Forum - View topic
EP. REVIEW: The Gymnastics Samurai


Goto page 1, 2  Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
#Synaesthesia



Joined: 30 Jan 2019
Posts: 85
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:43 pm Reply with quote
I'm really liking this series so far. But am I the only one that gets transgender vibes from Leo? I might be overanalyzing a bit, but I wouldn't be surprised if he turned out to be a trans man.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Yttrbio
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 09 Jun 2011
Posts: 3269
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:57 pm Reply with quote
I'm glad someone finds the weirdness endearing. For my part, the ninja and talking bird are obstacles to an otherwise incredibly interesting and charming story, and assuming the focus is going to move towards the rest of the cast, I might be forced off the viewing train by it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2810
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:36 pm Reply with quote
Yttrbio wrote:
I'm glad someone finds the weirdness endearing. For my part, the ninja and talking bird are obstacles to an otherwise incredibly interesting and charming story, and assuming the focus is going to move towards the rest of the cast, I might be forced off the viewing train by it.


Yes same for me. I think the weirdness doesn't bother me so much as it feeling like it's not contributing anything. You could seriously cut 100% of Leo appearance in these 2 episodes and the story wouldn't change in the slightest (just have him meet the doctor trough the grandma since that's essentially how he met him anyway). He just feel like he's there to pad the running time so you get 22 min every episodes, a filler character. At first I though they'd have Jotaro become Leo coach (going from samurai gymnast to ninja gymnast) but no, he's just... there. Oh and he always has his ninja hat on, weeeeeeh so funny.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
njprogfan
Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire


Joined: 08 Feb 2007
Posts: 717
Location: A River Named Toms
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:55 pm Reply with quote
Man, I thought Toradora had the ugliest freakin' bird, but damn....!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9212
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 2:19 am Reply with quote
I like the show a lot. I like Jotaro. I like Leo. I even like Rei, to my surprise. I don't like Dr. Stereotype. And I really, really don't like the hideous and hideously annoying bird which utterly ruins whatever vibe might be going on whenever it crashes the scene. It seems like most of Rei's lines are, "Bigbird, shut up!" If only.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
Posts: 3022
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:37 am Reply with quote
I really want to like this show but it's really hard for me to invest in a show that's actively promoting acupuncture as a legitimate field of medicine and I'm not particularly fond of how they made the acupuncturist a dated gay stereotype either and I wasn't fond of the round about way they went to communicate to the MC that he has serious shoulder injuries.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 4861
Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:53 pm Reply with quote
I can’t believe I’m the first one to mention how this show is exactly like Yuri!! On Ice on this thread. Retiring athlete in an Olympic sport? Quirky foreigner who inserts himself in his life, seemingly out of nowhere, to cheer him on and encourage him to keep going? Teenaged rival who wants to force him out through sheer force of being grumpy and critical? Even quirkier side characters? Check, check, check, check! They added a daughter and a late wife, and switched out the cute dog for an ugly bird, but this is on-point.

I could have done without the gay harassment and wish he were a physical therapist rather than an alternative medicine acupuncturist, but his advice of rest and lighter exercise was solid.

As for Leo, I’m sure they’ll be backstory there. He obviously has gymnastics skill and knew exactly who Jotaro was when he saw him and tagged along on purpose to be with him. I’m thinking we haven’t gotten the full story yet because he’s not fluent in Japanese and he’s hiding something (that he’s a foreign competitor?). And the rival kid has a story, too. He needs to loosen up by series end, and I’m looking forward to it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2810
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:55 pm Reply with quote
The show is obvious trying to emulate the success of Yuri on ice, but I think it does it so poorly it's insulting to YoI to compare them. For example my biggest problem with this week episode is that Jotaro, a veteran of the sport, seems more like a starting amateur than anything. He doesn't know his competition and need a training montage, seemingly because he wasn't in shape before?

These are necessary elements, in that you need the hero to start at the bottom of his career to justify him climbing up. But YoI did this so much better, Yuri obviously knew most of his competition, on a first name basis in many cases which helped sell the fact that he was a professional. To justify his "powering up" they had him change coach and routine strategy, explaining why he'd be competitive now. Here Jotaro has his old coach, who apparently never even bothered to take him to physiotherapist, and he "rebuild" his body... whatever that mean? What where they doing before? The sorta answer they had to this before was that Jotaro was over training, but you don't fix over training by showing a training montage... So now I have no idea why Jotaro is any better than he was before, he's not getting any younger and injury leave scares. Maybe if they expanded that aspect, with some sort of explanation that before they were going for a more lean build and now they should try to focus more on muscle and change his routine accordingly, but nope, training montage, eye of the tiger and all.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
#Synaesthesia



Joined: 30 Jan 2019
Posts: 85
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:55 pm Reply with quote
did anyone else notice that the song during the training montage was just Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone" but with a different vocal track?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 4861
Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:34 pm Reply with quote
I hear you, meiam, but while montages are usually a bit silly and unrealistic, my admittedly non-athletic take on this episode’s use of one was that it was justified because
1. Jotaro was getting back in shape after recovering from an injury
2. His coach developed a new routine refocusing on basics after years of an emphasis on specialty moves
I handwaved Jotaro not knowing who Minamino was because being oblivious is part of his character and I get the impression he’s been in the game so long he doesn’t pay attention to his competitors. Maybe he never has—gymnastics is an individual scored sport, and all we’ve seen from his flashbacks is how Jotaro was motivated to succeed by his supporters (notably his wife and daughter) and the medals he won, not by competition. I suspect Leo is a rival that Jotaro doesn’t recognize, too.

