Characters In Order of AppearanceEdit
- Eiichiro Maruo
- Yoshiaki Ide
- Yu Nabae
- Ryuhei Aoi
- Himeko Sasaki
- Kojirou Kageyama
- Hiroshi Araya
- Takayuki Okada
- Natsu Takasaki
- Alex O'Brien (flashback)
Eiichiro decides to confront the pressure he had instead of simply ignoring it. It works, but as the match continues, the act of visualizing it is getting stressful for him. Turns out, leaving a certain percentage of the pressure is better and unconsciously leads him to a perfect balance of his reason and instinct. In the end, he wins against Ide in a close match.
Eiichiro decides to write down the things he thinks that causes pressure on him in order to confront them instead of simply ignoring them. This seems to help him as he manages to hit a service ace on his first serve in the final set. He manages to move better now, as if the excess tension in his body is gone. He can also see his opponent better now, thus he can play his usual style now. For the long time, Eiichiro finally has a solid keep of his service game for this match. However, this strategy of his is not enough as Ide also manages to keep his service game as well.
On his next service game, Eiichiro tries to visualize the pressure then erasing it in his mind but Ide still manages to hit a return ace. Since he did not manage to erase half of the image, he repeats the same thing he did before - erasing of the image more than before - and this time, he manages to win a point. At the audience's area, Araya and Okada are watching the match together with Nabae. While Araya comments on how Eiichiro improves again, Okada refutes that Ide will win the match due to mental strength Ide has. As Araya and Okada are starting to argue, Nabae stops them and tells them that this match is an unpredictable one.
Eiichiro continues to keep his service game by visualizing the pressure then erasing them, and shakes Ide off by his change-of-pace strategy. On the 11th game of the final set, as Eiichiro is about to serve, he hears someone calls him - turns out, Natsu calls him to cheer him. Kageyama and Sasaki also calls Eiichiro out, thus, Eiichiro becomes more motivated - that there are also people who cheers for him as well.
As the match continues, the pressure to Eiichiro increases as well. Ide getting the first point from his service game. Ide might break his service game and the difficulty to recover. The act of visualizing the pressure is starting to be stressful as well for him. Eiichiro does not manage to erase the image completely as he does not have the time to do so. While the serve is a fault, it is very fast. He wonders if not erasing the image completely is better than what he did before and how much percentage should remain. He starts to do trial-and-error and decides that 20-30% is the "ideal percentage" of pressure should remain. Moreover, Eiichiro starts to have a feeling similar to the one he had against Alex and Araya - that he unconsciously stumbles the perfect balance of his reason and instinct. Realizing it, Eiichiro decides that he has to end this match on the next game.
The next game - Ide's service game - is a considered a crazy and interesting match for the audience. Once, Eiichiro has to hit a between-the-legs shot in order to win a point against Ide. Ide, on the other hand, uses a back-to-back drop shot even if the first drop shot failed before. With Eiichiro hitting a return ace, he manages to get the match point first. Ide tries to catch up but in the end, Eiichiro manages to win the match after hitting a short cross. A loud cheer emerges from the audience after the referee officially announces the score of the match. Ide congratulates Eiichiro for winning the match and raises Eiichiro's hand for the audience to see.
Manga & Anime DifferencesEdit
- The scenes only happened in the manga:
- Some of the monologues in the match
- When Okada gives the reasons that Ide will win the match, Araya also gives the reasons Eiichiro will win instead of Ide.
- On Eiichiro's first serve in the final set of the match,
- In the manga, the ball goes to the right side of the center service line (Ide's point of view) and Eiichiro is at the left side of the court.
- In the anime, the ball goes to the left side of the center service line (Ide's point of view) and Eiichiro is at the right side of the court.
- In the manga, Araya appears before Eiichiro holds his service game for the second time in the final set whle in the anime, Araya appears after.
- On Eiichiro's first serve in the final set of his match against Ide, Eiichiro's serve is actually a fault as Eiichiro's serve goes outside the service box. A ball after the serve must hit the service box that is diagonally opposite the server (the service box in front of the opponent). While Eiichiro's serve is technically correct since it hits the service box that is diagonally opposite to him, he did not hit the service box in front of Ide. His location when he serves is technically incorrect since at every start of the game, the server must be at the right side of the court (left side of the opponent's point of view). Note that when Eiichiro serves, he is at left side of the court (right side of Ide's point of view). This only applies in the anime since in the manga, Eiichiro's serve is correct.
- Before Eiichiro went to Florida for his short-term study abroad, he and Yukichi learned how to do the between-the-legs shot. Later, the animated version happened in Episode 21.