Giant Killing 10, Yumeiro 31. Some competitions are more fun than others

In Giant Killing 10, Etu still hasn’t won a game (though it’s not over yet), but the mind games and trash-talking, you know, the things that make soccer great, continue as always.

Fuwa, coach with the weird hair, is certain he’s out-thought Tatsumi even before the match begins. Tatsumi thinks likewise. They snark at each other for a moment. Meanwhile the fans are at odds as well. No one’s having fun out there except the Brazilians, and maybe Gino, i.e., the foreign players. As for me, I’m watching the game and also seeing what human drama they’re going to present to us this week, which usually means keeping an eye on the matchups.

Tsubasa is pretty much useless again. The Brazilian players run circles around him. Gino is, as I said, happy. Murakoshi shows some bravery, but the real conflict comes from ETU’s Kuroda and Nagoya’s Itagaki. The latter is jealous of his fabulous new teammates and resentful that Kuroda’s marking him and not Suge, as it’s been in the past (However, Tatsumi mentioned that Itagaki got two goals with Kuroda guarding him in a previous match. Isn’t this a contradiction?). Anyway, Suge is marking Pepe instead, and Kuroda is marking him. Tatsumi’s reasons for the switch, as I pointed out, are cryptic, but it’s working. Kuroda is cutting him off every time Itagaki has a chance. Fuwa had figured that with the Brazilians there ETU would forget about Itagaki. Whoops.

We don’t get to the end of the game. We don’t even get a goal. All we know is that ETU has been on the defensive for almost the entire match, and no one except the foreigners, and maybe Tatsumi, is having any fun.

So let’s turn to a fun competition. I discovered the fansubbers I’ve turned to for Yumeiro Patissiere put up two episode 31’s, only one of them was actually #32. A bit of detective work and I was able to watch the episode I missed. I’m glad I did. It’s a good one.

Not only do we get back to the Cake Grand Prix, but we get two matches. Only one of them, however, involved Team Ichigo. The other was between the “Heiress” Ojou and the “Princess” Tennouji. The show splits between watching all four teams prepare and compete, so there’s no time to dwell and worry.

The theme for this round, by the way, is 'Elegance.'

“Elegance” comes in different flavors, something that Ojou, in all her biting opulent splendor, doesn’t seem to be aware of. Their piece montee is over the top, a big roccoco crown. Tennouji’s is more traditional, more Japanese, you might say. So is Team Ichigo’s, drawing upon a certain Japanese period style. Their opponent, led by a girl named Tachibana, specializes in organic products and all-natural colors (Good for them!), and they’re a bit at a loss, though I don’t see why. Who says you can’t make simplicity elegant?

What’s more, the teams at this level are now judged by their performance while cooking. So not only do they have to make a work-of-art cake, they have to do showtime while they’re at it. Yeah, it’s ridiculous, but nothing in this show surprises me much anymore. Once again their performances show off each team’s style. Ojou’s (seen above) is overdone. Tennouji’s, and Ichigo’s, again, are more traditional (though their cakes sure as hell are not). The “Organic Sweets Country Girls” go for rhythmic cutting. And I’m thinking, thank heavens I’m not in this school.

Actually, that's Tennouji's cake.

Still, this show can go over the top all it wants; it’s one of the reasons why I like it. And as usual, there are morals to every victory. The Organic Girls go a little too far with decorations and their cake falls apart during judging, costing them serious points. Tachibana says it’s okay; they’re better off with simple sweets anyway, not this extravaganza, so Ichigo’s made another friend. And of course, Ojou’s gaudy creation loses to Tennouji’s flamboyant but less gaudy effort. But notice that Ojou’s side would have outscored Ichigo’s.

A solid episode. The structure made it impossible for it to drag at all, and they worked extra hard to keep things clicking, adding little bits to liven each moment. Every little scene was good in its own way.


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