Love can show itself in many ways. It can be fascinating and curious. It can also hurt, make you feel like falling into a hole. And then there is this rare occasion when it makes you feel something that is impossible to describe with mere words.
Yoshino Kawaguchi, the younger twin, loves baseball to the fullest. Everywhere she goes she thinks about it. May it be at school, on her way home or in the evening. She never misses information on other players or game statistics. Not just that, she also never fails to memorize it all and works like a mobile high school baseball encyclopedia.
But what is it that is so fascinating for her? Why doesn’t she play by herself what she loves?
Baseball takes more than one person.Yoshino
Yoshino is the type that is very curious. This is especially shown when she checks out other players by feeling up their muscles without asking beforehand. She loves to find out more about others but also to test her theories by trying out new strategies.
As she has no prior active experience with baseball she avoids playing from the beginning. To her surprise her sister Ibuki soon develops interest and becomes an active player. But Yoshino doesn’t actually avoid baseball itself. It seems she’s more interested in the larger picture and finds joy by supporting others.
Even though she doesn’t actively play, it never seems as if she is not a part of the team. A fact that also contributes to others trusting her right from the start. Whatever weird theory or idea she comes up with, the team trusts Yoshino’s talent to coach them. The team’s gameplay carries her mark everywhere they go.
But it’s not only her incredible insight and knowledge that form Yoshino’s talent. She also looks at the feelings of her teammates. When Yoshino notices that there is something off with Nozomi, she confronts her and they talk about her problems. With her inspiring nature she’s able to give Nozomi new hope. Yoshino underlines those words by putting her trust in her and even asks her to become the team’s cleanup.
Still the quick development of the team is also a burden for Yoshino. In her mind she has not fully internalized the fact that she has become one of the most important players of the team. In those short three months that the new baseball club exists, she just did what she loves and lives.
Yoshino always works hard to find out more about the next opponent. She even thinks about the tactics before she goes to bed. Maybe also during sleep. When it comes to effort she probably puts in the most time of every team member. This also puts much stress on her during the day and especially in games. When she is handed her uniform with the number 10, Yoshino is overrun by emotions.
Her slowly becoming more and more confident also boosts the team’s strength. During their match against Kagemori High School, Yoshino’s plan works right from the beginning. Even though it’s their first official match, they have the game fully under control. This peaks in them winning the match early by the mercy rule.
Yoshino being completely in her element shows what fearsome opponent she can be. Still she isn’t ready for the possible consequences when driving the opponent into a corner. When Ibuki is accidently hit by Kagemori’s pitcher Nakayama, Yoshino projects this on herself. She tries to take the responsibility because of her aggressive tactics even though it’s not her fault at all. You can see that it leaves a scar on her even after they win the game. This soon leads to her becoming more careful.
Despite this outcome the team starts off very well against Ryoyoukan. Since everyone on the team slowly starts showing their individual class they are able to compensate Yoshino holding back. Having the advantage of being widely unknown they actually are able to lead the game at first.
Still their opponent quickly adapts to the unique situation and shows what they are made of. Projecting each of those setbacks as her own mistakes, Yoshino drives herself more and more into a corner. Harsh fans and a game that slowly slips out of her hand. A high pressure situation that makes it hard for everyone to continue with everything they got.
When it almost seems as if losing is inevitable, Yoshino seeks a short break. Feeling sick and exhausted she doesn’t know what to do. Fortunately her kindness and perceptivness is now returned by Nozomi. Having noticed that Yoshino still puts all of her problems on herself, she reminds her of the bond the team formed.
Together they are able to regain their composure. Having her best friend and teammates that believe in her, Nozomi is able to turn the tide. She is able to hit a homerun against the seemingly unbeatable Nao. A feat that frees the way for their win in the end.
They have a talented coach that made her cleanup for a reason. Just one mistake can be fatal.Nakata Nao
Tamayomi finds a fitting end by everyone celebrating their astonishing success. Limitless growing stronger it is to predict that the team will reach even higher goals. Going ahead Yoshino that is already thinking about reviewing the game and their next opponent!
[The copyright of all images lies with Studio A-CAT, Licensee is Funimation]
Also take a look at my comment on Kong Wenge from Ping Pong The Animation.