Comic Books Magazine

Notes of Baby Steps Episode 4

Posted on the 02 May 2014 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG
I'm still trying to process this scene. It's just... wow

I’m still trying to process this scene. It’s just… wow

Last week on Baby Steps, Takuma challenged Eiichirou to a contest, and Eiichirou got his ranking in the upcoming tennis tournament.

Summary of Baby Steps Episode 4

  • Picking up from episode 3, Eiichirou and Takuma are in the middle of their challenge. After a few misses, Natsu shows up and gives Eiichirou some good advice on how to return the ball. As the contest went on, Eiichirou started applying this to his returns, and although he did not return a single ball, he still learned how to return a serve. After that, the Junior Tennis Tournament is coming up, and Eiichirou learns that he has to face off against the 5th best player. He then talks with Natsu, who is the 1st best player in the tournament, about how to prepare for a match with so much riding on it.

My Take

  • Remember the cliffhanger from episode 2 and how misleading it turned out to be? Well, last week’s cliffhanger was actually nothing like that because the contest proposed between Eiichirou and Takuma was actually followed through. The best part about it is it’s relevance to the plot! I’m pretty happy about that, especially since it made members of the club start to somewhat respect Eiichirou.
This guy must be a joy at parties

This guy must be a joy at parties

  • My happiness doesn’t stop there; Eiichirou learned how to play tennis more efficiently, and its been revealed that he has abnormally high perception, topped off with his ability to learn his opponent’s strengths abnormally fast. Though that’s exactly what we all thought was going to happen in this series, it’s nice to see it be explained early on.
  • Anyway, the first major obstacle that Eiichirou has to face has finally been introduced, and it’s in the form of a tennis tournament. To make matters worse, it starts very soon, and Eiichirou is up against the 5th best participant in the first round. This is especially bad since this will be Eiichirou’s first official match. I mean, he can’t even beat a kid at tennis. This tournament ought to be either hilariously awkward or delightfully uplifting.
  • However, regular anime tropes seem to be setting in at this point. I would have hoped that this anime was more serious, but it has some slightly irritating points where it panders to a younger audience and goes super-chibi. Those moments aren’t really bad, but they’ve been happening more recently and they seem completely out of place and kill the mood.
  • Even though I do like the first four episodes, I feel that at this point, the current setup is getting dry. It’s basically just been, “Eiichirou goes to school, awkwardly does stuff, goes to the tennis club, impresses people, loses to children, totally denies having the hots for Natsu, etc.”. It’s a great thing that we’re going to get a change of pace with the tennis tournament.
  • I never really noticed until now, but Eiichirou is kind of an idiot. Well, not really an idiot, per se, more of a buffoon. He freaks out a lot over minimal stuff. I kind of like him, he reminds me of myself.
  • Then… random westerner speaking broken English?! It served no true purpose except to show Eiichirou that his education and his knowledge means nothing unless he can apply it. Now that I think about it… that’s actually a good overall message for the series; I don’t think it was demonstrated in a way that was effective. Seriously though, if you haven’t seen this episode, you should see if just for that scene. It came out of nowhere and it was so… so… what?
Don't worry, it's probably part of his strategy of making his opponents think he's terrible at tennis... I hope

Don’t worry, it’s probably part of his strategy of making his opponents think he’s terrible at tennis… I hope

  • Episode 4 was nice, but seemed a little lacking. Since the tennis tournament was introduced, however, it looks like the series will finally get more interesting. As far as sports anime goes, this is nothing special; it’s a good watch every week, but it’s almost instantly forgettable. I feel that after next week, the quality has the potential to increase drastically. I hope I’m right.

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