Recaps for Giant Killing

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Giant Killing - Season 1 - Episode 26 - Review: "Ep 26"

With as much time spent on the Osaka game this episode is something of a disappointment after Sera scores the goal to bring them victory. Instead of some time to actually enjoy the victory, savor in the opponents defeat, the show launches into the next game for a minute or so while highlighting that they've had three wins in a row now. The team is running with good spirits and healthy in-team competition with each other and the results are paying off on the field. Changes are afoot though as we see Akasaki moving on temporarily for a really good opportunity as he gets to join the preliminary group being formed around the Japanese Olympics team. Akasaki is sent off with some jealousy by others, especially when several realize they're too old to ever be invited to said group, but he's also made to be nervous. Tatsumi gives him a lot of props and then starts looking for his replacement right away and even stating that if the replacement plays better than Akasaki does, he has a shot at keeping the position. A lot of it is said with humor by Tatsumi, but there's always that element of truth as well. Akasaki's expression during this is priceless though. Akasaki's time in the Olympic qualifier game does get covered and it's cute to see how into it Yuri gets as she watches what happens. Read More Click Me!

Giant Killing - Season 1 - Episode 25 - Review: "Ep 25"

Tatsumi's strategy, as loosely defined as it has been, is starting to have an impact on the Osaka team and we're seeing Dulfer making some surprising changes. Taking out a few key players that are now being pushed to their limits a bit after being worked so hard in the first half removes some key strengths that he's had out there. Even the mere intention of changing out players has a dramatic effect on the Osaka team though since it points to there being a weakness of some sort and that's not so subtly demoralizing. And as the game plays pretty quickly at times, the sudden shift can lead to a surprising goal that nobody even thought possible, which lets Sugi really shine beautifully for a moment in a way that leaves him completely shocked. A good part of Tatsumi's overall strategy with the team, as opposed to this particular game, shines through with this episode. Watching as he does from the sidelines, he's able to highlight the different in the two teams as Dulfer polishes a player to a specific position in a way and removes those that don't work. Tatsumi is intending to polish all of them in a way tha makes them all shine through in a beautiful way. Sera is the one that the focus slowly turns to as the game clock runs down and he works through his feelings of not being worthy of being on the team. Following this character, the one that feels that he's being polished by Tatsumi and wanting to prove he's worth all the effort, is that kind of moment of pure beauty that you can't get in most other shows. There's an achievement here to him that outstrips character growth in other series because of how it plays out. And like others on the team who have gone through it, it's exhilarating. Read More Click Me!

Giant Killing - Season 1 - Episode 24 - Review: "Ep 24"

With the wind at their backs essentially after the change in halves, the ETU is ready to move forward hard and try to take things back after Tatsumi's little pep talk. There's something different in their mindset and we see them going at it all out, with the focus on Akasaki and Natsuki with what they're going through in trying to get to the next level. While Natsuki has dominated this particular segment, his role of a support player is what's critical here and when the ETU scores a goal in the opening sequence alone, it changes the dynamic even more and gives Natsuki the realization of just what kind of forward he wants to be. They still need two goals to win though and the tide is definitely against them. The tension is definitely getting to the Osaka players though as when an attempted goal goes badly, Hauer gets pushed over the edge with the way Kuroda irritates people and Hauer finds himself getting a penalty card. It's another change to things as well as the way the ETU is definitely keeping pace with Osaka, causing them to work harder than they might ordinarily. Even Kubota has been pulled out of the game as he wouldn't last another ten minutes at the rate he's going. The mistakes keep adding up and the Osaka players are starting to get the picture, but there doesn't seem to be too much they can do about it just yet. And there are a few neat little things coming into play such as when Gino reveals what his real goal has been all game, something that Dulfer is just starting to comprehend himself. Read More Click Me!

