Overtake! Episode 9 Review

Overtake! Episode 9 Review

Kouya and Haruka

Overtake! Episode 9 was easily the best episode of the series. And, it wasn’t even an episode about racing. Funny how that works. That tells me that Overtake! would probably be a better series if it had less to do with racing altogether. It could have focused on the tsunami disaster.

In this episode, Haruka locates Kouya in the coastal town where the tsunami struck. It’s been 10 years since the disaster, and the town appears to have mostly recovered. But, the people who live there, and Kouya, still remember the event like it was yesterday.

As expected, Haruka tries to get Kouya to come back. But, that’s not the only thing he’s after. He also wants to get to know Kouya better. He thought he understood Kouya. But, then he learned that criticism wasn’t what made Kouya stop photographing people. It was something else.

Haruka Asahina from the anime series Overtake! Episode 9
Haruka Asahina

Before leaving Kouya’s apartment, Haruka went through his photo albums and noticed something. Kouya stopped taking photos of people a month before he released the one of the girl during the tsunami.

When pressed about this, Kouya doesn’t want to talk, at first. Instead, he deflects by taking Haruka around the town and doing everything he (Kouya) wants to.

They go out to eat “breakfast,” do some sightseeing, eat ice cream, and finally race at a go-kart track. And, it’s while they’re at the track that Haruka proposes a bet. They’ll have a race, and the loser will have to do something the winner wants them to do.

Even with a three-lap handicap, Haruka manages to win. So, what does he ask for? First, he asks for Kouya to take a photo of him. And, when that seems too unreasonable, he asks Kouya to tell him the real reason he stopped photographing people.

The Day of the Disaster

Previously, I assumed Kouya first went to the town because of the Tsunami. I don’t know why I thought that since I don’t believe it was ever stated. But, that’s what I thought, even if, thinking back on it, it doesn’t make sense.

How would Kouya have known a tsunami was coming? It could be that there was an earthquake, and so a tsunami was expected. But, even if that was the case, it would have meant that the townspeople also knew it was coming. And if they knew it was coming, they could have evacuated earlier.

Anyway, it turns out that Kouya had already been in the area for a different photoshoot. He was taking pictures of the people who lived in the town going about their days. I guess the goal of these photos was to highlight some of the less-traveled parts of Japan.

Momo crying from the anime series Overtake! Episode 9
Momo crying

It was during this assignment that Kouya met Shouzou and his granddaughter, Momo. Shouzou appears to be the mayor of the town — or just the old guy who’s in charge because he’s lived there forever. Either way, he didn’t care much for Kouya at first. But, once Shouzou saw Kouya’s pictures, his opinion changed.

Fast-forward to the day of the disaster, and tsunami warning sirens were blaring while everyone was trying to escape to higher ground. Kouya wanted to go back down into the town to help people evacuate but was told it was too dangerous.

He then used the viewfinder on his camera to see if he could spot anyone in need. And, that’s when he spotted Momo on her own. He didn’t intend to take that picture of her. He just happened to spot her and snapped the photo by accident. So, the picture doesn’t tell the whole story.

Nice Photo

Before the disaster, Shouzou had Kouya take a picture with him and Momo. Rather than Kouya taking a photo of the two of them with his camera, he took a group selfie on Shouzou’s phone.

10 years later, Shouzou still has that photo. It’s obvious that it means a lot to him, as it’s probably the last photo of Momo smiling. And, it also includes Kouya, someone Shouzou believes did a lot for the town. Unlike most others in his family, Shouzou doesn’t blame Kouya for what happened to Momo.

In fact, he agrees with Kouya that the photo should have been published. But, why? Why would Shouzou want that picture of his granddaughter out there for all to see? It’s because it’s an important photo. It showed the people of Japan what happened to the town. It made the disaster real for those not affected by it.

Kouya looking at a picture of himself, Shouzou, and Momo from the anime series Overtake! Episode 9
Kouya looking at a picture of himself, Shouzou, and Momo

Hearing about a tsunami destroying a coastal town is one thing. But, seeing the crying face of a child before the tsunami swept them away is another. It makes people want to act — to donate their time and money to the town’s recovery.

Shouzou knows there’s nothing Kouya could have done to save Momo. So, at the very least, he’s glad that Kouya was able to help the town with this photo. And, that’s exactly the kind of thing that made Shouzou like Kouya, to begin with. He liked how Kouya’s photos brought attention to the town and its people.

I guess I should also mention why Kouya returned to the town now. He wasn’t running away. He was going back to visit Shouzou one last time before his death. And, he was able to. Hopefully, that gave Kouya some closure.

Final Thoughts

What do you think of Overtake! Episode 9? Do you agree with me that it was the best episode of the series? Do you think Kouya should have released the photo of Momo? And, would the series be better if it just dropped the racing content? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to share it with everyone you know. Also, follow me on your social media of choice so you don’t miss out on any future articles — links are in the footer.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about supporting this blog, check out DoubleSama.com/support.

My review of Episode 10 is available now.

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