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Notes of Baby Steps Episode 8

Posted on the 28 May 2014 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG
Notes of Baby Steps Episode 8

After only 4 months of tennis, how can anybody say they’re bad after putting up a fight against the best players in the region?

Last week on Baby Steps, Eiichirou trained, and trained, and trained, and trained. Oh, and Takuma destroyed him at tennis.

Summary of Baby Steps Episode 8

  • After entering the Otowa Tennis Championship, Eiichirou does surprisingly well, but fails to get past the third round. Feeling defeated, he then decides to practice more. He even decides to stop attending cram school so he can have more time for tennis, which results in him not having the highest grades in the class anymore. As time passes, New Year’s comes around, and Eiichirou debates on whether to invite Natsu to the shrine or not, to which he doesn’t. However, the two meet at the shrine, and both wanted to ask each other to come, but didn’t for various reasons. After that, more time passes, and the Junior Tennis Tournament comes around once more, signifying that Eiichirou has been playing tennis for a year now.

My Take

  • Eiichirou takes on the Otowa Tennis Championship. Then a lot of stuff happens… and I mean a lot of stuff happens. Seriously! Like 8 months pass by in this episode, all with monolog from Eiichirou on how he lost at the Otowa Tennis Championship and how he can become a better player. Sounds boring, I know, but there’s a slight twist to this episode…
Notes of Baby Steps Episode 8

Let’s practice our character development first

  • … That twist is that I actually liked this episode. Not only that, but I really liked this episode. Honestly… I’m struggling to find negative words for it. I guess the only negative comment I have is that Eiichirou’s hairstyle is incredibly stupid…? But that’s been true since the start of the series… Oh, well! There we go: That’s all the negativity I’m going to show on this post.
  • It turns out I was right last week; Eiichirou and Takuma seem to be all “buddy-buddy” now. Maybe it’s because Takuma respects Eiichirou more now. Ever since the last episode, Takuma has appeared less mysterious and threatening, becoming more supportive. I knew that there was a good character in there somewhere! Now it’s time to flesh his character out and let us learn more about him. I want to know about him!
Notes of Baby Steps Episode 8

There’s a shock!

  • So much time passes in this episode, and that’s not a bad thing. In fact, since we got all of the initial training that Eiichirou went through out of the way, the decision to skip this amount of time was well done.
  • It took eight episodes, but we’ve finally got to the part in the intro of the first episode where Eiichirou was playing in the tournament. That is shown in the ending, which was all about how he has officially been playing tennis for a year now. I’ll admit, I’ve seen better buildups, but this one was alright. It had its ups and downs, but now that we’ve finally come full circle, I have the feeling that this series will start to delve into the areas I’ve wanted it to since I started watching it; those being relationships, tennis matches, and obstacles to overcome.
  • Turns out that the first eight episodes made up Eiichirou’s character arch. Maybe it should have been whittled down to five or so, as it did draw out in parts. The usage of notebooks to help exemplify the passage of time was a nice touch, although unrealistic (20 notebooks? Jeez…).
  • Hands down the best part of the episode was the interaction between Eiichirou and Natsu. Eiichirou and Natsu’s relationship felt natural here. Nobody was stereotypically embarrassed about their mutual attraction, and their interactions were real. It felt like two people who know they like each other, but they don’t know how to tell each other. Even a simple discussion about what Eiichirou called Natsu felt natural. These interactions these two characters have are so good, it makes me wonder why they haven’t had this type of interaction before, and why their relationship isn’t focused on more. I only hope that after this episode, we see more of these two.
Notes of Baby Steps Episode 8

If I were Eiichirou, those notebooks would be full of crappy drawings

  • This episode was great because Eiichirou came across as a human being and not some tennis-obsessed robot. We see that he has actual relationships with actual people, and has hopes and desires like everybody else. We see he not only likes Natsu, but that he’s conflicted as to how to show his affection towards her. We see his grades slightly dip when he stops putting in 100% of this time to school, highlighting his shortcomings. We see him not only study his opponents, but also learn about their personalities, thus making them less of “generic opponents” and more of a real character. Bottom line; THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED TO SEE IN THIS ANIME. MORE OF THIS PLEASE!

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