Uniformly Improved – ‘Hanebado!’ Episode 6 Review

What’s the show? Hanebado! Episode 6.

You weren’t impressed with the direction the show was going in last episode? Has the show redeemed itself with this episode? For the most part surprisingly yes. Or maybe my expectations had been tempered—either way I really enjoyed this episode, well right up until the final scene but we’ll get to that in a minute!

Exactly. So how did this episode improve so much in such a short period of time? By getting the sport to drama ratio perfect… well as perfect as this show can manage. This episode was about Riko and not only did they give her the drive to succeed (it’s her last chance to make a name for herself in high school Badminton) but also an obstacle to climb (she’s up against a powerful opponent and previous middle school classmate). And the action is tense and it’s well animated and exciting and her little brothers and sisters are there to cheer her on! And… she loses. It’s honestly a bit of a shock, though it carries with it a good emotional core that I can’t fault. Speaking of things I can’t fault—those new Badminton uniforms!

This show is just so good at making Badminton look cool.

And here I was thinking I’d go one damn review without you perving on high-school girls. Fictional anime high school girls—there’s a difference! But seriously those uniforms…

Ahem, moving on. So you said there’s something about the end of the episode you didn’t like? Yeah. So Riki’s opponent is you know, an actual human being and comes across as such, whereas the cartoon villainy that is pink hair returns in full force at the end of the episode as she offers Ayano a handkerchief—to wipe up all the tears she’s going to be shedding! And ugh, I just don’t get what the point of making a character so broadly villainous especially in a show like this where (most) everything else is pretty grounded and realistic. Oh and Ayano’s mother comes back…

Normal human dialogue.

Uh-huh… wait what?! That’s kind of a big damn deal to drop that on me so nonchalantly, isn’t it?! Just doing it the way the show does it, which was surprisingly low-key, with her just showing up in the stands and asking Ayano’s teammates when she is going to be playing. I liked it, even though I don’t like her and am not looking forward to the extremely forced reconciliation they’ll have—which they will because otherwise why else would she be here…

Go away.

Right, got some strong feelings about that then, huh? Noted. So anything else you wanted to add? Dem uniforms tho…

Snug fit.

No! Wrap this review up, or I’ll wrap it up for you! I think there’s some promise in this episode that this show can recover from the various missteps it’s cast recently, just focus on the sport, focus on the teamwork, focus on the camaraderie and focus on the friendships. There’s no need to turn all the opponents into bitchy villains, it’s just poor/mismatched writing and at worse, well… it’s ~kinda~ sexist. Speaking of which, how about those new unifor—

End of review!

The other team has new uniforms too… haha can’t stop me from talking about the uniforms in the captions now, can you? Can’t I? END OF REVIEW!

Previous Hanebado! Reviews:

Sports Anime + Cute Girls = A Better Sports Anime – Episode 1 Review
Emotional Flashbacks & Sausages on Sticks – Episode 2 Review
A Smash To The Feels – Episode 3 Review
Sibling Rivalry – Episode 4 Review
Rivals Are Better Than Villains – Episode 5 Review


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16 comments

  1. I don’t think I’ve taken so much as a single issue with this series yet. I had some concerns early on, but everything is moving along nicely now and the animation & sound are still excellent. Really good, seamless shot transitions as well during the match play.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess I found more to complain about previously because my expectations were put so high by the first 2 eps. Maybe if I watch the series all together once it’s over the small issues will seem less.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah it’s probably different, too, when you’re doing weekly reviews. I think I come down a littler harder on the shows we cover for the Week In Review on the podcast just because I’m actively analyzing each ep and taking notes instead of watching and more passively taking note of things I like and don’t like.
        Still, even if I were finding more minor things to critique, it wouldn’t be enough to sway more overall positive opinion of the show right now.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, Riko’s match was a good one, although I wish they’d have given better cues for the rest of it, rather than just blazing from mid-way through the first game to the end of the second game without an update on the score.

    And yeah, then they had to go back to cartoon villains, not just Kaoruko, but also Connie. Riko’s opponent was a great way to characterize an opponent, so you know they know how to do it. They just choose not to.

    And it was fun to watch the ACTUAL badminton world championships this weekend, where it was an all-Japanese women’s doubles final. And a great match: 19-21, 21-19, 22-20.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just watched the episode myself, and it really was a good one. I also like the fact that this show isn’t predictable in the way that it always lets the “good” guys (erm girls) win. That for my is what keeps making it exciting as well. Never though I would be having such a good time with a sports anime.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have to take a break from this anime because my anger levels go through the roof each episode now. Not sure if you’re aware, but the anime is very different in tone from the manga; I recently wrote a post defining a majority of the changes, but if I had to sum up the biggest contrast between the two, it’s this:

    The anime is overdramatic with the character rivalries and is trying too hard to make the plot serious, while the manga is more comedic in tone but is serious when needed. There probably is drama in the manga, but can’t confirm yet until more chapters are translated; either way, I doubt it’s to the depressing levels of the anime – GIVE AYANO A BREAK DAMMIT!

    I’ll leave a link here to the post if you wanna know more; tried my damnedest to make it as accurate as possible. Have to step away for a little while myself, otherwise, I’ll be ranting about this anime for longer than needed. I still like it, but… yeah, it angers me pretty easily – CONNIE, YOU PRICK!!!.

    Also, nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

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