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Another Sports Edition!

Warning: Could have minor spoilers. Credits to artists of the photos I used.

I couldn't resist writing another one on sports after the last one. After all, I feel I didn't do enough justice to Kuroko no Basket in the last one. In addition, I'll be talking about two other sports anime Diamond no Ace (baseball) and Haikyuu!! (volleyball) (Yes it's with the double exclamation marks.)

They are adorable with their animals...><
Since my last sports article, I've caught up with Kuroko no Basket, both the anime and the manga, can I say that it's glorious. I mentioned that Kuroko could just be the next big thing for me in sports anime, and it is. It really is. Sure I'm loaded with more ridiculous basketball action that is probably not humanly possible, but this anime really takes cares of all it's characters, you would think that maybe you'd only get attached to the Generation of Miracles (a.k.a. the geniuses in basketball) but no, even the regular members in Kuroko's team is wonderfully fleshed out, from Hyuuga (the captain) to Teppei and many others from the other rival teams as well. I'd say that Kuroko no Basket does the crafting of characters back stories far better than any other sports anime.

Akashi and his beautiful sadism~
Talking more about the characters, the back story of Kuroko, was the most bittersweet but strangely heart warming story when you see the little guy find his direction and his own style of basketball. For Kagami, we learn of how and why he started playing the sport, and learn with him if brothers can be rivals as well. Coming to the other members, yes the Generation of Miracles and their teams have their far share of development, but the one that keeps readers guessing is the building mystery behind Akashi. Akashi, the once captain of the Generation of Miracles, to put it simply... he is a sadist. His sadism is scary but beautiful. I appreciate his character a lot, he fascinates me how one can be so ruthless to break people, and the way he executes his plan, it is like art, it adds so much flavour to the show. My bias in the show though, is Kise, I swear his character is a masochist though from the way he keeps provoking people, he can joke, but he's serious when it comes to playing the sport.

Season two of the anime is over, for anime to manga pacing and adaptation wise, I have no complaints, it's roughly three chapters per episode. The manga now is extremely high paced, it doesn't let you breathe even for a moment. I'm literally craving for every week's release. (I'm impatient so I search for raws to read...instant gratification whenever I can...~^^) Kuroko is also very good at delivering meaningful, morals and values, in a non-cheesy way, you have to give them props for that.

Really if you're looking for something to get hooked on to, Kuroko no Basket is the one to watch.

Diamond no Ace is a baseball anime I only started watching recently, recommended by Zwei (thank you!), I have a feeling it will be a long running anime series like Prince of Tennis. You should first know that while I have played baseball, due to the fact that I have terrible batting skills I have zero interest in baseball before this. I won't be talking about storyline here, as I've mentioned in the first post, the general plots of sports anime is more or less the same, what makes them good is the characters.

I've noticed something about Diamond no Ace, the series concentrates very little on rival teams, but rather places emphasis on the internal rivalry within the team and the finer details that come with putting a sports team together. For example, the main character, Eijun, has a fixed direct rival within the team, Furuya, and has to work to rise above him, and be noticed by the coach while in the 100 member strong baseball club to even get the chance to play for the nationals. Thus, it makes the show 'fresh' in a sense.

Eijun, pitching with passion.
The heart and passion for the sport that went into this show, can be seen in the carefully scripted growth and maturity of Eijun, the transformation from stupidity and ignorance to respect and admiration for his team mates and the sport makes this special and unlike the other sports anime I've have watched. Talent, no matter what, has to be honed. That first 10 episodes, documenting Eijun's first steps really, was inspiring even to me. Just liking the sport is not good enough, learning and wanting to improve blindly is also not good enough, you have to respect it, then and only then, will you come to appreciate it. It's humbling to know that fact. Diamond no Ace doesn't make me want to pound tables, but rather leaves me quietly in awe.

The anime also has slides of slap stick humour, slightly more than what is present in Kuroko no Basket, but it's done in a way to lighten the mood, and really to put you in Eijun's shoes, as he goes through the pains and joys of reaching the top.

I will be following up with the manga of this series as soon as I catch up with the anime. Give Diamond no Ace a try if you like anime that is heavily character centred with good development.

Then there's Haikyuu!!, an anime centring around a male volleyball team. Well... volleyball, I like. But whenever someone says, volleyball, I think of the beach and girls in daisy dukes playing the sport. Not...a very shota looking guy, with carrot orange hair, in a school gym. (Stereotypical of me, but really...what was your honest impression of volleyball...?) I'm at the beginning stages of this anime, but from what I hear, there is some hype about this series, so I won't be too quick to dismiss it just yet. Again general sports anime storyline, it feels like it's leaning towards Diamond no Ace's character and team centred story line rather than the many rival teams style like Prince of Tennis. The synopsis also bears similarities to the baseball anime, so I have high expectations for this series. For characters, I've only been properly introduced to Hinata so far. I'll be reading up on the manga, if the next few episodes of the anime impress me.

Who knows? Maybe it will be a next favourite?

Nevertheless, watching sports anime of any kind always demands my respect for all athletes all round the world.


Written by Neko

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