Here we have episode three which is all about the team’s efforts to recruit former Water Polo Ace, Brooding Ryuji. Let’s see how well that works out for everyone!
We start off with a flashback to when Brooding Ryuji used to play for Suiran. This game in particular is one where he scores the winning goal on a pass from Torao. As it turns out, this was all a flashback from the memory of one of the Baka Trio. (I’m sorry, I still don’t know their individual names) He was thinking about it as he’d apparently almost drowned in the pool. Poor guy joined the water polo team but can’t really swim.
Anyway, after some brief discussion, the trio decides to go recruit Ryuji for the team.
It might have worked a little better if completely-oblivious!Naoya hadn’t tried to help. Naoya has this bad habit of taking people’s stuff. He’d taken the water polo book he’d found in Nagisa’s room last episode and put it in Ryuji’s desk.
This scene ended with Ryuji declaring to Yuto “The thing I hate the most is water polo. No wait, that’s my second most hated thing. The thing I really hate the most is you.” Ouch.
In a brief scene at Suiran, Nagisa’s friend tells her that Torao is practicing extra hard because Naoya had told him Ryuji was joining their team.
Nagisa gets more of the details from the Baka Trio while eating at a restaurant later. And can I just say that the seating arrangement at this restaurant confuses me?
Ryuji, who is wandering around town late at night, runs into Torao’s girlfriend (DOES ANYBODY KNOW HER NAME??) and she’s like “But don’t you actually want to play water polo? I wanna watch you play water polo again.” I can only assume this is because she wants to see him in a speedo again but I can’t confirm this <.<
Ryuji leaves without saying anything which is sort of rude.
Back to other KasuKou Mizu Tama problems, the goal they set up is outside the pool and looks like they jacked it from the soccer field. And then Naoya accidentally hits Mean Vice Principle in the face with the ball. I call SHENANIGANS. They all end up in the teacher’s lounge to get punished. The VP scolds them and Naoya talks about miracles. And then Naoya, being Naoya, declares that he’ll drop out of KasuKou if he can’t get Ryuji to join the team.
Naoya and the Baka Trio end up at the restaurant again. (Is this the only place in town?) Nagisa finds out about what Naoya said and yells at him as always. Naoya then gives a nice motivational speech about it being a challenge. The music swells dramatically in the background. Naoya ends with “You understand?” to Nagisa.
“Nope,” she says.
“Eeeh?” Yuto replies. (They did this same exchange in episode one as well. It’s cute.)
And then, Ryuji walks in! But then the camera cuts to Ryuji telling Naoya to leave him alone and everyone is standing out in the street. So they couldn’t have this conversation inside the restaurant? Did Ryuji get to eat before they went out there? Did everyone sit in awkward silence while it happened? Anyway, again he refused everyone’s pleas to join the team.
While Ryuji goes to brood in the playground, Nagisa shows up and reminds him that he gave her that book on water polo when she wanted to join Suiran’s team. She gives the book back to him.
During all this, the Baka Trio tells Naoya about Ryuji’s backstory. He had been playing for a long time, he was really good, and Torao was really jealous of him. And eventually Torao challenged him to a one-on-one competition.
And everyone, including Ryuji, was surprised that Torao easily scored the first goal. So Ryuji quit water polo forever and transferred to KasuKou. (which seems like a silly reason but whatever) Even Nagisa thought it was a dumb idea and yelled at Ryuji for it while they were talking in the park. Seriously, Nagisa is always yelling. But Ryuji yelled back at her so Nagisa left. He opened up the water polo book though which had something written on the back cover but hell if I know what it said. Who could read that?? (I know my screencaps are kinda crappy but seriously, it’s unreadable.)
I’m not sure why we have a scene of drunk Chiharu-Sensei harassing the Suiran coach lady but okay. It was worth it just to see the Principle:
Naoya kicks it into high gear the next day at school and challenges Ryuji to a match. (He even wrote another challenge letter like the first episode. Because he’s a Yankee if you’ve forgotten) Ryuji says no but the Baka Trio tells him that they believe in him. And I think they also said that they’ll quit school too if he doesn’t join? I feel like I should say something about emotional blackmail here, but this is a comedy show, so whatever.
Oh, and by the way, this is their replacement goal:
So the match begins and it’s not looking good for the team. (Nobody understands that goalies need to MOVE to block goals?) Finally, the guy in the Baka Trio who is prone to drowning (yes the one from the beginning of the episode) jumped in the pool to challenge Ryuji. It was nice and all but Ryuji still ended up winning, which meant that he didn’t have to join the team. As he was about to leave, Naoya says “hey, isn’t water polo fun?” with a grin. But Ryuji leaves without saying anything. AGAIN. (Except he says something briefly to the Principle… who is gardening again)
The next day, while VP is trying to gloat about being able to shut down the water polo team and to kick Naoya out of school, Chiharu-Sensei runs in and takes them all to the pool. Ryuji is there and he gives Naoya his signup form for the club! And everyone is happy! Yay! (Did I miss something? What changed his mind? Somebody please explain this to me)
Oh, and Ryuji had given Nagisa her book back. She looked very happy about it. I think in a few more episodes I may have to draw a chart to keep up with all the love polygons that are about to pop up.
The episode ends with Naoya and Ryuji talking and Ryuji tells him that Naoya is still the thing he hates most. But then they laugh, so it’s all good now.
Looks like the next episode will be their first match with Suiran. Who wants to bet they lose? Because if they win, then we won’t have the opportunity for a revenge rematch episode later!
Final thoughts on this episode: Again, it was pretty predictable and not very heavy on the humor as the first two. But hey, wasn’t this episode a necessary evil? Aren’t you glad we got Ryuji’s backstory now instead of dragging it out all season long? I know I am. My main problem with this show is that there’s really no explanation behind the actions of the Suiran team. Will we ever understand why Torao is so jealous? Will we ever understand why being on a rival water polo team makes you an asshole? Probably not. These shows don’t usually go that in-depth into character development, so I’m not expecting it. I’ll just enjoy the show for what it is. A fun comedy about water polo and friendship. I’m looking forward to next week’s episode!