Sunday, 11 July 2010

Giant Killing - Episode 15

With the World Cup about to end just hours after my writing this post, I can only bow to and thank the Gods of football for ensuring that Giant Killing remains in my schedule to keep my footballing brain ticking over until the new Premier League season starts in around a month from now.

Anyway, after luxuriating in their first victory and its effects on both fans and other aspects of the club last episode, it's back to business this week as we're tipped straight into their next game. But what's this? East Tokyo United two goals to the good and with a penalty in their favour? Things certainly seem to be on the up for Tatsumi's charges, finishing the game as 3-1 winners with Gino gaining most of the plaudits for his controlling performance and a brace of goals.

Of course, no matter the result you'll always find at least one player who is perhaps unhappy with his individual performance, on this occasion we find that forward Sera is the player suffering from this frustration - Despite actually playing well in his own right, this means nothing to a forward who can only think of goals, and as he finds himself substituted so his lack of goal-scoring form begins to worry him all the more.

These worries are only amplified as we're introduced to a new player on the training ground the next day (quite literally on the training ground in fact) - Yotaro Natsuki, a forward returning from a long lay-off with a knee ligament injury, but a player widely regarded as having saved ETU's bacon with his goal-scoring exploits last season. Needless to say, the return of the decidedly determined and equally oddball Natsuki puts even greater pressure on Sera to perform and start racking up the goals; but is it a pressure that he can cope with?

After spending so many episodes mapping out their previous victory, it perhaps feels a little cruel to deny us much opportunity to view their second win on the trot, but that certainly didn't make watching Gino tuck away that penalty as ETU dominated any less satisfactory - It continues to surprise me how much of a kick I get out of East Tokyo United's victories. Away from that, I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the episode too, as it seemed to effectively nail on the kind of behaviour you'd expect to see from professional footballers - Sera's worries about his lack of goals and a subsequent loss of confidence because he hasn't been hitting the back of the net is something you can find happening to ever the best strikers, and the potential fight for a single forward position (see Capello, even ETU play with only one man up!) between three players could make for some juicy stuff. Top-level football is a competitive world, not just against the opposition but also against your team-mates, and it's this kind of circumstance which makes Giant Killing so ripe for human conflict and drama... something which it also seems to have a light yet comprehensive ability for touching upon.


JW said...

Octopus Paul is awesome!!!!!!

And that's as close to the world cup as I got. ^^;;;

Anyways, I thought this episode was kinda slow, but I excuse it because they're probably transitioning to something cool. :)

Anonymous said...

Very nice situation they're setting up. From the team's perspective it's all about fielding the winning team, but that can very easily conflict with the perspective of an individual member. Sera is feeling the heat, and who can blame him with that guy's scoring history.

I'm looking forward to this arc, because it is a completely different type of problem for Tatsumi to solve.