Baby Steps Episode 3 Recap – “The Contest Is A Fight”
We pick back up on Eichiro thinking that Takasaki and Takuma are about to steal a kiss, when Natsu just cleans something of Takuma’s jacket. On one hand, I like the stab at anime tropes, on the other hand, I feel used.
After Takuma leaves, Kageyama loudly asks Eichiro what he is up to and Takasaki turns to find them both hiding in the bushes. On the court, she looks over his Ei-chan notes for tennis, and compares it to how pros record themselves practicing. She, for one, practices every day of the week, while Eichiro only does so on Wednesdays. Kageyama notices Eichiro’s way too obvious crush on Takasaki, and has a beautiful reaction; “you actually are human.”
Back at home, we see the beginning signs of whether Eichiro wants to choose tennis or school, as he contemplates practicing more or doing school work. He also has to look up “to like someone” in the dictionary; adorable and funny.
At the next practice (on a Saturday), Natsu sees Eichiro hitting against the wall on an outer court. Takuma is slacking off and not taking anything seriously, which his Coach reprimands him for. He makes a silly face at him when his back is turned, showing us that he does indeed have some sense of humour! As soon as Natsu shows up to practice he is suddenly up for anything. You aren’t fooling anyone dude. Ok – Natsu maybe, but everyone else sees right through you.
Natsu gets out of practice to spy Eichiro, still on the practice court, where he’s been hitting for six hours straight. Takuma, look of contempt and all, is baffled when Natsu tells him “he’s going to be better than us in no time if we don’t work hard.” Cue Eichiro getting beaned in the head by the ball XD.
At school, Takuma has been skipping school and the teachers see him as a delinquent. They don’t want Eichiro spending any time with him either. Eichiro also learns that he was good enough to go pro before high school. So what happened? I’m sure we’ll get to find out later.
After a funny bit about the tennis scoring system (seriously, as an huge tennis fan, I don’t get it either), we move to the next practice for Eichiro. The coaches inform him he’s good enough to play on Court D now (A is the best), made up entirely of the grade schoolers. His first practice match is against Bratty Kid (ok ok his name is Tajima, but honestly, this nickname fits better).
After losing to Bratty, he is sent to watch a player on Court A serve, to improve his return. Who should be at Court A but our resident grouch Takuma. He takes down measurements for the serve, much to Takuma’s annoyance. When Eichiro interjects and asks Takuma if he is going pro, Takuma picks him up and tosses him into the net pole.
This escalates until Eichiro, who is being the cat about to be killed by curiousity, challenges Takuma to a serve-return contest. If Eichiro can return even one of Takuma’s serves, Takuma has to tell him why he was so angry at him. Takuma gets to punch Eichiro once if he doesn’t.
It was nice to see that Takuma isn’t always frowns and harumphs, and has some of his own comedic moments. He’s not a good character yet, but he could improve in time. One character I hope does get more development is Natsu. To this point, she’s just the lead girl who our main character can have a crush on. Still lots of time though, as I’m going to continue with this series for the foreseeable future.
Interest Level: Medium High