The story is set in August of 2026 at the Fuji Training Facility. Natori Touko, a third-year middle school student in the Eastern Private Defense Academy, is entrenched in field training with instructor Kamiya. It has been a harsh training regiment, but it is finally the last day. Kamiya proposes a extracurricular class under the name Newest Weapons Research. But then, an incident occurs that rocks all of Japan.
I thought that I should write a review about this anime, since it has an interesting premise. There's not much to say about the anime, but I will elaborate why my interests were attained during the course of this short work of anime.
Being a 5 episode anime, with 4 minutes in each episode the story definitely wasn't there. It had an interesting backstory, and it seemed the anime was created with the thought that it would be completed. The anime contained many plot holes which would probably have been explained in later episodes if there were any. The lack of story/ story development and
the amount of plot holes forces me to give the story a 2/10, despite it's intriguing backstory.
One of the highlights of this anime was the detail and art style of this anime. The art was simply breath-taking and not something you would see in many anime today, which was somewhat surprising considering the anime only had 5 episodes (of 4 minutes each). The animations were fluid, and quite frankly the characters had some interesting designs. Because of such a limited time-span, I was unable to give a score higher than 8, given time, I'd probably give it a 9/10.
Don't misunderstand the 4/10. The anime had some great moments with the sound and music, but being such a short piece of work, it was hard to give it a high score. To be perfectly honest, I was quite impressed by its smooth integration of music. It was a shame that it ended with only a 4/10, if the anime had a more time, it would have been interesting to see how much was added and how well it was integrated. If the sound quality was continued in future episodes, the score would definitely be up in the 7 or 8 range.
The anime severely lacked any character development, and its perfectly understandable. After being introduced to over 10 characters it's amazing how we even manage to understand and perceive certain aspects of the characters personality and traits within 20 minutes. Despite this, none of the characters were develop and we have no clue who is 'good' and who is 'bad', this is not necessarily bad if it was intended to blur the lines between good and bad, but within the 20 minutes, it is very unclear whether or not this was intended and even if it was, it was lacking too much character development.
Despite such negativity, I found myself to enjoy the anime quite some bit. Honestly I didn't expect much coming into this anime, but it was only 20 minutes so I thought I might as well watch it. Needless to say, I was not disappointed and quite happy that I made the decision to watch it.
The anime had its many flaws but it had great potential. This anime was unique in many ways and anime of today lack such aspects which uniquely and daringly pushes itself outside the box to differentiate itself from today's standards.
The backstory was definitely what actually made me finish this show. It quickly explores the impact of death, which was quite important as (to be perfectly honest) anime, especially those today do not even dare touch on this. We all agree that SAO could have been something truly amazing, but lost its impact very early in. What made SAO such a success was the psychological aspects and the impact of death on the characters. Death was a very real thing in SAO, which was something that it should have revolved around, instead it quickly changes into a typical romance with beautiful art, and unique backstory. Surely enough, SAO is something that I still find myself attached to and that I like it a lot, despite its flaws, I cannot stop liking this anime. Back on topic, Basket Army was an interesting anime and I would like to see more anime take on this train of thought. An anime which explores friendships and bonds between characters through the course of their training, then those characters are thrown into the midst of war and slowly, the characters die off and it is clear that death is very real, that even the viewer can see and feel it. Nevertheless it is quite amazing how something so short (20 minutes) can earn itself a 4/10 for its overall score, it is something to be proud of despite its low score.
Busou Chuugakusei: Basket Army. What is this little obscure ONA with 4 minute episodes, you ask? That is a very good question, and I have no clue.
I think Busuo Chuugakusei is supposed to be about a group of 8 middle school students fighting off some sort of evil military group from their school. I think, as this show never tells you. Apparently based off of a novel, Busuo Chuugakusei is more or less a series of short stories as these random group of kids fight against... Whatever... Actually, they don't even fight at all. It's more or less their daily life in this random school
as they clean their guns and do... I don't know.
