Duck and Kite (アヒルとトビ, Ahiru to Tobi) is the eighth episode of the Ahiru no Sora anime. The opening theme is Happy Go Ducky! which is performed by the pillows. The ending theme is Tsubasa which is performed by saji.
While going for a layup in the school's gym, Kenji knocks down one of the Kuzuryu High girls' team members. The name of the injured team member is Yoshino, and she is a sophomore at Kuzuryu High. At the nurse's office, Yoshino, accompanied by her teammate, and Momoharu get checked for her head injury. The nurse informs it is just a light traumatic brain injury with some bruises on the face and nothing serious. Momoharu is relieved to hear that and apologizes to them on behalf of Kenji.
Meanwhile, in the locker room, Sora is furious at Kenji's outlandish behavior and tells his teammates he hates individuals who don't listen to other people's opinions and gets into unnecessary fights. Sora further explained if Kenji joined, their teams' discipline would be disturbed. Sora then finds a bruised basketball in their locker room. Yasuhara informs Sora that it belongs to Kenji. Nabe tells Sora to throw that ball away because it reminds him of Kenji. Later at the outside schools' basketball court, Kenji, in the dark, tries to find his lost basketball. Sora sees Kenji and returns the basketball to him. Sora notifies Kenji that the leather on the basketball has worn out. Sora then tries to invite Kenji to join their team. Upon hearing that, Kenji punches Sora in the face. Sora doesn't fight back and responds that it didn't hurt, and he doesn't mind being hit several times. Sora then requests Kenji to apologize to Yasuhara and the girls' team members. Kenji informs Sora that he hates being around people in general, and his basketball only needs him, the ball, and the basket.
The next day in the locker room, Nabe furiously informs Momoharu that if he as their captain had been strict with Kenji in the first place, the incident at the basketball court would not have happened. Sora responds that he believes Kenji is a good person, and through his talent and skill, their basketball team can become better. Two of the girls' team member complains that Kenji got into another fight in the schools' gym. Sora and his teammates head towards the schools' court and see injured seniors of Kuzuryu High lying on the ground. A furious Sora questions Kenji why he keeps getting into fights and further explains that any more fighting will result in getting the basketball team disbanded.
Kenji responds to Sora that he doesn't care about the basketball teams' status because he is not an official member of their team. Upon hearing that, Madoka also gets furious and slaps Kenji in the face. Meanwhile, the basketball club's new advisor Satsuki enters the schools' gym and sees a dispute. Momoharu is shocked to see Satsuki because he's known as a strict and disciplined teacher at their school. Upon witnessing the horrible display of violence in the school's basketball court, Satsuki announces that he is disbanding the boys' basketball team. Upon hearing, Masahiro notifies Satsuki that Kenji is not a member of their team, and his teammates are not involved in this incident. Satsuki, to confirm, asks Momoharu, and he doesn't give a proper response. Nabe gets angry at Momoharu and tells him to re-confirm Satsuki that Kenji is not a member.
Meanwhile, Kenji receives a phone call from his sister, and he answers it. Sora gets furious at Kenji again, throws his cellphone to the ground, and informs him, accepting a phone call in a situation like this. Kenji demands him to pick up his phone, Sora refuses it. Another fight is about to start between Sora and Kenji. Satsuki yells at them and informs Natsume that he has a history of constantly being suspended. Satsuki further notifies Kenji that he would report this incident at tomorrow's staff meeting, and his decision to suspend the basketball club remains. Kenji responds that he is not an official member of the team, and he alone caused this incident. Upon hearing that, Satsuki changed his decision and, while leaving, informs Momoharu that he and his teammates are fortunate that they escape the disbandment. Afterward, in the locker room, Sora and his teammates are relieved that their team didn't get disbanded, and an angry Momoharu punches one of the locker room cabinets and leaves. Sora noticed his expression and believed that Momoharu is worried about Kenji's expulsion.
