This here is Daigo Takashi ☝️ and he’s glorious.
***THIS POST UPDATED WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION FROM KODANSHA**
So yeah, I’m not going to cover everything in 15 & 16 – the whole Oku Yuri thing fell flat for me, despite my being an Iwashimizu stan. I just don’t care about Miyuki and Oku, shame on me.
What makes this arc interesting is Kamakura Academy. They got two openly gay players, a very complicated shot-caller, and third-year captain with more heart than confidence.
I couldn’t help but notice that Daigo’s character design is inconsistent. It felt like the color copy needed by the publisher got done before the actual panel work – so we have a Daigo on that chapter splash that’s kind odd looking (not unusual for Amase-sensei) and then in the panels, we’ve got a Daigo that’s a bit on the cute side.
Honestly – these were best written rivals yet – and warning, this flashback chapter gutted me more than any other in the series.
Finding out his cheerfulness was all an act – really hit home for me. ☝️
Why are shot callers all so complicated? LOL!
I intensely dislike the coach’s ‘Fagin-style’ recruitment of traumatized young men that he controls with drill-sergeant style tactics. Oku, Daigo, and Saigoku all have personal issues; he uses these issues to his advantage. He’s morally ambiguous and a reminder that this is a seinen manga, and not shonen one.
>_> lots to unpack here – but damn. The minute you view people as something to be utilized and manipulated?
That’s a downward spiral to be sure…
Here’s the team: