Suikyuu Yankees Episode 5 Recap/Review: Decisions, Decisions

suiyan 5 huddle

This episode is the KasuKou team’s first water polo match and everyone’s reactions to what occurred afterwards. How well did the team play? What’s going on with the Suiran team? And who’s about to shake things up for everyone? Things are heating up in this drama! Let’s find out what happened!

Even though the KasuKou boys are little annoyed (and slightly nervous) about playing the Suiran girls’ team, the game gets started. The boys get off to a good start and Naoya even gets to score the first goal. In fact, they’re doing pretty good! The score at the end of the first period is 5 to 2 with KasuKou leading.

But the boys, of course, get a little overconfident and a little bit tired, so the score at the end of the second period is 6 to 8 with Suiran leading.

"If only we had gills, man..."

“If only we had gills, man…”

As we get to the third period, Ryuji begins to forget he’s not the only one on the team and tries to score all the goals himself. The fact that his rival Torao is always intently watching doesn’t help Ryuji any.

"Every breath you take, every move you make, I'll be watching you~"

“Every breath you take, every move you make, I’ll be watching you~”

But the score at the end of the third period is 10 to 8 with KasuKou leading again.

During the break before the fourth period, Torao’s girlfriend (I think her name is Rei. I’m going to call her Rei) comments that Ryuji is playing really well. (She says that he is “sugoi” which can translate to “awesome”)

"What did you say? I think I have water in my ears"

“What did you just say? I think I have water in my ears”

Torao overhears and asks if the boys’ team can play the last period. And Coach Lady says yes. Isn’t this sort of cheating? I mean, I don’t actually know the rules of water polo, but can you substitute your ENTIRE team??

Also, can I take a moment to comment on Takaki Yuya’s acting? During the first few episodes, I wasn’t sure about the way he portrayed Torao’s character. He was basically just a collection of furrowed angry eyebrows and disbelieving scoffs. But this episode has a lot of reaction shots of his face and I think Takaki’s actually doing some really nice subtle acting. We all know Torao is super jealous of Ryuji but the script never gives him any explanation for that. Despite his jealousy, Torao tries to maintain that “I’m too cool for school” detachment from everything. But Takaki lets flickers of emotions escape every now and then. I was a little wary about this portrayal at first, but it’s totally won me over. (Full disclosure: Takaki Yuya is my favorite. I’m totally biased. Sorry y’all)

Anyway, enough of my poor commentary on acting choices. I am not an actor. Back to the game!

Everyone is fired up for the last part of the match.

"Hahaha. How could we possibly lose?"

“Hahaha. How could we possibly lose?”

Asshole Goda is the goalie and Chiaki tries to score against him. Unfortunately, his shot gets blocked. Everyone else’s efforts prove to be ineffective as well. Finally, we get to the moment where Torao and Ryuji face off against each other, just like the time Torao challenged Ryuji before…

And then the scene cuts to the locker room after the match! How disappointing! So the KasuKou boys lost and they lost badly.

Final score: Suiran 18, KasuKou 10

Final score: Suiran 18, KasuKou 10

Of course, no one is happy about that.

The agony of defeat

The agony of defeat

Naoya's even got his own towel of shame

Naoya’s even got his own towel of shame

As Brooding!Ryuji is leaving, Torao’s girlfriend, Rei, stops to talk to him. While talking about the match, she looks at the blisters on his hand.

"Let me look at those sexy hands. Um, I mean, blisters. Let me look at those."

“Let me look at those sexy hands. Um, I mean, blisters. Let me look at those.”

Coincidentally, Torao happens to be walking by at that moment. He insults Ryuji, grabs Rei’s hand, and drags her away.

"Gee, I hope I wasn't interrupting a moment or something."

“Gee, I hope I wasn’t interrupting a moment with my girlfriend or something.”

Back at Nagisa’s house, the family waits to see if Naoya, who is sulking about the loss, will come out of his room. Let’s take a moment to appreciate how dorky this family actually is:

*Scooby Doo pose*

*Scooby Doo pose*

Anyway, Nagisa gets “volunteered” to bring Naoya his dinner (which consists apparently of nothing but corn) and she tries to give Naoya an inspirational pep talk.

"I brought you corn in your time of need."

“I brought you corn in your time of need.”

She doesn’t yell this time, thank goodness. But maybe she should have because Naoya was still rather disappointed about losing the water polo match.

Before the next day’s practice can begin (on a side note, Naoya didn’t show up for it), Ryuji is summoned by Mean Vice Principal and Suiran Coach Lady. She wants Ryuji to transfer back to Suiran and play for their team again. Oh no!

"Well... this is awkward."

“Well… this is awkward.”

In other news, I’m concerned that Chiharu-sensei is an alcoholic. She’s a bit upset about Ryuji maybe transferring back and leaving the team.

