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Joined: 11 Feb 2010
Posts: 1202
Location: Greensboro, North Carolina
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:30 pm Reply with quote
So, I really don't like basketball, but I'll be damned if Slam Dunk isn't one of the most hilarious, lovably cheesy and fun shows I've watched in a while. The whole thing is on CrunchyRoll, worth checking out.
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Eisenmann V

Joined: 06 Nov 2013
Posts: 206
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:40 pm Reply with quote
Re: Big Windup

I actually thought Mihashi was too annoying to watch (though I did finish season 1), and as far as recent baseball anime go, I'm enjoying Ace of Diamond a lot more.
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Joined: 02 Aug 2009
Posts: 1420
Location: New York
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:00 pm Reply with quote
I'm watching and enjoying (or have watched and enjoyed) all the series on this article, sans Chihayafuru! Ping Pong is just beautiful. It defied all of my expectations.

Once I got through the choppy first few episode of Ace of Diamond, I really started loving it, too. Admittedly, the animation doesn't improve for quite a bit. One thing I did find was refreshing was that none/most of their opponents aren't these awful characters. Ace makes them what they are: a bunch of kids who love baseball. Even an opponent who, upon his initial introduction, is played to be a jerk turns out to be a fine person and player. Not that I don't enjoy series that utilize 'evil' or cruel antagonists; Midousuji is so wonderfully cartoonish. (Actually, my main criticism for Yowamushi would probably be Onoda's rather quick ascension into awesome racer, but I guess that qualifies as more of a quibble.)
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Joined: 31 Dec 2002
Posts: 5873
Location: Houston, TX
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:02 pm Reply with quote
Don't forget that Ping Pong has the best opening of this season:

So far I love this show, it's the best sports anime I've seen in recent years.
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Joined: 28 Jan 2011
Posts: 334
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:30 pm Reply with quote
prime_pm wrote:
I liked Bamboo Blade myself. It wasn't about winning to become the best or winning the grand prize, rather it was about the sport of Kendo as a stepping stone for students as they emerge into adulthood. And it teaches a valuable lesson that sometimes failure is necessary in order to grow as a person. Loved it.

I second the motion. There are a lot of fun characters and you can learn a decent amount about Kendo.

Big Windup!
was tragically overlooked here. It made the sport a lot more interesting for me and also gave Greg Ayers a chance to shine in a role that you might not imagine him in.
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Joined: 06 Feb 2007
Posts: 1022
Location: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:43 pm Reply with quote
I loved this column's format. It was a great change of pace, and very informative.
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Lord Geo

Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1618
Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:15 pm Reply with quote
Some neat picks from Bamboo, none of which I've either seen yet or at least finished. I saw the first episodes of Haikyu!! & Big Windup! & liked what I saw of both, so I'll get to them both eventually; I have BW! on DVD & might look into buying Haikyu!! should Sentai give it a home video release. As someone who really doesn't care about sports in real life, though I'll make an exception for things like the Olympics, World Cup, & Pro-Wrestling in general, sports anime appeals to me partially because it's something I can only really get via anime.

I do see a disappointing lack of Rowdy Sumo Wrestler! Matsutaro, though. Yeah, I know the first episode got hated on by those who watched it for the Preview Guide, but I would argue against their feelings on the show (a.k.a. what others would call "proving them wrong"). Yes, Matsutaro is an oafish asshole who never seems to really get his comuppance, hence why Mike Toole & others online refer to it as "Sumo Asshole", but he's just such a magnetic force that I love to keep watching. In the eight episodes I've seen so far (I'm admittedly a little behind right now) there's been barely any sumo wrestling, but that's also partially because of the old-school origins of this anime, i.e. being based on a 70s-90s manga by Ashita no Joe's Tetsuya Chiba, and I also find that really appealing. It's just so different from most anime that comes out now & I love watching it.

As for other sports anime I love, I saw all of Ashita no Joe 2 over at CrunchyRoll (where it's called Champion Joe 2) & loved every frame of it. There's too much for me to explain about why it's "perfect", so I'll simply leave a link to my (long-ass) review of the anime from last month. For those wondering if not seeing the first half of the Joe story will ruin anything, don't worry too much because Joe 2 intersperses the major parts of the first half throughout the show in a way that still makes them just as impactful as they would have been if you saw the first half on its own. There are more I could talk about, but I don't want this post turning into a giant, potentially rambling list that just ends up with my usual talk about an anime that barely anyone else knows about & likely doesn't care about (unfortunately).
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Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 2380
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:36 pm Reply with quote
I agree with other commentors, Cross Game needs to be included.

I also would have included Hikaru no Go.

And while perhaps not upper tier I do really love Ace of Diamond.
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Joined: 08 Sep 2012
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Location: Cheltenham UK
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:14 pm Reply with quote
I'm loving Haikyuu!! It's my favourite series of shows that are currently airing. It's so much fun and I have always loved watching and playing volleyball.

Big Windup is one of my favourite series. I had never watched baseball when I first watched BW but I learnt so much from watching it. It explains the terminology and the game extremely well. I enjoyed the series so much that it has got me into watching baseball when I can. BW has some of my favourite characters and possibly my favourite relationships, between Mihashi and Abe, as it develops so well and realistically. This series is always in my re-watch list and possibly my choice if I could only ever watch one anime from now on.
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Engineering Nerd

Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 510
Location: Southern California
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:40 pm Reply with quote
Having a blast with Haikyuu! Definitely a show that is worth to check out.

