Another episode of Kūchū Buranko means that it's time to be introduced to another new character suffering from his fair share of troubles. This time around our subject is one Shinichi Bando, an all-star baseball players of many years who is well-respected by many. However, as the high-profile mistakes on the field begin to pile up, is it time for Bando to retire and hand over his glove to a younger face.
In essence, it's this aspect of competition from a fresh-faced young rookie which ails Bando, causing him to forget how to throw when all is said and done - A psychological problem known as "Yips". Of course, this crisis sees him sent off to see Doctor Irabu, who after giving him the obligatory vitamin shot spends plenty of time playing catch with this baseball star as he looks to get to the root of his problems.
Of course, as the episode goes on, so it becomes clearer as to what Bando's problem is - He rediscovers his throwing talent upon hearing that his new rival Suzuki is out injured, only to lose it again when that injury turns out to be less serious than first feared. Eventually, it seems that a chance meeting with Suzuki on a night out plays a major part in clearing up Bando's "Yips", as he realises that this young upstart baseball player is under just as many pressures as himself, a revelation that somehow allows him to get on with doing what he does best, even if it may be too late to prevent Suzuki from snatching his place in the team.
Compared to the rather more complex and less clear-cut episodes of recent weeks, this seemed like a rather straightforward instalment of Kūchū Buranko (although there is a hint of more to come) - Bando's problem seemed obvious from the outset, and nothing was done to dismiss that train of thought throughout. While this state of affairs still allowed for a reasonably solid story-telling experience in its own right, it wasn't quite up there with the more highly detailed and thought-provoking affairs I've come to expect from the series - Not a disappointment so much, but certainly a slight play against the core concepts that I'd felt this series had built up over the past couple of instalments in particular.