarou wants to play Ryoma, so he invites them all over to Rokkaku's courts.
There's a flashback about how Kentarou was chosen as the buchou even though he's just a freshman. It looks to me like Oji was trying to point at Saeki when Kentarou came through to pick up some tennis balls. But everyone seems to think it's a devious plan on Oji's part. And who am I to say differently?
Rokkaku seem very casual with each other. I think of all the rival schools, this is the one that Ryoma would fit best into and get the challenge that he needs. He and Kentarou would spend all their time trying to beat each other. And the older boys would look after them. And everyone would have a lovely time.
Anyhow, Oji has constructed an elaborate playground which little kids play on. And we are treated to a view of Davide's Very Big Racquet, which as a penis metaphor ranks up there with Ichigo's zanpaktou or Hutch's piece. It certainly impresses Momo and Kaidoh.
Kentarou takes Ryoma to look at the wooden racquets Oji makes. Kentarou's racquet is strung hexagonally in close-ups and in squares in long shots. Ryoma asks him not to talk so loud.
Eiji plays around on the jungle gym to impress the kids. Inui and Momo are part of the crowd watching, but not Kaidoh. I think perhaps Fuji took Kaidoh to introduce him to Saeki, in some dark corner somewhere.
Anyhow, the match starts and everyone turns up to watch it. Kaidoh stands in the back, hoping Inui-senpai won't notice how rumpled he is. And that stupid Momo will.
They play, people watch, Kentarou is really good, returning the ball to the same spot every time. They are pretty evenly matched and Kentarou says he'll be waiting for Ryoma in Singles 3. We don't see how the match ends, so maybe they stopped playing without a winner.
And now, the train ride home. Ryoma asks Oishi to put him in Singles 3. Inui and Fuji are sitting beside each other, across from Oishi and Eiji. Kawamura looks like he's all alone, poor darling. Ryoma is with Horio and the others. And Momo and Kaidoh, well, they look pretty comfortable.