Now's the Time (今しかねえ, Imashikanee) is the sixth 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 being heavily guarded by Shinmaruko High's two-man defense, Sora shoots and sinks a three-pointer with two hands. Everyone on the court is shocked and stunned. Momoharu praises Sora for his unique three-pointer. Tokiwa is amazed and tells Chiba that the two-handed shot puts less burden on one's hand, and it's challenging to guard because the ball flight is different from a normal three-pointer. To stop Sora, Shinmaruko High puts three defenders. Sora somehow manages to pass the ball to Momoharu, and he tries to go for a jump shot. Chiba easily blocks him and confidently tells Momoharu that he knows his weakness that he can't score. However, he still won't let him shoot. Momoharu informs Chiba that he hasn't given up and retrieves the loose ball. It's Kuzuryu High's possession, and Sora is again heavily guarded by three-man defense.
Kento steals the ball from Sora. After losing possession of the ball, Sora tries to stop him and accidentally slips on the court. Masahiro assists his teammate in getting up and asks Sora that he is okay. Sora replies that he is fine and hasn't given up. Shinmaruko High supporters start to laugh at them. Chiaki witnessing that terrible beat down of his teammates leaves the court. Madoka sees him and requests Chiaki to join the match. Chiaki replies that the match's outcome is already determined, and him joining the game won't change it. Madoka informs Chiaki she is moved by their efforts, and even if the whole world laughs at them, she will not. One of Shinmaruko High's supporters gets frustrated and tells his colleagues why Kuzuryu High is still trying so hard and purposely throws a can on the court. Sora unnoticeably steps on it and falls to the ground. The referee calls for a timeout, and Yasuhara angrily demands Shinmaruko High's supporter, who is the person that threw the can. Sora tells his teammates that he is fine and they should not get into any arguments with them. Chiaki finally enters the match and throws the bench chair towards the annoying Shinmaruko High supporters. Afterwards, Chiaki angrily states that people who aren't doing any of the fighting shouldn't laugh at the ones who are putting in an effort.
Chiba sees Chiaki and tells Tokiwa that he once played against him in middle school and has never met a player that tops him in basketball skills-wise, and they should be careful. Momoharu is amazed to see his brother, questions Chiaki what made him motivated to join the match? Chiaki teases Momoharu that it's natural for the older brother to help his younger brother. Upon seeing Chiaki joining the game, Sora regains his stamina and confidence and requests the referee to continue the match. Sora passes the ball to Chiaki and informs him that he is counting on him to change the flow and outcome of the match. Chiaki, while dribbling, gets himself in an 8-second violation, and Shinmaruko High gains the possession. The 8-second violation refers to when the team with possession does not advance the ball over the midcourt line before the allowed 8 seconds has passed. Chiaki then apologizes to his teammates for his mistake. Tokiwa does one of his signature backhand passes; Chiaki reads his pass and easily blocks it. Chiaki then informs Tokiwa that in that given moment, he would have also done the same thing.
Kuchiki tries to stop Chiaki from scoring. Upon noticing his adversary, Chiaki, to confuse Kuchiki does an elbow pass to Nabe, who then scores. Sora congratulates Nabe for his first successful scoring attempt. Kuchiki asks Chiba why he wasn't able to guard Chiaki. Chiba replies that Chiaki did an elbow pass. A confused and serious Tokiwa tries to quickly pass by Chiaki's defense, and he mistakenly passes the ball to Masahiro. To further reduce his opponent's morale, Chiaki teases Tokiwa and informs his teammates that this recent ball possession is a gift from their adversary and then purposely does a vicious pass to Masahiro that almost hit Tokiwa in the face. Masahiro then passes the ball back to Chiaki, who then attempts to score the layup. Chiba and Kuchiki try to stop him. Chiaki sees Sora on the right side of the three-point line and passes the ball to him. Sora retrieves it and scores the three-pointer.
After making that three-pointer, Sora urges his teammates, let's end the match on a good note by making another basket. Chiba accepts Sora's challenge and urges his squad not to let Sora score. This time being careful of Chiaki's defense, Tokiwa does a crossover move and quickly passes him. Chiaki somehow manages to steal the ball from him. Nabe retrieves the loose ball and accidentally passes the ball to Kento, Shinmaruko High shooting guard. Kento then gets himself in the position to score the jump shot. The ball touches the rim, and Chiba then quickly gets himself in position to retrieve the rebound. Momoharu is impressed by Chiba's swiftness.
At that moment, Sora heads towards the three-point line and believes that Momoharu will get the rebound. This time, a determined Momoharu jumps even higher than Chiba. Momoharu retrieves the rebound and passes the ball to Chiaki. Kuchiki and Tokiwa try to stop him. Chiaki does one of his unorthodox passes, the one with a bowling motion. Sora retrieves the pass and shoots the three-pointer; however, the game time runs out, and Shinmaruko High wins the match. After the match's conclusion, Momoharu praises Sora for his scoring efforts and further comments that he was close to making that last three-pointer. Sora then thanked Chiba that his team, Shinmaruko High, didn't hold back and gave 100 percent playing against his team. Upon hearing, Chiba notifies Sora that he was a short athlete back in junior high and experienced similar problems by not making it into his team's starting lineup. Chiba then praises Sora that he is impressed by his performance and believes that shorter athletes can play a positive role in the sport of basketball. Sora then jokingly asks Chiba that what did he eat that made him taller. Chiba laughed at his silly question and replies that he consumed a lot of meat. Both teams' lineup and thanked each other for the interesting match.
Characters by Appearances
- Tokitaka Tokiwa
- Shinichi Chiba
- Momoharu Hanazono
- Madoka Yabuchi
- Sora Kurumatani
- Masahiro Saki
- Ryuuhei Nabeshima
- Masaharu Choji
- Kento Sawa
- Hiroshi Kuchiki
- Chiaki Hanazono
- Storyboard: Keizo Kusakawa
- Director: Daishi Kato
- Animation Directors: En Ozawa, Yukie Ishibashi, Saori Hosoda, Ayumu Samukawa, Miho Jinnai, Masato Nishikawa, Masakazu Ishikawa