Well, the short third season of Inazuma Eleven is more a transition than anything else, but it gives some fun surprises.
Firstly, and not exactly surprisingly given Level-5’s usual silly twists, the aliens from the last season are revealed to not have been aliens at all – only determined regular children who have been affected by strange materials from a meteor. Because in Japanese Manga-world, the ones who work hard always trump the ones who dope, and the meteor is effectively a kid-friendly metaphor for doping in sports. So of course, strong feelings eventually get through to the kids and they see the error of their ways, once they get past the manipulative adult controlling them, of course. And the true feelings of the nice adult who ought to be protecting them comes through.
Since this clears things up pretty neatly, and our heroes reach a truly absurd level of power, the question of what’s happened to all the old teammates left behind comes up. They haven’t shared in all the experiences that powered up this season’s main team – but they also haven’t been left alone.
They’ve had another evil adult controlling them, and have gained enough power to challenge their former teammates and the new members. It’s a good way of having old issues come to the fore and the question of what will happen once the team is way bigger than eleven kids...or even fourteen with a few extras.
Of course, with Aliea dealt with, of course, some of the kids who were picked up on the tour around the whole country no longer really have a reason to be part of the team, their friends and families being far away – so there’re some fond farewells at the end.
This is of course another fun continuation of a fun, stupid season. I enjoy having Inazuma Eleven in my life. The cast is either adorable, absurd or both, the plotlines are downright stupid, and the special attacks are hilarious. The series gets homoerotic undertones just right – possibly because the boys are a bit young for romance, as opposed to the ones from, say, Free!, where the fact that it seems to go over all of their heads just isn’t believable.
In technical terms, I don’t think anything’s likely to change with the series from the beginning to the end. It’s a cheap kids’ production and it runs continuously, so there aren’t gonna be many differences between the series. OLM keep things nice and bright and smooth and simple, and that’s what woks best.
I have to say, though, the problem with having this kind of likeable but huge cast is that I know I’m likely not to see a fair few of them again. They can’t keep having half the team hospitalized, and I know they’re going to go on a tour of the world to fight kids from around the world (which I’m looking forward to!). This means that they’re gonna get rid of quite a few of the team...and I don’t want that!