Captain’s seat #2 – Oishi Syuichirou

Oishi became temporary captain of Seigaku during Tezuka’s rehabilitation in the Kantou tournament and Junior selection camp. Here, we get to see a change in leadership style exhibited by Oishi and how it affects team dynamics. At the beginning of his stint, Oishi lacks the self-confidence to fill the very large hole left by Tezuka. Their partnership relies on each other to inject balance in the team management and leadership.

However, with Oishi at the helm, the members were more relaxed with more recreational or social events. This reflects Oishi’s softer personality that cares for the well-being and relationships within the team. However, without Tezuka to provide focus and tension, Oishi began to panic when his soft style leads to club training sessions that he felt was a too relaxed, slacking and unfocused, to the extent that he feels the members were goofing off. This was also an opportunity for Tezuka to let Oishi grow into a more mature and self-assured individual. While Oishi frequently consults Tezuka about the team, Tezuka tends to hold back from micro-management in his typical offhand style, giving him encouraging assurances while letting Oishi find his own solutions. In reality, this kind of mentoring style is harder than it seems, as it is very difficult for a perfectionist like Tezuka to hold back and let a less capable person do the job that he can do better. It also conveys the trust and confidence that Tezuka has for Oishi to do the job well. Instead, Tezuka works behind the scenes with Ryuzaki-sensei to watch over Oishi’s progress and to help fill in the gaps left by Oishi’s inexperience. This invisible support allows Oishi to grow more confident in himself and builds his self-esteem.

Tezuka-Oishi dynamics as the captain – vice-captain appears to play off each other’s strengths and hold complementary support roles. While Tezuka plays the strict uncompromising authoritative figure, Oishi is a loyal follower type, ready with explanations and assurances. Tezuka plays the disciplinarian while Oishi takes the role of peacemaker. Tezuka remained aloof, unapproachable while Oishi is open, caring and friendly. Tezuka tends to deal with other authorities or adults, such as teachers, officials, reporters, etc. Oishi deals with the members and youngsters. Tezuka’s presence tends to cause certain tension and seriousness while Oishi diffuses it. Tezuka demands while Oishi pursuades. Tezuka sets the directions, goals and visions while Oishi keeps the team together, happy and united.


Addendum: 28/9/2009

Seems like I’ve been rather unfair to Ooishi. He needs more character analysis and considerations.

I have to admit, out of all the characters in Seigaku, Ooishi gets the least character development in the Anime. I’m not sure why, but it seems that the Anime gave less character development to Ooishi than the manga. However, Ooishi’s character is probably one of the most realistic character in PoT.

As a doubles specialist, more so than Kikumaru, he is also the only Seigaku character that did not play Singles position in Tournaments. He is always seen as Tezuka’s shadow or Kikumaru’s shadow.

In tennis club leadership, Ooishi acts as a bridge between Tezuka’s aloofness and the rest of the members. He is often seen in dual role, in Tezuka’s company as vice-captain or ‘being one of the boys’ in the company of Kikumaru and gang. He made himself the bridge between those in authority and those who follows.

Tezuka’s personality and leadership style leaves him in a lonely position. He could not allow himself to give into boyish impulses and (mis)behaviours. Ooishi’s importance to Tezuka is crucial to Tezuka’s character. He is the audience’s access to Tezuka, often placed as the narrator of Tezuka’s story or the only person that Tezuka leans on and reveals himself.

Ooishi’s character prefers to work behind the scenes. He gets the job done. However, he is not comfortable in yielding authority in his own right. He prefers to work with Tezuka’s authority behind him (in proxy). So much so, Ooishi’s character became shadowed by Tezuka.

However, the manga did reveal some of Ooishi’s hidden side. Following Tezuka’s decision to leave for Kyuushuu, we were shown the devious side to Ooishi. He took Tezuka on a walk-a-bout, ensuring that the juniors (Momoshiro, Kaidou, Echizen) overhears their conversation. Using Tezuka as role model and using Tezuka’s authority, he manipulates the three and motivates them to train harder. I have to say this is my favourite Ooishi moment.

Ooishi also introduces some pretty wacky ideas in order to improve the team. Giving them psychological personality assessments via TAT-like random drawings, reminiscent of Freudian psychoanalysis. You won’t see Tezuka or any of the team captains pulling that kind of stunt. When questioned about the effectiveness of the test he made the team take, Ooishi adorable answered that it was a failure. đŸ˜€


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