Our Heroes, gaining the mountain top at last, peer through the creeping mist at a field of dead bodies. "What mischief here?" Sanada declaims. "I fear a deadly battle has been fought and we too late to lend our hearts and arms."
The bodies begin to twitch and Sanada realises he's completely misjudged the genre and maybe he should have watched those zombie movies that time at Niou's pyjama party instead of doing pushups in the back yard.
"Even this show hasn't been cracked out enough for a zombie attack before now," Momo says. Everyone grabs their racquets, since every problem from amnesia to bear attacks to crime prevention to dinosaur existence has been solved by tennis and why should a zombie apocalypse be any different?
"It's just a bunch of loser high schoolers," Ryoma says, which turns out to be true. Not even a zombie would be caught dead in that purple cap one of them is wearing.
The head non-zombie is Sasabe (whichever one) who predictably curses them out, which causes Kaidoh to get all up into his face and threaten him, which causes me to add some little hearts right here: ♥ ♥ ♥
Before they can mix it up, some birds fly away, which stops the fight for no very good reason. They're not even zombie birds! But they do herald the entrance of the serial- (or possibly spree-) killer we saw last episode.
He's your typical creepy drunken hermit (you know, like Obi-Wan) and he takes Sasabe's place all up in Kaidoh's face. Kaidoh, bless him, glares back until he's overcome by the hermit's breath. (♥) "He smells like my uncle!" Kaidoh says.
"Welcome to hell, losers," the serial killer hermit says, taking the path of least originality with his dialogue. (Maybe he's just a drunken serial killer robot?) He's their coach, allegedly. And like a sea captain (maybe he's a drunken serial killer pirate?), his orders are absolute and those who do not comply will be thrown overboard.
"Training starts now," Hermit Coach says and that training involves all the middle schoolers getting undressed. "How is this different from before?" they mutter. They are all in white shirts and shorts. (Unlike the high schoolers, who are all in black shirts and shorts.)
"Dig some deep holes," the coach orders and I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks he is having them dig their own graves.
But the kids, being stupid, as established previously, do not attack the drunken serial killer hermit with the shovels and escape to civilization and file kidnapping and child endangerment charges. They just dig some holes.
Hermit Coach pisses in one of the holes. And then makes them fill the holes back in. Which they do. He is clearly brainwashing them and I don't even mean that in a cracked out way. But Momo and Kaidoh get a lot of dialogue, so it could be worse.
So, it turns out that they were also burying their team jerseys in the holes, which is all part of the de-humanization process prior to the Battle Royale. Momo and Kaidoh look
This is the last straw for Kaidoh, who is hetting up to fight the Hermit Pirate Robot Coach. Kawamura tries to talk him out of it, but Kaidoh isn't buying it. But one word (and that word is "Kaidoh!") from Sanada, and Kaidoh pipes right down.
Please join me in a few choruses of "Sanada Is Our King"! If anyone can lead them out of the wilderness, it will be him.
So, the high school students, who frankly still look like zombies to me, or maybe orcs, play tennis on a court made of rocks and broken glass, a skill which will definitely serve them well on the manicured lawns of Wimbledon.
The middle schoolers haul water, for which they have to climb back down the cliff, for the high schoolers to drink. They do not get any water themselves, as that is part of their
Cut to a new form of
They have tennis racquets. They rally. If they miss, they don't eat. Ryoma and Kintarou enjoy themselves, but it's all a desperate act by their brains to protect them from the harsh reality.
Later, they are made to RIDE TRICYCLES uphill. Which is stupid and, worse still, badly drawn.
Hungry and disheartened, Shishido has a little fantasy sequence about the others back at the U17 camp basking in luxury as they lightly train. This dream features the only appearance so far of a woman in Shin Tenipuri. She is a maid in a frilly costume serving drinks. (It does not, however, features Choutarou.)
The boys make plans to tunnel out and escape but are foiled when the high schoolers come back and demand water. Ryoma says he'll go, since his amnesia attack at Nationals made him more susceptible to brainwashing.
Back in the control room, Host Club Coach asks about the loser group. "Either they're training hard or they're dead," Stringbean says. "Either way, I'm sure to pass my defense this time."
But it's really all about Nature vs Technology, like the Battle of Endor, but with
(Lucky for them, we all know that the log driver's waltz pleases girls completely!)
After all of this, Hermit Coach announces that they will play a match to determine who they will be sleeping with tonight. "That's more like it!" the boys say. "All that brainwashing and torture was losing our core audience."
They crowd onto the stone and broken glass court to face off against the high schoolers. As best as I can figure the rules, it's dodgeball, but with tennis. "Wait," the middle schoolers say, "this is just to see who sleeps in the cave? How are we supposed to get fired up if there are no pairings on the line?"
Kaidoh is all eager and is the first one out. "Don't mind," Momo says. "You'll be sleeping with me anyhow." Kaidoh, however, was secretly hoping to sleep with Sanada. Like
More and more middle schoolers are eliminated. Yanagi and Inui hatch A Data Plan but they need more data to pull it off, so they let Sanada try his Culling The Weak plan to buy them more time.
Inui and Yanagi, using that tried and true dodgeball strategy of hanging around the edges looking like a nonthreatening geek, are the last two remaining against the horde of orcs.
As expected, they rule the court with Data Tennis. "With such teamwork, it's hard to believe they're from different schools," Kaidoh says, still innocently believing that Inui had to wash his hair all those times he cancelled their dates.
I could watch Data Pair Doubles all day long but they are down to three orcs when the Hermit Coach stops the match and awards the victory to the high schoolers. "It's your own fault for using Science in the Nature group!"
"Fair enough," Yanagi says, and signals to Inui with a glance that they will create a poison gas from moss and bugs and kill Hermit Coach in his sleep.
One of the high schoolers identifies the coach by name and -- oh my heart! -- causes Ryoma to have a flashback to none other than hot hot Tokugawa!
That's one to go out on.
Next week: Losers. I mean, Lasers.