"I solve all problems with my friends: Jack and Daniels"

“I solve all problems with my friends: Jack Daniels and Jim Bean”

At Nagisa’s house, Nagisa tries the pep talk thing again because Naoya skipped school that day. She’s talking through the door but reminds Naoya that, if he gives up, the school will close. (Does anyone remember that plot point from episode one? Because I had forgotten) And Nagisa yells this time too, throwing Naoya’s usual catchphrase back at him and finally ending with a really loud “I HATE YOU INABA NAOYA!” That gets Naoya’s attention but apparently her words haven’t done any good.

"You don't have to yell. I was just ignoring you."

“You don’t have to yell. I was just ignoring you.”

Instead of taking Nagisa’s words into consideration, Naoya just teases her instead.

"I don't understand the concept of personal space"

“I don’t understand the concept of personal space”

She yells “YOU IDIOT” and leaves.

And then, Nagisa’s parents tell her that they’re suddenly taking a trip, leaving the house to themselves.

"If you don't burn down the house, we'll bring you back a t-shirt!"

“If you don’t burn down the house, we’ll bring you back a t-shirt!”

WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? Well, firstly, we find out that cooking is not one of Nagisa’s skills.

"Perhaps I should have just ordered take-out"

“Perhaps I should have just ordered take-out”

Oh and apparently, Naoya invited everyone over to their house. Oblivious Naoya is oblivious as usual.

"Can we play Spin the Bottle?"

“Can we play Spin the Bottle?”

And Nagisa’s friend shows up too. She, at least, keeps the kitchen from burning down.

"I'm back again! Look, I can cook! Please love me!"

“I’m back again! Look, I can cook! Please love me!”

So anyway they have a nice meal and Naoya apologizes to everyone (for being angsty?) and everything seems nice. But then Chiaki asks Ryuji what he’s planning to do. And a fight breaks out amongst the boys.

"We should have joined the wrestling team"

“We should have joined the wrestling team”

Nagisa yells at everyone, so they feel bad about it. And then Ryuji does that thing where he leaves without saying anything. AGAIN.

But before he can get too far, Naoya stops him and gives him a nice inspirational speech, reminding Ryuji that he’s the “banchou” (leader). The inspirational background music begins to play. In the end, Ryuji smiles and Naoya looks satisfied. So… problem solved?

Or maybe not because, look! Ryuji actually did transfer back to Suiran to join the team!

The back of Ryuji's shirt happens to say "Guilty Parties" LOL

The back of Ryuji’s shirt happens to say “Guilty Parties” LOL

"But... WHY?"

“But… WHY?”

WHAT?! Can someone explain this to me? I legitimately feel like I missed something. Why would Ryuji want to be on the same team as Torao again? This is yet another plot twist I didn’t expect. I thought for sure, by the end of the episode, Ryuji would come to realize that he likes the Mizu Tama team better than Suiran and that whole plot point would be resolved. This is a strange turn of events and I’m looking forward to next week to see how this all turns out. How will they get Ryuji back??

Overall, I felt like this episode was lacking a tiny bit in its trademark humor but I’m so invested in the storyline now that I don’t even care. Also, I was sort of worried about watching the water polo match itself because a water sport is probably much more difficult to film than one on a field, like soccer and baseball. You can only see the players’ heads and even those are covered with the protective headgear. But surprisingly, the match was not that difficult to follow. Kudos to the camera crew. Good job!

So what did you think? Here are some serious and silly questions to consider:

1.) How do you feel about Ryuji’s change of heart and change of team?

2.) How do you feel about the humor (or lack of) in this episode?

3.) Did you enjoy watching the water polo match?

4.) Is the Suiran Coach Lady kinda shady?

5.) Does anybody actually care about the romantic plot points of this show?

6.) Do you like corn on the cob? Especially when you are sad?

Feel free to leave a comment if you have thoughts, questions, etc! I’m always willing to chat about the show! Join me again next week for episode six!

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6 thoughts on “Suikyuu Yankees Episode 5 Recap/Review: Decisions, Decisions

  1. Hello! I have never been to your website before, and I don’t usually reply to posts I read online, but I found that my thoughts on the episode were par for par with yours, and I wanted to talk to someone about it. I am a big Hey! Say! JUMP fan, which is why I started the drama, but I’ve found myself completely engaged in the plot and the humor of the show, and I really do like all of the characters. I actually found this page because I was looking for insight as to why Ryuji transferred to Suiran and joined their water polo team.

