|Lacrosse or Friends!|
|English||Lacrosse or Friends!|
|Japanese Air Date||August 23, 2018|
|Episode Director||Takahiro Hasui|
|Animation Director||Risa Miyatani|
|Opening||Thank You⇄It'll Be Alright|
|Insert Song||Okay —period—|
|← Let it Reach! Friends' Power||Spreading Harmony♪ →|
Lacrosse or Friends! (ラクロスorフレンズ!) is the twentieth episode of the Aikatsu Friends! anime series. It aired on August 23rd, 2018.
Ema and Maika regret having lost to Pure Palette. Feeling that their defeat was a result of being unable to face their fans, they plan out a fan meeting tour. However, the day of the event overlaps with Ema's lacrosse club's training camp. Will Ema take up her club activities? Or will she take up Honey Cat!?
Pure Palette and Honey Cat are both called out for a Friends Unit photo-shoot one day. But as Aine makes everyone laugh when she's unable to think up a naturally cool pose, Maika and Ema disappointingly look over the recent Idol Magazine they had been featured on two months in a row. Next month Pure Palette will be featured, but it makes sense since they lost to them. Maika tells Ema they need to make sure they focus and beat them for the next cup and Ema agrees.
Afterwards, Maika and Ema talk with Tamaki and try to come up with a plan. They discuss how Pure Palette's fan's practically exploded the place, but they ended up taking a break from Friendsta prior to their performance. Ema recalls writing the message, then thinks about the prior day when she realized that they got a lot of support themselves- but they were so focused on winning that they didn't even think about them. They feel bad they neglected their fans but promise not to do it again; and Tamaki surprises them by revealing that they can take a tour focusing on the fans. It would only be at small venues, but this will allow for further intimacy and may be the key they need to get back into the swing of things. Although because the both of them are in high demand, separately and together, it may be tough.
Both girls accept, making Tamaki happy since she already planned their schedule in accordance to it. Just then Ema gets a message from lacrosse. As it turns out, a summer camp is being set up to train for the Nationals, and it takes place in a week, so she wouldn't be able to prepare for the tour. Panicked, Ema cries out unsure of what to do.
As the two units meet up again for a television quiz program based on Idols, Ema struggles to concentrate. Each girl writes down an answer, but with her lacrosse camp beginning tomorrow, she doesn't know what to do. She doesn't want to skip on lessons or only give a small amount of effort because their fans deserve better; but she needs to go to camp too. Distractedly she writes down both Lessons and Dance, and is the only one to get the answer wrong.
Disappointed by this, Ema laments further in her bedroom while trying to figure out what to do. She lays down but is unable to get an answer, although she realizes that back when she did Aikatsu on her own she never worried. She remembers back when she hurt her leg during a game and Tamaki really chewed her out for it, but she insisted that she continued to let her keep playing because it was her own fault she got hurt. She promised to keep practicing so that she wouldn't be hurt like that again, and she kept her word. She improved and never struggled when it was her free-will to decide what she did. But now she doesn't have that option. She looks on Friendsta and realizes that Aikatsu is no longer just her own anymore. She has to focus on it for the sake of becoming Diamond Friends with Maika.
The following day Maika is alarmed when Tamaki reveals that Ema decided to quit lacrosse for the time being. She needs to prioritize Honey Cat until winter when they can participate in Friends cup. Maika is disturbed by this and angrily thinks back to when Ema assured her that she would be fine handling both activities.
Meanwhile, Ema hands in her clug resignation sheet. The girl, her teammate, expresses disappointment in this but Ema has made her decision. As much as she doesn't want to do it, she has to. The girl admits that it's going to be rough without her, considering she's the only reason they got so far in the rankings, but she doesn't want her to feel bad. Just then Maika shows up and demands a lacrosse match with Ema, who expresses alarm after she reveals the challenge letter she wrote.
A bit later, Aine and Mio are surprised when they see several friends and classmates run by. Aine calls out to them, and they reveal that the girls are facing off in a game of lacrosse. Shocked by this, Mio and Aine join them to find the duo preparing for the game. Maika tells Ema that if she beats her she has to quit; ignoring Ema when she points out that she would be better off quitting if she somehow lost to her, someone inexperienced. Maika refuses to back down though, and Ema realizes how serious she is, so she promises to give it her all as well. The girl from earlier acts as coach for the game, and she announces that if Maika can score once before Ema scores ten times, she will win.
They agree on the terms and the game begins. Ema manages to block Maika, but with skills learned from dance she gets around her, only for Ema to smack her stick and easily score a goal. She scores another, followed by several more while the crowd watches with concern. By the time the game is nearly over, the battered Maika continues to fight Ema, but Aine helplessly wonders what could lead such good Friends to something like this. Maika forces herself to run after Ema when suddenly, she feels her legs give out. Before she can fall, she hears everyone in the crowd yelling out support and she catches herself. She continues to run and surpasses Ema to block her from the goal, refusing to let her get her final goal.
Ema asks her why she's trying to stop her when she's working so hard for her sake- but Maika tells her that if she's willing to sacrifice something that makes her happy then they don't stand a chance like that. She reminds Ema of what she told her last year, when she was given several job offers. She eagerly asked Tamaki to accept every single one, and Tamaki explained that Maika is really popular because of her mature aura and developed figure. Due to this she doesn't think it would be a bad idea if she focused solely on modeling, although Maika isn't sure. Ema suddenly showed up to remind Maika of how much she loves to dance. It would be a waste for her to focus on just one thing; the way to have the most fun is to do it all.
As Maika reminds Ema of this, they rush at each other. But to Maika's disappointment Ema holds the ball and throws it into the net, scoring her final goal as the crowd sadly watch on. Ema approaches Maika and tells her that although she thinks she lost, she actually won. She helped her realize that she lost her way after their recent defeat, thinking something must have been wrong with her. But Maika's dedication helped her see this. She won't have to sacrifice anything in order to change herself, and everyone supporting her would be disappointed if she did. More important, she wants to be the older classmate Maika can always look towards for answers. She then goes on to ask the club leader to forget her resignation. She happily agrees, and compliments Maika's first time playing, saying that she wouldn't mind scouting her for the team. However, to Ema's surprise, Maika asks that she be let on as Team Manager, and attend the camp with them. Ema attempts to understand this sudden idea but the girl happily accepts it, warning Maika that it won't be easy, but she can use her free time as she pleases. Which was Maika's intention. She goes on to explain that this way Ema can focus on Lacrosse, then when she isn't busy they can work on Aikatsu.
With that the girls head to the training camp. Maika supports Ema from the sideline while she plays and helps with Manager duty, then during their free periods they practice their performance skills until eventually, their first stop on the tour arrives.
In the waiting room, Maika and Ema excitedly observe the television nearby displaying the stage. Seeing their large audience, Ema admits that she feels tired from all the work they did- but at the same time, seeing their encouraging fans fills her with new energy. Ema heads back and changes, then she appears on stage wearing a vibrant coord from Colorful Shake to perform "Okay —period—".
Afterwards, she heads backstage to find Maika waiting for her, who is about to take her own turn. She assures Ema that while she might have put on a great performance she will go out to put on an even better one. Ema wishes her luck and they cross paths, with Ema glancing back towards her.
- The Shakin' Party Coord makes its debut in this episode.
- The brand Colorful Shake makes its debut in this episode.
- The song Okay —period— debuts as an insert song.
- Main article: Episode 20 - Lacrosse or Friends!/Image gallery