So I predicted the big fight that this episode focuses on will end in a draw. Was my prediction correct? Well, let’s take a look at the episode and find out.
As everyone watches Rinne and Fuka fight, we go two years back into the past to see how Rinne’s career as a martial artist began. Rinne expressed her interest in martial arts to Jill, so Jill took her under wing.
We learn that Jill retired from martial arts due to her weak health and physique. She decided to train Rinne as a way to try and help her overcome the suffering she had experienced from being bullied and losing her grandfather. However, as Rinne started to win more and more, Jill got wrapped up in that glory. As such, she ended up pushing her own dream on Rinne, who continued to suffer.
The spectators acknowledge Fuuka’s strength, but they can also see that Rinne’s heart is wavering. As such, she isn’t giving the fight the focus it needs. As such, it appears that Rinne has reached her limit.
However, it would appear that Rinne has given up on that goal. She says that she is weak – or thinks it to herself, at least.
We see just how far Jill pushed her whilst she was coaching her.
Rinne’s memory of the training actually helps her to get back into the fight.
Jill was able to polish her techniques and theories, but she never had the opportunity to fully execute them. She had no choice but to retire before a title match due to injury. However, Rinne was able to learn all of Jill’s techniques and has no problem executing them either. As such, Jill boldly claims that Rinne could even beat god.
The attack knocks Fuuka onto a car, which she bounces off of. The spectators realise that Rinne is no longer holding herself back. The blow Fuuka struck earlier rendered Rinne unconscious, if only for a moment. This was enough to clear her mind of idle thoughts; Fuuka quite literally knocked some sense into her.
Fuuka spits out a couple of broken teeth, but otherwise she is ready and willing to continue her fight. Both Fuuka and Rinne are at their limits by this point, but they don’t stop.
Rinne have never thought about the possibility of losing to Fuuka, but that is now a reality. She realises that Fuuka’s strength doesn’t come from power or the toughness of her fist.
Rinne comes to realise that she actually enjoys martial arts: learning new techniques, getting stronger – all of it. Most importantly, Rinne acknowledges she can’t change the past. But she can change things going forward.
Fuuka sees that tears are streaming for Rinne’s eyes, and she realises something.
With that realisation, Fuuka launches an attack which brings the fight to an end. Rinne falls unconscious, but Fuuka catches her before she falls to the ground. Fuuka is declared the winner.
Well, turns out my prediction was wrong. In fact, Fuuka winning was the outcome I least expected, but I’m definitely satisfied with it.
I enjoyed the entire Fuuka vs. Rinne fight. It was another fight where it wasn’t clear who the winner would be in the end, and the sheer power behind their attacks was impressive to say the least. The best fights in anime definitely give you a sense of the power behind each blow, and I feel that ViVid Strike! has been able to capture that.
Whilst the fight was the main attraction, I enjoyed the character development that both Jill and Rinne received during this episode as well. Learning about Jill’s past was interesting, and now she probably won’t try and project her dreams onto Rinne. I imagine she’ll still push her as hard as ever, though. That’s presuming Rinne stays with Frontier Gym.
Rinne’s growth was shown by her realising that she enjoys martial arts. She had perceived as a way to grow stronger in order to never lose anything, but that’s all it was. However, her brawl with Fuuka has resulted in the revelation that there’s more to martial arts than just that.
All in all, I really quite enjoyed this episode. Probably one of the most dramatic fights in the series was rounded off in a satisfactory way, whilst we had some character development thrown in alongside that too. I might even go as far as to say it was one of the best episodes.