Hodokubo pulls out the quarterfinal match and go on to play the tournament favorites Shuuhoku in the semifinals. The game is scoreless through 8 when Jun breaks the tie and a no-hitter with a homerun in the top of the ninth. Yunosuke, however, almost blows it by missing an easy ground ball that would have been the 2nd out and then messing up an easy double play that would have ended the game. He also nearly costs them a game by tripping while trying to catch the game ending pop out, but the middle fielder bailed him out. The coach and managers discuss not playing him in the final, but Manami thinks he should be given the chance. Meanwhile, Manami goes to the hospital to find Yuki’s family solemnly gathered in her room.
Episode 7 was the first time I really wanted to grab the management book out of Minami’s hands and thwack her across the head with it. Yuki is trying to tell her that no matter what happens, the experience she’s had over the past year will be great, but Minami, now engrossed in management basically has a “winning is the only thing” mentality. I guess that sort of changes by the end, when she suggests they give Yunosuke a chance to play even though taking him out would seem to be the obvious choice from the winning point of view. However, you could tell Yuki was disappointed that Minami wasn’t appreciating the journey and was only focused on winning.
And I think this is where using business management and applying to sports breaks down. Yes, you try to win and want to win in sports. However, part of the point of playing sports is to have fun and enjoy the ride, win or lose. That doesn’t really apply in the business world, so if you apply the no-holds-barred attitude towards sports, I think you take a lot of the fun away.
I kind of had a facepalm moment when Minami started getting people to sing Asano’s favorite pop song when he was having a bad inning. I think that would have embarrassed most people instead of encouraged them, personally. It also seemed to be a pretty cheesy thing to do, especially for a show that has actually tended to stay way from cheese for the most part up until now I think.
As for the end of the episode, maybe Yuki gave up on life now that her best friend is a win-or-else management freak, I don’t know. But seriously, obviously something bad happened with Yuki. She’s a nice character, and I guess one would figure she would either get better or die.