Kite, His Ball and the Team's Pain (鳶とボールと仲間の痛み, Tobi no Boru to Nakama no Itami) is the ninth 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.
Nabe, Yasuhara, and Masahiro arrive at the park with the senior students, whom Kenji fought. They informed Satsuki that he should listen to what these students have to say and Kenji is innocent and should not be expelled. The senior students report that Kenji was all alone in the gym practicing, and their group accompanied by Nishiwaka approached him. They instructed him to stop practicing and join their faction. Kenji refused, and all of a sudden, a fight took place in the schools' gym. Upon hearing their side of the story, Sora requests Satsuki that Kenji is innocent and should consider revoking his expulsion. Satsuki replies that he doesn't care about the reasons Kenji's punishment is the consequence of injuring those people. Satsuki further states, even if it was a justified self-defense, violence is unforgivable. Instead of fighting back, Kenji should have taken that beating, and he needs to learn about taking pain.
Satsuki furiously leaves the park. Yasuhara informs Nabe that their efforts in bringing Nishiwaka's colleagues to the park were just a waste of their time, and he hates teachers. Yasuhara then instructs Nishiwaka's colleagues to stay away from them. Kenji tells Yasuhara that he didn't ask for their help. Yasuhara replies he wasn't helping, and it is his way of apologizing to him because upon their first meeting, he kicked his ball and now understands that it is something precious to him. Kenji then leaves the park, and Sora asks Yasuhara to explain what he meant that the ball was precious to him. Yasuhara clarified that when he met Kenji for the first time, he kicked it instead of passing the basketball, which resulted in their quarrel. The fight with Nishiwaka and those guys yesterday was also started in that way. Yasuhara further stated that Kenji didn't do anything wrong and believes he is a person who passionately loves the game of basketball.
Kenji reaches the Kawaski bridge; Chiaki sees him and requests that if he has any paper towels. Kenji offers Chiaki one of his disposable paper towels and advises that public washrooms are available near the bridge. Chiaki, to show his appreciation try to give his yogurt, which Kenji refused. Chiaki sees his basketball and asks Kenji that if he is interested in joining the basketball team. Kenji informs that he is being expelled, and joining the basketball club is out of the question. During that time, Kenji receives a phone call from Juri. Afterwards, Momoharu also joins in their conversation later. Meanwhile, at school, Sora begs his teams' advisor to reconsider Kenji's expulsion and follows Satsuki to the men's washroom. During that time, Kenji also joins in and requests Satsuki to reverse his suspension and vows to take Kuzuryū High to the Inter-High Tournament. The principal overhears their conversation and instructs Satsuki to give Kenji a second chance.
At the request of the Kuzuryu High's Principal, Kenji's expulsion has been revoked, and he officially joins the basketball team. Kenji informs all his teammates that from now on, he will not indulge in any fighting. Yasuhara and Masahiro are again amazed by Kenji's basketball skills, and they ask Kenji how they can improve their dribbling skills. Kenji then offers them advice. Sora is happy and relieved to see Kenji joining their basketball club and believes that their team has a chance now to qualify for the Inter-High Tournament.
Meanwhile, at the Kanagawa Hospital, Yuka informs the nurse that it has been four days, and she hasn't received any emails or text messages from her son. The nurse, Sumi, advises her not to worry, and instead, she should enjoy the nice cherry blossom weather. At Kuzuryu High, Sora sees Kenji along with Nishiwaka and his companions. This time the infamous senior, Nishiwaka, has brought more of his colleagues to give Kenji a significant punishment. Sora and the other members of Kuzuryu High join. Kenji requests his teammates not to indulge in the fight. Upon the advice of his advisor, Kenji doesn't fight back and takes a significant beating from Nishiwaka and his companions.
Satsuki arrives and instructs Nishiwaka and his colleagues to stop fighting. Upon seeing him, they ran away, and Satsuki annoyingly tells Sora and his teammates that you guys are always involved in the fighting. Yasuhara informs him that they didn't take part in the quarrel this time, and Kenji also didn't fight back. Kenji then informed Satsuki that his advice about receiving pain is not suited for him. Seeing the changed expression on Kenji and his teammates, Satsuki tells them they have his permission to use the court today.