Which brings me to the theory that Minamino is a tsundere just craving for senpai to notice him and take him seriously—why else would he use Jotaro’s signature move?

I agree with Christopher that the show explained gymnastics well and set up the duel as exciting competition. I just hope we get deeper characterization and background for Leo and Minamino soon. They are essential to Jotaro’s motivation, so it’s important that they don’t stay cardboard ciphers for long. I personally wouldn’t mind if the story traded a little of its wacky antics to give Leo more depth.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Black_Kenshi



Joined: 24 Nov 2013
Posts: 14
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:51 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
The show is obvious trying to emulate the success of Yuri on ice, but I think it does it so poorly it's insulting to YoI to compare them. For example my biggest problem with this week episode is that Jotaro, a veteran of the sport, seems more like a starting amateur than anything. He doesn't know his competition and need a training montage, seemingly because he wasn't in shape before?

These are necessary elements, in that you need the hero to start at the bottom of his career to justify him climbing up. But YoI did this so much better, Yuri obviously knew most of his competition, on a first name basis in many cases which helped sell the fact that he was a professional. To justify his "powering up" they had him change coach and routine strategy, explaining why he'd be competitive now. Here Jotaro has his old coach, who apparently never even bothered to take him to physiotherapist, and he "rebuild" his body... whatever that mean? What where they doing before? The sorta answer they had to this before was that Jotaro was over training, but you don't fix over training by showing a training montage... So now I have no idea why Jotaro is any better than he was before, he's not getting any younger and injury leave scares. Maybe if they expanded that aspect, with some sort of explanation that before they were going for a more lean build and now they should try to focus more on muscle and change his routine accordingly, but nope, training montage, eye of the tiger and all.

I guess it has something to do with the fact that I'm going through a similar situation that I'm able to view this episode in a more positive light. I've been practicing Kendo for 17 years now and I'm currently been dealing with issues in my shoulder, back and ankles that most certainly weren't there in my late teens and early 20s. If I keep going at it the way I've always done it, then it's just going to be a long journey of injuries that will do nothing but hinder my progress as I approach my late 30s.

As for the training montage, the goal wasn't for Jotaro to get better. The goal was to actually get him to the point where he can do gymnastics routines and not get injured while doing it. When it comes to dealing with injuries and degeneration due to age, a lot more care needs to be taken to train those small, supporting muscles that give support to the muscles that do the work so that you can heal and prevent injuries. That fact is something that's easy for the most seasoned athletes to forget since there isn't a lot of visual or ability changes that can be easily seen when training those larger, more commonly known muscles. Maybe it's due to my bias and life experiences, but I think that point was clear in the dialogue. The final point I can make on this is that the sudden montage compared to what was done before was because there was a clear goal for Jotaro and friends to reach for, as opposed to the aimless training muscles sometimes and completely getting training routines wrong that happens when the goal is to just "get better".

#Synaesthesia wrote:
did anyone else notice that the song during the training montage was just Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone" but with a different vocal track?

You're not the only one. That synthesized drum beat really made that clear to me as well.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2810
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:04 am Reply with quote
This episode did nothing to change my feeling that Leo is just the filler character there to pad out the episode count in a way that doesn't require drawing more labour intensive gymnastic routines. Was this supposed to be some sort of 10 minutes show that got hastily extended to full length late in the process?

Unrelated, but I just realized how bummed out the production committee must have been when the 2020 Olympic got delayed, they were probably counting on those to help the show along coming out right after them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 4861
Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 11:22 pm Reply with quote
^They were totally hoping to have this series coincide with the Olympics.

I liked this episode more than the reviewer did. Leo’s devotion to Rei is sweet; Rei’s classmates warming up to Leo and finding him cool was adorable. But I’m still frustrated by Leo’s lack of characterization and Jotaro being kept in the dark on his daughter’s issues. Can he really not take one day off from training?

They better give Leo some backstory soon!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2810
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 1:56 pm Reply with quote
I'm getting increasingly convinced that this show is some sort of re-cut of footage that was going to be used for something completely different (maybe some sort of mini-skit during the Olympic to showcase the various equipments?). You have an entire competition where the main character isn't featured at all! Instead we have a bunch of characters that are literally introduced in this episode who are almost certainly unimportant and all have very bland character design. And about half of it was CG of very poor quality... This is just too weird for it to just be an artistic choice.

Also every episodes before has been entirely focused on bars, but here we have a bunch of different equipment, I didn't even realize that Jotaro was competing in other equipment too, is he even good at those?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
blahmoomoo



Joined: 27 Jan 2020
Posts: 51
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 2:41 pm Reply with quote
It was odd to not show Jotaro at all during the competition, but I guess the idea is that the broadcast didn't really pay attention to him either because the younger competition were the main focus. And based on what the commentators said, he wasn't doing anything particularly special, but he was executing everything with a lot more precision than in recent years. Which would look a bit boring, even if it's technically impressive for his age. And his goal wasn't to win in this competition. I agree that it's a weird decision regardless.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group