The purity and ecstasy of men-love.
My first review in 2008 will be of a rare sports anime, Aoki Densetsu Shoot! With this and Capeta has just been completely subbed recently, there will be lots of episodes I wanna watch in the next week or so. Capeta will come after Angelic Layer and maybe Myself, Yourself too.
Sums up the majority of sports anime out there.
3 budding footballers (soccer as it known in Japan and America) enrolled to Kakegawa High School so that they can play with the ace striker of the school. The ace striker unexpectedly dies early (whoops, is that a major spoiler?) and those three has to deal with the reality of replacing that ace striker on their quest to the nationals (this aim is common in many sports manga/anime). Thrown in some romance in and you got your almost typical sports anime.
Imagine Shinji Ikari from Evangelion playing football, and that’s what this series basically is. That’s why I say that this sport anime is not a typical one. I have watched my own share of sport anime and this is the first time I have seen the main protagonist acting so emo and insecure, especially when dealing with his woman. Although I think it makes him more realistic compared to the protagonists in newer anime in the same genre.
The story basically has the same template as many of the sports anime out there. You know; a middle/high school student joins a <insert sport name> sport club that aims for the nationals. That student may or may not have talents or specialty. After that, we will get to see the gut, persistence and <insert any good values here> as he/she helps his team (team sports has better impact than individual sports, which incidentally are used in anime/manga that has sports as background like Umisho or Suzuka) to beat the best of teams in their prefecture and qualify to the nationals. The ending may show victories and defeats, it is not always a happy ending. Additional spices may include side stories like romance or comedy.
Nevertheless, I will never get tired with this kind of stories. I dig this kind of anime all the time. These kinds of stories really have to screw up to get a bad rating from me. In this regard, this anime suffer from over-glorification of certain things, such as the no.10 jersey (if Manchester United can win the English Premiership without an ace striker no.10, there should be no fuss about it) and the offside trap (for god sake, how they managed to qualify to the nationals without knowing that, I don’t know). Apart from that, I do not really have nothing to say anymore.
A pointless council meeting to determine who is the wearer of the divine no.10 jersey.
For an anime from the last century, the character design in this anime is pretty good. Black hair is still common (I miss those days), and high school girls wear long skirts.
How to portray a perfectly good guy as a villain.
Just like the character design, voice acting here is decent without being spectacular. No one stands out despite some notable names in the seiyuu list and huge number of episodes.
Another downside of being an emo kid.
This anime fails completely for this section. Enough said.
There is something wrong about this screenshot. Can you pick out what is it? Hint: count the black dots.
The animation can be good and can be bad. Maybe it is because of the long run of 58 episodes? Unique for this anime, it did not use overexaggerated football techniques that will make real-life overpaid professional footballers look bad (Prince of Tennis and Eyeshield 21 are guilty in this regard). The direction is average at best, and has times controlling how the dialogue flows.
Ball watching. If this is Manchester United he will get the hairdryer treatment.
7 out of 10. While sport anime will have a hard time to be rated too low, the same also applies if it were to be rated higher. 7 out of 10 will be my median for this genre.
Yellow cards. An endangered species in this anime. Red cards? Already extinct.