While it hasn't been talked about for a bit, Aoba has certainly become
an interesting part of the team even though she can't play in the games
in the same way. Her role has been one that has certainly pushed a lot
of the players to getting better and improving their skills and she's
had other contributions as well. With her shot at the national women's
team here, she's all set for it and the guys have made sure that there
is no practice on that day so she doesn't feel bad about missing one.
It's an interesting token to make, but one that definitely fits with how
they all feel about her and helps to ease some of her internal
struggles over it all. While you can see that it does make her smile
inside, it's not the main thing that's weighing her down.
Much of the episode is given over to the tryouts themselves after the girls arrive there in which we have a few people that Aoba already knows. In some ways, you expect that the boys will come to watch her in the tryouts but they don't, which keeps you focused on just Aoba without any distractions by other players that we know from the boys side. With some of the girls that we've seen before, there aren't any rivalries in the classic sense where there's intense hatred and the like, but more of a stern competition and admiration between a lot of them. It's good to see this approach taken, something that has been constant in the show from the start, in that there isn't any real anger here or overblown emotions. People are invested, but they don't have enemies.