Here’s my review!
I think it’s safe to say that from the moment we first saw Marissa Thomas, we wanted more of her. The tall, blonde, and absolutely gorgeous woman is the volleyball playing mother of Emily and Claire Thomas and was only seen briefly during a flashback scene but now she has finally arrived in this show for real now and boy did she bring the hype. Yes, she truly is The Hype Mom. But while this ep had a good amount of time spent on showing off the height, power, beauty, and incredibly abs of this woman, there was a deeper plot line to this ep that involved Kanata and Narumi. Let’s jump in and see how this all unfolded!
I think we need to talk a bit about Marissa first and how she really brought the hype in this ep. From the moment we see her in the very last bit of ep 7, I knew this was finally her time to shine, and shine she did. I mentioned her height twice already and I think I need to mention it again, she’s a very tall woman. Hell, if we thought Haruka was already quite tall, then prepare to be shocked as Marissa is much taller than her. But I mean it kinda does make sense, her being a volleyball player she needs to be tall. It’s also obvious that both Emily and Claire take after their mother in the chest department too. Whew!
So why exactly is Marissa suddenly here though? If you remember back in ep 6 there was a scene in which Claire was talking on the phone to her mother, well that ties into why she’s suddenly here. It’s to help train Haruka and Kanata. So pretty much right away as soon as the introductions and pleasantries are exchanged, the training begins, but not before Marissa takes off her sweat top, showing off those jaw dropping abs. Yes, I think we can all related to Akari here when Marissa’s tank top got lifted a bit and her midriff was exposed for a few moment. Like wow, she’s amazing.
The training isn’t exactly a walk in the park, like Haruka might have expected. No this is much different from scrimmages with Emily and Claire. Marissa shows off another aspect that makes her title of “The Hype Mom” even more credible, her immense power. Haruka wasn’t expecting the spikes to be that fast and furious, impossible to see let alone attempt to counter, but the point of the training wasn’t to focus of blocking each spike, it was to help build the girl’s teamwork. Haruka didn’t have to stop each spike, she only needed to slow it down enough for Kanata to receive it.
It’s all part of a greater lesson that Marissa is teaching to the girls. She likens their partnership to being married. When you’re married it’s not a solo game anymore, rather both parties need to work together and be able to support each other. It’s extremely sound marriage advice, and looking at it from the volleyball standpoint it still applies too. Haruka and Kanata will at times run into situations while playing that require them both to think on the fly, together, and come up with a plan. This can only happen if both girls know and support each other well, so having strong teamwork is critical to the girls success both in a relationship and on the court.
Marissa also helps Haruka to understand that this whole scene, with them all practicing volleyball together with Kanata wouldn’t have been possible without the empathy that she showed towards her. Marissa wants Haruka to continue working on that and continuing to help out Kanata as she makes her return back to the beach volleyball world.
The middle half isn’t extremely eventful so I won’t spend too long talking about it. We get another flashback to when Narumi and Kanata faced off against Claire and Emily in the Nationals way back in the day and they beat the Thomas girls. We follow it up with the volleyball club being official, then the girls enjoy some New Year’s time at the local shrine. Things get interesting when Haruka receives a phone call though, from Ayasa of all people.
The Narumi-Ayasa team is currently at the airport about to head back to Kyoto, but Ayasa wanted to make once final effort to reconnect Kanata and Narumi, to make come to terms and fix their friendship. It’s a nice gesture by her but with their flight leaving soon and the girls still at the shrine, it’s not looking like they’ll get a chance to talk face to face. Well, that is until Marissa shows up in a big silver Hummer H3. But with heavy traffic and time running out, the girls are left with no other option but to run the last bit to the airport.
I really liked the scene with Kanata and Narumi. Not much is really said between the two, Narumi doesn’t actually say anything, hell she didn’t even look at Kanata, but her simple gesture of holding up her pinky finger was all that Kanata needed to see. True they won’t be able to become champions together on the same team, but that gesture by Narumi was her accepting this outcome. I was expecting them to at least show Narumi’s face during this scene as I’m sure she was crying, but they opted not to and it still worked out being a great moment.
We close out the ep with the 5 girls watching the plane take off and head back to Kyoto. While it was short and simple, Kanata and Narumi finally resolved any issues that still had lingering and are ready to move forward, even if it is in separate ways. But as that opening game showed, their paths will cross again, and with only 4 more eps left I think it’s safe to say it’ll be happening very soon.
So there you have it, The Hype Mom and so much more. This ep had a lot happening in it but it’s all working towards that endgame with both teams facing off for the grand prize. It’s bound to be the best match of this entire show, so I’m sure it’ll live up to the hype. But back to this ep, Marissa was the real star of the ep. She wowed in so many ways and I can’t wait to see more of her. Maybe next time she’ll ditch the tank top and pants for a bikini, like in that flashback. Ah that would be something.
As always thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed it and feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts about the ep. I’m also on Twitter too if you want to hit me up and chat about the ep.
That’s it for me, I’ll see you right back here next week!
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