Giant Killing - Season 1 - Episode 23 - Review: "Episode 23"

While it's nice to believe that everything Tatsumi does is for a reason, sometimes he does say things without thinking that have a fair bit of impact. After Natsuki worked hard to get on his good side and to be a part of the team after being away for awhile from an injury, he's doing his best to really get out there and be a part of the game and impress and shine for his family. He's having trouble, at least with his vision of things, with how Gino is controlling the game in a way and he's feeling like he can't get in there the way he wants to. Natsuki's definitely the slightly older earnest type with the experience to play well but has not done well in this game and is being sidelined by his own teammates because of it. Natsuki wasn't a favorite of mine in his mid-season introduction, but he's slowly made his way into the series after being a bit outgoing, mostly because they pushed him to the background a bit to focus on other players, thereby making sure the second half of the season wasn't completely about him or allowing him to dominate it. Now that we're in the final stretch, we're seeing him coping with the way he feels about soccer and what his position as a forward means. He wants to score, he wants to get the attention for it, but he has to grow into being an actual team player, something that Tatsumi put into his head in a way I don't think he even realized when he did it. But it sunk in and Natsuki has been grappling with it. Read More Click Me!

Giant Killing - Season 1 - Episode 22 - Review: "Ep 22"

The locker room during halftime during a game like this is going to be critical for any team in how they handle themselves. Watching the two teams in this regard is really interesting. With the score at two to nothing, the ETU guys are really railing on their defense, with the defense themselves raising the loudest voices on how they've performed. Kuroda himself is harsh and takes the amusing approach of telling the others to punch him as an apology. While this plays out, the Osaka team is in just as angry a mood as the diverse group doesn't really function as a team as they gripe against each other, demand more time to play and are generally very angry. But they use that as a way to build morale and work together, though it doesn't seem to truly unify them like the way the ETU has been unified. The egos here are too strong. When Tatsumi makes it into the locker room, his particular style makes for an interesting pep talk as he doesn't actually give one. Not that he really gave a very serious one in any game prior, but here he talks about the fact that they're having fun and even if they're down two goals, he points out that they've made some inroads on the Osaka Gunners as well and they're not as well off as they were before. None of the ETU players really believe him, but he manages to get enough under their skin to give them the right kind of encouragement they need to get moving in the second half, pointing out just how much more exciting the game would be if they pull off a three goal upset on everyone and winning in the end. Read More Click Me!

Giant Killing Episode #20 Review

The game against Osaka has had a fair bit of build-up in the last episode and the audience come to watch it is pretty diverse as well. While the ETU has been run pretty hard by Tatsumi, some of the best moments came in the more personal face-offs such as his moment with the Osaka coach, or the way Blanc is secretly watching from behind the pillar as the two coaches spar verbally through a translator. Giant Killing excels at its actual game moments with the way they play and the way they animate it, but I also love the little quiet character moments like that in which they tend to get even more defined and refined from their big game moments. Depending on how the pacing goes in the next episode, this game is set to go for a couple of episodes at least and that's not necessarily a bad thing. As we see in the first half of this episode, there's a lot of fun in watching how each of the sides size each other up. Kuroda and the Osaka player Hauer in particular are a lot of fun to watch since neither can truly communicate clearly, but they're getting their points across as they're practically fighting and challenging each other over different things. It's even more fun since Tatsumi has Kuroda covering him when Hauer is a good twenty centimeters taller than him, something that you normally try to avoid. It just serves to get Kuroda even more pumped and let his aggressive attitude out in a properly channeled way. Read More Click Me!

Giant Killing Episode #18 Review

The ETU is certainly running into is slump, though it's one that in some ways the team can certainly be proud of since they aren't losing. They've had several draws in a row and they're starting to reach their limits a bit, causing the combination of both things to start to impact them psychologically. The game that kicks off this episode after the credits has them playing in the rain no less, adding to the frustration and causing the red and yellow cards to fly along as well. It's like kicking them when they're already down. Yet when you consider that in the previous season they were losing consistently, draws are a step up, but not what they want after the wins they were having and the momentum they had behind them. The psychological side is a dangerous one as it starts causing the players to rail against each other after the games over mistakes, real or perceived. The focus turns onto Akasaki who is taking the draws very seriously, enough so that he accuses the other players of playing just to have fun instead of playing to win. And he says this from his junior position to the senior players during the halftime period when they're still in the midst of a game. It's not something that's good for other new players to see and it doesn't speak well of the senior players. Yet Tatsumi just sits and watches from his position of knowledge where he believes that draws show him exactly how a team is truly feeling about a situation. So seeing many of them angry and unhappy is a good thing, it's just a matter of directing them properly. Read More Click Me!

