Episode 10 – Tribe Nine

How would you rate episode 10 of
Tribe Nine ? Community score: 3.1

Episode 10 “Declaration of War” is a character study in how a show redeems itself. Or… is it?

Spoiler: it is astoundingly good. Dare I say… it’s pretty okay, previous episodic arc considered.

The plot is simple: Ojiro brings the hammer—er, the… baseball bat—down on the world of XB via brutal, cutthroat laws that most definitely do not slap and most definitely involved a lot of blood and murder. With discount Junko Enoshima (that is, secretary Yui, ie the pink haired girl) at his side, Ojiro immediately takes over as king of Neo Tokyo, which question: did anyone know this kid was ROYALTY because I guess that flew right past me, huh? Anyways: Ojiro takes over, transforming XB into a brutal beatdown between tribes… all to get back at the Minato Tribe.

This is some late-game baseball mess, but honestly? I’ll take anything that lives up the series at this point.

And let me tell you: this mess is the hottest, filled with what definitely is going to be known as the episode with the highest body count. It’s bodies on bodies on bodies as all of Tokyo seemingly gives into their darkest baseball dreams, turning bat against batter, ball against pitcher, and just… Christ, getting murderific with it. It is… a lot, and maybe it’s supposed to be poignant, but honestly, it’s just such a heel-turn for the first half that I was shook y’all: just shook. But like I said, it’s also something different, and for a series that’s had a slump since episode 4, I was practically foaming at the mouth.

Thank goodness the Minato Tribe is here to remind us that the raison d’etre for Extreme Baseball is friendship: it’s working as a team to have fun and enjoy the thrill of being a team. Might as well subtitle the series Tribe Nine: Friendship is Magic because the crew is here to throw down with the Chiyoda Tribe and remind viewers that this XB is a game, not a battleground.

And surprisingly… what ensues this week is a genuine solid setup for reclaiming the old XB: a game that did center on turf wars, but like, in a Splatoon kind of way, not in a Murderball kind of way. It was all about pushing the limits of a fun game, maybe wiping out, but ultimately doing all of that to a cool diegetic soundtrack that made some of the series’ earliest throwdowns remarkably memorable.

It’s easy to find Tribe Nine back in my good graces too because like… this was actually a fun episode. The gang’s all here, and they’re ready to take on Ojiro in what’ll most likely be a three-parter leading up to the reclamation of classic XB and Ojiro’s downfall. And telegraphed as that is—this show doesn’t know how to hide it’s hand at all—I’m hella hyped to see the Minato Tribe save all of Neo Tokyo from having a bad time, which… is the kinda cheesy, cornball message I can get behind.

Watching Tribe Nine is like paying Funimation to give you whiplash: they take $7.99 a month and in return, I get a plot that I fully expect to hurt me, but also, a plot that fully knows I’m on the hook just enough to like the pain. I thank Funimation for the food, even if this food has given me indigestion for weeks on end. At least it’s back to being this side of corny to be entertaining. That’s not to say that this episode is perfect, but hey: it’s leagues above what we’ve been served up for the past month.

Ultimately, episode 10 is… refreshing. Seems like Tribe Nine might finish strong in two weeks after all, though… you might think me optimism. I suppose time will tell what the final stretch of this series offers us: fingers crossed that I can wax poetic about fantasy baseball in the finale.


Tribe Nine is currently streaming on Funimation.

Mercedez is a JP-EN translation and localization light novel editor & proofreader/QA, pop culture critic, and a journalist who, when not writing for ANN, writes for Anime Feminist, where they’re a staff editor. They’re also a frequent cohost on the Anime Feminist Podcast, Chatty AF. This season, they’re reflecting on their youth with Akebi’s Sailor Uniform. When they’re not writing and reviewing, you can find them on their Twitter or on their Instagram where she’s always up to something.

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