What’s the show? Hanebado! Episode 10.
So how are things this episode? Endlessly frustrating.
Oh? Again, huh? It’s the same as last week and however many weeks before it’s a battle between a really excellent show on a technical level, the visuals are nice, the action is compelling and the incidental/background soundtrack is literally among one of the best I’ve heard in an anime—but wow does the characterisation in this show just suck the life out of the room.
Who are the main offenders this week? Honestly it’s not that bad of an episode—I said it was “endlessly frustrating” moreso because this show is as about as close to consistent as this show has been since the first 3 episodes. I was ~desperately~ hoping it’d claw back some of the momentum of the glory days and while ‘sport’ is happening it’s fine, even while training is happening it’s fine. But the only thing Ayano manages to say this week are the kind of things that’d get your head kicked in if you were playing sport in Australia. The irlwaifu was throwing out more ‘c-words’ directed at Ayano more then she does when driving through city traffic!
Is it just Ayano though? Seems like it’d be easy to ignore if it was just the one character being bitchy. Ayano’s mother is back in her life—I don’t care enough to look up her name—and I get that she’s supposed to be this sort of aloof sports mother whose only real drive is the pursuit of the best but holy hell is she a bad mother. Actually scratch that, she’s not even a mother at all, she’s just an absent coach masquerading as a mother.
Well not everyone can be a super-mum or even an adequate-mum. Yeah, I’m not faulting that, they got the bad mother thing down to a tee, but the show seems unsure about how it wants us—the viewer—to feel about her return. Like obviously Ayano is perturbed by it, but not enough to say anything, all Ayano’s grandparents say is “please come back home”, why isn’t anyone admonishing her for walking out on her middle-school aged daughter to pursue another life in another country! It’s like everyone’s just so blasé about how she treated her daughter that not one person comments on it. And this is what I’m talking about regarding inconsistency…
Go on… So Ayano’s mean-girl posturing is so catty and over-the-top and unnecessary but only by comparison to how ~normal~ everyone else is and therefore it makes the complete lack of emotional outbursts at home with Ayano’s mother seem even more discordant. Maybe it’s just me but I feel like this show has conflated ‘emotionally inconsistent and confusing’ with ‘emotionally complex’—the latter of which this show is most definitely not.
Is there anything you liked about the episode (aside from the technical merits which aren’t specific to the episode)? While I don’t think it was necessary, the stuff with the boys on the Badminton team actually felt like a sports anime. But I don’t like how straightforward and no-nonsense and logical they were about ‘everything’ it’s almost like this show is trying to push an agenda that boys make reasoned and even-handed decisions about their sporting careers while girls are all emotional and petty and revenge seeking. Pretty shitty subtext there if you ask me.
Overall thoughts? Can we have a do-over? Like keep all the quality technical aspects of the anime and the voice actors and what not but just re-write all the absolute dumb shit about this show, that’d make me happy… No? We can’t have that? Well, whatever, at least there’s only 3 more episodes and it’s sad that I have to say that because there was so much potential.
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
There’s No Ayano In Team – Episode 8 Review
Beware of Villains Bearing Backstories – Episode 9 Review
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