Now a lot can be said about Dive!! as a show. Some say it is good. Others say it is bad. Personally, I’m just curious as to if we will ever see the Olympics or if they are going to drag a second season out of this. I would be lying to you if I did not say that sitting in my ideas notebook there are a few post ideas other than this one regarding this show. But we are not going to talk about if the show in general is good, that’s for later. Today we are talking about something that I think the show does…right…well…I cannot quite find the appropriate word but I think this part they did pretty well.
So today we are turning to the sports side of things! Today we are looking at just how Dive!! portrays the Olympics as well as the expectations being chosen for these Olympics puts on the Oikawa/Sugawara love child Yoichi. Let’s do this!!
(There might be spoilers…maybe…continue at own risk. Okay?)
After Yoichi gets chosen to be a representative for Japan’s team (okay maybe that is a spoiler), it become apparent to him that maybe he was not chosen for the appropriate reasons. Prior to that, he was motivated to go to the Olympics for multiple reasons. He wanted to go so that his diving club, MDC, could continue on operating and through that get more and more kids into a sport that is not as popular as some others. He sees it is an opportunity to promote a sport he loves while the company that owns MDC sees his selection, and him as a person, as a way to make money. This is made apparent by the fact that not even a full 24 hours after his selection he is chosen to do a commercial.
Something else that is not necessarily new to the Olympics because companies all over the world see it as a way to turn athletes as ways to get more money. Just watch the commercials that will start showing up soon for the Winter 2018 Olympics, you will see what I’m talking about. Anyway, back to Yoichi.
This change in the motivations of the people around him, including his father who is without a doubt trying to relive his Olympics vicariously through his son, makes it apparent to him that maybe he was not chosen just because he was good. Not to say Yoichi is a bad diver because a good portion of the show has been spent saying how good he is. There are other reasons that he was picked. He was chosen because he could back up Teramoto so the poor guy was not there all alone, and to make money. As a result, he loses his motivation. He is a backup. That’s it. The head of the diving portion of the Japanese Olympic team (I cannot remember exactly what the man’s title is) wants a medal bad. More than anything, and he does not give one crap what he has to do, or change, to achieve his goal. He throws away the traditional selection process to just choosing his two best bets, which may not be the best decision. That is another thing I think is important. Sometimes the countries are so focused on winning medals they do not care about the actual people competing. Granted I do not know exactly how often this occurs but it is something to think about when watching the Olympics.
Yoichi, in turn, feels like he did not deserve to go to the Olympics. He was not chosen because he was the best, he is just a backup, and the expectations for him are still very high. Everyone around him is choosing things for him, instead of him figuring what he wants and fighting for it on his own. I think the one coach said it best when he started to argue with her about her considering a move to America. She said:
“You who is moving on a set track arranged by someone else.”
He did not earn it through competing the usual way and that kills him on the inside. Uncharacteristically, he starts skipping practice for reasons he otherwise would have just ignored and normally would have gone. It is not the first time we have seen these high expectations for a person affect them negatively. Heck! It’s basically a character arch in any sports anime you watch or manga you read. It happened to Haru in Free! when swimming became something other than a fun activity to do with his beautiful friends. It also kind of happened to JJ in Yuri on ICE but we will get more into that later. JJ and Yuri on ICE get their own post (that is in the magical idea notebook as well). It’s a concept that sits in Dictionary of Random Ka-chan Phrases that Probably Apply to No One Else defined as:
I guess that my point today, if there is one, is that Dive!! shows us a lot of interesting things in regards to the Olympics. Athletes have to deal with companies just using them for money, and maybe looking into the real reason they earned a spot on the team. As well as how that change would affect the motivation of a competitor. It was something that I found interesting and thought it was worth the share with you guys. Yoichi has, as of now, found a motivation to get back into the Olympics and is now carving his own path that he set for himself. He has grown as a character this way, no longer listening to what others want him to do, and is doing his best to carve a path for himself. I liked that we got to see not only what led to this change in him, but also the way he struggled with it and found out how to deal with it in his own way. In that regard, I think Dive!! did something right.
And that is all that I have for today! What do you guys think of Dive!!? Did you find this post interesting? Your opinion on the topic? Let me know down below!!
See you next time!!
- I wrote this mainly after I watched episode 10, so anything that happens after it does not exist yet…technically…anything could happen.
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