So here we are, y’all. The final episode. I have a lot to say about this episode and this series, but I’ll save it for the end, so let’s jump right to the recap part and see how the KasuKou vs. Suiran match goes down.
Starting off, we see the whole crowd gathered for the match. Even Mean VP is cheering loudly for KasuKou! (I guess getting punched in the face a few episodes ago knocked some sense into him.)
Yoko is listening by radio but he’s trying to decide whether to go or not.
Meanwhile, in the locker room, Ryuji is worried about Naoya’s shoulder. Naoya though just says that he’s okay. (even though he was very clearly holding his shoulder just a second ago) Chiharu-sensei gathers them together for a pep talk that takes the form of a flashback montage. Now the Mizu Tama Team is all fired up and ready to go!
And then, of course, the camera gives us some fanservice just in case you forgot this was a show about boys in speedos.
Right off the bat, the KasuKou boys are showing excellent teamwork by passing the ball to each other. It surprises Suiran and they score the first point. When Suiran tries to start playing dirty, the KasuKou boys remember all the times they got beat up by those mean Suiran guys (well, mostly just Asshole Goda).
Anyway, that gives them the motivation to fight back and they score again. Unfortunately, Naoya’s shoulder is starting to give him some trouble. The score at the end of the first period is KasuKou 2, Suiran 1.
Naoya keeps insisting that he’s totally okay even though his shoulder is giving him lots of pain. So the score at the end of the second period is KasuKou 3, Suiran 10. That’s not looking good. What happened to defense??
During halftime, Torao confronts Goda because he doesn’t like the way they are playing. Coach Lady is shady as always though and insists that KasuKou absolutely cannot win.
Torao doesn’t look too happy about that. (I assume Torao wants to win fair and square, which is a nice change from the first episode when he basically tried to drown Naoya. Hooray for character development!)
Ryuji finally puts his foot down and insists that Naoya sit out for a while.
Even though it’ll be tough, they’ll keep on with just six players. Coach Lady says that’s kinda crazy but Chiharu just says that she believes in their power. Coach Lady looks like she’s about to have her own existential crisis.
All of the Suiran girls have been watching from the sidelines and Nagisa is quite worried. Finally, Riko admits that even though she likes Naoya, Nagisa is the one who should go be by his side.
The crowd starts cheering loudly for KasuKou and the team is really touched by their support. “Let’s do this for Naoya,” Ryuji declares and they all jump into the pool.
Meanwhile, Naoya is getting doctored up and Nagisa comes to check on him. And she writes “teppen” on his hand. (Teppen means “peak” or “top” and it’s one of the things Naoya says all the time)
Nagisa gives him a motivational speech and it doesn’t involve yelling. I’m proud. They both look like they’re about to cry.
When Naoya returns, the third period is over but things still aren’t looking so good. The score is KasuKou 6, Suiran 11. (But honestly, Suiran only scored one goal that time. It’s not so bad. That’s good defense!)
Over with the Suiran team, Torao is totally fed up with their strategy and Goda. So he begs Coach Lady to let them do something else. (Honestly, this is where my listening skills failed me. But I’m pretty sure the gist of it was that he wants to win fair and square)
Coach Lady is basically like “Do whatever you want. I believe in you.”
Oh, and then Yoko shows up! Dude, the game is almost over. Did you miss a train or something?
Anyway, he repeats his famous influential speech and this encourages the team.
Before they get back in the water, Ryuji and Naoya have a moment because Ryuji realizes that Nagisa is totally focused on Naoya. I guess he’s just accepted the fact that he’s the odd one out in this love triangle? Anyway, Nagisa and Naoya give each other dorky thumbs up.
