Compared to the usual positive and agressive attitude put forth by Basquash! so far, the first half of episode seven proves to be an oddly subdued affair. Despite Dan being showered with diamonds and all but guaranteed a place in the Open City Basketball league, the living legend that is Dunk Mask is still unsure of his path, torn between his normal rebellious nature and the riches which would take him to the moon and repair his sister's legs with ease. But is that what Coco would really want?
It isn't just Dan who is feeling torn, as many of the other street basketball players are beginning to feel hard done by with the second phase of try-outs for Open City Basketball nearing, as they begin to realise that they are only there to be crushed by the professional Bigfoot Basketball players - A case of "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" if every there was one.
So the night of the try-outs swings around, and these concerns all prove to be well-founded, as the lawless street basketball of old gets turned into a "proper" game, complete with a court and rules, and calling pretty much everything the street basketball players try to do a foul. This is where Haruka steps in, putting paid to James Loan's plan with a cunning scheme of her own, while Dan delivers his verdict on James' offer and the prospect of playing Open City Basketball in his own inimitable style.
While the first half of this episode surprised me with its tone, that isn't to say that I disliked it - Far from it, Dan's inner turmoil about what to do actually proved itself to contain a rather emotional crux to it which caught me unawares, showing Basquash's rare and previously unseen sensitive side in all its glory. Of course, such introspection was never likely to last long, and come the end of this episode the series is back to doing what it does best, throwing all of its fury into the in-your-face anarchy that has been its hallmark so far. Impressed though I was by this instalment's soft centre, it's that tough anti-authoritarian streak delivered with style and panache that has made me love Basquash so far, and it's that side of this episode that had me swooning and its wonders in terms of both visuals and attitude once again here.