After Momoharu's departure, Yasuhara asks Masahiro to confirm who were the beaten-down seniors at the court. Masahiro replies that he is sure they are colleagues of the infamous senior Nishiwaka at their school. Sora meets up with Madoka at one of their school's hallways and confirms that Kenji will be expelled. While heading towards his residence, Sora hears a familiar ringtone and sees Kenji sitting at a nearby park bench. Upon seeing him, Sora gets angry and tries to punch him from behind. As he is about to hit him, Kenji answers the phone call, and it is his little sister Juri.
Kenji requests his sister not to call him from a phone booth every time, and she should spend that money on purchasing something valuable, such as candy. Juri tells him not to worry, and she gets a lot of allowance from their parents. Kenji then asks about the well-being of his mother. Juri informs she is doing well and also her father. Due to his troubled relationship with his step-father, Kenji gets furious, and Juri tells him to calm down and not break the cellphone. Juri then asks Kenji when she will meet him. Kenji replies in the upcoming Inter-High Tournament. Their conversation ends, and Kenji recalls the time when he got into a quarrel with his step-father, which caused him to move to Kawasaki, where his aunt lives.
Sora overhears all the conversation between Kenji and his sister. Sora then asks Kenji why he lied to his sister, and to keep that promise, he should mend his ways and not get into any more fights. Sora further explained that he knows the essence and importance of a promise. Like his little sister Juri, he has also promised someone from his family to participate in the Inter-High Tournament. Upon hearing that, Kenji replies he lied to keep his sister happy and further stated that besides Sora and Momoharu, the other team members are inexperienced. Hence, it is impossible for Kuzuryu High to even qualify for the Inter-High Tournament. Sora disagrees with Kenji and informs that he believes that the current member of the Kuzuryu High will make it into the Inter-High Tournament. Upon hearing, Kenji then challenges Sora to a 1-on-1 friendly basketball match and informs him that he will show him the national level of basketball. Due to no basketball court nearby, Kenji draws a circle with a tree branch in the park's vicinity. The rules of the match are simple, one cannot step outside the circle, and if Sora can steal the basketball from him, he will win. Sora agrees to the terms and informs Kenji if he wins, you will join the basketball team. Kenji laughs at his terms and responds that he is getting expelled. Sora says it doesn't matter just agree to it.
At the start of the match, Sora tells himself that the rules of the match favor him because he is small in height and only needs to figure out Kenji's ball movements. Sora goes for a quick steal, Kenji reads his movements and does a swift crossover move. Kenji then confidently informs Sora that he is too slow, he should quit and, winning against him is out of the question. A confident Sora replies that him he will never quit and again tries to steal the ball. The outcome of the match remains the same, and Sora's attempts remain futile. Sora then notices that this small circle feels as though it was the entire court. Besides his speed, Kenji's basketball has a magnificent allegiance that attracts people's attention, and Sora understands why Momoharu was eager to get him to join their team.
An exhausted Sora falls onto the ground and tells himself that he is nowhere near Kenji's level. The kids at the park start to cheer for Sora and encourage him not to give up. Through their cheering and optimism, Sora regains his strength and motivation. Sora then informs those kids that he hasn't given up. Kenji notices a change in Sora's expression. Sora, this time, seriously tries to retrieve the ball and almost touches it. Kenji confidently tells him again to give up. Sora refuses and encourages himself to put in a little more effort. While defending against Sora, Kenji recalls the time with his father and how he got into playing basketball. Sora uses Kenji's diverted attention to his advantage and steals the ball from him. Afterward, the advisor, Satsuki, arrives and informs Kenji that he has been expelled. During that moment, Nabe and Masahiro arrive at the park and are accompanied by their school's troubled seniors, who, the day before, fought Kenji. They informed Satsuki that Kenji shouldn't be expelled and he listen to what these students have to say.
Characters by Appearance
- Momoharu Hanazono
- Madoka Yabuchi
- Sora Kurumatani
- Yasuhara Shinichi
- Ryuuhei Nabeshima
- Masahiro Saki
- Chiaki Hanazono
- Kenji Natsume
- Masayoshi Satsuki (debut)
- Juri (debut)
- Storyboard: Rei Nakahara
- Director: Harume Kosaka
- Animation Directors: Naomi Ide, Mayuko Matsumoto, Masakazu Ishikawa, Tatsuo Honda, Michiko Makita, Synod