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Baby Steps Season 2

Tell someone that Baby Steps is an anime about tennis and they might immediately think that it’s just a Prince of Tennis clone. However, that sentiment could not have been any further from the truth. If you’re looking forward to tennis matches that look more like battles in a shonen anime, go watch Prince of Tennis again. If you’re an avid fan of the sport and likes a Rocky-esque story, Baby Steps Season 2 is much like its first.

If you’ve watched the first season and fear that protagonist Maruo Eiichirou is progressing too fast for his own good, the sequel will put those worries to sleep. The second season of Baby Steps offers what the first season had, with even more high stakes and tense matches on top of that. It kicks off where season 1 ended, with Eiichirou heading to the United States for an exchange programme in a bid to accelerate his growth. By this point, he’s determined to go pro and with less than a year to reach his goal, his work is cut out for him.

Baby Steps does a great job in fleshing out characters, be it the main or supporting cast. Eiichirou’s major opponents aren’t just mindless tennis-playing robots. They’re his friends when they’re out of the court and have their own dreams and ambitions too. The use of flashbacks, training montages and crowd chatter help turn these usually generic opponents into characters that you may end up rooting for. Heck, the supporting cast even threatens to overthrow Eiichirou on occasion.

However, the anime’s art style may throw some people off and even prevent others from watching the series entirely. It isn’t the most detailed or polished and the problem is made worse by the many visually arresting anime on display these days. Personally, this didn’t stop me from finishing the first season and moving on to the second as the plot and characters basically covered up this minor problem.

Baby Steps is a nod to tennis enthusiasts as well, explaining the various rules and mechanics of the game. It even delves into sports psychology and emphasizes how important being in an optimal state of mind is. On occasion, Eiichirou’s opponents or friends lose matches just because they were agitated or were riled up by their own opponents during the game. If you’re a tennis fan, you would appreciate how realistic this anime is and even heave a sigh of relief knowing that no one would unleash shots or serves that could injure or maim.

Matches in the show continue to grow in length and intensity. This is no surprise considering the stakes are raised with each tournament. By the last quarter of the second season, Eiichirou basically has to reach a certain point in a tournament or kiss his dreams of becoming a professional tennis player goodbye. But that obviously doesn’t happen considering the manga has over 300 chapters till date. But that doesn’t mean you don’t end up biting your fingernails wondering whether he’ll win or lose the next match though.

In short, if you’re looking for a classic underdog tale or happen to be a tennis fan, Baby Steps would be right up your alley. If you’ve already completed the first season and plan to watch the second, you won’t be disappointed. Personally, I’m looking forward to a third season already and can’t wait to see how Eiichirou will tackle bigger obstacles and tougher opponents.

Written by ET

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