Pfft, look at that stupid face
Well, we’ll see how much else I (think I) remember about Ochiai is right, but Kataoka really does care about those kids. I mean, I definitely question some of his coaching methods (the hellish training camps??), but he watches them and doesn’t push them beyond what they can actually handle (Furuya would definitely be stupid and get himself hurt, he overestimates his stamina, he’d push himself too hard trying to get there immediately instead of taking it slow and steady) and helps them find their own way when he can. Ochiai did comment on the pointlessness of long practices when we first met him, and on the one hand I agree that they’re awfully long—
but on the other hand…
I’m pretty sure that comes from a place of “well you’re not gonna win anyway so there’s no point in you wasting your (and my) time and effort if you’re not gonna have any results (that I deem good enough) to show for it” than out of any real concern, because the one thing I am absolutely certain that I’m remembering correctly about him is that he nearly broke Furuya completely and ruined him for any future chance at a career as an athlete, all so that they could make it to the next Koushien, because I remember seething about it and posting on tumblr. Not that I’ve found the post. But yeah, he definitely doesn’t care, and luckily he was stopped before he could do any lasting damage to Furuya.
Oh, and then, this volume, when Kataoka’s trying to help Eijun overcome the yips, he wonders, “片岡監督はどうしてここまでこだわってるのか……使い物にならないこの投手に……” Anyone who doesn’t produce immediate results he tosses aside as worthless.
They probably don’t need to spend so many hours a day practicing, and the kids probably would enjoy more practice games over regular practice, but regular practice isn’t meritless, and anyway I definitely don’t trust him to have that concern coming from a good place. Even ignoring what I may or may not remember from later on. He gives me so many bad vibes. And yeah Eijun’s the MC, we’re supposed to get mad at Ochiai for how he looks down on him, but even if this were a side character he treated like this, I’d still hate him for it.
Update: I haven’t found the post I was looking for yet (I’m not even sure I tagged it actually), but I did stumble upon this one. Although the way I remember the anime being was a lot gayer than the manga is. I’ve been putting each volume on my “It’s queer to me” list as I finish them solely because of the anime, but, hm… (That could possibly also have just been because I like shipping, though, and like latched onto them or whatever. Looks like I may need to rewatch again soon lol)
Update numero dos: I had tagged it after all, just with the series only! Anyway, spoilers for, uhhh, sometime past vol 26, idk. link
(Also, wow, I really fell in love with umenao last time I watched, apparently. I guess they’ll be later in act i)