Giant Killing - Season 1 - Episode 18 - Review: "Ep 18"

The ETU is certainly running into is slump, though it's one that in some ways the team can certainly be proud of since they aren't losing. They've had several draws in a row and they're starting to reach their limits a bit, causing the combination of both things to start to impact them psychologically. The game that kicks off this episode after the credits has them playing in the rain no less, adding to the frustration and causing the red and yellow cards to fly along as well. It's like kicking them when they're already down. Yet when you consider that in the previous season they were losing consistently, draws are a step up, but not what they want after the wins they were having and the momentum they had behind them. The psychological side is a dangerous one as it starts causing the players to rail against each other after the games over mistakes, real or perceived. The focus turns onto Akasaki who is taking the draws very seriously, enough so that he accuses the other players of playing just to have fun instead of playing to win. And he says this from his junior position to the senior players during the halftime period when they're still in the midst of a game. It's not something that's good for other new players to see and it doesn't speak well of the senior players. Yet Tatsumi just sits and watches from his position of knowledge where he believes that draws show him exactly how a team is truly feeling about a situation. So seeing many of them angry and unhappy is a good thing, it's just a matter of directing them properly. Read More Click Me!

Giant Killing - Season 1 - Episode 17 - Review: "Ep 17"

As events turn serious, at least as serious as they can be as Sera's injury isn't as critical as it can be, Tatsumi's still his normal self. While in the midst of a casual meeting, he's spending his time going through the soccer cards he just got and is frustrated that none of his players are in the pack that he got. And Tatsumi being who he is, his curiosity is as to whether there are cards of the coaches in there as well. It highlights his personality perfectly and only makes it more amusing when Sera, sitting outside watching kids playing soccer, opens up a pack himself only to get a Natsuki card right off the bat. Sera's problem will likely be more psychological than anything else as he's already feeling that he's at his limits when everyone else is sure that he can go much further. What turns out to be really nicely done is the conversation that Sakai has with Sera about what it is that it takes to be a good player. As Sera is feeling sorry for himself and the like, Sakai talks about the way the young view things in comparison. Sakai's in his early thirties and there's only so far he can go, but he plays it hard and in the end thinks he's the better player because of what he does in comparison to both Sera and Natsuki. It's an interesting bit of motivation to use that pushes Sera to realize that he's got a long career ahead of himself if he really starts training properly. When things go poorly, it's easy to turn to feeling sorry for yourself and that can start a vicious cycle of events. And with Natsuki nipping at his heels to take his spot and get back in the game, Sera certainly isn't lacking in motivation. Read More Click Me!

Giant Killing - Season 1 - Episode 16 - Review: "Ep 16"

The ETU continues to gain ground and now that Natsuki is back the team is changing a little more. One of the more interesting and amusing changes is watching how things go within the games themselves when it comes to the spectators. While the ETU has always had fans, they have a growing cheering section now and that's helping to inspire them a lot more than they used to. In the fifth league match against Yokohoma, The size of the audience in general continues to grow and the evening match that plays out has a very different feel to it when you pull back to the bigger picture and see just how much is involved. The game against Yokohoma is of a different difficulty than their past ones as that team has definitely watched what has happened before with the ETU and is working to shore up those defenses. While the ETU would previously be marginalized, for good reason, the two wins in a row of league matches and the changes made to the line-up is making them more of a serious contender in each match. They've found their rhythm and now other teams have to start paying more attention. At the same time, now that the ETU is facing more serious challenges, they have to up their game as well since the competition is ready for them and some of the moves that they've show so far. We see that with Sera, who is already struggling with the return of Natsuki to the team after his injury hiatus. Read More Click Me!