What’s it about ?

Standard sports series about an elementary school’s female basketball club. Also, lolicon.


Subaru, our protagonist. He’s a high school student roped by his elder sister (who’s an elementary teacher) into coaching the club for three days. He was part of the high-school basketball club until it got dissolved a month or so ago due to a “lolicon incident” (I’m not sure about the details, and I can’t bring myself to rewatch this), and his middle school club got quite high in tournaments, so at least he’s competent, but he’s not particularly enthusiastic (his sister being a complete troll doesn’t help).

The five members of the club are the usual stereotypes : the talented and competent one, the loud idiot, the brainy one, the tall and way-too-well-endowed-for-an-elementary-student moeblob, and the kid.

We also get a glimpse of Subaru’s potential love interest, as well as the male elementary basketball club walking angrily towards Subaru as a weak cliffhanger.

Production Values

There’s absolutely no way to mistake what kind of audience this is pandering to : way too many ass shots, an emphasis on the glistening hotpants the girls wear, a gratuitous shower scene where they actually start fondling each other…

Well, at least they spent part of the animation budget into making the basketball look somewhat good. But that’s what, 4 minutes of screentime in total ?

Overall Impression

I knew what kind of show I was in for when I saw that the first post-OP action of the girls was to dress as maids in an effort to “make a good impression” on their new coach (and their dialogue gets more explicit after that). I braced myself for quite a painful watch.

It’s… actually not that bad : the lolicon stuff gets more subdued as the episode goes, and it’s hard to mess with the standard sports show formula. Still, that doesn’t actually make the show any good : the not-brain-bleach-inducing parts are merely mediocre instead of plain awful. There’s nothing at all to recommend to this show.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2011.

Moshidora (“What If a Female Manager of a High School Baseball Team Read Drucker’s Management ?”)

(10 episodes, aired on weekdays over the next two weeks)

What’s it about ?

Well, the title says it all. An anime adaptation of a best-selling light novel that’s basically an infomercial for Peter Drucker’s Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices.


Minami, our protagonist and new manager of the high school baseball club. She used to be quite good at the sport, but quit years ago because of a yet unclear incident that made her hate it. Anyway, she buys Drucker’s book by mistake while looking for some documentation on what she’s supposed to do, and proceeds to read it because, hey, what the heck, she spent the money and had better get some use of it.

Yuuki, Minami’s best friend for years and former manager of the baseball club. She’s got some chronic illness that put her in the hospital (with scheduled surgery down the line). Obviously she was in no shape to continue with the club, which is why Minami pitched in and takes it very seriously.

Ayano seems to be the assistant manager or something. Very shy, she doesn’t make much of an impression so far.

We don’t get to see too much of the actual baseball players yet, beside that they’re not much good and only a few are motivated enough to even come training. The pitcher only sees baseball as a line on his resumé for his future business, and so on.

Production Values

Below average. There’s no flair whatsoever to the directing, the animation’s cheap, and the soundtrack is so generic it hurts.

Overall Impression

Ouch. This is even worse than I was expecting. Low production values, exposition through omnipresent narration that never lets you forget that this adapts a novel, no attempt to conceal the blatant advertising for Drucker’s book, one-dimensional characters… and of course it’s baseball, one of the few sports I have zero interest in.

And yet… it’s a sports anime, and I’m a sucker for those due to being brought up on the likes of Captain Tsubasa and Attacker You !. I’m still quite curious about how a general “Management” book could be of any use for a sports team : the “Mission Statement” stuff this episode was already straining it a bit, how is the next chapter of “Marketing” going to be relevant ?

So yeah, I’m going to keep watching it mostly for the novelty value. And it’s going to be over quickly anyway.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2011 – Page 15.


(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Slice of life comedy about a middle school female tennis club. Also, panties.


Asuna, who is very enthusiastic about the club, but a bit of a slob. She has a very dirty mind that will interpret anything as sexually suggestive. (Also, she’s a walking panty shot.)

Kotone, who hasn’t been stated to be the club president but might as well be. Very bossy and sarcastic. (Voiced by Eri Kitamura, of course…)

Chitose, the upperclassman for whom this is the last chance as entering a tournament before graduating… but that’s a tall ordeal, considering she’s completely crap at tennis. Also, she eats a lot, although most of it seems to go to her upper figure, if you see what I mean (and I think you do).

Kurusu, the dark-skinned prodigy with a bit of a sadistic streak. Has a weird tendency to show up wearing a random big mask over her head.

Mr Mishimagi, the coach/teacher advising the club. Mostly there as a straight man for Asuna’s bizarre trains of thought.

The credits suggests a fifth girl will be joining the cast soon.

