Okay, so we’ve had anime about soccer, baseball, tennis, swimming, and volleyball. What else could the world of anime possibly offer us now? Badminton. Yes, Badminton. To be honest, an anime about badminton is probably the least expected sports anime in our books. In what world is badminton an exciting sport?
In our next Off the Record/First Impressions corner, we share our thoughts on the latest sports anime — HANEBADO! based on Episode 1. Here we go!
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So right off the bat, Hanebado! kicks off with a highly charged badminton match between two girls, Ayano Hanesaki and Nagisa Aragaki.
And what a spectacular way to impress first-time viewers! The sparring and energy between the two girls was pretty full-on, and the animation was super detailed to reflect the intensity of the game. And oh, did we mention that there were two girls playing the game?!
In the end, there could only be one winner and one loser. The loser of the game, Nagisa, hasn’t been the same ever since the harsh defeat. During school club practice, Nagisa would take out her anger on her teammates and train them till they’re beyond exhausted. As a result, her members start dropping out of the club, and the club has gotten to the point where they need more members in order to stay afloat.
That was until one day, a new girl caught Nagisa’s eye — the same girl who slaughtered Nagisa in the match that shattered her hopes and hard work. But oddly enough, Ayano doesn’t want to join the badminton club as she considers badminton ‘not’ a sport. With her anger at boiling point, Nagisa throws the gauntlet down and challenges Ayano in a match.
While a majority of Episode 1 mainly consists of dialogue and interaction between the characters, this was a thrilling beginning for Hanebado!
Never before have we seen badminton portrayed in an intense manner, and never before have we seen girls featured as the main characters of a sports anime. At one point, the characters even dares to make fun of shonen sports anime.
In a genre dominated by the opposite sex, Hanebado! is already making its mark on the sports anime genre. With its gutsy attitude, we can’t wait to see how the story unfolds. A highly recommended new anime for sports anime fans!
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