There’s No Ayano In Team – ‘Hanebado!’ Episode 8 Review

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.

Nagisa is great in this episode.

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!

This lady is clearly lot paying attention to the show she’s in.

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.

Lol you bitch.

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!

I think Ayano is giving me a fetish for anime girls with muscles… damn it, anime!

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!

A happy Nozomi is a good Nozomi!

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!

Tch.

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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8 comments

  1. I put it at Ayano having at least 3 more episode of being a poor quality heel. Heck, she might not even turn it around in this cour. And you’re completely right: It’s grating, it’s annoying, and it’s just not fun at all to watch. And it’s a shame. The badminton in this show is terrific. In fact, this might be the best representation of a sport I’ve ever seen in a sports anime. They show the sport. They show matches. They show the action. They don’t screw around with it. They don’t drag it out ridiculously long (dammit, Yowamushi Pedal!). And the sport can be exciting on its own (and other times it can have a huge scandal, see the match-throwing scandal at the 2012 Olympics). It doesn’t need these crummy characters dragging the show down.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m seemingly in the minority of viewers here, but I actually like Ayano’s heel turn.

    She is annoying. She is misguided. Her transition wasn’t slow because it was a snap that occurred however many episodes back. She’s been insecure since her mum left, and for the most part has avoided dealing with the issues by avoiding badminton.

    Now, though, those previously bottled thoughts and feelings have moved to the forefront of her conciousness, and she likely won’t overcome them on her own. It’ll take friendship and teamwork and whatever other sports anime thematic tropes are relevant.

    I’m fine with this, and I like her scary eyes now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is the only part of Ayano I’m not certain about is different from the manga because her facial expressions are very similar in panels; I just don’t think her motivation is for her mother, unlike the anime.

    Props for continuing the series and the bullshit they pull each episode. I’d likely come back only for the scenes with Nozomi since I’m very interested in her character – she’s pretty, too.

    Liked by 1 person

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