Luckily, brevity usually means that East Tokyo United are on a winning streak, and so this proves here, with ETU running out 1-0 winners against Oita Triplex in a game which also shows just how well the side are playing as a team now, with Gino, Tsubaki and Akasaki linking up nicely to create the winning goal for Natsuki.
|ETU's annual arm-wrestling contest contained a surprise finalist|
With a full strength squad once again, we then see ETU winning a cup game 1-0 to take them from the preliminary round into the tournament proper - another mark of progress for the side, although it seems that some of the regulars (or at least Gino) are starting to tire from the constant pressure of high-octane games. Sensibly, this sees Tatsumi decide that it's time for the player to take a brief break, via an event which he also turns into a chance for everyone involved with the club to mingle by way of a "curry party". This gives us some closing scenes to the series which really sum up just what Giant Killing has been all about - presenting to the viewer the notion that a football club is much more than just the men on the pitch, or even their manager; indeed, a club would be nothing if it wasn't for players, fans, management, canteen staff, and so on. It's certainly a concept which some English Premier League clubs would do well to remember...
Which brings us to the end of Giant Killing, a series which has helped me through the barren football-free weeks in my everyday life, punctuated an entire World Cup and eased me into the start of a new football season. I'm not sure what I can say about this show that I haven't alreadty, except that it's delivered a fantastic representation of the football fan's experience, be it the on-field tension and drama or the off-field characters and man management required to get the best out of them. All of this has been expertly blended to make for a fantastic show that even non-football fans seem to have enjoyed, which is surely testament to its abilities. It'll be a cruel, cruel world that doesn't see a second series of this restrained little gem commissioned - come on Japan, give the underdog a chance to take on the big boys again, so that we can witness some more feats of Giant Killing!