“The Aces” 「エースたち」
As the episode title implies, it’s all about the aces, as their remaining companions literally launch them to the finish.
Midosuji, ever the ruthless opportunist, gets Ishigaki to launch him before a turn, giving him an extra four seconds on the other two. His riding style gets him literally centimeters from the ground, which I’ve got to admit is pretty cool but are the multiple injuries and the threat of serious damage really worth it? Obviously. Shinkai and Imaizumi launch their aces ahead at the 1000m mark, sending Kinjou and Fukutomi on a race between each other. They reminisce about the year before, when Fukutomi had denied Kinjou the win. This year, though, they’re both determined to give it their best shot and give each other the best race they can.
The fans are all amazed by Midosuji’s speed, but one girl comments to her boyfriend that his riding style is kind of gross. Biggest understatement of the century but anyways. Midosuji just so happens to hear that comment and it really strikes something inside of him; he calls her shallow, just like everyone else, and that he’s here to win it, no matter what people say. But there was something in the way he really honed in on that singular comment and I’m thinking that we’re going to have some sort of flashback to his life and childhood some time before the end of the race.
Kinjou and Fukutomi manage to catch up to Midosuji, but he keeps pulling ahead, just as they’re reaching the home stretch. With 300m to the finish line, it’s an all out spring to the finish and I don’t foresee either of these Aces giving up their chances at winning. So while nothing really happened in this episode, we got to see Midosujib actually lose his composure just a little bit and I’m pretty interested to see where that comes from and what that means. Seeing as we’ve had flashbacks for pretty much every character, the one remaining is Midosuji and I do wonder whether it’s actually going to make me change my mind about him. I don’t foresee him actually becoming a better person; he’s too selfish for that, but maybe I’ll scrounge up some grudging understanding for his situation. *shrugs*