Somewhere Over The Rainbow
As you recall, Our Heroes have returned to the U-17 camp to
There is, apparently, a rule at U-17 that no one can ever refuse a challenge from someone wearing a black jersey. Because if they do, zombies will eat their face. Or they'll get teased a little, maybe.
"How dramatic," says Sexy Pirate Sanada and his parrot follows up with "Pieces of Eight! Pieces of Eight!" Oh wait, that was just Inui and Yanagi.
Yes, the Lonely Mountain Boys now have stylish black jerseys instead of the normal white ones. The leader of Court 2 explains their journey through hell for the benefit of, I suppose, the rest of Court 2, since Sanada and his motley crew already know it and you and I already know it.
In fact, says the Court 2 Boss, you have a special dramatic name now: The Black Jerseys Who Found Their Way Back.
"Isn't there something better you could call us?" Momo says and when your naming sense is dissed by someone who calls one of his moves the Super Great Momoshiro Special, you've really been dissed.
But Super Great Black Jerseys is rejected and Momo has to cry in a corner. Ryoma, looking spunky, says they'll take Court 2 to practice on.
Sanada, feeling like he's losing to Ryoma in cool points, says that if any of them lose even one game,
This is the cue for several members of Court 2 to launch tennis balls at all of Court Pirate. But Court Pirate went through those gruelling hours of tennis dodgeball just for this moment. Apparently.
Meanwhile, back in the dining room, our other middle school friends have a lovely luncheon. Suddenly, there's a dramatic close up of Atobe's cup of tea! (This really happens.) Ripples appear in the surface of the tea as the force of Court Pirate's tennis shakes the earth. "It can't be a tyrannosaurus, since Tezuka killed them all that time," Atobe says.
Actually, there are no ripples and Atobe just makes a stuck-up remark about the tea as a prelude to his civil discussion with Fuji about which one of them Tezuka really likes.
But before Atobe can say, "It's me, ha ha!" Eiji rushes in. "Big news! Big news!" This jars Atobe's delicate nerves and causes him to almost but not quite spill his tea. He orders Eiji to be taken out and flogged.
"But our boyfriends are back!" Eiji says. Atobe and Fuji immediately look around for Tezuka.
On Court 2, the Black Jerseys are playing hard. They have that beat up and dirty hotness thing going on, like Aragorn in the LotR movies. Here's an example, picked completely at random:
But not only are they playing well, they are hurting their opponents with their tennis, destroying them both physically and mentally. It's a good thing Kirihara didn't go up the mountain after all or he would have come back a serial killer.
The other middle schoolers arrive and fondly greet their pirate boyfriends. Kikumaru is turned on by this new rough and tough Oishi. "I can wear pretty dresses whenever I want since Oishi is the man now!" Fuji plans to put them both in pretty dresses. And Momo into nothing at all.
Choutarou, bless his heart, is overwhelmed to see his wifey again. "I wrote you long letters everyday, Shishido-san! I'll read them all to you right now!" Which is a good thing, since all the
And then there's Sanada.
"Is this the best you can do, you scurvy dogs?
Everyone dumps their other boyfriends on the spot. Yukimura plans to trigger Kirihara later to assassinate them all.
The coaches, back in Video Camera Perv Central, are also transfixed by Sanada's hotness. In fact, I'm sure the episode could just be another 20 minutes of static and none of us would notice.
"I must have that one for my personal collection," the skeevy yet elegant coach says. "Send Mifune a case of sake in appreciation."
But for those viewers whose sexual preference does not include Sanada (if they exist, which I doubt) or those who have not yet entered puberty, there's one more match in this challenge: Ryoma vs Migihashi, the Court 2 Boss.
Migihashi is a triple threat: cool, pretty, and good at tennis and I'm sad we haven't seen him before. (Who is voicing him? He sounds v. familiar.) But even though this is his first appearance, he knows the drill: "Let's get started," he says, and unzips his jacket.
So, his specialty turns out to be not missing any balls that come to his right side. Do you think that maybe there is a big list of all the possible
His right side is "God's Domain". Yanagi says that likely just means he has a sucky backhand.(♥) But the balls that Ryoma hits to the left curve over to Migihashi's right anyhow.
"It probably uses a similar mechanism to Tezuka Zone," Yanagi says.
"Yes," Inui says. "Powerful magnets."
So there's about a five second period of uncertainty where the kids think that this guy who has only just shown up in the canon might have a slim chance of beating Our Hero Of The Mountain.
"Hey, do you know why they call me the Mad Scientist?" Ryoma says. "Because I meddle in God's Domain!"
By this time, everyone is bored by seeing them play with only one ball. Aren't you? Don't you wish, when you're watching Federer and Nadal, that they would toss four or five balls into the mix? And maybe a chainsaw?
