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Versus (バーサス, Bāsasu) is the seventeenth episode of the Ahiru no Sora anime. The opening theme is Never Mind which is performed by flumpool. The ending theme is Over which is performed by Yuma Uchida.


Although guarding Tarou is exhausting, Sora's intense eyes make it clear that he's ready to face the challenge head on! But can Masahiro stay the same when he takes to the court?


Yuka giving her son advice

A determined and confident Tarou tells his coach not to worry, and going forward, he will prove his worth to everyone on the court. It’s Kitasumi High possession; Katori passes the ball to Konishi, who confidently attempts a layup shot. Momoharu tries to stop Konishi but gets himself in foul trouble. Konishi then effortlessly makes both the free throws. Hasebe praises his teammate, Konishi, for his recent free throw attempts, and Kitasumi High is slowly catching up. Kuzuryu High then switches their defense to full-court man-to-man defense. Tarou closes his eyes and takes a slight pause by just standing still on the court. Everyone looks at Kabachi awkwardly. Katori then shouts at Tarou and instructs him to bring his attention back into the ongoing match. Tarou then stares at Sora and states that he will not lose to him. Upon hearing, Sora accepts his challenge. Kenji advises Sora not to get provoked or carried away. While guarding Tarou, Sora recalls when his mother Yuka advised him that no matter how much speed one has, it is meaningless if one can’t keep up to pace with your opponent.

Kitasumi High first-year students are all amazed that Sora can easily still keep up to pace with Tarou. Sora again sees Katori’s pass and steals it. Tarou tries to stop his adversary. Sora sees him, does a jump fake, and then gets himself in position and shoots the three-pointer. Tarou then confidently tries to get the offensive rebound. However, his rebound attempt remains futile cause the three-pointer goes in, and Kabachi becomes a bit frustrated at himself. Afterward, furious first-year students of Kitasumi High advised their senior Tarou to let Konishi handle the rebounds and focus on guarding Sora. Tarou looks at his freshmen angrily and informs him that he has everything under control. Tarou, to confuse his opponent, especially Sora, sprints from mid-court back towards his team's basketball hoop. Sora sees Tarou and confusingly follows him. Kenji shouts and instructs Sora not to break their current defensive formation. Tarou notices a puzzled Sora does an efficient spin move and then head towards the other direction. However, Sora somehow still manages to keep up to pace with him.

Tokiwa telling his Captain this year's Inter-High Preliminaries will be exciting

Nao is amazed at her cousin's speed and quickness. However, later on, she comments that it was an unnecessary effort because he could not shake off Sora’s guard. Kuzuryu High, following Nao’s advice, does their full-court man-to-man defense and tries to stop a determined Kitasumi High. Hasebe sees an opening and tries to score from the inside Chiaki notices that Hasebe just traveled and informs the referee about it. Traveling in basketball is a violation when a player in possession of the ball takes too many steps without dribbling. It is Kuzuryu High’s possession, and Nao notices her cousin’s Tarou incredible stamina and becomes worried about Sora, who looks to be a bit out of breath.

Nao notices her cousin’s Tarou incredible stamina and becomes worried about Sora, who looks a bit out of breath. Meanwhile, after watching a changed and improved Kuzuryu High, an excited Tokiwa heads to his schools’ basketball court. Upon arrival, Tokiwa sees his Captain, Shinichi, practicing and questions his presence at the gym because today was his off day. Shinichi stares at Tokiwa and tells him that he has nothing else to do. Chiba then questions Tokiwa’s presence that he should be at the music studio. Upon hearing, Tokiwa stated that he ran into some kind of a surprise on the way. Tokiwa further indicates that this year Inter-High Preliminaries will be interesting. Chiba sees his fired-up teammate and smiles.

Chiaki's backhand pass to Sora

Meanwhile, at the ongoing intense practice match between Kuzuryu High and Kitasumi High, Yasuhara gets into foul trouble by pushing his opponent. Kenji cautions his teammate that it is his third foul. An impressed Madoka looks at Sora and his teammates. Madoka further states that Sora’s defense has been the key to fending off a determined Kitasumi High team. Tarou tries to score, the ball touches the rim, and Momoharu tries to grab the offensive rebound. However, Momoharu's attempt remains futile. Konishi touches the ball before him, everyone at Kitasumi High praises Konishi for his efforts. Tachibana grabs the loose ball and passes it to Katori. Hasebe, to help his teammate, Tarou, on losing Sora’s mark, sets up an efficient screen. Katori then passes the ball to Tarou. Kenji sees the pass and blocks it. However, the ball goes out of bounds, and it is Kitasumi High’s possession.

