I wasn’t able to post this even if I already finished it some days ago because of some things. But I still want to share it because I really love this chapter. GO GO GO EIJUN!
Even if I have written some posts about Daiya no A Act II, I haven’t really talked about its certain chapters unlike Akatsuki no Yona or Haikyuu!! and this is because I just never had the mood to write about them since I started those per chapter posts.
Now, though, I am in the good mood to talk about its latest chapter — chapter 120 which has a title that TDX translated It’s On You — because it’s the first chapter that I liked so much after a long time. After their scrimmage against Hakuryuu, there wasn’t much chapter that I liked. Only bits of it. I didn’t really enjoy the Tokyo Senbatsu game like what I hoped for. (Though it was really amusing to see Mei-Miyuki battery as well as Shunshin playing because I really love that guy.)
Anyhow, now that the game against Yamamori ended with a bad note for Seidou, in 30 minutes in-universe, the game against Seihou is starting! AND I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS SINCE WHO KNOWS WHEN BECAUSE OF EIJUN! He hasn’t been given much attention lately and this latest chapter being all about him is such a blessing!
So the first page features Umemiya and Miyuki as well as Kataoka with Ono and others, indicating that this chapter revolves around these. We get to see Kataoka delivering the news that Ono’s fingers are confirmed broken and it will take 5-6 weeks to heal. It’s really sad that Ono gets to experience this because plot convenience, but it’s somehow predictable since it’s the way to make way for the younger catchers to participate in the games.
In any case, Kataoka expresses his plan of putting him back during the later part of the coming Summer tournament once he’s fully recovered. While I’d like Okumura and Yui to be able to catch during official games, I know that their chances are slim because Miyuki is the official catcher. I doubt Terajima-sensei will not let him play a lot when it’s Miyuki’s last year. But Ono’s ability and experience actually makes it reassuring to have him as a reserve. So, I really hope he recovers. And this may be bad but when the time comes to choose only 18 players, I’d prefer to have Okumura on the roster than Yui. Or Yuki. But I’d rather have Yui than Yuki.
As I said, Ono’s injury paves way for the younger catchers to gain more experience in actual games. Yui was the one who substituted Ono during the game with Yamamori. This time, it will be Okumura who’s starting catcher. Kataoka says that he plans to put Yui in the mid-game, too. Both of them he told to ask Ono about strategies and advices. This speaks a lot of how Kataoka values Ono and his capabilites and knowledge as well as the need for improvement of the younger catchers. They are still inexperienced so they clearly have to depend on the older catchers for better pitch-calling.
Then, Kataoka announces the change of players. Of the fielder lineup in its entirety. And this surprises everyone — Kuramochi, Haruichi, Shirasu, and Zono. They thought that there’s a fixed lineup for the double header, but now, it’s going to be Yamaguchi, Kijjima, Nakata, Higasa, Mimura, Asou, and Yuuki. Then, of course, Okumura and Eijun. I think the game will be interesting!
The coach explains how Seihou is a team that can be unstoppable. He acknowledges Okumura’s skills as a catcher, but also takes note of how it’s still different when talking about going against a top-tier team in the nation. Okumura’s skills is interesting and good, but he’s still a first year who hasn’t experienced much.
So, Kataoka puts the responsibility on Eijun. HE ENTRUSTS IT ALL ON EIJUN AND IF THIS ISN’T A SIGN OF HIM GETTING THAT ACE NUMBER I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS!!! Someone from the MAL discussion forum for Daiya no A Act II pointed out how it’s also Kuramochi and Zono who are given the reaction panels. They’re the vice captains! So, this can also truly be a wave at Kataoka’s intention of supporting him to be the captain when the time comes.
Honestly, I’m one of those who want Eijun to be ace-captain. He was able to lead his middle school team back then and I think he will be able to do the same in his high school career. I have hopes that he’ll be more mature, too. He can easily positively influence his team mates, he’s got a tougher mentality especially after the yips arc, and he’s diligent and honest. I think he’s suitable for the role. To ease the possible problems he’d bear, he just have to have a good vice-captain like Jun (I REALLY MISS HIM!!!). I think Toujou can be up for it.