    I myself am not fluent in Japanese, so I had thought that perhaps I had missed something that had been said that could shed some light on the decision, but then again…maybe not. Your confusion makes me feel like it wasn’t really explained at all, and I am at a complete loss as to why he decided to transfer, and to what the poor Kasu Mizu Tama team is going to do. I only really have two ideas as to why Ryuji would transfer, and they’re both a little silly. My first thought was that he claimed to be joining to team to see how they work, how they practice and train and spy on the competition a little bit, but a whole school transfer just for some recon work seems a little far fetched to me. My only other thought was that he simply joined because he wanted to, and that makes me sad, because I didn’t think he would betray his friends and his team–that worked so hard to get him–like that. Regardless of how it turns out,I’m waiting in high anticipation for next week!

    I do agree that the tone of this episode was more serious than the previous ones, but as you had said, I found myself not minding the slight shift in tone due to my investment in the plot and characters. I hadn’t really considered how the crew would be able to show the water polo match–I’ve never played or seen it played–but as someone who literally didn’t know anything about water polo going into the drama, I can say that I have had no trouble in understanding how the game is played, which has been really great!

    Just for fun, I’m going to answer your questions, if you don’t mind.

    1) I was honestly a little upset! I was really growing to like Ryuji, and I wanted to see him grow to be even better friends with the Kasu kids, and open up more. As I said earlier, I thought a great deal about his change of team (and heart ;-;) and I am still fretting a bit over it.

    2) I didn’t mind the change in tone. I do really enjoy the humor in the show, but as invested as I am in the plot and characters, I don’t mind if it gets a bit more serious.

    3) I didn’t expect to enjoy the water polo match as much as I did. I had thought it would be rather dull, or a little confusing, but I was pleasantly surprised. The match was exciting, and I found myself watching attentively, completely engaged throughout its entirety.

    4) Yes! Kinda.shady. Not like I think she’s crazy or going to kill anyone, but I can’t figure out what her main goal is. I feel like she could be/is rather manipulative, and I don’t know that the student’s spirits/happiness are all that important to her, which makes me worry for the Suiran students.

    5) Not really. Nagisa and Ryuji are a little cute, but I could care less about the whole Torao/Rei/Ryuji business, and while I understand why they included Nagisa’s friend (the one that has a crush on Naoya) I honestly just find her to be a little annoying. She’s cute, but unnecessary.

    6) Only if it’s really good, sweet corn! I love sweet corn, but if it’s tough or out of season then I usually won’t eat it, even if I have the choice.

    Sorry for this ridiculously long, rambling response. I know it’s rather pointless, but I really did enjoy your recap/review for this episode of Suikyuu Yankees!

    • Hi! Thanks for reading and leaving this wonderful comment! This is my first time actually recapping and reviewing a drama on my blog so forgive me if it’s not very thoughtful or good. I started doing them in the hopes that I’d have someone to chat about it with! (And I don’t know many HSJ fans so yay! Hello fellow HSJ fan!)

      I’m not fluent in Japanese either but I usually feel like I have a good grasp of what’s going on. But Ryuji’s decision totally threw me for a loop this time! Even with me not understanding Ryuji and Naoya’s dialogue 100% in that last scene together, the body language and the music seemed to imply that they’d settled the issue. I’m thinking maybe the script made it intentionally unexpected so they can explain it more in the next episode. Just like the plot twist with the girl’s team at the end of episode four, Ryuji’s sudden leaving was the big twist at the end of this episode. Seems kinda cheap, but hey, I’m hooked enough to watch next week just for an explanation!

      I like your theories about why Ryuji did it. I too thought he might have been spying at first, but if he is, shouldn’t he have let the team know first?? That’s like the first lesson in Spying 101! ^_^

      I’m thinking you might be right about him just wanting to join the team. He might view it as a challenge to try to take back the captain position from Torao. I thought it was pretty interesting during the match when he started trying to score all the goals himself. Or it might just have something to do with Rei? (If yes, then that’s a really dumb reason). Of course, I’m just speculating here. I don’t have anything to back that up.

      I’m sure future episodes will bounce back to more humor but I like the nice balance between both humor and seriousness now. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who shares that opinion. 🙂

      I certainly don’t mind you answering my questions at all!

      1.) I totally agree. It was fun to watch Brooding!Ryuji start to come out of his shell and devastating to see him go back to Suiran. But every good story has conflict, so I guess it’s a necessary evil? For now!

      2.) As I mentioned earlier in my comment, I think the show is finally reaching a nice balance between the two. As long as it doesn’t get too serious!

      3.) My thoughts exactly! I usually get bored with sports stories and, if it wasn’t for Takaki being cast in this, I would have probably skipped it completely. But yeah, I was impressed with the staging of the match and was glad they didn’t drag it out too long.

