[OWLS Blog Tour] Learning Through Understanding: Eijun Sawamura & Chris Takigawa

Hey friends and fellow ani-bloggers! Welcome to Archi-Anime’s stop on July’s blog tour.

July’s theme is: Mentor

“Throughout our lives, we might have encountered someone that we admired as a role model or has guided us in some life dilemma. This mentor could be a teacher at school, a coach, a boss or team leader at work, or a family friend. Whoever it is that person impacted your life in a positive manner. For this month’s OWLS topic, we will be writing about mentors or mentorships in anime and other pop culture media. Some topics we will be exploring include how a mentorship impacted a main character’s life, the types of mentor relationships a person could have, and/or personal stories about mentors or mentorships.”

When I thought about the topic, sports is what came first to my mind, and there were several mentor mentee relationships that I thought about and considered writing about. More often than not we see mentee’s choose their mentor’s because they were inspired by them; they wanted to be like them.

However, the more I thought about it, the more one stood out a bit more.

Today I want to talk about Eijun Sawamura and Chris Yu Takigawa of Ace of Diamond. This mentor, mentee relationship was more than just a mentee acknowledging the skills of their senpai. This relationship was actually akin to a two-way street. However, the road to get there was full of obstacles, of pride and stubbornness.

Eijun starts out as our typical shounen sports protagonist. He’s naturally talented, but has zero skill and finesse to make him a force to be reckoned with. He’s bold, brash and in your face. He’s also overwhelmingly positive in the face of adversity. He once had the opportunity to pitch to the team’s best catcher, a second year, Kazuya Mikyuki, which was a main factor for him to join this particular highschool as he wanted to form a battery with the former.

When Eijun makes the team and is finally allowed to practice, he’s not paired with Kazuya, as the coaches see it fit that he be paired with third year Chris, who is just a back-up pitcher. Eijun makes a big fuss about being paired up with Chris as there are rumors circling the latter about how he ruins peoples careers in baseball.

Communication is Key
Two.batteries
image via source

Eijun is quick to assume that Chris isn’t serious about basketball and is content with just being on the second string. He even has the audacity to tell Chris that he’d never be like him; someone that’s given up and has settled for second best. Chris’ demeanor changes here, before he decides to agree with Eijun and says “Yeah, don’t be like me,” and walks away.

Eijun also believes that Chris is antagonizing him by giving him tons of regimented work-outs just to spite him, while Chris gets to leave practice early. Yet, he completes them despite his negative feelings towards it. Chris has yet to acknowledge Eijun because of his poor attitude to being paired with him.

During one of Eijun’s rant sessions about Chris’ ice-cold personality and his lack of passion, Kazuya gets really angry and tells him he doesn’t know anything. With that, Eijun suffers a rude awakening and is sent off to find out why Chris leaves so early from practice.

The Big Picture
eijun.apologizes.chris.PNG
image via crunchyroll

Turns out, Chris’ life had revolved around baseball. He’s smart in creating plays, good in both defensive and offensive tactics. However, due to over-exertion Chris has a severely injured shoulder that has taken him out of the game for over a year. He’s undergoing rehabilitation for his shoulder, which is why he leaves practice so early. Chris was also the team’s best catcher prior to Kazuya taking his spot. How the entire team doesn’t realize this yet assumes and throws rumors around about him being cursed is beyond me.

Eijun feels rather foolish for assuming to have thought Chris was uninspired, as someone who was just passing time on the team. He gets pissed off at himself for being so callous. He apologizes to his senpai, and decides from there that he should just shut up and listen to his elder because his baseball foundation is non-existent.

He also later finds out that the regimented workouts were not just created to piss him out; but rather to strengthen his body and to prepare him to be the best version of himself, but more importantly were designed to help Eijun train in a way that would help him prevent injuries like Chris’.

Turning a New Leaf – Inspiration goes both ways

After those turn of events, Eijun does whatever he can to re-gain favor with Chris. Chris had done nothing but deserve respect from him. Even when Eijun was mouthing off and saying stupid things, Chris never corrected him, and just let him run his mouth. If the kid couldn’t work with him, then he wasn’t worthy of a mutual respect.

He follows Chris around and follows his training schedule religiously, even asking for more workouts for Chris to acknowledge him. Eventually his positivity and assertiveness break down Chris’ resolve, and this is when the duo’s relationships evolves into a mutual inspiration, gaining and learning from one another.  Under his tutelage, Eijun’s pitching starts to grow and blossom into something that could be a formidable weapon.

 

image via crunchyroll

It’s important to note that throughout the beginning of the series and the development of their mentor mentee relationship that Chris was rather cold and is depicted to have a blank lifeless look in his eyes. It’s easy to see where Eijun’s misunderstanding of Chris’ passion lies – he had been off the first string for over a year under a managing capacity. while he recovered. But by helping train Eijun, the spark and desire to return to the field have sprouted again due to Eijun declaring that he wants to form a battery (a pitcher and cathcher combo) with Chris before he graduates, as proof to show that his teaching had not been in vain. It has be to be Chris because that’s his mentor, his inspiration, the one person that really has his best interests at heart. The desire to get back on field to play a game had never been extinguished, and it’s because of Eijun’s persistence and respect for him that he decides to get back on the field post-injury, even if it’s just for one game. His passion is re-ignited and you can literally find life being brought back to his eyes.

Conclusion

If there’s one thing to be learned is that sometimes mentors can be found in the least likely of people. That it’s important to be open to those that are willing to teach and advise you to get you where you want to be. That the mentee has just as much influence as a mentor does. Mentoring doesn’t have to be a one-way street, but is much more dynamic when one can learn more from the other.


That just about wraps up my July blog-tour! Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Let me know in the section below!