Tarou is amazed at Kenji’s basketball skills and also gets a bit jealous of his good-looking appearance. Nao complains and informs Kenji that he left his mark. Kenji replies that if he hadn’t blocked that pass, Tarou would have indeed scored. Kuzuryu High continues their pressure defense on Kitasumi High. Tarou requests his teammate Katori to pass the ball to him. Katori ignores him and instructs Hasebe to move back a bit further from the Kuzuryu High’s defense. Katori sees an opening and tries to pass the ball to Tachibana. Sora steals the ball and scores. Tarou is surprised and amazed at Kuzuryu High’s performance and instructs his teammate, Katori, to keep passing the ball around when they’re on offense. While guarding, Sora notices that Tarou’s speed has increased a bit. Upon stopping him, Sora’s legs start to feel a bit heavy. Katori notices an exhausted Sora and passes the ball to Tarou. Kenji and Yasuhara break their man-to-man defense, and both try to stop a determined Tarou. Kabachi, unfazed by his adversary’s defense, gets himself in position and scores the point. Kitasumi High is slowly catching up to Kuzuryu High. A concerned Nao then notices a tired and exhausted Sora and requests for a substitution.  

Nao notices a tired and exhausted Sora, and she then requests the referee for a member change. Upon seeing, Sora states that he is fine and doesn’t feel fatigued. Nao doesn’t listen to his excuses and instructs Sora to substitute himself out. A surprised Koga looks at Kuzuryu High’s bench. A confused and concerned Masahiro joins the match. Chiaki advises Masahiro that he seems a bit too stiff and should stay relaxed and pass the ball around. Momoharu also joins in their conversation and urges his friend Masahiro not to keep the ball in possession for too long. Chiaki passes the ball to Masahiro. Katori sees the pass, steals the ball, and gains control. Masahiro then apologizes to his teammates for his slow response. Nao encourages her squad not to worry, and they should focus on their defense. Tarou feels happy and relieved that this time Sora is not marking him. While defending against Tarou, Masahiro states he will guard him as if his life depends on it. Katori confidently passes the ball to Tarou, who then efficiently scores the basket.

Masahiro vs. Tarou

On seeing Tarou’s effortless scoring attempt, Masahiro realizes that the skill level between him and his adversary is too broad and wishes that Nao substitutes him quickly. A frustrated Sora sees his teammates struggling. Nao notices that Sora being too hard on himself. She then advises Sora that it is too early to be regretful, and the match is still ongoing, and he will have the opportunity to get back into the game. Nao then asks Sora if his knee is alright because she believes he might have gotten injured. Sora confirms that he is fine, and he has not sustained any injury. Upon hearing, Nao feels relieved and advises Sora to use this time to rest and regain his strength.

Tarou has possession of the ball, swiftly passes everyone, and again tries to score. Yasuhara attempts to block him and gets himself again in foul trouble. Kenji and his teammates become a bit worried because it is Yasuhara’s fourth foul, one more, and he will get ejected from the match. Nao then calls for a quick timeout. A frustrated Chiaki states that out of the three beginners, Yasuhara is the only one that has adequately learned the basics of dribbling. Kenji advises Nao that without Sora, zone defense isn’t working, and they should change their defensive formation back to man-to-man defense. Nao agrees with Kenji's judgment and substitutes Yasuhara for Nabe. Masahiro also requests Nao to replace him with Sora. Masahiro sees a serious Sora, who is ready to get back into the match. Upon witnessing, Masahiro questions his ability that within 3 minutes of playtime, he already feels exhausted. Nao urges Masahiro that she can’t substitute him right now. Sora needs rest to regain his strength before heading into the match. A changed and determined Masahiro replies that he will try his best to guard Tarou until Sora comes back into the game.

The game resumes, and it is Kuzuryu High’s possession. Kenji, while dribbling, confidently informs Tachibana, Kitasumi High’s shooting guard, that Sora is not their teams’ only scorer. Kenji then efficiently creates some space between himself and Tachibana and scores the three-pointer. Kenji then confidently looks at Kitasumi High and states that he is Kuzuryu High’s leading scorer whom they should try stopping. Upon hearing, a furious Tarou instructs his teammates not to get carried away. This time a resolute Masahiro guards Tarou. Nabe is impressed at his friend’s effort and also becomes serious. Tarou, unfazed by Masahiro’s defense, quickly passes him. Nabe notices and then helps his teammate on guarding Tarou. Now the outcome of the match depends on whether Kuzuryu High can stop Tarou or not.

Characters by Appearances

Episode Staff

  • Storyboard: Masayuki Ozeki
  • Director: Osamu Kogure
  • Animation Director: Tatsuo Honda, Masashi Omura, Mubon Hyeongjun, Jeon Hyunjin、Kim Jieun, Song Hyeonjoo