Teekyuu is all about the wacky antics of four schoolgirls—Kanae Shinjou gets bored easily and often breaks the laws of physics to get what she wants; Nasuno Takamiya is incredibly rich and knows how to make things go her way; Marimo Bandou would probably get arrested from her actions like eating panties or kidnapping children; and Yuri Oshimoto, their ordinary junior, rounds out the eccentric bunch that forms the sole members of their school's tennis club.
Despite their interest in learning the sport, the older girls prefer messing around, while Yuri, being the only one who actually knows how to play and the most mature in spite of being younger, has to deal with her seniors' out of control behavior.
When these four girls come together, insanity ensues in this lightning-paced comedy about a tennis club that doesn't really play tennis.
If you're smoking too much SHAFT anime and can't stand normal anime (e.g. non-SHAFT animes), watch Teekyuu. It's about a bunch of girls on crack playing tennis. The director's the same guy who did Ben-To and also did some episodes of TTGL. So you know it's gonna be absurd to the max.
And what does the show make you feel after you finish 12 episodes of greatness?
It's kind of like a gentle wind.
It's kind of like a delicious rice cake.
It's kind of like a clamorous city.
It's kind of like a precious everyday.
That's how awesome Teekyuu is. Smoke Teekyuu everyday, people.
How can you review an anime where each episode is only 2 minutes? Very briefly of course!
Judging by the cover,Teekyuu seems like a typical "slice of life" anime about a girl's tennis team. The kind of anime that fans of the genre call, "cute girls doing cute things". However, it is actually a profoundly unfunny attempt to spoof those types of anime in the same way that Kill la Kill spoofs fighting shonen series and Panty and Stocking spoofs intentionally offensive American gross out cartoons. This means that Teekyuu's method of spoofing is of course to take as many cliches from the target genre as
possible and cramming them into 2 minute chunks. If you would ever like to see what would happen if the director of Kill la Kill and Panty and Stocking decided to direct Lucky Star, then THIS is the series for you!
The fact that Teekyuu's writing and style of spoofing so closely resembles the works of Imaishi Hiroyuki isn't a coincidence. The director of this series is named Shin Itagaki and he was a co-worker of Hiroyuki's at Studio Gainax and worked directly under him in the production of Panty and Stocking. Itagaki then left Studio Gainax at about the same time Hiroyuki left to found the studio Trigger. The difference between Teekyuu and Kill la Kill is that Hiroyuki has control of Trigger and was able to spend a considerable amount of his new studio's budget on things like decent animation, a decent soundtrack, editing, LOTS of marketing and hyping etc. Hiroyuki also had the huge advantage of name recognition and a cult following who were going to eat up his next series basically no matter what he did. On the other hand, Itagaki has no name recognition and lacks a faithful following. He is the Yotaphone up against Hiroyuki's Apple Iphone. Another problem is that Itagaki does NOT have any control over the budget of the studio he works for (MAPPA). Studio MAPPA spends virtually ALL of its budget on Hajime no Ippo: Rising, so this project was basically made on about 50,000$ budget. If Kill la Kill had severe budget constraints, it would be Teekyuu. Therefore a 4/10 quality anime quickly became 2/10 quality.
You would think how unfathomably shitty this anime is would result in it being a failure right? WRONG! The great thing about having no budget, is that with a little luck and perhaps a tad of misleading advertisement, you can make a handsome surplus. Consider that while Big Rigs Over the Road Racing was objectively one of the worst PC games ever made, its tiny budget allowed it to make a shockingly large profit off poor fools who liked truck racing games and picked it up without really knowing anything about it. In the same way, people who love "cute little girl" anime picked up this abomination and it made an absolute mint compared to its almost non-existent budget. It was so successful that MAPPA greenlit seasons 2, 3, 4, and a 5th may be in the works! When utter bullshit with zero budget makes bank thanks to misleading advertisement, that makes me a SAD PANDA! (dated joke is dated)
Short shows that are unaffiliated with a franchise usually do not have the best of reputations save for a few gems such as Tsumiki no Ie. The latest and not-so-well received horror short animated by DEEN – Pupa, may be suffering from special circumstances, but it exemplifies a wider problem encompassing the vast majority of shows following the format. The time constrictions set inevitable restrictions on storytelling, characterization, and atmosphere building. Most short shows, rather than adapting to these limitations, simply adhere to the timeframe by limiting their content. The works produced as such imminently end
up wretchedly banal, etiolated in nuance, and ultimately completely forgettable. Few shows manage to overcome this problem, much less turn it into an advantage. Teekyuu achieves the latter; it is a pinnacle among comedy shorts that wouldn’t come out as superbly in any other format.
