The Other Championship (もう一つの全国 Mō Hitotsu no Zen Koku) is the 185th chapter of manga, Baby Steps.
Characters in Order of AppearanceEdit
- Eiichiro Maruo's Mother
- Eiichiro Maruo
- Hiroshi Araya
- Kouji Nishimura
- Ryuhei Aoi (flashback)
- Hisashi Kanda
- Shin'ichi Shirae
- Katsumi Ogata
- Kaoru Sumiyoshi
One week before the All Japan Junior Tournament, Eiichiro goes to see the All Japan High School Inter-high Competition to gather information
Eiichiro meditates in his room before going out to gather information of All-Japan Junior players present in the All Japan High School Inter-high Competition. Since he arrives at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, most of the matches have already finished. He had heard Araya delivering his speech for his teammates as their school lose in the competition - giving Eiichiro a different impression of team matches compared from his usual single matches. After the speech, Araya approaches Eiichiro and asks why Eiichiro decides to watch the team matches. Turns out, it is Coach Aoi's suggestion as some strong players in the team matches who also play in the singles are tough players.
While Eiichiro and Araya are talking, Kanda passes them but stops when he notices Araya. Eiichiro is surprised to see Kanda as his appearance is different from last year's All-Japan Junior. Kanda asks Araya to become his training partner. While Araya is reluctant at first, he still accepts Araya's request. Then, Shirae appears to thank Araya for accepting it.
Eiichiro learns from Araya that Kabai Tech School, Kanda and Shirae's school, is a competitive team. When the training is about to start, Kanda tells Araya that actually, Kanda plans to sneak out in the training as he wants to spend some time alone in order to concentrate because the pressure is piling up from his teammates. After Kanda leaves, Araya shares that Kabai Tech is actually a very strict school - even compared it to a prison - but this will result to more stronger players in physical and mental sense. Araya then suggests that he can help Eiichiro in his scouting tomorrow under the condition that Eiichiro will help Araya in his training today.
The next day, while Eiichiro is waiting for the start of Inter-High Finals, he notices that Kanda has gone bald because his teammates learns that he sneaked out to have a date. Kanda's team will be against Kinsei High, Ogata and Kaoru's team. Araya warns Eiichiro to look out for Ogata as well.