This is a part of a collaboration review between myself and Irina (of I Drink And Watch Anime) with my parts represented by bold text and Irina’s in regular.
Wow! So we had two weeks off because irl sports were showing on Japanese TV in Cinderella Nine’s timeslot, did you miss the show? Because I sure as heck forgot it even existed… I only remembered it because it’s on top of my Crunchyroll queue but I honestly could not keep track of how many episodes were skipped. 1? 14? No clue….
And I think the actors forgot about this show as well. Is it me or was the voice acting not great this episode? Individual voices were cute and all but it sounded a bit like they were phoning it in…
I won’t say I was dreading watching it, because it’s “fine”, it just doesn’t leave much of an impact as we’ve reiterated week-after-week–and this episode–expectedly was more of the same. It was pleasant enough while watching it but it didn’t really leave much of an impression. It’s the Akari of anime shows. Except Akari rocks and this show is, as you put it, “fine”. That seems like such a huge insult here.
And for what it’s worth a lot happens in this episode, and yet quite a lot of it felt like it was just spinning its wheels–eating up air time to pad out to the 12 episodes while having as least amount of actual sports as possible. To be fair Matt, a lot of the shows we’ve watched together had that problem. They just had much better character models to distract us from it. But we’ve seen our share of fairly thin plots that got dragged out. I think the problem here is that nothing is particularly good.
There’s no stand out character, no beautiful art, not even someone to hate. Even the soundtrack is just kinda there. Without at least one element to rally around, the entire thing just seems particularly aimless.
The girls face their biggest opponent yet–bureaucracy and budgeting! They need more money to be able to partake in a tournament (for gear and stuff), but they need to be certified as a club to get money. But standing in their way is a woman (I don’t actually know who this woman is, is she like a vice principal or head teacher? Do they actually say in the episode). But the girls rally behind their club advisor (whose name I’ve also forgotten) and they collect some signatures from their classmates and all is well by the end of the episode! I think vice principal….don’t quote me. You know, and this is probably just because I’m an enormous nerd, but I kind of liked this. Seeing a bit o the behind the scenes of school clubs and their administration. I don’t know… You usually only get a very superficial mention of budgets or what it means to be an official club and seeing how it comes together, paperwork and all, it made it seem more realistic. I know it’s weird. I like the teacher character but keep forgetting she exists (there’s a pattern here) so I was glad we got to see her more.
Also, both of them were blushing when the budget proposal came together, like some deep yuri romantic scene and I thought that was hilarious.
It’s worth mentioning we meet a bunch new female classmates who all look a hundred times more interesting than our core cast of characters–I’m guessing these are characters from the mobile game, hence why they have crazy hairstyles and accessories. They only appear for a few seconds each so it’s clear this is just fan-service (the “non-sexy kind) for players of the mobile game. I loved pompadour girl. I want her to get her own show!
Speaking of “non-sexy” there’s a weird moment where Ayaka (the girl who goes ‘nya’ a lot) sprays the other girls and their teacher with a hose while their tending to the sunflowers and everyone gets all wet and they laugh and I’m like is this suppose to be fan-service or is this just showing them having light-hearted fun? Either way it was pretty awkward, but that could be down to the animation being mediocre again too… I literally wrote down wet t-shirt fail in my notes. If you haven’t seen this episode, whatever you’re imagining, it was less sexy than that. I don’t even think it was meant as sexualized – just goofy and cute. But the voice acting was weird. As for the art quality, I think it was fine in this scene. There were some moments in the teacher’s lounge tough, that were just a complete mess.
The only part of the episode that stood out was when Ayaka (who’s also a budding reporter along with being part cat) regails the girls (but mostly the audience) with the history of women’s baseball in Japan. I did like that they weren’t afraid to mention how unfair it was and how hard it was for women’s baseball to be officially recognised and supported–even if the way this information was imparted to the audience was incredibly dry. Girls couldn’t have high school baseball teams before 1995, because the sport was considered “too extreme” for girls. 1995! I was alive then! And we are not talking professional here or anything. High School!?! Crazy… I know mysterious possibly vice principal lady said it was an expensive sport, that may have something to do with it, but still. And how expensive could it be? More than hockey? I doubt it! You need to create ice!
I feel like I may have gotten off track here. Wha were we saying? Something about how basketball seems cost efficient? Even better, dodge ball. No hoop or net needed, they should play that instead.
And that’s more or less the episode, I can’t say I’m on the edge of my seat in anticipation of the ‘big game’ they’re going to play (eventually) but maybe it’ll prove worth the wait and give us some exciting anime! I hope we get to see the seedy underbelly of high school sports. Parents paying for their untalented kids to get a spot on the team, vice principal lady funnelling off the bribes to fund a rival boys team in the school. A high school set racketeering crime drama. It’ll be grand!
Previous ‘Cinderella Nine‘ Reviews:
Episode 1 Review
No Glove, No Love – Episode 2 Review
A Wild Cheerleader Appears – Episode 3 Review
For The Love Of The Game – Episode 4 Review
Oh Right, Baseball – Episode 5 Review
Striking Out – Episode 6 Review
Episode 7 Review
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