Just Like Tennis – ‘Hanebado!’ Episode 7 Review

What’s the show? Hanebado! Episode 7.

So what side of the coin does this episode of Hanebado fall on? Ridiculously unrealistic characters or super-realistic sports action? Hmm~ a little of both if I’m honest… and it’s kind of better because of it…

Wait, what? I thought you despised the “cartoonish villainy” that some of the rivals spouted at each other, specifically to Ayano. I do, or rather I did. But the irlwaifu explained things in a way that made ~way~ too much sense to me and now I can’t help but kinda be okay with how the characters were behaving in previous episodes and are (to some extent) still behaving here.

Nice ‘cock.

Right, let’s here it then, what revelatory information did she impart upon you to change your mind? So I’m going to get very specific here for a minute so forgive me if either a) you’re not Australian or b) you don’t loosely follow international Tennis. So the irlwaifu is well abreast of many Australian sports and by proxy I am ~passingly~ versed in whatever is interesting enough to cross over from sports news into ‘real news’. And while Australia is a country unnaturally obsessed with sports it’s also a country that loves to succumb to “tall poppy syndrome” which basically means cutting someone down to size when they’ve become too big for the boots—basically when someone begins to act like an arrogant douche just because they are the ‘best’ at what they do. And for some reason Tennis players in this country seem to especially susceptible to this.

Most sports actually but no reason to be a douche about it…

Okay, but what’s Australian Tennis got to do with a Japanese Badminton anime? I’m getting to that! Geez…

Sorry, go on… So the worst offenders of just being general c-words in Australian tennis are Nick Kygios and Bernard Tomic who are basically just spoilt brats given too much money and too much praise and who love to be outspoken douche bags at every available opportunity. The irlwaifu says these two people are reminiscent of Connie Christensen and Kaoruko Serigaya from Hanebado, in terms of being relentlessly antagonistic and over-confident of their own abilities—even to the point of alienating those closest around them. It’s in that respect that I have to recant my previous comments about them being “cartoonish villains” as it seems that in the sports world unchecked ego makes villains out of otherwise ordinary human beings.

Intense…

…’kay. But what about Ayano, doesn’t she act ~strangely~ throughout this episode? Very astute of you to notice since I didn’t even mention it—almost like we’re the same person—Ahem! So the irlwaifu says Ayano is a lot like an older Aussie tennis player called Leyton Hewitt, who went back and forth between being a douche and being a genuinely humble sports figure depending on so many different factors that were going on in his not-so-personal life. And yeah I totally get that, but then again Ayano was never a character I had a problem with it was more the people opposing her but do you see what I’m getting at here? One man’s “cartoony villain” is another man’s “nuanced character” and just because they’re ‘women’ doesn’t mean they can’t be petty and shallow and catty without it being about their gender because the male ego is very much capable of all these things and more!

Oh no, what happened to the ‘good girl’?

Wow, we’re far down the rabbit hole here… Can we return to talking about anime, I mean I can’t believe I just said that but the alternative is kinda scary if you know what I mean… Fair enough. So yeah, I really dug this episode—maybe this show isn’t representative of all sports, maybe it’s not even representative of the manga this is based on (that’s a topic for another day) but what it is representative of is the absurdly arrogant and prideful and scathing nature of human nature. Kinda sad that it took this many episodes to realise that fact but oh well… The Badminton action throughout this episode is top tier, and even if the frequent asides distract from said action there’s no denying its overall importance to the story as a whole. My biggest take-away from this episode is that once this show is finished I need to watch it all over again with fresher eyes…

Nagisa’s spit take right after this moment was hilarious FYI…

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
Uniformly Improved – Episode 6 Review


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3 comments

  1. Read the title and thought “Ohh, as someone who played tennis competitively for seven years and still follows the game, I wonder if this stuff is going to be true…” Continually nodded while reading post. A wonderful comparison!! 👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not sure I necessarily agree with that, given the way the show has been able to show us characters on and off the court. And it seems to me that the show is presenting a different progression: Of the ‘opponents’ (Connie and Kaoruko) being problems on the court, but then getting the usual protagonist arc of being more liked by their teammates through their effort and vulnerability, while Ayano is going the other way, becoming worse on-and-off the court because she’s hiding that vulnerability. I think there’s a bit of justification, because that’s how Connie and Kaoruko acted towards her, so she thinks that’s what successful players do, but then she’s taking it too far in bringing that off the court to her own teammates. They’ve actually pulled off a pretty good face-heel turn for Ayano, let’s see how far into the heel her character goes.

    And why can’t we get a show where we can compare the characters to Daniel Ricciardo and Scott Dixon (yeah, I know he’s a Kiwi, but he’s still a great role model)? And they can go against the bad guy, Will Power.

    Liked by 1 person

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