Beware of Villains Bearing Backstories – ‘Hanebado!’ Episode 9 Review

Beware of Villains Bearing Backstories – An Anime QandA Review of ‘Hanebado!’ Episode 9

What’s the show? Hanebado! Episode 9.

So… what happens in this episode? Adventures in inconsistent characterisation continue!

Oh dear, should I prepare myself for a rant? I mean I’ll try and reign it in, but this show is just so frustrating because parts of it are so unbelievably good that I find myself in love with this show and then it goes and tries to be super edgy and dramatic for absolutely no good reason and I’m left throwing my hands up in the air in annoyance!

Oh hello Ayano crazy eyes… *sigh*

Okay, so what specifically about this episode had you doing that? I loved so much that this show spent its time just doing cute and light-hearted fun things with Ayano and Connie going to a weird sort of indoor fun-centre, probably intended for much younger kids all to do with Ayano’s favourite cartoon mascot, a whale called Wei-Wei. And there was all sorts of nice character moments as they played crane games to win prizes and did cosplay photo-shoots and ate themed foods. Maybe I’m biased but this is my idea of a good time and I thought for a second it would bring Connie around to being more accepting of Ayano but, guess what?

What show is this from? Surely not this one?

What? Turns out cackling villain Connie, was never actually a villain this whole time as we’re treated to one of the most inconsistent character turns in anime history (probably, maybe). We get a long-winded multi-year spanning flashback to Connie’s childhood with Ayano’s mother in which Connie ~pines~ to be closer to this other daughter she’s heard so much of but never met and I’m just left scratching my head thinking, “IF YOU WANTED TO BE “FAMILY” WITH HER FOR SO LONG WHY DID YOU TREAT HER LIKE SHIT THE FIRST TIME YOU MET HER?”


Oh boy, here come the CAPS… I don’t mean to shout it’s just this kind of soap-opera characterisation does this series zero favours in the long-run, makes the writers look like they’re making things up on the spot and worst of all makes all the orchestrated drama that’s been a detriment to this series from early-on feel all the more pointless in hindsight. If Connie wanted to be one big happy “family” with Ayano for as long as she has, it makes zero sense for to have been so antagonistic during their first meeting. Connie literally says to Ayano at the end of Episode 5, “she’s my mother now” or something like that and yet here we’re expected to buy the idea that she’s just a sweet, misunderstood girl who’s wanted to be a ‘family’ with Ayano and their mother? Fuck off…


Are you upset? I’m not upset. Also stop trying to cheer me up with Pop Team Epic references…

Sorry… so, uh, dare I ask what your opinion of this episode is overall? Overall I’m just frustrated and kind of exhausted. Like this show seems to be forever in reach of greatness only to shoot itself in the foot repeatedly just for the sake of having ~drama~ which is even more annoying because this show is more dramatic when its focusing on down-to-earth rivalries like between Nagisa and Nozomi in the previous episode. Or even whatever the heck was going on between sausage girl and random dude (seriously what was that?). Either way that should show there are ways to do drama without resulting to the kind of shit that has permeated Ayano’s storyline.

Me too, Nagisa, me too…

Anything else to add? Well the episode ends with Ayano returning home only to be greeted by her long absent mother and well… I know I’m supposed to be ‘on the edge of my seat’ as to what happens next but I can’t help but expect something unrelentingly stupid from this reunion. Guess we’ll find out next episode…

Fuck off!

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

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Author: Cactus Matt

I love anime and more recently manga too. What else do I need to write here?

5 thoughts on “Beware of Villains Bearing Backstories – ‘Hanebado!’ Episode 9 Review”

  1. This writing really is getting painfully bad. And the other story with Nagisa isn’t going much better. “I’m gonna keep practicing until I TOTALLY destroy my knee, even though the coach, and my friend, and my body are all telling me to just knock it the hell off!” Just go home and ice it! But I think this is that kinda-stupid Japanese “Work means more than anything else” attitude, like it’s meaningless that she’s just actually better than Riko, it only matters if she also spends more time at it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s almost like they said “Ok, we’re going to do this show about this girl from Denmark who is good at badminton, but is abandoned by her birth mother. But then she gets picked up by a famous badminton player who was run out of her hometown. Can this girl try to up her game when she goes to Japan to face the family that hurt her mother? But instead of just telling the story from her point of view, we’ll tell it from the viewpoint of the family that got rid of her, and the dysfunctional team that her daughter is on.”

    Liked by 1 person

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