With Yu finally part of the team, it was time to see if they could all play together.
Let’s find out!
Now that her jersey has arrived, Yu is officially a member of the Dream Monkeys. She does look good in orange. It’s a big moment for her and it’s great to see Yu back on the ice again playing the sport she loves.
With the roster looking better now, it was time to think about future goals and what the team should aim for. Of course Manaka sets a very lofty goal of reaching the All-Japan Championship, which seems to be the goal all main characters aim for in sports about from day 1, but hey it’s good to set your sights high and see it through. I found it funny how Coach Yoko had the exact same goal and said it in pretty much the exact same tone as Manaka did. They’re so in sync, it’s great!
It’s also nice to see more of the other Dream Monkeys players this time around. We met a few briefly last week but now we’re starting to see them more often. I’m not sure if we’ll get a full on introduction to every single player on the team, but having them present and being part of the team is good to see as is.
A point worth noting is when Yu mentioned to Coach Yoko if no one was going to ask why she left the Snow White to play for the Dream Monkeys. True it’s not something everyone knows about, but Coach Yoko did a nice job of reassuring her that she’s welcome on the Dream Monkeys and that whatever reason she left isn’t something everyone has to know. I’m guessing at some point in the coming eps Yu will open up about why she left, but for right here and now that reason isn’t important. All the matters is that she’s here to play hockey again.
Through the middle portion of the ep we get some more bonding with Yu and the rest of the main girls. Nothing like soaking naked in the hot springs to get to know each other. Manaka also suggests they come up with a sort of team chant they say to fire everyone up. While her idea was… different, Yu suggested something that was literally on Manaka’s wall 24/7. The big banned that Mami made before leaving had the words “The bonds of our hearts”, so with that they added on “connect the puck”, so the new team chant is “The bonds of our hearts connect the puck”. Not bad really, and Yu likes it too so that’s a plus.
With the team bonding accomplished, it was finally time to get back out on the ice for another game. This time it’s a more serious practice match against a very solid team, the Ice Bucks. Interesting fact about the Ice Bucks coach, Takahito Suzuki. He’s actually a real person. He played pro hockey from 1996-2013. Another interesting point to note, he played for the Nikko Ice Bucks as well. Cool to see some real world crossovers here in this anime!
This time around the game isn’t a complete blow out loss for the Dream Monkeys, so that’s a huge improvement. I won’t go over the play by play of the game but I’ll cover a few key points from it. The most notable takeaway from the game is Yu’s play style. Coming from such a high caliber team, Yu plays at a much faster level than the rest of the girls. She’s used to playing a hard and fast game and once the puck drops she reverts back to her old self, doing everything herself and not exactly being a team player. True Yu is extremely skilled on her own, she can’t play the whole game herself, even if she thinks she could. Hockey is a team sport and having good teamwork is essential to winning. Everyone needs to play their part and think game showed that Yu still has some old habits she still needs to overcome.
In the end the Dream Monkeys still lost the game but it was a much closer score of 3-2 for the Ice Bucks. The key points from the game are mainly about Yu and how she’s got some work to do still. I liked her intensity she brought to the game, she’s a fierce player and likes to be right in the middle of the action, but that also means she forgets to let her teammates help her out when she’s trying to battle 3 opposing players at once. The second goal the Dream Monkeys scored, by Manaka, only happened because Yu decided to pass the puck instead of trying to break through the defense herself. Very nice pass and what a shot by Manaka. Top shelf blocker side. You love to see it.
While the game didn’t go the way the Dream Monkeys wanted it to, Coach Yoko felt it was good to keep that energy up and still perform their victory dance. Gotta say I had actually forgotten about the idol side of this show so I was a big surprised by this. Still a nice song and dance though. On to the next game!
Good ep this week and it was great to see Yu making herself part of the team. She’s got so much talent but she needs to work on her teamwork to be an even better player. I’m sure when the next game rolls around, they’ll all be playing together and hopefully getting a win too!
What did you think of this week’s ep? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll be sure to get back to you.
That’s it for me, thanks for reading and I’ll see you back here next week!
As always, stay safe and healthy!