With their scrimmage match over and Mami gone, it’s time for the girls to take the next step in their hockey journey.
Let’s take a look!
The start of a new school semester brings new and exciting opportunities for our girls, more so that they’re almost all in the same school. Except Ayaka, who isn’t a high school student just yet. With this new start, Coach Yoko presents the girls with the opportunity to play for the real Dream Monkeys, if they pass the qualifying test of course. Yes Manaka, there still is more studying to do.
It’s a very exciting chance for the girls, taking their passion for hockey to the next level and competing on a much bigger stage that scrimmage games. It also means we’ll finally be able to meet some of the other girls on the team, as I’ve been quite curious about who they might be for an while now. But we’ll get to that a bit later. Before we continue with this, let’s finally meet this mysterious girl we keep seeing at the end of each ep.
Kiyose Yu is a star player. She’s the U-16 MVP, has incredible hockey sense, and is the dream player every coach wants on their team. Except she had a falling out with her old team, the Snow White, and left them and her old town Kushiro for a fresh start. Little did Yu realize though, you can’t walk away from hockey that easily. Turns out her old coach used to be teammates with Coach Yoko, so when Yu left, Coach Kawakami gave Coach Yoko the heads up that a very good player would be moving to their town, you can guess what Coach Yoko had in mind.
Of course it won’t be that easy to convince Yu to join the Dream Monkeys, and while we haven’t gotten into that just yet, the end of this ep is a good indication of how that conversation between Coach Yoko and Yu might go. But we’ll have to wait until next week before we continue with that story. For now we’re going back to the Dream Monkey hopefuls as they try their best to make the team.
A big part of the test that Manaka is having trouble with is memorizing all the rules. Hockey does have quite a few rules, especially if you’ve never played or watched it before, so learning everything is a struggle at first. Even now, after watching hockey for so many years, I’m still learning new things about the sport. Granted the rules in the NHL are probably different than what you might find in a smaller Japanese girls league, but the majority of them are still very much the same. Manaka and Aya practice a few as they study for the test and it’s clear which of the sisters is the better student. But where Aya excels in studying, she has a hard time with the physical aspect of the sport, namely her stamina.
As excepted, stamina is a key part of playing hockey. Much like any sport having good stamina is important to being able to play, and skating as hard as you do in hockey means you need a lot of stamina to keep going. An big part of the test to join the team involves staking 100 laps around the arena, which is going to be a struggle for Aya. Thankfully the rest of the girls along with Coach Yoko are very supportive of her and they’re all there to help the youngest girl on the team pass the test.
Some much needed help comes for both sisters when the real Dream Monkeys team make a very brief appearance at the arena, giving helpful pointers for the girls as they prep for the upcoming test. I also like how the real Dream Monkeys players aren’t total jerks or anything. They actually help out their soon to be teammates and are just overall really nice. Sure this could change in the future, but as first impressions go, I like them already. Plus they’re super cute too so that’s a bonus!
With the test day upon them it’s finally time to put all their practicing to work and pass this test to make the team. The written part goes smoothly, Riko commenting on how easy it was when Manaka celebrated her passing mark. The 100 laps segment is grueling and strenuous but with the help and encouragement from everyone, Aya is able to pass it and make the team! I really liked how everyone waited for her on the final lap so they could all cross together. That was a nice moment.
As mentioned earlier, we end the ep with Coach Yoko finally going to visit Yu as she’s been ignoring all her phone calls. I’m sure it’ll be quite the conversation between the two of them and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it goes next week!
We’re making progress here as the girls make a big step in their Dream Monkeys journey! It’ll be nice when we finally have the whole team together for practice and a real game as well. I’m sure we’ll get that in the upcoming eps but first we need to deal with Yu and her drama next week. Hopefully that doesn’t drag on for too long.
What did you think of this week’s ep? Are you also getting just as excited about hockey since watching this anime? Let me know in the comments below!
That’s it for me, thanks for reading and I’ll see you back here next week!
As always, stay safe and healthy!