Ryoma and Migihashi stick with balls, though, and start off with eight. You will remember last week's dramatic moment, which was probably about an hour ago in series time, when Ryoma hit eight balls for the first time. Plus now he's handicapped himself by only hitting to the right. And hopping on one foot while singing Yankee Doodle.
Migihashi adds another ball, because this is Calvinball Tennis where you can just add new rules whenever you want. One of the balls gets past Ryoma. "But I declare this is Opposite Day!" Ryoma says. "So that's a point to me."
"Then I declare it's Poetry Time and both of us must speak in rhyme!" Migihashi says.
"Anyone want to go play pick-up soccer?" Momo says.
Ryoma can't return nine balls and loses another point. "Don't lose your cool!" Sanada orders and the soccer game is forgotten as everyone listens to Sanada's inspiring speech. (This really happens. Oh my god, it really happens.)
This is probably the best part of the whole thirteen episodes, right here. "We fell to the darkest depths," he says. "Marked as losers, lying in the dirt. But we rose up from that hell! He was the one who led us all the way. That's why we entrusted that man's racquet with everything we have."
So you know how there's that meter that shows how hot Sanada is at any given time and how the needle is always over in the red? It just exploded. I don't think anyone has ever been that hot before ever in the history of ever. Not even Skinner that time he was shirtless and handcuffing Krycek to his balcony.
Probably that speech, delivered by that man, with that hot eyepatch, would cause even Horio to return nine balls at once, so you can imagine the effect on the Prince of Tennis!
After that, Ryoma adds the tenth ball. Which gets through God's Domain and wins the game and the match and probably the lottery too.
Following this dramatic moment, there's an announcement on the PA system. Attention all players. As per the coaches instruction, the 27 losing players are now declared dangerous criminals wanted dead or alive. Except for Sanada who is wanted definitely alive.
But no one wants to fight the Super Great Black Jerseys anymore so they are declared Court 2 and the former Court 2 are now Court Omega or Court We Suck or something and are forced to drift from court to court, begging for scraps of practice time.
"Finally the stupid tennis is over," Kikumaru says. "Now do me, Oishi!" This
Sanada nods at Yukimura as if to say, "Just try tying me up now!" And Yukimura looks at Sanada as if to say, "Of course." And Sanada knows that even as a Pirate King, he's still going to be under Yukimura's
Then Ryoma sees Tokugawa. And the world stops turning.
Eiji, after Oishi used his new manliness to put him off for at least half an hour, breaks the news to the rest of Seigaku that Tezuka hates them all now and couldn't be bothered to stay around a couple more weeks to finish out the camp like he promised he would. "Also he's not Atobe's boyfriend," Fuji adds.
Kaidoh doesn't take it too well. "What is this crap?" he says. "He's the one who said we'd all stay together until the end! And he's not your boyfriend either!"
"You know how it is," Fuji says. "His voice actor got a better offer." He spouts some nonsense about how tennis will always keep them together and everyone chimes in with sickening agreement. Except Ryoma, but he's only thinking about his new boyfriend now.
There's a shot of Tezuka at the airport right before a big rock falls on him and breaks both his legs.
Back at the camp, there's a golden glow in the air (really) as Court 2 and Court 3 face off. Atobe is Not Happy that they now outrank him. "Sucks to be you," Kin-chan says.
But it sucks even more to be Yukimura, apparently.
Pissed off at how little screen time he got during this series, he's off by himself, sulking. "You'll all be sorry when I die," he says.
Now it's time for boyfriend re-matches! Kite steps forward, oozing just as much creepiness as last time. "Kai-kun, you know what that means."
"It means you're my bitch now," Kai says. And Kite knows it's true.
Tokugawa is practising against a wall. He's waiting. We're waiting. Ryoma arrives. "
As foreplay, they get onto the court. "Hit that serve again," Ryoma says. "The hot one."
"I'll decide what you get," Tokugawa says. But he brings the rainbow after all.
How did we get this far without a Tokugawa cap?
So, Tokugawa adds more balls and Ryoma adds more balls and some of the balls hit each other in mid-air in a fiery explosion which is a metaphor for something which probably includes the word "simultaneous".
To allow them some recovery time, we cut briefly to some other boyfriend matches: Silver Pair, Kawamura/Akutsu, Yuuta and Fuji.
Tokugawa reminisces to Ryoma about his own days on top of the mountain, playing tennis dodgeball and being cruelly abused. "I enjoyed the brainwashing most of all," Ryoma says.
They exchange numbers so they can have phone tennis whenever they want.
Oishi and Eiji are playing doubles against Momo and Kaidoh instead of playing each other. Momo is just cranky because he can't play Atobe. But Atobe, bless his heart, is playing Kabaji and that's a true love no one can come between.
Kintarou and Shiraishi, Yukimura and Sanada, everyone is into it.
The glow becomes even more golden. "Not even I know what lies ahead," Tokugawa says, "except a lot more sex."
One last shot of Ryoma, one last mada mada dane, and we're done.
Hold me, fandom.