Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume Episode 7 – “National Caliber”

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(Spoilers in this review)

If you thought the girls at Suzumegahara were quirky

then the Mozuyama table tennis club members are total nutjobs. For example, take the strange customer that appeared last episode, Futamaru Kururi. Not only does she tilt her head like she was a character from a Studio Shaft anime while peppering her words with a (rather chuunibyou) verbal tic, but she also has a huge crush on her captain. The personality switch has to be seen to be believed.

Meanwhile the captain, Zakuro, sucks at public speaking and is a huge klutz. She’s also prone to blushing around Kururi. To be good at ping pong, you must be a little strange and at least a little gay. It’s the rule.

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Kururi talking about how Zakuro descended the stairs with her butt this morning like a true dojikko.
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She also talks about how Zakuro almo- wait, isn’t this Zakuro’s house? How does Kururi know about this?

The second years are pieces of work, too.

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Sasorida aka “The Scorpion.” Pretty arrogant but gets no respect.
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Yuragi aka “The Pendulum.” She is constantly swaying back and forth. Maybe she has a rhythm that can’t be shaken?
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Kanenashi aka “Broke.” What kind of nickname is that? I mean, kane does mean money, but still… One eye is always closed.
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Kimiko aka “Nom-nom.” Since she’s so buddy-buddy with Kanenashi, I’m guessing those two are doubles partners.

Why am I bringing up doubles? Well, this practice team battle has five matches: four 1-on-1 matches and a single doubles match. The first team to win 3 matches wins the team battle! Each match, in turn, is also best out of 5. That’s a lot of ping pong matches in one day.

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Like so.

As for the episode itself, a lot of it was spent showing the strangeness of the Mozuyama girls as well as hyping the Driver of the East. Kururi is still being built up as Koyori’s foil: they’re both the respective aces of their teams and they’re both the reason why their teams have gotten stronger… However, Kururi is still talking about friendship fees, which is definitely something Koyori doesn’t even consider.

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Kururi also gets excited imagining Zakuro’s smiling face should she win. Koyori just plays because she loves ping pong!
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Meanwhile Koyori continues to get stuck in high places.

She also shakes Koyori’s spirit by asking her why she plays “the life-or-death game known as ping pong.” Okay, this show is definitely the spiritual successor of Saki. Of course, Koyori doesn’t have an answer to that question.

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Koyori: “Because my heartbeat accelerates and my face gets flushed and I don’t have to even touch myself down there.”

The episode also follows the traditional sports anime narrative. You know, when the newcomer school that’s challenging the established powerhouse loses the first set? Scorpion girl did a reverse-sweep on Hanabi by outsmarting our genki gal.

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Does this look like the face of mercy?

The episode ends with Hokuto losing a match to The Pendulum. This doesn’t look good, folks!

Since the next episode’s title is “Doubles,” I’m assuming that particular match plays an important part in this “crew battle.” I’m also guessing that Hokuto loses her match whereas the Suzumegahara girls manage win the next two matches. If that’s the case, then it’ll all be up to you, Koyori!

See you next week!

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