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I don't know if Konomi planned all this out all along, but Oni's role as the gatekeeper of hell is actually pretty hilarious now that he is revealed to be likely the strongest U17 player if he didn't somehow get bored for whatever reason after H1 year and stopped trying. There is a story about a bunch of martial artists trying to challenge an ancient clan, and that clan sent a servant and was doing stuff these guys can only dream of, and one of the guy said, "Don't panic, I'm sure this servent is their strongest grandmaster in disguise to try to scare us!" Well, in that story it turns out that the servent was indeed a servent, but in POT, Oni indeed is the strongest guy available at the camp while pretending to be a grunt.
Court 3 talks about how powerful they are, but court 3 is quite beatable by the middle school all-star team. If you take out Irie (who is significantly above court 3), the only game the middle schoolers would have problem is D1 (due to a lack of Synchro as Golden Pair probably can't match their stats), but who's to say if Sanada teamed up with Tezuka or Yukimura they can't overcome Synchro? Certainly all other 4 games are quite winnable by middle schoolers even without plot immunity. I'd argue even Irie could be beaten with some luck, as Atobe is most certainly not the strongest singles player amongst middle schoolers.
I can imagine the scene unfolded like this. After Irie and Tokugawa did their entrance, they went to talk to Kurobe and saw the MS stats, and realized that if they play the shuffle matches normally it's just a matter of time before they lose, so they begged Santa Oni to intimidate the MSers so they wouldn't be wandering why they never get to play the 3rd court or higher guys. Although Ryoma, who currently has a total stat of 21 (versus Irie's 22 or Tokugawa's 23.5) has a hard time even hitting the ball with the SSS training racket, Oni had no problem defeating Momoshiro 6-0 using a racket other high schoolers likely would have a hard time even using.
To be fair, the plan did work quite brilliantly. Looking at the reaction even guys like Atobe and Yukimura were intimidated by Oni's dominance, which probably explains why Yukimura didn't even complain that he was stuck on court 6 along with Fuji and a few others.
Later, when the middle schoolers took over court 5 and want to challenge court 3, we see that Irie still says 'you must beat Oni first'. Well it sure is convenient hiding behind a guy who is way stronger than you. When the court 5 vs court 3 took place, Oni was considerate enough to not play himself, since otherwise Irie would end up crawling on the floor like Kaji and probably disappear from U17 for good. And Irie thinks he's good at acting? I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out Oni taught him everything he knew about acting.
Court 3? It's pretty easy. If you put Sanada in S3, 3rd court would get 3-0 before the syncho pair and Irie even have a chance to play. Doubles 1 are certainly beatable. Put Momoshiro there with someone who's good at supporting to enable BJK and it's gg there. Irie can beat tons of people, but it's no use when you already got 4-0.
The Black Jackets have a considerably better coach so I don't think it's fair to use guys who end up way stronger from the loser's bracket. I'm just talking about the middle schooler as is. Let's say everyone just stayed at U17 and the middle schoolers decided to form an all-star team on court 5 to challenge court 3. Even without plot immunity, if Irie doesn't play (because he's significantly above court 3 and in theory Oni could play for court 5 too) I'd say the middle schoolers have a better chance 50% of winning. Even if Irie plays, the S3 S2 D2 are certainly all winnable for the middle school all-stars. I'm assuming court 3 has D1 locked up since we've never seen a non synchro team beat a synchro team, and at that point only the Golden Pair can synchro and they sure aren't beating D1 on their base stats.
Even Irie I imagine he'd probably win 80% of his games against top middle school players. Now that doesn't make him or court 3 weak, but it's pretty funny since they always act like they're way above the middle schoolers even though the average court 3 guy is probably 50/50 against a top middle school guys, and even Irie who is far above court 3 is hardly assured of victory every time against a top middle school player, and the only reason they weren't challenged is because Oni was keeping the gate closed.
Even with 2 strings, no MSer had a chance I reckon.
Oni is ridiculously strong. He beat a dude with TnK with his own TnK. That's crazy.
I think he took a point off Kintaro's TnK whilst he was in Kijin Mode too.
Well, it's true that at the time of the team shuffle, the MSers probably could have formed a line-up (if they had all the winners available) that would have done better against 3rd court than the one Oni actually used. However, that doesn't mean it would've been the same from the start. If the winners had been able to challenge 3rd court right away, I wouldn't be surprised if the only ones with a chance of winning had been Yukimura and Tezuka.
Court 2 isn't much stronger either. Migihashi is the only good player we saw. I think Irie is better than Migihashi. If court 5 played against court 2 they would've won without Oni.
We don't know anyone strong from court 1 other than Tokugawa.
Given that they didn't get any on-panel matches, how were 1st and 2nd court supposed to show off exactly?
While its true that court 2 players didn't got an opportunity to show off their skills, its also true that they lost against opponents like Tanishi, Momoshiro, Inui, Yanagi who are merely not top Msers. So, I think they wouldn't win against 5.
We don't know the exact opponents 2nd court faced, and I wouldn't say Ryoma, Sanada, Kintarou, Niou and Inui/Yanagi (as a doubles) are much weaker (if at all) than what 5th court had to offer.
Court 3 won 2 games & Drew 1.
Court 2 lost every game.
That's nice and all, but does nothing to contradict my claim that, in general, the opponents 2nd court had to face were tougher than the ones that went up against 3rd court.
EDIT: Simply put, the knowledge we have would suggest that Irie, Yamato and Nakagauchi are stronger than 2nd court and the other five are weaker. You only need to win 3/5 matches in theory, but Irie and Nakagauchi were dominating so much in their matches that Atobe and Krauser are from guaranteed to beat Migihashi and [2nd Court] at that time. On top of that, it's far from certain that Kirihara would have achieved AM/SDM and WoK would have gotten Synchro against other opponents.
Last edited by Kaoz; September 19, 2013 at 12:03 PM.
S3: Kintarou vs Nakagauchi =Yeah, right. Like Nakagauchi should be even close to #14 1st stringer.
D2: Renji/Inui vs Matsudaira/Miyako =There might some small chance for 3rd court, but I don't think so.
S2: Sanada vs Yamato =Yamato is even with Tezuka. Sanada beat Tezuka back then.
D1: Anyone/Niou vs Syncho failure pair=Niou turn into one of the opponent and gain syncho. That beat 1st stringer pair that stomp this pair. And that is with Oishi.
S1: Echizen vs Irie =Atobe pass this test. There's no way Echizen would fail this.
Loser team are stronger than 5th court team. That's all. It even stated that each court from then on is a massive gap in strength. And it doesn't say anywhere that 2nd court and 3rd court is an exception.
I didn't include the upgrades the Black Jacket get or some of the stuff that seems to be clearly plot related (Atobe Kingdom, TnK Tezuka) because if you put all that together, court 3 has literally no chance against the MS all stars. I'm just looking at the stats of the MS all stars at the end of POT against court 3, and I think court 3 have an advantage in stats but it's really a tough fight for them just because their special moves suck (quite a few don't even have any special moves) and POT is all about having good special moves.
I think Niou's anti-synchro only works against the twins because it's impossible for the twins to cutoff synchro due to being twins. Otherwise let's say Oishi played Kikumaru, they'd be able to synchronize with each other and then the game would never end because they'd each know what the other guy is going to do. I mean if the Golden Pair stopped trusting each other in the middle of game their synchro would definitely be nullified, so they should be able to do that against an opponent too. Now I guess it's still useful in the sense that having Niou would force the other team to cutoff their synchro, and at that point it should be easy for the MS all-stars to win.