Ping Pong...that show is too glorious and magnificent to put into words, one must at least try it to understand what makes this show so "magical"...
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Joined: 24 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:10 pm Reply with quote
Its hilarious that this was posted because the world cup made me want to watch some sports anime about futbol/soccer so I went looking for some.

I don't like most sports but I have very much enjoyed the sports content in Kyo Kara Maoh, Meine Liebe wieder, Araiso Private Highschool Student Council Executive Committee, Yowapeda and Free Iwatobi Swim Club. I put them in that order because Kyo Kara Maoh got me started first by endearing me to the concept of even paying attention to sports in an anime by wrapping it in an entertaining package and sneaking it into my subconscious.

Meine Liebe and Araiso also did this with subtle focus on some sports while still not making it a sports anime. Because of those anime, softening my perspective on sports in anime, I was able to fully enjoy sports as a main focus of the storyline by the time I got to watching Yowapeda and Free.

thank you for the column!
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Joined: 04 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:06 pm Reply with quote
Ping Pong is definitely my favorite of the season. I'm also watching Baby Steps. I think you have to love tennis to like that though because it dwells on technical data- it's how the hero gets good.

I'd add in Kuroko no Basket. I refused to watch it for the longest time because of all the fangirling irritating me, but I finally gave in just to support the poor mangaka with some additional hits on Crunchyroll. The basketball games are phenomenal. Some of the talents are getting to be a little too much, but it held on to realism for a long time, and explains individual talents in a way that makes some sense.

I can't wait for Free 2. It had so much fun with itself. It's nice to see a sports show that pokes fun at all the cliches, including the ones it's using.
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Gina Szanboti

Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 7827
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:14 pm Reply with quote
st_owly wrote:
Clyde_Cash wrote:
FUNimation has Ping Pong?

I thought they stopped licensing sports anime after how little money Big Windup! drew.

It's a noitaminA show, so that probably overrode the fact that sports anime tend not to do well.

That's kind of a shame, because I don't think PP will do well for them either - not because it's not insanely awesome, but because the whole style of it is so off-beat. I love it, but even I still can't quite get past the character designs to adore it (and yet I don't think I'd want them to change that if they could). But I think it's a little hard to warm up to in the beginning unless you're already looking for something wildly unusual, and if it doesn't do well, Funi will chalk that up to it's being a sports anime, rather than because people didn't like how it looked.

I never thought of myself as a particular fan of sports anime until one day I realized that half of the series I was watching were sports anime! I've seen every series covered in the article and almost every series mentioned in this thread, even Kyo Kara Maoh! and Meine Liebe (neither of which I expected to see here!).

I even watched the first episode of Matsutaro, but couldn't get any farther than that. It wasn't even just that he didn't seem to suffer any consequences of his behavior (spoiler[he did get arrested] at the end of the episode), but that it was just ugly in its artwork, spirit, and sense of humor. I'm definitely not the target audience for that one.

Right now Haikyuu!! is battling Oofuri for top spot on my sports favorites list, and yet somehow I overlooked until just now how similar the relationship between Abe and Mihashi is to the one between Kageyama and Hinata, right down to their hair color. Very Happy Hinata seems to be able to stand up for himself though, where Mihashi would just melt into a puddle. But to his credit, Mihashi would stand his ground, or rather root himself into it while assuming the don't-hit-me position.

Ace of Diamond was very frustrating for the first dozen episodes, but since they finally started teaching him something, it's gotten very good. It too shines a spotlight on the catcher's role, and I thoroughly enjoy listening to Miyuki think.

I also had fun with the episodes I've seen of Eyeshield 21, even though I don't care for American football. I just never imagined I'd ever see a football game where spoiler[the quarterback sacked the opposing quarterback.] Laughing
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Joined: 16 Jun 2014
Posts: 399
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:06 pm Reply with quote
As a huge sports anime fan, I approve of this list! Smile These few are probably the best to introduce a non-sports fan into the genre.

I have to add, Kuroko no Basuke is great sports starter for a person who's a fan of battle shounen. (like Dragon Ball Z)

Oofuri's my favourite baseball anime even if Major's "the baseball anime" and I think everyone who likes well written and slow anime should check it out, even if baseball isn't up to your tastes. It has one of the best character development in sports I've ever seen (even more than my favourite, Chihayafuru)

Another few I would add to this list would be One Outs - It's something anyone who likes mind games + thriller (the big two I'll name: Code Geass and Death Note) would enjoy. It's super fun and absolutely hilarious sometimes, plus you learn a bit of baseball rules on the side.

Cross Game's also another good starter sports anime. It's more on the slice of life/romance side. A lot of fans are into stuff like Clannad: AS, Angel Beats, Ano Hana, Nagi no Asukara, One Week Friends AKA feels-anime so Cross Game is a great choice for someone looking for a sobfest.

Another feels-anime with sports is Major. The first six episodes of the first season is absolutely perfect and it pulls you into the series right away. Although it's a major (lol) sports series, as in it's very sporty and not much anything else, it's amazing.

Last edited by meepsheeps on Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 12 Jan 2014
Posts: 33
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:09 pm Reply with quote
I usually don't watch sports anime but I am really enjoying Haikyuu and Chihayafuru is one of the best anime ever. I'd recommend both to people who are not even sports anime fans. Now I definitely need to check out Ping Pong and Yowamushi Pedal. Thanks Bamboo!
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