Thursday, 22 May 2014

Ping Pong the Animation - Episode 7

Now that Peco has had his moment of "enlightenment", he's off the snacks and onto a tough fitness regime at the hands of his makeshift coach from the local table tennis dojo.

Irritated though he is at being made to run up and down steps instead of pinging (and indeed ponging) a ball around, this much needed improvement of his fitness is merely the precursor to his introduction to a national coaching centre, where he's left in the hands of its staff to be worked night and day at improving his game - something which he proves to be naturally adept at.  On the flip-side of this, Smile is continuing to turn down the opportunity for specialist coaching, as he turns away yet another invitation from Kaio - this time via a visit from the establishment's director itself - to carry on working himself to the bone and beyond for whatever unspoken goal he has in mind.

One person we do learn a whole lot more about the motivations of however is Ryuichi Kazama, as we discover that he's driven by the fact that his family only gained respect thanks to their table tennis skills, leaving it as the only way to avoid being shunned by others, including his own grandfather.  Speaking of which, the success of this senior Kazama ties into Tsukimoto's coach Koizumi, as he reveals his past and how he threw away what could have been a successful table tennis career simply to avoid defeating an injured friend, only for him to go on to achieve greatness in his stead.

If nothing else, Ping Pong continues to up the ante in terms of its character development by the week - both Peco and Smile are turning into fascinating characters, and even Kazama has become more interesting on account of his back story.  There's more than enough potential swirling around the series that it feels ready to explode into something monumental at any moment, but for now I'm happy for it to bide its time before it does so.

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