Miss my review of episode 2? Check it out here!
This episode shows how Tsukushi and his teammates spend their time during a part of their training camp. Tsukushi wants to dig deeper into Jin’s past, but none of his other teammates know much about him other than he is incredibly gifted player. Hiroyuki, another underclassman, proclaims that Jin is so good he doesn’t even need to bother training with the rest of them.
This notion is dispelled rather quickly, though. Tsukushi wakes up in the middle of the night and noticed Jin is no longer in bed and sets out to look for him, only to find him practicing out on the field. Here we see Jin look back at his younger playing days and witness the fun of the game sapped out of him the further along he got in his playing trajectory, and how watching Tsukushi is now reigniting the love he once had for soccer.
Then, more running. At least it’s in a game against another squad instead of running around a chain-link fence. Right off the bat the opposing team starts to belittle Tsukushi, even going so far as not shaking his hand. The situation is compounded by the fact that Tsukushi’s teammates are laughing about the entire situation rather than come to his defense.
Once the game gets into full swing Tsukushi makes an insane amount of errors as expected, only to make up for it by running a whole lot. His teammates are bothered by this because they want to play a finesse oriented game (think Barcelona) instead of a more aggressive type of game running opponents down (think Atletico Madrid). Midway through though they begin to realize that they are having fun playing alongside Tsukushi this way, and are grinding down their opponents to boot.
Once the game is finished the other team still keeps trash talking Tsukushi, but this time his teammates finally come to his defense. It would have been more rewarding to see them have his back from the get-go, but it would run counter to the narrative of Tsukushi having to constantly prove himself to other characters to finally have their respect.
It was nice to see a more soccer focused episode while watching the boys form a closer bond, but it’s very much cringe worthy to watch this poor kid have to work so hard to gain their friendship. Here’s hoping that as he becomes a better player Tsukushi is also able to become more confident.
Days can be viewed on Crunchyroll, new episodes debut Sunday at 3:30PM EDT.