The episode opens with the SunBev team celebrating with their green onion drinks and winding up before tomorrow’s final match against Mitsuhoshi Bank. Although Shiratori runs into the younger Kirishima, who was his ex-teammate, exchanging annoyed glances and opinions on badminton, the match starts with the Saeki brothers without a major problem. It’s an easy win for the duo who’s recently found their rhythm, and the episode’s primary focus is Usuyama’s singles match with his old rival, Ibuki Sentarou. 

We have left with one episode… I know I should’ve prepared myself but I’m not ready to let go of these dorks just yet. Clearly, except that vice president because even when the whole ordeal was proved to be staged he had the guts to insist on a bet against Miyazumi and it was accepted just like that. Oh The SunBev management, have some compassion on my poor nerves! Thankfully, the rest of their colleagues are an amazingly supportive and lovable bunch. 

Shiratori in episode 1 would never be able to say this without getting embarrassed, way to go!
Ten seconds later…

After the Saeki Brothers’ win, too bad it immediately became obvious that Usuyama was going to lose because otherwise Miyazumi and Shiratori wouldn’t play against Mitsuhoshi’s star doubles team. It was still an exciting match to watch and all three rounds ended with scores that are close. An honorable defeat for Usuyama, and the audience surely felt that too as the cheers for him were loud! Seeing him shedding tears after the match got me emotional as well. 

And then, it’s finally time for The Battle of Exes. Despite Kirishima’s attempts at riling up our duo, they hold themselves back and put up a good fight against Mitsuhoshi. Miyazumi is able to put what he’s trained with Coach Nakamori into practice and things seem to work out somehow. Until Shiratori notices that the rival team has stopped attacking and prolongs the match on purpose. I thought Kirishima wanted to tire Miyazumi out because he took notice of his injured knee, but he just wanted to see whether the SunBev team could score consequently and win the first round. He was about to end the round with a smash he was sure was going to be a score, Shiratori lunges forward to return the smash no matter what. 

Oh god, I felt that hit. It physically hurt me and I instinctively held my own face. I was also reminded of the second season of Haikyu!! where Sawamura and Tanaka bumped into each other badly and the episode ended with Sawamura lying on the court, unmoving. After some time, his ‘death’ became an inside joke in the fandom, but I remember feeling collectively down for a whole week when the series was airing. But man, Shiratori’s case is worse in a sense because he smashed his face right into the pole, and there’s blood involved. I don’t know about badminton rules and technically, SunBev doesn’t have any players on the bench, but a guess would be one of the Saeki brothers replacing Shiratori given that it’s allowed. I wish my baby boy a speedy, concussion-free recovery. 

Before I wrap up, one detail I love in this series, which can also be seen from 9:18 in this episode, is the complete silence that falls onto the court after the applaud and cheers diminish. It’s right before a rally or the next round of a match, and soon all you can hear are shoes that squeak, shuttlecock bouncing off from the rackets, and the heavy breathing of the competitors. It’s simple but really effective in building up anticipation and suddenly you find yourself holding your breath during the rally along with the audience. This doesn’t mean that all of the matches were silent save from the sounds of movement or impact, but the sound design was cleverly done. Both the silences and music were present when it was necessary. 

I don’t look forward to the next episode for several reasons, but at the same time, I need to know that my boy is doing alright. What did you think of this episode? Are you ready to get though your Saturdays without these dorky Badarymen around? Let me know in the comments and see you tomorrow for an exciting, juicy Friday BL!

What kind of 4-year-old level of comeback is this…
Even Shiratori was in disbelief over how cool this old man sounded here.

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