The moment you’ve been waiting for since last Friday is finally here!!!

Okay well aside from the AyaNaru vs Harukana match, but one thing at a time.

Here’s my review!

For real though, this ep fully delivered on the hype as it was a thrilling 23 minutes from start to finish. So looking back to how we reached this point, Harukana entered the regional competition to decide which team would be going to the Nationals. After not that many teams entered, it was determined that instead of 2 local teams going, there would only be 1. So with that said, the top 2 teams ended up in the final game, those teams being Harukana and Éclair. We ended last week with both pairs staring down each other, ready for what’s by far the best match of the show.

So here we are now, ep 10 and the match we’ve been eagerly waiting for all week, Harukana vs Éclair. You’d think that maybe because they’re all friends it’ll be like practice except maybe a bit harder. No, absolutely not. For the first time in this show we get to see what few want to, Éclair going all out. These really know how to bring their A game when it matters and man did they ever bring it. From the moment the match began, hell before the match began, you could just feel the tension in the air. Both sides were ready to go the moment the whistle blew.

Don’t forget to stretch!

As for the match itself, well I’m not going to spend time commentating on each play as that’s not really much of a review, so I’ll just highlight parts of it and show some pics too.

Éclair opens up with the early lead as expected, both girls going strong, especially Claire, as they show off their power and skill. All that training from their amazing mom is really showing here. Kinda makes you wonder what Marissa was like back when she was in her prime playing beach volleyball. Oh how I’d love an OVA of that.

I love the intensity of the match, it’s so much different than any of the previous matches, even the one in the second ep. Both sides here have trained together for the past while so they really know each other quite well, so it’s easy to read their moves and anticipate where they’ll hit the ball. Every other opponent Éclair has faced doesn’t have that advantage, so it’s an area where Harukana can capitalize on and hopefully score some points.

One play in particular stood out for me as it got me wondering if it was legal or not, that of course being the play where Claire kicks the ball to stop it from going out. Turns out that’s actually a legal play. I looked it up and according to the official team USA site under the volleyball section, using your feet to save the ball is completely legal. So that was a very good play by Claire and one that really shows her knowledge of the game and what plays are legal to make.

While all this is happening, Akari is watching white knuckled. Here are her friends duking it out for a spot in the Nationals and she’s standing on the sidelines watching it all unfold in front of her. It was the match she didn’t want to have happen but knew deep down that it probably would anyways. Both pairs are strong players, Éclair the stronger, but Harukana have really proved themselves over the past few months. But with so much on the line, would this match be the one that could ruin their friendship? All these thoughts are swirling through Akari’s mind as she watches this match, unable to stop what’s happening only push on and support them, no matter the outcome.

The back half is where things really come to life, which might seem strange to say as the match has been extremely thrilling from the start, but now things kick into an even higher gear. Yes that’s right, we’ve seen Claire going all out but now it’s time for Emily to show her true colors. With Claire starting to get a bit rattled by the pressure from Harukana, Emily steps up and resets the tone with a brutal dump shot, giving them a 2 point lead heading into set point. She may be the quiet and timid girl off the court, but don’t let the fool you. When Emily gets serious, it’s kind of scary honestly. Suddenly you’re seeing this side to her you didn’t think she possessed, that alone is enough to throw you off your game.

Heading into the final stretch of this ep we get a flashback which includes the only and only Hype Mom, Marissa. Yes it’s another are moment of her in a purple bikini, and this time we actually get to see a little more of her in it too. Not that seeing her from the chest up wasn’t already a glorious sight, but now we have a nearly full body shot of her rocking that purple bikini. And man was she rocking it.

Aside from showing Marissa in that sexy bikini, the purpose of that flashback was to show us why Emily is suddenly unleashing her other side. It all stems back to that fateful day when they lost to Narumi and Kanata. Emily realized that she couldn’t just rely on Claire to do everything, she had to also get just as strong to be able to set the tone if needed. So while Emily still mainly does the setting for Claire, when things aren’t going to plan she can step up and bring the heat.

We end already into the second set, the game still close and both sides going as hard as they can. No one wants to lose and miss going to the Nationals, but it’s not going to be an easy path there. I said last week we already knew how this game would go and who would end up at the Nationals, honestly I’m starting to wonder if that was the right thing to say. With how this game is shaping up so far it could honestly go either way. But one thing is for certain though, no matter how the game ends it’s going to be one hell of a battle on both sides.

Wow, what a thrilling ep this was. Such intense volleyball action from both sides, it’s going to be an exciting finish for sure. This might be my favorite ep to date, even though I probably say that about every ep, but honestly this one was so exciting to watch. I can’t wait for next week to see how it ends, and then the week after with the final ep. Oh man this show is shaping up to have a thrilling conclusion!

So that’s it for this ep. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it so feel free to leave a comment below or you can even hit me up on Twitter and chat about the ep. I’ll be sure to reply to you either way.

As always thank you so much for reading this and I’ll see you back here next week!


Bonus Art!

My new favorite pic~

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