Momoharu, later on, also joins them for practice, and upon seeing Kenji's injured face questioned, did get into another fight? The rest of the Kuzuryu High squad inform Momoharu that no, he did not. They all practice, and while taking a break, Sora asks Kenji why he has nicknamed himself Tobi. Kenji replies he got that nickname from his father, and his old man died while at work. He was a scaffolding construction worker, and before his birthday, he purchased a basketball as a present for him, and ever since then, that basketball has been his prized possession. Upon hearing, Sora smiles and understands why Kenji gets furious when somebody intentionally kicks his ball. Momoharu thanks Kenji for informing them and is glad that he has become an official member of their team. Afterwards, Yoshino joins, and Kenji informs everyone that both are now friends and have also started dating. Upon hearing this, Sora and his teammates are shocked and confused to hear this news. Chiaki becomes furious and informs Kenji that Yoshino was one of the girls from their school whom he wanted to ask to go on a date.
After Kenji's enrollment in the basketball team, Sora and his teammates are working diligently hard for the upcoming Inter-High District Qualifiers. While practicing, Kenji gets a bit frustrated at Sora and informed him that he just broke a two-man drill and advised him that instead of shooting a three, he should have passed the ball to him because he was closer to the basket than him. Sora confidently replies that he never misses a shot; that is why he didn't pass. Kenji is amazed at Sora's shooting skills and praises that his shooting range gives him goosebumps. Kenji then requests Momoharu they should switch their training regimen, and every day they have been following the practicing routine. Momoharu asks Satsuki is there anything new they can add to their practice routine. Satsuki instructs them to start running within the court. Sora informs Momoharu that they need someone experienced, as a coach, to guide them in terms of their training.
Satsuki then shows Sora and his teammates the match schedule of the ongoing Kanto Tournament. Momoharu informs his teammates that they cannot enter this tournament; the second round will begin tomorrow. Sora then advises Momoharu that they can at least go and watch some matches. The next day at the Kawasaki train station, Sora is the first one to arrive; the others join in late. Sora gets a bit annoyed and informs his teammates that they are late by two hours and must have missed seeing many of the matches. Momoharu shows Sora the tournament's schedule and tells that Shinmaruko High is also participating in the tourney, and their second-round opponent is Eiren High. Shinmaruko High is down by 9 points, and their coach calls for a timeout. Upon seeing Shinmaruko High lineup, Momoharu informs his teammates that their coach wasn't present at their practice match. Yasuhara replies that Eiren High is a second-seeded school, and they were one of the best eight teams in the last year's Kanto Tournament.
Kenji sees the determination in Shinmaruko High and notifies his teammates that the match will perhaps be over-turned. Chiba instructs Choji to guard number 10 of Eiren High properly and Kento to score whenever he gets an opportunity and urges him not to worry; if the shot misses, he will get the rebound. The match resumes, and Shinmaruko High tightens their defense, an All-Court Press!! Tokiwa manages to gain possession of the ball and passes it to Chiba, who then scores. One of the spectators informs his colleague that it is his first time seeing a dunk at a high school basketball tournament. The match ends, and Shinmaruko High defeats the second-seeded team Eiren High. Tokiwa sees Sora and his teammates and greets them. Tokiwa notifies Sora that their region Kanagawa is the most competitive district in Japan. Upon exiting the court, Tokiwa urges all of them going forward to start taking the sport of basketball seriously; otherwise, they will be left behind. Upon hearing that, Momoharu informs Chiaki that their city Kawasaki is also very competitive besides the Kanagawa region, and qualifying from there will be not easy.
While heading back to Kawasaki, Sora critiques their current training regimen is not enough, and to become stronger, they need variety in their practice sessions. Sora and his teammates reached the subway station and realized that they took the wrong route, and they are in Enoshima. A confused captain informs his teammates that they don't have any money to take another train. Momoharu then instructs his teammates instead of using transportation, they should jog towards Kawasaki.
Characters by Appearance
- Yasuhara Shinichi
- Masahiro Saki
- Ryuuhei Nabeshima
- Kenji Natsume
- Sora Kurumatani
- Masayoshi Satsuki
- Chiaki Hanazono
- Momoharu Hanazono
- Juri (flashback)
- Yasuhara Shinichi
- The Principal (debut)
- Madoka Yabuchi
- Tokitaka Tokiwa
- Masaharu Choji
- Shinichi Chiba
- Kento Sawa
- Hiroshi Kuchiki
- Storyboard: Shigeru Kimiya
- Director: Yasuyuki Fuse
- Animation Directors: Park Changhwan, Hong Yumi, Ahn Seok, Kyosuke Maeda