      4.) Yeah, I get that manipulative vibe too. I found myself wondering how the Suiran students felt about her coaching style. I mean, if I were on the girls’ team, I’d be kinda annoyed that we didn’t get to finish playing the match! Actually, oh my gosh, I think I just had an epiphany! Maybe it’s Coach Lady’s behavior that makes the whole Suiran team act like jerks! That would explain it. (thank you for helping me indirectly come to this conclusion! that’s why I like when people leave comments ^_^)

      5.) I’m so glad I’m not the only who doesn’t care about the romance stuff. When I have to start drawing a chart to keep up with who likes who, then you know there’s too much romance! haha (I may or may not actually draw a chart sometime <.<)

      6.) Fresh corn is the best! 😀

      Never apologize for rambling! (I ramble all the time. That's where the name of my blog came from!) Thank you again for your excellent commentary and thoughts on the drama! If you have the time, feel free to visit again for the rest of the recaps/reviews!

  2. 1.) I think Ryuji is changing teams because he feels he’s lacking purpose on his current team. I think since he’s the leader and best one on his team, he feels he deserves more. He knows his friends need him and that they’re going to struggle a lot without him but I think he feels that they’re all idiots and nothing good will come out of them so he’s just wasting his time. There’s also the Rei/Torao thing where he needs to feel like he’s back in control because he knows he’s good and he doesn’t want to get embarrassed anymore. I think he’s just being selfish. I hope he comes to realize who his real friends are and I hope they show him that they can win without him so he doesn’t get so full of himself. I was really liking his character the few past episodes so I hope I’m wrong.
    2.) I love this show’s humor but I think it’s fine if it varies once in a while because there are serious plot points like Torao’s and Ryuji’s relationship. I hope they show more humor in the next episode. (:
    3.) Yes, I enjoyed it. I loved the pool as well. I don’t know too much about the sport but it was easy to understand and it makes me want to learn how to swim.
    4.) I do think the Suiran Coach is fishy, but rather than her team becoming jerks because of her, I have a different theory, I mean I think the guys there are full of themselves because they play well and have more means for a good water polo team and I’m sure the coach puts pressure on the team to win, but I feel like her and Torao have something going on, maybe not romantically but maybe they’re figuring out ways to make the other team fail together. I feel they know things before the rest of their team does.
    5.) I honestly don’t mind the romance, I mean I don’t necessarily care for it either, the thing is I don’t know who to ship or if I should ship anyone? I feel that even if Nagisa liked Naoya he’d be too dumb to figure it out lol. I forgot her friends name, I kinda like her, she’s not like important but I think she’s there to add some humor. I’d also like to know more about the Ryuji/Rei/Torao love triangle not because I ship any of them but I just want to know why Ryuji felt so threatened by Torao and how close were him and Rei and were Ryuji and Torao close. Maybe Torao’s doing things for revenge it’s not like he loves Rei right? I think there’s something there that needs further explaining, but at the same time I don’t want them to spend too much times explaining because u feel it’ll only slow the drama down.
    6.) Always lol.

    • Hi! Thanks for commenting! I love to hear other people’s thoughts on the show!

      1.) This explanation makes a lot of sense. Ryuji probably feels like his team’s skill level is holding him back. So maybe he’s doing what he thinks is best for himself? I don’t think he thinks the whole team are idiots though; just unable to get on his level. Watching the team learn to work without Ryuji will be interesting though. Will their skills improve?

      2.) I totally agree! I love the balance between humor and seriousness, but I hope there are lots of hilarious bits in the next episode.

      3.) I knew nothing about water polo too but it’s surprisingly fun to watch! And that’s cool that you want to learn how to swim now! Good luck!

      4.) Good point about the team being full of themselves because of their skill level. That totally makes sense. Thinking about it now, I know athletes in real life who act similarly because they are very good at what they do. Interesting theory about Coach Lady and Torao working together. I’d definitely like to see more of that in the future.

      5.) I wouldn’t mind the romance if it was just two characters. Love triangles just seem tiring to me because it drags down the storyline sometimes (but it’s not so bad in this drama!). And oblivious!Naoya would probably not get the hint about Nagisa. Haha! I’d love to see some Ryuji/Rei/Torao flashbacks just because I’m really curious whether Torao and Rei started dating before or after Ryuji quit the team. It could totally be revenge! Hopefully we’ll get some explanations soon!

      6.) Yes!! ^_^

      Again, thanks for reading and commenting! If you have the time, feel free to stop by again for next week’s review! 🙂

  3. Corn: the balm for all woes

    Another EXCELLENT review, Jefferson! Can’t wait to see what happens next…maybe it’ll turn out that girlfriend is ACTUALLY a SPY FOR SUIRAN!

    Nah, but that’d be interesting!

    • Thanks for reading! 😀

      Are you volunteering to photoshop a spy mustache on my screencaps of Girlfriend? Because I think you are volunteering to photoshop a spy mustache on my screencaps of Girlfriend. Please and thank you. 😛

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