“The Domain That Lies Ahead”
Arakitaaaa! Machimiyaaaa! The amount of shouting in this episode was actually kind of hilarious, but when you’re dealing with two serious yakuza potentials, it’s no wonder.
I loved this episode because I just adore Arakita and Yoshino Hiroyuki does such a great job at this brash, loud-mouthed, uncouth guy. One can never really get enough of Kinjou, and in this episode we really learnt about how the relationship between him and his problem child, Arakita, developed. We find out that Arakita was actually a real promising baseball player until he injured his shoulder close to a major game, and everything went downhill for him. Between him, Chris from Daiya no Ace and Sousuke from Free! I think the general trend is to become an a**hole for a pretty long time, wallow in your angst, and then meet a character who really inspires you to be better. In Arakita’s case it was Kinjou and, surprisingly, Shinkai, who taught him that hey, he may be hard to approach and feel like he has zero friends, but his team have grown particularly fond of him and his tetchy personality. So while Arakita never quite gets over his gangster persona, he does get over his past and use the steps Kinjou has helped him take to keep him moving forward. These two bros are sickeningly adorable, I feel like I need to punch something.
In the end, Machimiya realises that he’s far outmatched by Arakita’s resolve to move forward instead of dragging the past up again and again and making excuses for his mistakes and failures. So as tough as he is and as much as he wants to bring his team of misfits forward, it’s just not enough. It’s hard to tell whether he gives up, so much as accepts defeat for the time being but there’s still his plan with Midosuji to think about so that might come about in any case. This episode was basically Arakita showing Machimiya what a real man’s supposed to be and Machimiya bowing to his masculine prowess. *ahem*
Still, I loved it because I love Arakita and an episode worth of him was fabulous, and the best part of it all was when Arakita turned back with that casual, former-gangster ease and told Machimiya, “When all this is over, let me buy you a Bepsi.” A Bepsi. XD I couldn’t help but laugh but at the same time it was so cool and so like a guy. :”D Well played, Arakita, well played, you manly man.