What’s the show? Hanebado! Episode 11.
So what happens in this episode? I don’t know if it’s because the show was off last week, or maybe I’m losing my mind—but I actually kinda really enjoyed this episode.
You mean the show that in past episode reviews you’ve called “annoying”, “inconsistent” and “frustrating”, that show? Yes—and those adjectives still stand true but I don’t know I kind of feel like I’ve been Stockholm Syndrome’d into being a-okay with Ayano’s bullshit.
And why do you think that happened? Because the rest of the show ~around~ the dumb characterisation is kinda breathtaking at times and because I think the show has decided that not only is Ayano a villain but she’s an actual horror movie villain now—for example in once scene this episode the accompanying string music is literally something you’d hear in a classical horror movie like Psycho. And it was kind of amazing, but like in “I can’t believe the show is going so hard with this!” Like I’ve seen ‘Fairy Tail’ villains represented more subtly than this show does Ayano!
So it’s so bad it’s good? I don’t even want to say that because that gives a grave disservice to the rest of the show that as I said, at times, can be pretty exceptional. I don’t often re-watch shows (because who has time for that?) but I’m almost tempted to try and re-watch this with the knowledge that Ayano becomes such an over-the-top villain.
So you going to talk about the plot of this episode, or what? There’s not a lot to talk about really, it’s mostly preamble to the big final between Nagisa and Ayano. Ayano’s mother is irredeemable as always, Nagisa is a pillar of strength, everyone else around them is various degrees of ‘nice’ and Ayano might as well grow a moustache so she can twirl it and tie people to the railroad tracks! There was a good scene where Elena tries to understand why Ayano is treating everyone the way that she is and I don’t know how she doesn’t slap the girl for her attitude problem!
Uh-huh and so do we get some actual Badminton this episode? Do we ever! Well we get precisely two points into the game, but you know what, it’s so well-written and riveting it kinda just makes me want to watch a re-cut version of this anime with only the Badminton scenes!
Well-written how? The attention to detail with regard to Nagisa’s strategy to outwit Ayano is masterful and so deftly executed, it’s almost like it becomes a different show during these scenes! Though that’s nothing new, it’s always been like that but it just feels more apparent now than previously.
So overall thoughts on the episode? I’ll go back to the descriptor “frustrating” for a moment and make an addendum to it. Yes it’s frustrating that the characterisation is so inconsistent and seemingly from two-different ~ideas~ about what this show should be and it’s frustrating that more consideration wasn’t taken with the long-game, i.e. what kind of story it wanted to tell with it’s characters. But, viewed with a certain mindset and being more forgiving of its flaws in consideration of what makes the show great—I’m almost on the verge of re-recommending it for those who’ve dropped it. It’s not ~really~ any different then when it was as its worst, but I think there’s some real comedic potential in just how villainous Ayano has become—if that’s your kind of thing.
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
Out Of Bounds – Episode 10 Review
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