First Flight (初めての飛翔, Hajimete no Hishō) is the fourth 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.
The day of the practice match against Shinmaruko High is here, and Sora can't wait to hit the court. As this will be his first official game. Can the delinquents of Kuzuryū High stand a chance against their more experienced opponents?
Upon becoming the official member of the Kuzuryu High basketball, Sora excitingly sends a text message to his mother, Yuka, about his enrollment at the club and forthcoming practice match with Shinmaruko High. At present, Yuka is at the Kanagawa Hospital, and she is receiving treatment for her critical illness. Upon reading the text message, Yuka becomes excited. Sora also shares his team's photograph with her, and Yuka becomes a bit worried because the other team members look like a group of troublemakers. At Kuzuryu High, all the team members are working diligently hard every day for the upcoming practice match. Momoharu focuses on refining his shooting skills, and Yasuhara, Nabe, and Masahiro work together to improve their dribbling skills. Madoka joins them and asks they need any help from her with their training. Yasuhara, Nabe, and Masahiro request Madoka to help them in shooting and dribbling. Meanwhile, our protagonist Sora in his classroom is in deep thoughts about his opponent Shinmaruko High. During that time, Chiaki being a sophomore mistakenly enters Kurumatani's class. Some of Sora's classmates make fun of Chiaki's appearance, and the classroom teacher requests Chiaki to leave. Afterward, Sora meets up with Chiaki in the locker room and asks if he is willing to participate in the upcoming match. Chiaki tells him his soon-to-be girlfriend Tomo might show up at the Kawasaki Bride, so he won't be able to participate, and playing basketball is too much hassle for him.
Chiaki also gives his opinion that the practice match between Kuzuryu High and Shinmaruko High is unfair to cause the current members of Kuzu-High are in no shape to win it. Sora replies it doesn't matter to him, and no matter who the opponent is, he never runs away and gives his best effort. Chiaki gets a bit annoyed and hands Sora a drawn seating arrangement chart of his classroom. Chiaki requests Sora to provide him with the names of his colleagues who were making fun of his appearance earlier. Sora is amazed that Chiaki was able to accurately draw his class's entire seating arrangement at one glance.
On the days leading up to the practice game with Shinmaruko High, Sora and his teammates are engaged in their intense basketball workout. Madoka being their trainer, oversees their practice routine. At the end of the training session, Sora receives a text message from his mother. While reading, Madoka eavesdrops and teases Sora that he might have received a text from his girlfriend. Sora blushes and tells her it's from his mother. Sora responds that due to some circumstance, he can't see her yet. He mainly communicates with his mother via text message. Growing up, she has been the primary supporter of his passion for basketball, and she has helped him overcome his height deficiencies. Sora further comments that Yuka is a retired professional basketball player who played for the Japan National basketball team. This upcoming practice game is crucial for him. No matter how many tall and strong opponents he might face, he will never run away. Upon hearing, Madoka replies that she will also be his supporter and requests Sora to exchange cellphone numbers with each other.
The day of the practice game between Shinmaruko High and Kuzuryu High has finally arrived. The Kuzuryu High girls' team members are amazed at Maru High's practice routine. While watching, Madoka informs her teammates that this year's lineup for Shinmaruko High is pretty strong; their center Chiba and guard Tokiwa are Kanagawa's top 5 players. The boys' team of Kuzuryu High make their entrance on the court. One of Shinmaruko High's supporters throws a can at Momoharu, and a small brawl takes place. Afterward, Momoharu asks his teammates do they remember all the rules and basics of basketball. Yasuhara responds that no punching or kicking. Masahiro responds when in possession of the ball; you can't take more than three steps. Madoka, confused by their discussion, informs Sora that Shinmaruko High is a strong team and they need to be careful. Sora smiles and replies that they will be fine. There is no need to be worried, and he has a secret plan up his sleeve to defeat Shinmaruko High.
