The Spring 2023 Anime Preview Guide
Birdie Wing -Golf Girls' Story- Season 2
How would you rate episode 14 of
Birdie Wing -Golf Girls' Story- (TV 2) ?
Community score: 4.3
What is this?
Bandai Namco Pictures describes the anime as a youth story centering on two young women golfers named Eve and Aoi Amawashi. The two come from completely different backgrounds, and have the completely opposite play styles, and together they will shake the world of golf.
Birdie Wing -Golf Girls' Story- Season 2 is an original anime and streams on Crunchyroll on Fridays.
How was the first episode?
Heck yes, Birdie Wing is back on the green, with more multi-colored magic bullet golf swings than either Eve or Aoi could shake a club at. I know I'm not alone when I say that this ridiculous golf-crime drama/sports epic/lesbian romance extravaganza was one of the most pleasant surprises of last year. I'm happy to be back in the thick of this wonderfully stupid (and stupidly wonderful) show. The real question is whether Birdie Wing, an anime whose appeal is rooted in its commitment to inappropriately excessive yet delightfully absurd golf melodrama, will be able to keep up the momentum for another full season.
By the looks of this premiere, I think the answer is at least a strong “Probably!” There is nothing here to indicate that the series will ever win over folks that didn't pick up what Eve and Aoi were putting down last year, but everything that the show did well before is on full display in Birdie Wing's latest chapter. Aoi is down so goddamned bad for her blonde rival, and Eve continues to find new and creative ways to hit a golf ball really, really hard (but not too hard). Our girls' opponents are a pair from Koran Academy who have a whole other anime's-worth of emotional backstory that they're dealing with themselves, which we learn through many flashbacks. Ijima's got a chip on her shoulder thanks to a beef she has with Coach Amuro about relying too much on her Magic Golf Powers, while her loyal but less-skilled partner Iseshiba is just trying to keep the team from falling apart when Ijima's ambition begins to exceed her grasp.
It's solid stuff, and the show benefits from the baseline level of comedy that comes from characters acting so freaking serious when they're just standing on the green and, you know, hitting golf balls. When you couple it with some twisty turns involving Eve's lost memories of her parents, with some hints of her relationship with Aoi that makes me think that some viewers are going to be demanding that Birdie Wing start tagging its kinks, this is the kind of nonsense that we come to Birdie Wingto revel in, and I'm dying to see where the show goes from here.
The first season of Birdie Wing just kind of ended. There was no big climax—neither physical nor emotional. We were left right in the middle of the rising action, with Aoi and Eve yet to face either of the two groups of girls set up to be their rivals.
This episode continues from that one with Eve and Aoi easily smashing their opponents—though a stray rock prevents Aoi from getting her kiss from Eve. And while Eve and Aoi are present throughout the episode, it's not really about them. They don't even seem to care much about the Koran team they are facing—and are perfectly happy to play the villain role in the Koran girls' story. This makes sense—especially for Eve. Her entire way of playing golf is solely built around mentally destroying her opponent—throwing them off their game with a mixture of amazing golf and psychological jabs.
On the Koran side of things, Iijima is out to prove that her old coach, Amuro, was wrong about her. Iijima can have perfect focus—to shut everything out and make a perfectly planned shot. The problem is that it's mentally taxing. Amuro wanted her to focus on her fundamentals—to be as good as possible normally so she only needed to use “in the zone” on special occasions. Iijima, however, wanted to focus only on what made her unique—so when Amuro left her school for Aoi's, she and her new coach did just that. This whole episode is her trying to prove to Amuro how wrong he was. As we see in this episode, the problem is that he wasn't.
Meanwhile, Ijima's partner, Iseshiba, is dealing with the pressure of being your team's weak link. While she's not bad on any level—and is a monster on the green—she's playing with three of the greatest players of her generation. She wants nothing more than to stand on their level—which means she is putting an insane amount of pressure on herself. And honestly, she rises to meet the challenges set before her, even making up for Ijima's overuse of “in the zone.” But unfortunately, that's not enough to overcome the utter insanity that is Eve's golf.
For all rights and purposes, this episode feels like the climax we were supposed to get at the end of season one. It's got it all: Crazy golf shots, tons of drama surrounding the Koran girls, and a shocking revelation that implies Eve and Aoi might be even more connected than we thought. Birdie Wing is back, and I am here for it!
With Birdie Wing's return, we can at last say that the Spring 2023 anime season has truly begun. Of course, even by the standards of split-up anime seasons, this premiere is shamelessly picking up precisely where its previous season left off. We're right in the middle of a high school doubles tournament, anxiously waiting to see if Aoi will achieve her dream of a mistake-manifested makeout session with Eve or if a stray rock will scuttle those ambitions on the course. The latter is, sadly, what happens before the show formally heralds its return with that infamous "PENIS LIFE" opener, but even then, the tone is well established. Golf is back, baby.
The secret sauce of Birdie Wing was how it executed its momentum even after moving on from that initial insane life-or-death underground golf mafia arc that grabbed us all so hard at the beginning. A high-school golf competition can be every bit as engaging with the proper framing. So amid Eve and Aoi's current showdown with the Shizuoka team, we get serious-minded flashbacks to Golf Amuro confiding in Eve about his previous experiences against Golf Char, AKA Leo. He references Eve's "Killed in golf" phrase that got meme'd on so hard last season; this show fully knows what it's doing now. Yes, it might be enough for any other "craaaazy" anime to couch Iijima's ability to get "in the zone" as a genuine shonen battle superpower. But only Birdie Wing will have her deploy a differently color-coded Super Saiyan 2 version of that technique as a late-episode power-up surprise.
It's the kind of cackle-worthy content that always made every episode of Birdie Wing immediate-release viewing for me, even as it can't keep that kind of momentum up across an entire run-time. In between intercut golf battle backstories and indications of Aoi's barely contained Eve thirst, this season premiere does coast a bit on shots of "normal" play and an interstitial jazzy golf montage. Sure, peaks and valleys are important to the sense of wild ambition for any series with this sort of tone, but for just a minute there, it can feel like Birdie Wing might be running out of gas.
But of course, this is Birdie Wing, a series with apparent disregard for the "rules" of both golf and storytelling, so it throws the ending credits out six minutes early to restart its momentum as an extra-long escalating sequence of increasingly absurd cliffhangers. Sure, Aoi hasn't gotten to do much this episode beyond pine for her dirtbag lesbian doubles partner, but it's still an attention-getting swerve when she succumbs to some Golf Anemia we hadn't been privy to before. And that's before it drops the real hook for the rest of the season, Eve unlocking her new power-up while unlocking secret memories hinting at the kind of familial plot twist we were all expecting out of this show at some point. How this will play out, how the series will handle it, and a week's worth of anticipation are back to hold us captivated. That's Birdie Wing.
Disclosure: Bandai Namco Filmworks Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings Inc., is a non-controlling, minority shareholder in Anime News Network Inc.
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