What’s the show? Hanebado! Episode 2.
So what’s happening in this episode? More high-stakes emotional drama? Eh~ yes and no, the tone is certainly a bit more light-hearted than the first but it still has its fair share of meaty dramatic character moments—also, speaking of meat, there’s a lot of eating of sausages on sticks in this episode—as if I needed reminding that the target audience for this show (in Japan) is men!
I’m sorry, what? It’s fine~ meat is good after a workout *winky face*
I think you need to get out more, you’ve clearly got some issues to work through… being outside’s not going to stop my dirty mind.
Anyway, moving on—you said we’ve got some more character moments here. Care to elaborate? Well we’re still not exactly sure why Ayano doesn’t want to play Badminton anymore but the flashes of backstory we glean points towards a sick or dead mother, so tick that off the bingo sheet. With regards to Nagisa though the majority of her insecurities come from being “tall”—this is the third anime in months (that I’ve watched) that’s had this as source of anxiety for the protagonist, so that’s a thing. Although hers more concretely relates to her being treated by her peers as if “badminton is easy for her because she’s tall” and “being that tall is kind of like cheating”—which in her mind negates all the hard work she does.
How does she overcome this issue? Well our handsy trainer (and yes he does grab Ayano’s hands without her permission—again!) has a one on one match with Nagisa and it’s cathartic and reassuring to hear her hang-ups through a second party. The trainer character pretty much redeems himself with this single scene and hopefully the writers have enough self-awareness to not have him grab Ayano’s hands again.
And dare I ask what the deal with the sausage is? Well it’s a motif you see, the sausage represents the audience and the girl’s mouth represents—
That’s enough! Geez, can’t we go one review without you acting like a perv? Maybe one day…
Anything else you wanted to add about the episode? Oh! Yes actually, there’s some really gorgeous looking chalk-style animation during the flashback to Nagisa’s troubled childhood in regards to her height—it’s a simple effect but it’s just done so perfectly I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it—hopefully it’s used again in future episodes!
So are you still happy with the show? Of course, though I’m somewhat surprised the show gave two episodes to establishing characters and backstories rather than any progression towards a sports related goal—but I think it works for the show! It helps to put an emotional core in the show and strengthens the team dynamic. Plus what Badminton scenes we did get to witness were excellent in every respect! Safe to say this series is on-track to being a classic sports anime, at least if these early episodes are any indicator!
Previous Hanebado! Reviews:
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