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Ali Sorokin
Ali Sorokin

Ping Pong The Animation Episode 1 |LINK|



So I read about ping pong. A lot. And probably will be quite a bit on the side to get more of a handle on things while the series continues. In the meantime though, here is the data from the freeze frame character playing style intros:




Ping Pong The Animation Episode 1



Having him in this capacity effectively force Peco into this state of frustration still stayed a good character moment at all levels, regardless of if one tries to follow along with ping pong tech knowledge. Not only has his ability not advanced enough to stand a chance against Kong prior, but here Demon slowing the game down is almost literally him coming up from behind after all these years and catching up. Peco can not run anymore.


We have seen the flashback where Wenge remembers leaving his mother at the train station in China before, but here it gets to play out a little differently. Which is to say, a little bit longer, and that for all of the stoicism and putting on a tough face, he had cried afterward. It goes well with the notion that his original or real goal with coming to Japan was to be able to earn back his place in his former team, but ostensibly he was actually here to train others and to raise them up. The idea of these short term personal fronts and contrasting with potentially longer lasting impacts. Perhaps he as well being able to set future ping pong players into the world.


The entire sequence is going to end up on various Scenes of the Season lists by a lot of folks looking back on the spring shows, and it is definitely a strong one in my book. Not only did Wenge mellow out a lot after his ping pong playing career ended, but he learned the Japanese which allowed him to interact with and coach his team. And to be able to sing with them now, to be able to slowly show off this kind of more human connection accomplishment to his visiting mother. That he failed in his dreams, and yet achieved something greater than even that which he sought out for when he left home.


It is very much a sequence that is there to show us how far some have come, and where they all are in their lives. That there is a great big world out there, and ping pong is just a small part of it and a larger personal identity and the dreams residing within it.


That when the rest of the team was talking about Smile going haywire, he slowed down and realized with no direct dialogue that Smile was probably having a hard time too. And he managed to get those new balls Smile had mentioned (he had to hit up a going out of business sale, but still!), and they have a nice little back and forth bouncing them around in the gym alone. Which dovetails so well with Ota pitching balls in the mock ping pong baseball game that made Smile angry at the stop of the episode. He still needs to look over all his players, Smile included, regardless of how unpopular they may be getting or even bugging him. And there is a personal maturity in that.


Now, I really like this technical aspect of the racket examinations and how that plays into, well, the play of the game. I think it is a relevant thing to bring up for these write-ups. But, I do not though feel I get much of a hidden analytical advantage or too terribly advanced additional insight for reading up on how ping pong actually operates that Yuasa / Matsumoto are not making clear elsewhere through visuals, character thoughts, dialogue, and so on. This is a mark some some extremely solid directing and writing, from both the television series and the original manga it is adapted out of.


Namely, given how much Peco was sweating bullets over his matchups earlier this episode, he is worried about his potential bouts. But, we know he still also retains a personal sense where he will be able to derive fun from just being able to truly express himself as a person in his ping pong now. Dragon would not be able to do that, and so his playmaking will be stunted, would be where the belief in ones game angle would come to pass I figure.


Aside from the next episode being the second to last one so it gets to be time where an animation team would prefer to start pulling out all the production stops anyway if they have the luxury of it, I think it will make for a very solid game even if the winner is pretty much preordained.


Yurie sold her car to buy a plane ticket to head overseas and away from Dragon, and meanwhile Peco has himself a shiny new ping pong racket to play Dragon with. Ideally, those acquisitions work out well for everyone and nobody ends up with buyers remorse.


And it dovetails well into the whole cast being as they were in their younger days as well, and then into the further future in their more adult lives. The game itself, as has been said in so many conversations surrounding this show that even those who like it may be sick of it, was always secondary. So we only see the result of our tournament in a passing photograph. There is no grand match point action scene for Peco specifically, because in the end everyone won in their own ways that they will need to carry forwards from here for the rest of their lives, no matter the prominence, lackthereof, or transitions from ping pong specifically.


Following his spectacular defeat to Peco, Kazama reassesses his personal feelings on ping-pong. Tied to lofty familial expectations, the sport had become a burden for Kazama. Before each match, he shut himself in the bathroom to focus. Eschewing social gatherings, he spent all of his time training and practicing. Blind to the ambitions of his teammates, he distanced himself further from them by looking for talent elsewhere to supplement his own. It took Peco, a person with overwhelming passion, to remind Kazama of the joy he found in ping-pong when he was younger.


The future that Smile chooses for himself is one as a middle school teacher. Additionally, he teaches ping-pong on the side. When Kazama presses him, saying that he could have been quite the athlete, Smile accepts the compliment while maintaining his warm demeanor. He is happy with the life he has chosen for himself, and ping-pong remains a fixture in that life.


The beginning of PPTA, from Peco's perspective, is essentially hisdelusional self-obsession slowly but surely getting farther and fartherfrom reality, going from a brazenly overconfident self-proclaimed pingpong prodigy to on the precipice of quitting the sport after losing tothe guy who got crushed by Smile (as if that had any bearing on hisvalue as a player).


This part of the story serves as Peco's awakening. He hasn't quitereached enlightenment - he's no better at ping pong now than he wasmoments before, after all. But he's seen the path he needs to take, he'sexperienced this"Kenshou", literally"seeing essence". He's not yet a master, but he's started walking on thepath that will let him slowly and consistently accumulate bits andpieces of masterness. 041b061a72


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