Grimm Anime Sports Fans!
How’s it hanging? I hope you’re excited to talk sports anime today. Is funny to me that this has become one of my favorite genres and it all started with Haikyuu! As I anxiously await the fourth season I must fill my time with other sports anime which is what brings us to Days.
Days takes us to Seiseki High School where the Soccer Club has a 50 year tradition of cranking out wins. Even though they have a reputation as a powerhouse school they’ve been unable to make it to Nationals for the past two years. Jin Kazama is a first year soccer playing prodigy who decides to begin his high school playing career at Seiseki High School. On a whim he asks another first year in his class Tsukushi Tsukamoto to join a pick up game with him after school when they fall one short. Tsukamoto has never really been asked to join in like this before really only having had one friend in his life.
He’s moved by Kazama including him and even though he’s never played before resolves to give it his best effort. It is because of this incident he decides to join their high school soccer club with Kazama. While Tsukamoto is leagues behind the rest of them team having only just started playing he is dedicated to working harder than anyone else. As he begins to get to know the other players more and become part of the team his thirst to be valued by the team and not be a burden continues to grow. Tsukamoto has never been part of a team or had friends like this before and is determined to be able to play with them for as long as possible. If that means that the team needs to make it to Nationals than that is exactly what he will work towards.
I like the premise of the show. The fact that Tsukamoto has never played before and doesn’t have some sort of hidden talent for it does make it a bit different from the normal sports anime. Tsukamoto may never be the same type of star player as his friend Kazama who has been gifted by the sport gods but because he is dedicated to improving and willing to put in the work he can become valuable to the team. In this way he reminds me a little of Oikawa from Haikyuu. Oikawa’s biggest asset is his ability to bring out the best in the players around him.
Oikawa is able to bring this out of his team because he works hard to craft his talent and is a solid player. Tsukamoto isn’t quite on Oikawa’s level in that sense yet. In the beginning his hard working attitude brings the best out of other players because in a sense they feel inspired by him. How can they slack off and complain when this little nobody is putting in double the work and can barely kick? As someone who has played sports before I can verify that having an attitude on the team like this is a game changer. You can have the best players in the world but if they don’t mesh together they can be taken down by a team with mostly mediocre players and one or two really good ones.
I have seen sports teams in high school start players over others based on their dedication and attitude. You have a better chance of winning with a player that may not be the best but is willing to work hard and has the ability to influence the mood of the other players in a positive way than a stellar player with a selfish and lazy attitude that creates discord on the team. I thought that Days was a good way to celebrate this particular unsung sports hero.
Even though Days have some really great qualities working for them they also have a lot to work on. The pacing on this show is so weird to me. Everything is happening so quickly it’s really hard to connect with the characters. So many things are glossed over or simple not mentioned at all. For example Tsukamoto’s mother is in a wheel chair and his father died. The anime barely goes into detail about this. This would normally be a pretty important character point. Kazama doesn’t live with his mother and honestly I’m not sure what his housing situation is even after finishing the first season. They “explain” why he doesn’t live with her pretty quickly and frankly it’s not enough for me to sympathize with her. She looks like she just sucks as a mom.
Or this girl character Ubukata who starts out kind of douchey because she’s all, “I wanted to be a writer but I kept getting rejected so now I’m sad about stuff and never write.” And I’m like GIRL you were rejected in JUNIOR HIGH you have so much more life to led! So many more experiences to have that will enhance your writing. There are writers who didn’t get published until their 30’s but you want to cry because you weren’t published at fourteen? Is this real life? How am I supposed to connect to this straight up silliness?
I don’t want to spoil anything for you all but I think you get my drift.
There were times where I confused characters who were on completely different teams simply because not enough information was given about them and I forgot who they were or what they were doing. Honestly it’s heartbreaking because there are actually a lot of characters that I think would be really fun to have more backstory on or to dedicate more time during an episode to. Everything just feel so rushed and crammed together!
I think I might start reading the manga because I have feeling that things are more carved out in the series than they are in the anime. I think the writers of the anime got to concerned with how many episodes they had to work with in one season and tried to squeeze way to many aspects of the plot all at once. I was hoping that it would continue with a second season and by that point they might have learned to slow down the writing. Of course that isn’t the case! Instead of having a season 2 the series ends with a few OVAs. I haven’t watched them yet but I guess that’s better than nothing. Some anime never get any sort of ending.
If you’re looking for a sports anime that you don’t have to take to seriously than I feel you could enjoy this. It did make me laugh but again I feel like I couldn’t really bond with the characters with how quickly things were moving so the sad moments just weren’t that sad. I was basically like, “Oh to bad- wait who were you again? Why should I feel sad for you?” It kind of takes away from the vibe of the show.
This isn’t an anime I’ll watch over and over again but it was interesting to watch while it lasted and if I ever get the chance to watch the OVAs I will. I do plan on checking out the first few volumes of the manga though. I’m curious is the manga written the way the anime as? With everything happening so briskly? I’ll let you know when I find out!
Have you ever watched this anime? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!
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