And don’t forget to check out Taku’s (Takuto’s Anime Cafe) OWLS post on The Royal Tutor here.

And look out for Carla’s post on her site: Pop Culture Literary

Also, if you haven’t don’t forget to follow us on facebook as well as our twitter @OWLSbloggers and our official blog and our Facebook page  as well as our YouTube channel! And if you’re interested in becoming an OWLS member, you can contact us here.

Pretty Setter! Akaashi Keiji

Hey hey hey! It’s time for yet another MCM! I haven’t fully worked out how I’ll be approaching my MCM posts from now on (now that I’m without prompt) but! fear not, I come with a very special bishie: Akaashi Keiji.

Now, as you know Haikyuu!! is no stranger to beautiful men (as is most sport anime’s). Especially, the setters (I call them the pretty setter brigade). But I wanted to feature Akaashi today because this beautiful boy’s birthday is tomorrow: December 5th.

Akaashi1

Tanjoubi Omedetou Akaashi-san!

Continue reading “Pretty Setter! Akaashi Keiji”

[KnB Challenge] Day 30 | What I Enjoy the Most About the Anime/Manga

Guys, omg, we’re at the end T-T. It’s a bit bittersweet, but I actually have a few more KnB posts coming sometime in December so stay tuned! Thank you to those that followed me through this month long journey! I was able to do it daily, save for one day. With that being said….

Continue reading “[KnB Challenge] Day 30 | What I Enjoy the Most About the Anime/Manga”

[KnB Challenge] Day 28 | Saddest Moment

Two Days Left of the [KnB Challenge]!!

Since yesterday we looked at the funniest moment of KnB, today we look at the saddest.

It wasn’t until my OWLS post about Aomine that really made me appreciate who he was, and realize the pain that he really endured. I had to re-watch a lot of these episodes for the post to get an idea. And this scene really broke my heart:

 

Aomine is utterly frustrated by the lack of competition with his talent blooming at a rapid rate. He walks out on team practices, and a mentor/coach should have found him and forced him to get back to practice and work with his teammates, after all, basketball is a team sport. But instead of whipping him into shape, the coach cowardly tells Aomine that he can just show up to games as long as he wins. Aomine is completely stripped of any hope he had been clinging onto to the sport that he loved so dearly. This is the moment the switch in Aomine is flipped as he embraces being a basketball god that no one can touch, even his friendship with Kuroko starts to break down at this point.

Ugh, so heartbreaking to see Aomine’s breakdown in this scene under the bridge in the rain.


What would you say was the saddest moment of KnB? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

[KnB Challenge] Day 17 | Favorite Yosen Member

TGIF Friends! I’m so glad it’s Friday!
And we’re up to Day 17 of the [KnB Challenge]

Today’s feature looks at Team Yosen, a fictional school located in Akita, which is North-East of Tokyo. Yosen high is introduced in Season 2 of KnB, during the streetball tournament.

I’ve mentioned Yosen before as they’re the only team that feature a female coach, which I think is pretty awesome. But, I digress! Let’s get to who I would choose… Continue reading “[KnB Challenge] Day 17 | Favorite Yosen Member”

[KnB Challenge] Day 10 | Favorite Team

We’ve made it to Day 10 for the [KnB Challenge]

Author’s note: Still combating a cold or something so I won’t be going into much detail again on this topic. I really would though, but honestly I don’t have the mental capacity.

Teams, we all root for one when it comes to our favorite sport, and KnB has no shortage of them! With each GoM branching off as individuals and into their new teams to see who would be the best in the nation, we had quite a few choices. But there’s only ONE that sticks out to me and that would be… Continue reading “[KnB Challenge] Day 10 | Favorite Team”

[KnB Challenge] Day 9 | Favorite Generation of Miracle

It’s Day 9 of the [KnB Challenge]!

Author’s Note: You’ll have to forgive me guys, but even though we’re talking about my favorite GoM today, I’ll have to keep it short. I’ve been feeling rather ill today, and I was actually excused by one of my bosses because I didn’t look well enough to be there.  I’ll have to feature him in a future Man Crush Monday for a more of a character analysis type post.

Ah, the Generation of Miracles, a rag-tag group of ruffian’s whose hair reflects almost every shade of skittles. (Also, due to their hotness give a different meaning to the slogan Taste the Rainbow – har har)

Okay, cheesiness aside. We all know who my all-time favorite KnB character is, and since he’s a GoM, I’ve decided not to list him here again. Why? Put simply, it’s BECAUSE he’s my ultimate fave in this series overall. But if I had to choose one of the Generation of Miracles, there. is. only. one. The only one to keep these children in-line, and those that defy him are not allowed to look him in the eye. And the only one who kept these children of the Generation of Miracles in line. No other than, the one, the only…..

*drumroll please* Continue reading “[KnB Challenge] Day 9 | Favorite Generation of Miracle”

[KnB Challenge] Day 6 | Favorite Minor Character

Welcome back to Day 6 of the KnB Challenge!

I love a good minor character. They’re there to support the story and support the main character’s. Whether they’re for comic relief, or if they hold a senpai/kouhai relationship with the leads, you’re bound to find a great character that you can’t help but take notice of.  Continue reading “[KnB Challenge] Day 6 | Favorite Minor Character”

[KnB Challenge] Day 1 | Favorite Male Character: Ryota Kise

Welcome to Day 1 of the KnB Challenge here at Archi-Anime.

Disclaimer: heavy fangirling ahead (uh I mean, we are talking about my favorite here)

If you follow me on twitter, seen me on discord, talk to me on LINE, seen my iPhone lockscreen, or even my Apple Watch screen, this answer is fairly obvious.

K-I-S-E shalalai~_171101_0025
image source (my fave fanartist)

Continue reading “[KnB Challenge] Day 1 | Favorite Male Character: Ryota Kise”