Baby Steps Episode 4 Recap – “Face Of Conviction”
Things aren’t going so well in the 50 serve contest for Eichiro. At first Eichiro is merely diving out of the way of Takuma’s powerful delivery. When he actually tries to hit a return, his swing is 4 seconds behind the serve. He needs his notes, asap. Takuma allows him to peek at his Ei-chan notes, but will continue to serve every 20 seconds even if he is still looking at his notes.
The next serve he actually manages to touch the ball, which impresses both the coach and stuns Takuma. The onlookers from Southern Tennis Club don’t seem too phased by it yet. Natsu arrives to practice and spies the faceoff. Seeing Eichiro’s struggles she advises him “to welcome the ball”. Takuma, more pissed off than ever, hits a huge serve that lands right in the center of Eichiro’s face.
Eichiro laughs and gets right back up; it’s helped him figure out that welcoming the ball is to move towards the ball and hit it with his weight behind the swing. He hits it this time — towards the crowd of people watching the contest. Next, Eichiro gets a solid hit — that just tags the net cord and bounces back. Close but no cigar!
The coach notices that he has good reaction speed and is tracking the ball well. Eichiro’s next few hits make solid contact but are continually long or out. Of course, it comes down to the last ball — where Takuma beats him clean with a slice serve, instead of using his usual serve. Even though Takuma wins, he decides not to punch Eichiro, mumbling “I don’t care anymore” on his way out the door.
The coach looks over Eichiro notes, and sees that he has tracked the trajectory of every serve. This is why Takuma used a slice serve for the last ball, as he recognized the progress Eichiro was making. The coach recommends the Kanagawa Junior Circuit Tournament to Eichiro so that he gets some match experience.
“My first match?” *faints* “More practice!” *Passes out from exhaustion* He gets his play schedule for the Circuit, where his first opponent is the number 5 seed Ooboyashi Ryo. Another member, Fukazawa Yukichi “from Court B” explains the seeding to him and points out that both Takuma and Takasaki are number 1 seed. “Can I call you Bro?” Fukazawa adds. ~_~
Eichiro is full of nervous excitement, especially since it will be his first actual match. Natsu confides to him that she gets nervous too, as there’s a lot of pressure on her not to lose, since she is a number 1 seed. She’s not as invincible as you think, Eichiro!
The next exam scores are out and Eichiro is 4th best in the class, so the tennis isn’t ruining his school work, at least at this point. I like how they have dodged that obvious plot point for now, as that would seem too melodramatic to me. So far Baby Steps has kept itself away from being too over the top.
The first match is next episode!