Aoi challenges Eve to a hole of golf, whetting their competitive appetites.
Episode 2 – “The Innocent Tyrant”
BIRDIE WING answered questions that I had about the premise of its world. Like, who calls Lily to set up Eve’s matches? The circumstances call for boxing style fixers, promoters, bookies, and collectors. That means organized golf crime, right? So, yes, Nafrece has a criminal underworld of golfing! Eve’s method of arranging a meeting with a minor boss in charge of golf wagering also fits nicely into a video game plot. The heroine needed to beat a golf mini-game to unlock the next story chapter. That’s a credible premise foundation.
I also saw efficient character development in BIRDIE WING as it built the classic dichotomy of rival characters. In the first episode, the audience had access to Eve’s inner thoughts as she focused on her straight golf shots. Eve’s colored bullets overpower the environment. She rams right through tree branches, sand rakes, and grassy knolls. We also heard how Eve consciously incorporates demoralizing an opponent into selecting her shot.
In contrast, Aoi harmonizes her golf shots with her surroundings and atmospheric conditions. BIRDIE WING emphasizes that both characters use their skills to ruin their opponents’ spirits. But, according to Amane, Aoi crushes them with her innocent smile. How can someone defy a force of nature? How can you be mad at the boulder you can’t move? Well, Eve can! Eve and Aoi’s respectful rivalry of opposites creates space to inspire evocative scenes and emotional connections. I hope BIRDIE WING takes advantage of the primary duo’s relationship.
BIRDIE WING Opening and Ending Sequences.
BIRDIE WING gave us the complete credit sequences in the second episode. We can see the golfing girls Aoi and Eve will meet during the season in the opening credits. There are many hints at Eve’s origins and how they relate to Aoi’s parents. Rivals need that extra emotional connection.
The end credits act as a fashion commercial for the “Jack Bunny!!” line of golf kits. Bandai Namco wants to inspire the next generation of golfers. I love BIRDIE WING in this art gallery-style animation. Tsukuyomi sings the ending theme 『ヨダカ』(“Yodaka”). The group titled the single “Nightjar” in English, but I found a golf-related pun there. 打感 (だかん, dakan) is the feeling of a golf club hitting a ball!
Aoi practices putting. There’s Pac-Man again. Amane recalls talking with Aoi’s mother, Seira Amawashi. Mama Amawashi claims that Aoi has two gifts: her mother and father’s genes, who were both pro golfers. Aoi doesn’t have much excitement for the upcoming U15 (under fifteen) women’s tournament. And then BIRDIE WING shows us the fated moment! Aoi saw the blue color in Eve’s Blue Bullet! Amane’s list of players looks like a video game character selection screen. Do we need to know a player’s favorite color in real life? No. Eve doesn’t look like a golfer in those cutoff shorts.
Let’s relive the scene from last week and how Aoi’s long shaft caught Eve’s attention. I take it that Aoi is the “innocent tyrant.” One hole, stroke play, on a par five. The forest isn’t out of bounds, so I’m sure Eve wants to blast right through it. Rock and roll the Direct Strike Blue Bullet! Eve has theme music. Ack. Stopped by a thick branch. Amane made Aoi go back to her standard 1-wood. Aoi feels excitement like she used to when she played with her dad. Oh, right. BIRDIE WING emphasizes that golf is fun! Eh, ask a long-time golfer what he thinks and wait for the long string of expletives to end… Huh? Why does Eve call Aoi’s fade a slice-shot? What’s the difference between a fade and a slice? The answer is if you meant to do that…
Amane claims that Aoi has a third gift for playing golf: enjoying it and not feeling any pressure. Aoi’s innocent smile crushes opponents. Hey, that sounds like Eve’s strategy of piercing a rival’s heart to demoralize her. I see what you’re doing, BIRDIE WING. Usually, a fade has a backspin, so the golf ball doesn’t roll far after it lands. But Aoi used the hole’s topography to roll down a hill.
Aha! Eve’s fairway shot is Heaven’s Red Bullet! She does have other colors. Aoi and Eve pierce each other’s hearts! Aoi remarks that Eve’s creative, aggressive golf style feels familiar. That’s more foreshadowing. Fun! Eve has the Insatiable Green Bullet for putting. Straight at the pole! Aw. An inch outside.
And suddenly BIRDIE WING is on the Southside of Nafrece. Oh! This is street-hustle golf. With a portable putt-putt hole! Anri’s magnet app looks like a mini-game inside a golf video game. Use magnets to guide the ball to the cup! Ahahaha! Green Bullet for Eve, no matter how short the distance is. The golf ball went too fast for Anri to tap her magnet app. You can’t golf-hustle a hustler! “Same line of work,” Anri said. Ah. Eve wanted a meeting with the Boss of golf hustling.
Rose Aleon runs a golf pro shop as a front for organized criminal golf. Polishing a shaft. Nothing suggestive here. Word gets around fast in BIRDIE WING. Eve lost to a Japanese tourist. Oh? Aoi already leads the under-fifteen world championship after the first day. No surprise there. The sports reporter noted how well Aoi handled the Nafrece coastal winds. Rose informs Eve of Aoi’s golfing pedigree. Mama was the “Queen,” and Papa was the “Monster,” as pro golfers.
Eve wants to keep her promise of playing a round of golf with Aoi. Rose mentions the name “Catherine” as her patron. More foreshadowing! Hoh. Aoi pierced Eve’s heart. Eve needs to pull the trigger and shoot her bullet!
Epilogue time for BIRDIE WING. It’s the final round of Aoi’s golf championship, and she’s bored. She holds a commanding lead, so she only needs to play steady. Uh oh! Aoi saw Eve on TV! How did Eve get into the tournament? She didn’t even start the first day! Rose asked Catherine to pull strings, but that’s a lot of string-pulling. Even for the main sponsor of the golf event. Eh? The sign on the clubhouse spells the city name as “Nafres.” Is Nafrece supposed to be a creative spelling of Naples? Still, Eve isn’t in the same group as Aoi for the final round, so will there be a sudden-death playoff round? If that’s the case, I can see the BIRDIE WING season taking up both rounds of golf.
Next time, we see many girls in tight golfing gear!