Teekyuu is essentially a short and crazy comedy show which follows four girls and their daily lives in the tennis club. Note that I use the terms “story”, “daily lives” and “tennis club” loosely as the story is practically a nonentity; their daily lives are not just ordinary daily lives; and the girls seem to, save for a few rare occasions, do anything but tennis. Note that by “anything”, I really mean a whole damn lot of things. Each episode is two minutes long and almost all of them follow an episodic approach with no connections between them other than the basic premise. This episodic formula synergizes seamlessly with the short timeframe and works wonders for the series. If there is one phrase which desbribes Teekyuu, it would be “refreshingly bizarre”. Over time, novelty may wear off and quirkiness lose its impact, but Teekyuu keeps itself a fresh by consisting of short episodes which constantly introduce new and creative absurdities strongly redolent of Gintama and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. What is rather unique for Teekyuu, however, is its extremely fast and adrenaline-inducing pace: the events and dialogues are more overwhelming than the monologues of The Tatami Galaxy’s protagonist or the scientific gibberish uttered in NERV command center. The short length of each episode works to the show’s benefit in numerous ways: it continually provides room for new scenarios, offers a break from the show’s intensity, and prevents itself from feeling dragged out. As there is no overarching plotline, no time is wasted on weaving a coherent narrative and all efforts are poured into squeezing the maximum amount of creativity and absurdity into the little time that is available.
Such unconventional and ineffable qualities as explained above are not suitably expressed through descriptions. An example would more accurately demonstrate the true nature of Teekyuu: take our tennis club members, put KFC’s Colonel Sanders in the team, pitch them in a baseball game against the baseball club in a competition over the possession of the tennis court, throw in some former major league players and an Apache helicopter, have one team’s capitulation be followed by the opposing team’s disqualification, make all of this happen in slightly over two minutes, and we have ourselves a standard episode of Teekyuu.
Teekyuu’s main cast consists of four simple characters built from only three stereotypes: the crazily energetic and goofy type, the rich and seemingly demure type, and the straight man type. These archetypes are not developed upon, but are each severely distorted by the ludicrous style of the series. The characters are packed with so many quirks and are placed into such bizarre scenarios that despite all of them being stereotypical and undeveloped, their interactions and antics are crazily dynamic to say the least. After three seasons, I myself only know them as the crazy pink haired girl, the crazy blue haired girl, the rich brown haired girl and purple haired straight man girl. The characters are not particularly memorable individually, but are together as a group utterly unforgettable. Deep character development and edifying insight is not Teekyuu’s essence, and it wastes none of its already restricted time on what it wouldn’t benefit from.
Standalone TV shorts are in general not particularly rewarding for the producers and consequently tend to suffer from poor production values. Produced by the rather obscure studio MAPPA, Teekyuu is no exception to this. It does do, however, a splendid job with what it has through sheer resourcefulness. Budget on the animation is dramatically cut back on in favour of making the art look lively and reasonably detailed with a vividly colourful palette. The results of this is its choppy and repetitive animation with an exceedingly goofy and bombastic appearance which in actuality enhances the raw and absurd atmosphere of the series. The background music and sound effects are, much like the animation, of poor quality while not hampering the viewers’ enjoyment of the show. The music is awfully generic and almost unnoticeable beyond its unconscious atmosphere building, but it is ultimately absolved as the constant chatter easily overshadows any music that may be playing. The exaggerated and cheesy sound effects used in the show may sound cheap, but they are executed flawlessly and become beneficial for its comedic feel. In addition to the background sounds, each episode is equipped with a 30-seconds opening song. Each season uses a different opening song and each of them manages to perfectly capture the essence of the show. They are simple, bizarre, ridiculous, and overly energetic, which really helps immerse the viewer in the right mood for the intense absurdity that is to follow.
At the time of writing, Teekyuu has aired three seasons for a total of almost 40 episodes. Keeping a gag show fresh for so long is a feat in and of itself, but what is far more remarkable is how it keeps becoming better. The series is crazily bizarre from episode one; but looking back at season one has made me realize just how relatively tame it is compared to its sequels. Much like JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Teekyuu constantly finds fresh ways to one-up itself. The series undergoes a gradual escalation from school club comedy to encountering extraterrestrial visitors or inter-dimensional travel into a game world where upon completion one returns to the original world with a physically fit body. Tact, subtlety, and physical laws become entirely disregarded in favour of pure fun and entertainment.
Admittedly, I have a certain tendresse for this show and my bias shines right through this entire review. Comedy is impossible to review objectively to begin with, if such a thing as objectivity even exists. All I know for sure is that if you like bizarreness and don’t find enjoyment to be a non-factor in viewing anime, giving the show a try wouldn’t hurt. After all, plowing through this review takes longer time than actually watching an episode or two. Teekyuu will not be everyone’s cup of tea - it is absurd, immature, playful, and ultimately falls under the brainless entertainment category, albeit the extremely fun type of brainless entertainment.
But are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?
Tennis has been around in anime for some time now, but the number of series dedicated to it are surprisingly low. In the following list, we'll take a look at five popular tennis anime, including not only iconic classics, but also some newbie gems!
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