The Ugly Duckling (みにくいあひるの子, Minikui ahiru no ko) is the first 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.
Sora is determined to join the basketball club, but the club's members are determined to goof off instead of practice. Sora's solution? A five-on-one game, winner takes all!
Sora is a first-year in high school, and his main goal is to play basketball. Unfortunately for him, the basketball team is a handful of rebellious teenagers that don’t care for the sport at all. They dominate the court and don’t let other guys practice. They consider it their “turf.”
Sora doesn’t let this discourage him, as he tries to make friends with his hopefully-soon-to-be teammates. His lack of height is the first thing most people notice, but his sheer talent and mobility make up for it.
He meets Chiaki early in the day after being jumped by five guys. When Sora goes to practice on the court, the other basketball club members enter. Momoharu, the leader, Masahiro, Ryuuhei, and Yasuhara. Momoharu insults Sora’s shoes, and Sora explains they’re important to him because they’re from his mother. Momoharu locks Sora in the boy’s locker room and left him there for the rest of the day.
When Sora discovers a peephole, Chiaki makes his presence known. Chiaki tells Sora the other guys don’t care for sports. He also warns Sora about them. Chiaki and Sora head to the basketball court. The basketball team steals Sora’s shoes, and Chiaki gets them back for him. Madoka pulls Sora aside and tells him that Momoharu and Chiaki are twins from hell. Chiaki tells Sora to give up.
Sora remembers when he was younger and promised his mother to be the best basketball player. Sora challenges the team to a game on the condition that if he wins, they’ll play basketball as a team. The other players are shocked with his game ability when he is much shorter than what the game usually needs to have leverage.
Characters by Appearances
- Sora Kurumatani
- Chiaki Hanazono
- Momoharu Hanazono
- Masahiro Saki
- Ryuuhei Nabeshima
- Yasuhara Shinichi
- Madoka Yabuchi
- Yuka Kurumatani (flashback)
- Storyboard: Shingo Tamaki
- Director: Shingo Tamaki
- Animation Director: Mino Honda, Mayuko Matsumoto