My hype show of the season continues with more hockey fun!
Let’s have a look.
With their first lesson complete, hockey was now on the hearts and minds of the girls. We start off with Nao and Riko, the two girls Manaka and company met at the arena in ep 1. So far we’ve established they’re childhood friends and are both interested in hockey, but aside from that we don’t know much else about them. Riko is pretty pumped about hockey but it’s clear Nao isn’t as hyped as Riko is when it comes to hockey. She’s pretty unsure if she’ll even go back next week for the second lesson. It take a little doing, but Riko is finally able to convince Nao to join her again for the second lesson. When in doubt, try bribing with food, works every time.
As for the backstory with these girls, Riko and Nao used to play hockey back when they were younger. Riko’s father, who now coaches collage hockey in Tokyo, always said Nao was talented at hockey. Nao however wasn’t super interested in playing hockey though as her heart was set on figure staking. Although that didn’t work out as she had trouble performing all the spins and jumps that are required in figure skating. Since then Nao hasn’t really been keeping up with skating and is more interested in drawing manga and spending her free time indoors. Riko on the other hand is a bundle of energy who loves hockey and wants to play with her friend once more, even if it means bribing her to come. I’m sure Nao will once again discover her passion for hockey soon enough.
Over with Manaka and company, since their first time at the hockey trial, Manaka has become fully invested in hockey. She’s having way too much fun reading up on the rules and basics of hockey, spending more time doing that than school or club related stuff, much to Ayaka’s dismay. Good to see Manaka getting so passionate about hockey though, it’s truly an amazing sport.
The middle part of the ep is mostly focusing on a TV crew who is in town covering local attractions and the inn that Manaka and Ayaka’s grandmother runs is a stop for them. With the help of Mami and Kaoruko, they’re able to make the filming session a success. When asked by the crew if they’d help out again the following day, Manaka mentions that they’re busy with hockey practice, which gets the attention of the crew. As expected, when Coach Yoko gets the call about if having a TV crew at the arena was alright with them, she’s pretty excited about the opportunity for some promotional content.
As silly as Coach Yoko is, she does have her serious moments and when the TV crew was at the arena the next day, we got to see how passionate she is about hockey and what exactly the local team, the Dream Monkeys, mean to her. We’re also given a quick history lesson about the team and how they’ve been a part of the community for so many years. Just like small towns here in Canada, hockey is a big part of the community and it’s something that brings so many people together. Now more than ever when everyone has been apart for so long isolating, being able to come back together to enjoy hockey again, it’s really something special.
Their training this week was pretty much what they did last week, but with the addition of speed training. It’ll be a while before they’re skating like the pros, but this is a solid start for them. Also worth noting that Ayaka had a little trouble with this skating drill. Something that Coach Yoko noticed as well, so I’m sure we’ll address this in the coming eps.
We finish off the ep with a shocking development with Mami, that being she can’t join the team as she’ll be transferring schools shortly. It’s a big blow to Manaka who was really eager to play with everyone, but now this turn of events has really thrown a wrench into her plan. Looks like we’ll be getting some drama next time as the girls sort out this new development.
Also we have another short scene with the dark haired girl who we saw at the end of ep 1. It looks like she’s leaving a team and town to go somewhere else. Of course we know where she’ll end up and who she’ll play with, I’m eager to learn more about her and what her story is.
Not a whole lot going on this week, we’re still getting introduced to everyone and learning their stories, but hockey is still a focus of the anime and that’s what I like to see. After 2 eps I’m still enjoying this show a lot and I can’t wait for more exciting hockey fun in the coming eps!
What are your thoughts after 2 eps? Let me know in the comments below! Are you becoming interested in hockey just by watching this show? By all means build on that interest and check out the sport some more. It’s really exciting to watch and fun to play. I hope this anime will help convey that and by the end you’ll be a hockey fan as well.
That’s it for me, thanks for reading and I’ll see you back here next week!
As always, stay safe and healthy!