Manager (マネージャー, Manējā) is the tenth 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.
It's another day of practice for Kuzuryu High; Momoharu takes on being the temporary trainer for his team. Momoharu guides Yasuhara on how to improve his defense. At that time, Sora, while attempting to make a three, slips and misses the shot. Momoharu asks Sora if he has injured himself; Sora replies that he heard a weird sound and sees his sneaker has gotten torn. Upon conclusion of the practice session, Sora visits some local shoe stores in Kawasaki to get his sneakers repaired. The shopkeeper advises him to buy a new shoe. A depressed Sora then heads towards the sixth sports goods store, known as 'Sports Nanao.' While entering sees, there is no one at the store and asks is there anyone. A small clumsy girl makes her way down the stairs and falls onto Sora. Her name is Nao Nanao. Sora then asks if she can repair his basketball shoes. Nao recognizes him and informs Sora that she also goes to Kuzuryu High, and she saw him at the schools' entrance ceremony.
Nao informs Sora that she is not an expert when it comes to repairing shoes, and she will refer her father in regards to that. Nao advises Sora that he should look for new pair of sneakers. Sora selects one of the less expensive shoes, and Nao urges Sora not to worry, and she will take full responsibility for repairing his shoes. Nao further comments that she saw him at the practice game between Shinmaruko High and Kuzuryu High, and she is very impressed with his basketball skills and wishes him good luck. Sora becomes happy and assumes that Nao likes him. At his residence, Sora asks his grandmother what is love? Yone gets annoyed and tells Sora to take a shower and then go to sleep.
The next day at practice, Sora arrives a bit late and sees an energetic Chiaki. On seeing Sora, Chiaki notifies him that he is late for practice. Sora questions Momoharu what is wrong with Chiaki all of sudden? Momoharu replies their team has a new manager. Sora sees Nao, and he is shocked. Chiaki and his others teammates are delighted to see her. Nao makes her introduction. Kenji then questions her as to why she is joining their team. Nao sees Sora and informed Kenji because she likes basketball. A confused Sora looks at her. Chiaki standing behind Sora believes that Nao likes him, and he starts to do his unusual antics. An energized Kuzuryu High starts their practice routine. Upon seeing their training regimen, Nao praises them.
Madoka arrives at the gym, and Nao is delighted to see her and informs Sora and his teammates that she attended the same middle school with Madoka and was the team manager there. While talking to Madoka, Nao gives her opinion the boys' team of Kuzuryu High is good, but they cannot win a match at their current level. An annoyed Kenji responds that she shouldn't underestimate their team. A confident Madoka informs Kenji that Nao is an experienced manager and he should accept her advice. Madoka then challenges the boys' team to a friendly match with her girls' team.
Upon hearing the challenge, Madoka's teammates disagree and tell her that the boys' team members are a bit wired and don't feel comfortable competing against them. Madoka urges her colleagues not to worry and is confident in Nao's coaching skills. Seeing Madoka's confident expression, Sora asks her how her team performed in the previous Inter-High Prelims. Madoka replies they lost in the first round. After hearing that, Natsume disagrees and tells Sora; it would be a waste of their time getting into a practice game. Kenji then asks Madoka that can her team really play a game without carrying about winning or losing? Nao states let's make the match a bit interesting; the losing side will strip naked, and then changes her mind that if the girls' team loses, it will be only Madoka. On hearing, Madoka is shocked at Nao's notorious idea and questions her decision-making. Nao states it was your (Madoka) idea for the match in the first place. Sora and his teammates accept the conditions of the match, and they mentally prepare themselves. Madoka goes to Momoharu for support, and as captain of the boys' team, he also joins his colleagues. The girls' team members are relieved that they are not involved in this wager. Nao then states the conditions of the match. That the game will play 10-minute halves, and each team will get one timeout.
Characters by Appearance
- Sora Kurumatani
- Nao Nanao (debut)
- Yone Kurumatani
- Chiaki Hanazono
- Momoharu Hanazono
- Masahiro Saki
- Kenji Natsume
- Yasuhara Shinichi
- Ryuuhei Nabeshima
- Masayoshi Satsuki
- Madoka Yabuchi
- Storyboard: Tomoyuki Itamura
- Director: Yu Komori
- Animation Director: Naomi Ide, Mayuko Matsumoto, Masakazu Ishikawa, Michiko Makita, Synod