The practice game between Shinmaruko High and Kuzuryu High is about to commence. Apart from Sora, other team members of Kuzuryu High look confused and overwhelmed. Seeing Sora's confident demeanor, Yasuhara asks Sora that he has never participated in an official basketball match, and this feeling of nervousness is it normal. Sora smiles at him and replies that this is his first time participating as a starter in a game. An astonished Momoharu calls the referee for a time out. All the members of Kuzuryu High get furious at Sora and demand an explanation. Sora explains that he was a sub-member on his mini-school basketball team, and due to his small height, he never got a chance to play as a starter on the team. Sora reassures his teammates that he is confident in his skills and ability and can't wait for the match to begin.
Momoharu, hearing Sora's explanation, understood why Sora was so eager to join the basketball club. Before heading to the center court, Sora asks Momoharu that does he remembers their secret plan. Momoharu reassures Sora that he remembers it. Before the tip-off, Tokiwa tries to greet Sora and receives a no response from him. He then smiles at Sora's focused expression and believes that the tiny shrimp must be excited. Chiba recognizes Momoharu and teases him where his brother Chiaki is and then confidently goes to retrieve the jump ball. Momoharu, due to his efficient jumping ability, retrieves the jump ball before Chiba. Sora grabs the air ball and from half-court line, he scores a three-pointer and issues a challenge to Shinmaruko High, and informs them that they should not underestimate him for being a small player.
Upon witnessing, a furious Chiba tells his teammates that Sora's three-pointer might be a fluke. Meanwhile, Momoharu and others praise Sora. While dribbling, an excited and enthusiastic Tokiwa tells his teammates not to be fazed by Sora's shooting skills. During that time, Masahiro steals the ball from Tokiwa and passes it to Yasuhara. The girls' team members of Kuzuryu High are amazed by Yasuhara and Masahiro's improved passing skills. Sora receives the ball from his teammates, and this time Tokiwa tries to guard him seriously. Sora does a jump fake and then scores another three-pointer. Chiba laughs and tells Tokiwa that Sora was right not to make fun of him. At the Kawasaki bridge, Chiaki eagerly waits for his assumed-to-be girlfriend, Tomo-chan. The first quarter ends up on a positive note for Kuzuryu High, and they lead the match by a score of three points. Momoharu praises Sora for his efficient shooting skills and urges his teammates that they should keep this strategy going in the next quarter. Meanwhile, Shinmaruko High doesn't seem to be fazed by it. Chiba tells Tokiwa that he was amazed by Momoharu's jumping ability, and amongst all of them, Momoharu was the outstanding player of the first quarter.
The second quarter starts, a serious and determined Shinmaruko High enters the basketball court. Tokiwa does one of his signature backhand passes. Kento receives the pass and then gives it to Chiba. Shinichi then tries to go for his signature fierce dunk, Momoharu easily blocks him. Kento grabs the loose ball and tries to score. Momoharu blocks that as well, and everyone on the court is astonished and amazed again by Momoharu's jumping ability. Momoharu passes the ball to Sora, Tokiwa yells at his teammates to stop him. Sora does his crossover move at Kuchiki and easily scores the point. While seeing Sora's layup, Tokiwa realizes that Sora has been avoiding to score from the left side of the court and tells his captain, Chiba, that he has found Sora's weakness going forward he won't let him score a single point.
Characters by Appearance
- Yuka Kurumatani
- Sora Kurumatani
- Chiaki Hanazono
- Momoharu Hanazono
- Ryuuhei Nabeshima
- Masahiro Saki
- Yasuhara Shinichi
- Madoka Yabuchi
- Tokitaka Tokiwa
- Shinichi Chiba
- Hiroshi Kuchiki (debut)
- Kento Sawa (debut)
- Masaharu Choji (debut)
- Storyboard: Shingo Tamaki
- Director: Kiyotaka Kantake
- Animation Director: Zang youshick