This article uses information that may be considered a SPOILER. Please understand that reading beyond this point may cause you to learn about things you may not have known about if you are not knowledgeable on the topic. You have been warned.
I was excited for this week’s Ace of the Diamond episode because I wanted to see what would happen after Sawamura’s excellent pitching game against Hakuryu; I was not disappointed.
One of the things I loved about this episode was the amount of adoration and attention that Eijun was getting. There was an article about him and how he held Hakuryu, a semifinalist in the invitational, down to a single run with his creative pitching. Girls were giving him massive attention, everyone on the team was proud of him, and even their baseball managers seemed to crowd around a cellphone. Coach Kataoka also wrote within Eijun’s journal that he was looking forward to his next start and was proud of how he acknowledged that he still has much room for improvement.
How is this different from other anime MCs? Sure, we are use to people paying homage and being in awe of the main character’s ability, but Sawamura was someone who that did not come easily to. Unlike a lot of other protagonists, he did not have some crazy hidden power that he had to home that would put him miles above everyone else. The closest thing we have for Sawamura is that he can throw breaking balls just by changing the grip on his pitch, but that even can be attributed to him discarding his old pitching form and embracing the one taught to him by Coach Kataoka which makes it as effective as it was.
Furuya on the other hand, he is getting lessons about needing to trust the rest of the team and become more interested in the steps needed to get to his end goal rather than trying to dart there without thinking first. I feel like this is a harsh reality he needs to face, as being gifted with a tremendous fastball throwing speed has did wonders for him without needing to train as hard as Sawamura has. However, his mentality as the Ace and the words of Seido’s assistant coach are effectively clouding his judgment on what he should actually be doing.
Kataoka is starting Sawamura within their next game, everyone believes if he does well that he could officially become the Ace of Seido. I am worried at this point, very worried actually. There is always a time that writers will allow a main character to shine, but every time Sawamura has begun a climb towards the Ace’s spot we see something happen; The yipes, bad pitching day, Furuya gets in the zone, etc. I am hoping he continues to improve himself and becomes an Ace that leads Seido to Koshien and again to the national title. Only time will tell, and I am looking forward to the build up we will undoubtedly be seeing in the next episode.