What’s the show? Hanebado! Episode 4.
So how are things in the world of sports anime? Ahh~ now this is more like the sports anime I was expecting when I signed up for this show!
You signed up for this show? It’s a figure of speech. Shut up.
So what about the show is ticking those ‘expected sports anime’ boxes now that it wasn’t before? As you may know I am in real life vehemently opposed to sports, it does absolutely nothing for me, from the recreational variety all the way up to the big leagues. But I do actually have one vaguely fond memory of sports in high school, I was the assistant manager of the reserve girl’s volleyball team and the monthly hour long bus trips to one of the fancier schools were actually kind of fun! Seeing the camaraderie and team bonding first hand was inspiring—even though I gave little to zero shits about Volleyball at all. This episode reminded me of that and that made me happy.
Right… so uh, what’s the episode about then exactly? Well after a bus trip where the team bond a little (ah, see what I did there—ties into my story, eh eh!) we end up at the training camp, only to find a prestigious school has booked the training camp too! But not without reason as they are keen to play against our girls in some practice matches! For ~reasons~ Ayano needs to go to the convenience store, which is miles away (and gets lost) and along the way she meets a light-hearted blonde haired exchange student from Denmark /also lost on her way to the convenience store. The two chat amiably enough until this new girl realizes that Ayano is her bitter sworn rival and the very reason she moved to Japan in the first place and…
And? My god this show is so silly.
Oh… I thought you were kinda getting into it a bit more what with that nostalgic preamble of yours? Don’t get me wrong—this show is entertaining as all heck, especially this episode but it does take a bit of straining the ‘ol suspension of disbelief, you know what I mean?
Not really but go on. Well it gets better/worse so I’ll elaborate. So Ayano plays doubles with Riko against new girl Connie and her “partner” except Connie doesn’t want to play doubles she wants to take Ayano on herself! And does so through brute force alone! It’s then we realize who this new blonde rival actually is—she’s the girl Ayano’s mother has been coaching abroad all this time! She is in essence the replacement Ayano! End credits!
Seems like a big deal then? It would be if it wasn’t so contrived and ham-fisted, but you know what? I kinda dig it! I really do! It’s overwrought and kinda soap opera-ish and it also just works! It’s at the very least more immediately attention grabbing than the episodes that have come before and it has the added benefit of being surprisingly tense! Which is almost all I could ask for in a show like this!
So as much as you derided the soap opera-stylings of this episode you’re still on board 100%? As if it’d be anything else, let’s be real. Sports or no sports, melodrama or no melodrama this is still ultimately cute girls doing (insert anything here) things and that’s enough for me! I’m a simple man with simple pleasures…
You got the “simple” part right that’s for damn sure… Tch!
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
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