Busou Chuugakusei's biggest flaw is that it wants to do too much in a short amount of time, but it ends up doing nothing in a short amount of time. We're introduced to eight, eight characters in the first episode, with little slides with a narration by the main character (?) telling us some random fact about them and their names. And the next episode? Introduces like, three bad guys. WHO NEVER GET MENTIONED AGAIN! They waste a whole episode badly introducing a group of people who play no role in the story. Why do we need that? Why couldn't they have showed us more of the daily life of the main eight instead of trying to show us some sort of story it never explains? The last episodes are just slice-of-life stuff. While it is nice to watch, I had no clue who any of these people were supposed to be, which really takes away from the enjoyment. Most of the main eight barely even get any screen-time. Only like, half of them even do anything!
The animation is actually very nice, with cute character designs, really neat CGI, and a resemblance of a budget. While it does have perhaps one two many pan outs, it's very well animated compared to most ONAs. The backgrounds are kinda blah though, but hey. The music is also good enough too, and the voice acting is very good.
I did enjoy Busou Chuugakusei a whole lot as it does do a good job on the slice-of-life parts, but it just does not do anything with its' plot at all, and having no clue what was going on takes away form the experience. Overall, I give Busou Chuugakusei: Basket Army a score of 6 and a recommendation to not watch it.
If you looked at the title and were hoping for a basketball team rising up in revelution against the evil student coucil like I did you will be disappointed. Jokes aside though that would have actually been a much better show. WTF did I just watch?! Is the only way I can describe this anime and trust me you will have the same reaction. The story is there are armed kids for some reason and there are bad guys with guns killing them. After every episode you will think WTF was that?! The "story" makes absolutely no sense and you will not be able to
follow it at all. There are 3 random bad guys at one point and honestly I don't even know if they fought the main characters or not. Each episode is 4 min long and there are 5 of them (the final episode is hard to find by the way) so you would think they would pump everything into a fun, fast paced little action series, instead you get 5 episodes with dialogue that doesn't make any sense, with characters that are boring and a little bit of action which is REPEATED throughout the show. The characters are not characters, they are cardboard cutouts with no personality. However I suggest you watch it since it will only take 20 mins of your time and you will laugh out loud at how utterly ridiculous it is. I can only imagine how much fun this show is when you're piss drunk.
Before I start this, please note that I have not watched the fifth episode because it is impossible to find anywhere on the Internet with English subtitles, and I cannot speak Japanese. However, I have read that it more or less sums up the nothingness that happens in the first four episodes.
Story: 2/10 - Dreadful
This anime has a concept, but no real story. There are kids with guns and three bad guys that want to kill them because they have some weapon or something. The point is, I don't know what happened. The episodes are too short, and there aren't enough to make a decent
Art: 7/10 - Good
The art was fairly good, I suppose that the good thing about having shorter episodes is that they have more time to work on the visuals. The character design wasn't half-bad and there are a few nice views in the time you spend watching.
Sound - 6/10 - Fair
The sound was a nice addition to the artwork, and helped to set the scene. My only issue is that in one of the episodes, half of it is a school choir or something? I don't really know. The music was not outstanding, and I will not remember it in an hour's time.
Character 2/10 - Dreadful
Episode 1 introduces your to eight characters, along with a random fact that 'reflect their personality'. It's great to give your characters individual personalities, but most were only honoured with a name and fact, because they didn't get any more screen-time other than the odd chat. The worst part about this is that the 'main character' that introduces all these people probably gets the least screen time. What?
The second episode introduces you to three 'bad guys' whom you never see again. Why?
Enjoyment: 5/10 - Mediocre
It was kind of enjoyable because it's something that didn't take long to watch, or any effort. The problem is that these characters and the storyline were so poor due to a lack of time that I couldn't get engrossed.
Overall 4/10 - Decent
This anime is watchable, but don't get too frustrated when you can't find episode 5 online, and if you do find it, send it to me so I can spend five minutes trying to figure out if I wasted 25 minutes or not.