The final period begins and it’s a fast-paced game. Both teams are scoring left and right until finally the score is tied at 13 to 13 and there’s only 30 seconds left. Torao shoots but Naoya blocks with his “teppen” hand. And then Naoya and Ryuji have this weird telepathic moment. And then the team passes the ball to each other (combined with more flashbacks to their best moments from the series). And at the very last second, Naoya shoots and scores! KASUKOU WINS! *Cue the cheering and celebrations*
Torao and Ryuji shake hands after the game. “You’re my best rival,” Ryuji says, “Let’s challenge each other again sometime.”
(Also, Torao smiles. TWICE. And one of those times was at Naoya. Oh how things have changed since episode one…)
The good feelings continue with Nice Principal telling them that KasuKou has been saved! Remember that folks, water polo can SAVE YOUR SCHOOL.
And then Yoko gives Naoya the jacket back and says “You’ve gotten strong.” I think they may be besties now or something. (Getting punched in the face is a great way to make new friends! Take note!)
As Nagisa is leaving, Naoya runs after her. And then he starts freaking out which is kinda hilarious.
And then he shouts his confession of love at her (which is fitting). And she says she likes him too. (For realz this time! Sorry Ryuji/Nagisa shippers)
AND OF COURSE THE MOMENT IS RUINED BECAUSE THE WHOLE TEAM WAS CREEPIN ON THEM. LOL
The end is Nagisa writing a letter, narrating what happened after the “summer of water polo” was over. Torao is teaching (?) and/or assisting (?) the water polo class at Suiran. (Sorry I couldn’t quite catch what Nagisa was saying)
Chiharu is studying up on conditioning training. The Baka Trio finally got to meet their idols in person and now one of the Baka Trio is a designer. Ryuji’s putting his all into training for college.
Chiaki and Suiran girl are dating and, surprisingly, so are Kouki and Riko??!?!?!?! WHAAAAAAT. (It’s cute but I totally not expecting that!)
Yoko is studying when he has free time at work so he can become a teacher (?) one day. Coach Lady is now teaching water polo to children. (Is that a good idea??) Nagisa says she’s going to play water polo in college.
And as for Naoya… well he’s just being himself and rescuing kids from bullies. And so it continues on…
Oh, and there’s a photo in Nagisa’s room showing that KasuKou won the inter-high championship. Nice!
And the show ends with Nagisa’s voiceover saying “Thank you Naoya.”
…That’s it, y’all. What did you think? Endings are always the hardest to write. Often times, I find myself unsatisfied with how TV shows end. And I would be lying if I didn’t say that filling up almost the whole episode with a water polo match was a little disappointing. For a show that consistently went above and beyond my expectations, there was surprisingly little in this episode that was surprising. But then again, how else would they have ended the series? Despite all this though, I still really loved this series. It was full of laughter and nice three-dimensional characters, which is all I ask for in any show. Above all, it was always entertaining to watch. I’m not going to sit here and pick through every little problem I have with the writing because it’s really not that much. I liked it. I’d watch it again. I’d watch a second season or a movie if that existed. Suikyuu Yankees was fun. Excellent casting, excellent writing, excellent use of corn. In my opinion, everyone is a winner!
1.) What was your favorite scene/character/moment/anything?
2.) Do you think it’s a good idea for Coach Lady to teach children?
3.) Does Chiharu actually teach any classes?
4.) Did ANYONE guess Kouki and Riko would get together???
5.) Have any final thoughts on the resolution of the love triangle? Are you happy or is your heart broken?
5.5) If you started dating someone who lived with your family, would your parents kick them out? Just wondering.
6.) Do you want to go join a water polo team now?
So, friends, what did you think of the series? I’d love to talk more about the show and hear other people’s opinions, so please feel free to leave a comment. And if anyone is interested, I’d love to have a discussion on character development. (I am a writing nerd, I know.)
Thanks so much for checking out my recaps each week, and for sticking with me even though I’m new to this! It’s been fun! Check back again soon because I have a SuiYan wrap-up post I’m putting together just for fun (because I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to this series yet)
“Don’t give up! The possibilities are endless!” ^_^