Production Values

Not very good, and the show’s bizarre obsession with showing panties every other shot is more than a bit distracting. There are some very puzzling bits of censorship, with random sexy shots heavily censored despite the nearly exact same thing being displayed in full ten seconds later. The mind boggles.

Overall Impression

Oh dear. Well, I wasn’t expecting much from XEBEC, but this is a mediocre slice of life series made nearly unwatchable by obstructive fanservice.

Although, considering it isn’t very funny to begin with, I’m perfectly content with giving it a pass.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2011 – Page 7.

Angelic Layer

(26 episodes)

What’s it about ?

In the future, the latest Serious Business fad is a combat through hi-tech dolls sport called “Angelic Layer”. Cue start of your standard battle series. But since we’re adapting a CLAMP manga, all the fighters (and their dolls) seem to be female.


Misaki, our 12-year-old ingenue protagonist, fresh off the countryside and new to the whole thing. It’s heavily implied that her long-estranged mother (whom she hasn’t seen since kindergarten) is the current Angelic Layer champion. She was brought up by her grandparents, but has come to Tokyo to live with…

Shoko, her aunt. But don’t call her that, or she’ll agressively point out she’s still in her twenties. It’s obvious she doesn’t approve of her sister’s behaviour regarding Misaki.

There’s a quirky scientist dude (introducing himself as “Icchan”) stalking Misaki at the train station, and helping her buy her own Angelic Layer doll (you can apparently buy them at your local mart). He’s kinda creepy, to be honest, although the charitable view is that he’s betting on her to be a future champion (he knows about her mother). He does get hauled off by the cops halfway through the episode, as a store clerk did find him quite creepy too.

The OP and ED sequences suggest that Misaki is going to make some friends at her school and start going into tournaments, but we’re not there yet.

Production Values

It’s a Bones series, so it was bound to look at least good (although this is one of their lesser efforts). I’ve always found their work polished but a bit artistically sterile, and they certainly seem to overpower the CLAMP influence here.

Overall Impression

It’s a battle anime. It’d have a hard time convincing me to continue watching it on any day.

Now, it does quite a lot to sell me on Misaki as a character, and her broken family background does hold some interest. The creepy scientist at least makes the exposition a bit less clunky than usual, and there’s a genuine sense of wonder about the whole Angelic Layer system. It certainly sounds like a fun toy.

But, at the end of the day, it’s a battle anime. Certainly above average, but it’s obvious the series will continue into the obligatory tournaments, with our underdog prodigy quickly moving up the ranks (thanks to her deep connection with her doll) until a cathartic reunion battle with her mother. I feel like I’ve already watched the whole series, and thus I can’t bring myself to really care.

Still, points for trying.

 Misaki fascinated by her new toy.
Misaki fascinated by her new toy.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2001.

Cardfight!! Vanguard

What’s it about ?

An informercial about a new cardgame.

No, seriously. There’s barely any plot to it, and it takes pains to explain in detail of this cardgame works and why it’s awesome.


Aichi, our wimpy protagonist. He never played the game before, but he’s still walking around with a full deck, including a super-rare Vanguard DoublePlusSuper card.

Morikawa, a stereotypical bully who steals the aforementioned card. Comes with two lackeys in tow (although one of them disappears halfway through the episode – continuity isn’t this series’ strong point). He immediately proceeds to lose it to…

Kai, the ace player from the local cardshop. He too comes with a lackey in tow, a blond dude whose main role is to talk smack. Anyway, he’s straight enough to allow Aichi a rematch to try and get his precious card back, even nicely explains the rules in minute detail for the newbie. It eventually comes out that they both know each other for some reason, although we don’t learn the details yet.

Production Values

Well, there’s only so many ways to make two dudes playing an effing card game exciting, so this series goes for the route of having Kai tell Aichi every other minute to “IMAGINE !” they’re having an epic fantasy battle and not just sitting around a table. But even those fantasy fights are cliché and boring, matching the triteness of everything else.

Overall Impression

During the whole “climactic” card fight sequence, there are regular side shots of the shop clerk barely looking up from her book to watch over those excited idiots. They stop short of having her actually roll her eyes, but just barely. This is the only character in this show I have any empathy for. (The ED suggests she’s joining the core cast travelling around the country or something, which makes my mind boggle.)

So yeah, this is despicable garbage trying to sell this crap collectible game to kids. It has no redeeming features whatsoever, it’s boring, it’s a transparent commercial, and everything there has been done better before. Oh, and it doesn’t even have a proper ending – it stops when Aichi draws his Blue-eyed White Dragon SuperDuperAwesome card (which Kai had helpfully lended to him as a handicap) ; that’s not a cliffhanger, it’s just running out of screentime…

Avoid at all costs. If you have any interest in this, go watch Yu-Gi-Oh instead, which at least has the novelty of cardgames on motorcycles (or something).

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011 – Page 9.