At last, Marissa finally arrives. What kind of training does she has in store for the girls?
After Haruka and her friends head to their usual practice site, they saw Claire’s and Emily’s mom, Marissa. She is planning to stay in Okinawa for the whole season. Marissa is happy to see Kanata playing volleyball again and hugs her. She also hugs Haruka, Kanata’s partner. Afterwards, Marissa practices spikes with Haruka and Kanata, but they are having trouble hitting the ball up. Haruka and Kanata eventually realize that they should work together instead of trying to block it. Haruka eventually managed to partially block the ball to slow it down so Kanata can receive it. Kanata manages to hit the ball in the air
After training, Kanata, Emily and Claire talk about their junior volleyball tournament where Kanata and Narumi won. Emily messes up and depends on Claire cover her. However, Narumi wins after she spiked the ball. Afterwards, Narumi and Kanata became friends and trained with Marissa.
During New Years, Haruka and her friends participate in the festivities. Ayasa calls Haruka mentioning that they are in Okinawa, but they are heading back to Kyoto. They ask if Kanata wants to see Narumi to try to mend things. Haruka accepts. Haruka and her friends head to the airport with the help of Marisa. They eventually went into traffic, so they ran there. Haruka and Kanata eventually managed to see Ayasa and Narumi at the check in gate. Kanata says that she will keep her promise to win nationals, but do it with Haruka instead. While Narumi didn’t look at Kanata, she acknowledges her promise as she passes through the gate.
At last, Marissa finally arrives and as expected, she looks like Claire with a few differences. She is a lot stronger and taller. Haruka becomes bothered by the fact that Marissa is taller than herself. I find this funny since Haruka have a height complex, which is not shown in the Anime. Aside from that, it appears that Akari becomes impressed by Marissa’s figure. I have to admit it’s surprising to see this reaction from her since she is a tsundere. Then again, it’s to be expected since Marissa is a renowned beach volleyball coach.
As for the training, it’s intense. Sure, Marissa’s strength is slipping a bit, but her spikes are still immensely powerful. It will give any beach volleyball player trouble, except for maybe Emily and Claire problems. Still, it seems that thanks to Kanata and Haruka’s bonds, they managed to get it. Marissa hits this point home when she says that pairing up with a partner is like marriage and that empathy matters more than experience. It’s quite obvious where she is going.
In the flashback, it’s interesting how Kanata’s and Narumi’s match went against Claire and Emily. It seems that Emily isn’t as reliable compared to now. Not to mention, she is a bit shy too. Still, it’s nice to see how Narumi bought the winning point, allowing her and Kanata to win the tournament and forge a new friendship with her rivals.
As for the New Years celebration, it’s funny how Akari have a bad fortune. Hopefully she won’t let it hurt her prospects. Still, the call from Ayasa is the highlight. It’s obvious that she wants Kanata and Narumi to patch things up before they leave. As you would expect, Marrisa have mad driving skills as she kind of got there quickly and driving a Hummer to boot. Thankfully, Kanata was able to meet Narumi before she left, while she is still shy and won’t face Kanata, it’s at least nice to see her acknowledge her promise, but with someone else.
I know she is probably disappointed that she couldn’t do it with Kanata. Hopefully the match with Haruka and Kanata against Narumi and Ayasa at the Valerie Competition will get an adaptation. Either way, Haruka and Kanata will be ready this time compared to their matches early on the series. ¶