What’s the show? Hanebado! Episode 8.
So… is this a good episode or a bad episode? Seems like your opinion varies depending on the wind… I don’t like what you’re insinuating, sir! From hence forth you are forever my rival and I will take you down no matter what it takes! I will hunt you down to the ends of the Earth and drive you into the dust from whence you sprang!
Is this a bit? Like, are we doing a sketch? I would have liked a bit of pre-warning if that’s in fact what we’re doing? Pfft, like I have the energy these days to do anything as interesting as a gimmick review, those days are long gone.
Right. Okay, I’ll just assume that was some drunken rambling and proceed with caution. What’s this episode about? This show is an enigma, it’s either being infuriatingly inconsistent with characterisation or being flawlessly brilliant with its portrayal of a sport I’m still not sure is even ~interesting~ but the medium of anime keeps driving home the fact that it absolutely is (forgive my ignorance, I’ve not watched a second of irl Badminton). Basically what I’m saying is this show has a whole heap of a lot of issues with making its characters seem ‘human’ (there are some exceptions) while otherwise being an exciting sports anime!
I ~think~ I get what you’re saying… what’s explicitly ‘wrong’ with this episode? Ayano. I never thought I’d be saying it but Ayano is everything wrong with this anime. And it’s not like it’s an organic change—granted it came about some weeks ago and I’ve been more-or-less ignoring it since then but my god she makes for an obnoxious “villain” and I use that word with the biggest possible inverted commas because I know it’s absolutely temporary and it’s going to be a big effing deal when she realises the ‘error of her ways’ but these OTT outbursts she gives just grate on me so because they’re absolutely unnecessary to her characterisation.
Think you could do better? Oh no, you’re not getting me to fall into that trap again—I’m done re-writing anime into something I think is better. No, Ayano’s character is… flawed and I mean that in every sense of the word and execution. And thankfully, she is given minimal screen-time here so for the rest of the episode the material is really good!
Such as? Nagisa goes up against her middle-school rival—who beat her out for a scholarship to a prestigious sporting school. Nagisa’s rival Nozomi though is someone who’s always lived in Nagisa’s shadow and thus never thought herself worthy of the scholarship nor to be compared to Nagisa—as her school mates often did just out of virtue of her attending their high school. Added to that Nozomi has a super controlling coach who micromanages her every play to the point where she elicits no joy out of the sport. It’s not until Nagisa recognises and acknowledges her talent and Nozomi realises the fun in playing for herself and not others, does the real game begin!
So… good episode then? You’re not going to suddenly go off on a tangent about Tennis players or cartoon villainy? ‘Tis a fine episode. We finally get an inter-school match up we’re both characters are well-developed characters—each with their own trouble to overcome (for Nozomi it’s her coach and her mindset, for Nagisa it’s her knee injury). But aside from all that it’s that endearing combination of friends and foe that make for an interesting and entertaining episode—just the less said about Ayano the better at this point. Hoping that she gets put in her place in the next episode, or at least gains an ounce of humility to make her character return to ‘human’ rather than being such a cartoon vil—
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
Uniformly Improved – Episode 6 Review
Just Like Tennis – Episode 7 Review
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