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