Anyhow, that’s matter for the future. It may not even be shown. Though honestly, I’d love to see how the team will be after the current third years are gone. Despite knowing and seeing more of them, I still prefer the original third years over them. (TETSU, JUN, CHRIS, RYOUSUKE, AND UGAA!) I think the current first years are more interesting, too. Though of course, I still like Kawakami, Miyuki, Kuramochi, and Ono.
Going back to the chapter, even Eijun is surprised at first. Everyone is surprised. Well, except Ono who’s smiling, looking supportive. Aside from Kariba (lovely guy who’s supportive of Eijun!), he caught a lot of Eijun’s pitches and he knows how much this sunshine boy improved. I also like how Seto looks both surprised yet still amused. I wish Asada and Kuki who are part of the Support Sawamura-senpai Club could have been in that situation.
Here we have our pitchers. While they’re all noticeably surprised, the most striking one for me is Furuya’s face. I think part of it is because I know that he and Eijun are the main contenders for the Ace title. But, in any case, it still frustrates me that they are all surprised about it (except Ono). Because HELLOOO?? Eijun has been rapidly improving! Since that game against Ichidaisan, he’s been showing better performances as compared with Furuya. THIS SHOULDN’T BE A SURPRISE! Then again, these people are always underestimating him so this shouldn’t be a surprise to me, too.
Eijun recovers and affirms his intention to bear the responsibility. Ahh, such a beautiful guy, see! I’m looking forward to how he will be able to play against them. I’m hoping for a shut-out game, please!
Then, for a few pages, we get to see the Tokyo Senbatsu with Umemiya-Miyuki battery. The batter hit the pitch and the USA team cheers. Nothing that I care about this now, honestly, because Eijun and his game is all that matters to me.
Some spectators think that they don’t care about winning anymore, that the lineup is just to give the other guys experiences. Oh, how excited I am to see their reactions once Eijun and the team owns this game and once they see him wearing that Ace shirt!
Ochiai thinks that for him, it isn’t exactly a punishment for the guys who participated in that losing game against Yamamori, but he says that they have to drive home that frustration brought by not having second chances as it’s the same in the actual games. The team has been on the winning streak and they got to be humbled down or else when the actual Summer tournament starts, they may be too confident of themselves.
Apparently, Seihou also caught wind of some news about Eijun. Possibly because of that online article that got published after the Hakuryuu game. I’m glad that he’s getting more recognition now! But I’d also love it if people will just be surprised by him as they know nothing about him.
Of course, when talking about southpaws, it’s impossible not to mention Narumiya Mei and it’s interesting because Seihou got to play with Inajitsu long before this. Mei got to pitch without giving any runs. If Eijun will be able to pull off that kind of result, then there’s not argument about him getting the Ace number!
Then, we see Okumura looking so serious, telling Eijun what his plans are. It’s the first time they are playing together albeit not in an official game and I think Okumura is a bit nervous. I appreciate him making the effort to communicate to his pitcher. Anyway, that “I think you’re in my face” line is really funny.
As a good senpai, we get Eijun helping Okumura to relax. We know that it’s been Eijun’s habit long ago and it’s amusing to see him do it with his catcher. So cuuute~
After that breathing relaxation, Eijun turns into this serious
and so handsome senpai who acknowledges Seihou’s ability. They’re Koushien level. While that may be something to be nervous about, Eijun still looks at it as an opportunity to learn. And he goes to admit that Eijun envies him for being able to have such an experience at such an early time. Eijun wasn’t able to play such high level plays early on. The first he got to experience is with Inajitsu and that’s only after some other teams.
Eijun, then, says this and I love how he trusts Okumura. They have never been able to play together in any game before. They just got to do some catch balls in the bullpen. But Eijun already trusts Okumura to be able to call a good pitch. Perhaps it also springs from those games that Eijun got to see of Okumura where he proved that our little wolf-boy here is also a passionate guy.
AND I REALLY LOVE THIS PANEL! Eijun looks so cool! It seems like he’s going to unleash some kind of wonderful play during this scrimmage and I’M SO EXCITED!
I think this is going to be the last time they will be able to make their appeal to the coach before the numbers are revealed. It’s going to be the last time they will be able to give their best as an attempt to be chosen in the roster. I’m sure they will be all fired up. Somehow, this reminded me of that intra-game they had when the regulars played under coach and Eijun with the second string players under Coach Kataoka. I’m quite sure that after this game, there’s no question who the ace of the team will be!