Based on the Adachi manga of the same name. The story revolves around a romantic triangle formed by the girl Minatsu Nakazato, a young student and softball player; Shu Akiba, a schoolmate; and Naoto Kadomatsu, an up-and-coming boxer. In reality the three-way relationship is more like three-and-a-half, considering that Naoto is in love with Maria... actually Minatsu herself, who'd once disguised herself to escape some evildoers.
All of life’s trivial quarrels can be solved with a simple bet. Well that seems to be the motto, this terribly old-fashioned anime follows. If you’re not into sports anime where there’s always something trivial at stake then it’s best to steer clear of this one.
Slow Step is yet another Sports, Drama from the legendary mangaka Mitsuru Adachi. A man known for creating the classic sports manga Touch, which spawn a hefty number of anime adaptations. This time round the sport of choice is softball, where Nakasato Minatsu is the ace of her High School’s softball team. I would go into how it follows the
classic sports drama formula (the underdog team) but in Slow Step the real story lies in the Romantic, Comedy side of things. In the beginning it’s already established that Nakasato is sort of seeing her childhood friend however by some weird circumstances she ends up in a love triangle. Well I say weird because the root of this love triangle dilemma is none other than one of the most widely used clichés (mistaken identity) and from there this series, which initially showed so much promise, gradually diminishes into something far less enjoyable. Not only that but when things sort of become a love pentagon, hexagon, whatever… chances are you’ll stop caring about the outcome.
I wouldn’t really blame anyone for not caring about the romantic outcome, since the characters range from a bunch of immature selfish kids to some really old-fashioned adults. I understand that this was based in the 80’s but when the only appealing character is a typical delinquent student, then that’s saying something.
The art style also reflects the time period it was based on, with stubby appearances and bean shaped heads. At times it does show off some great animation, especially during the games, but these moments are few and far in between. Same can be said about the soundtrack, there were a few good tunes here and there but they’re just a few of them and the same old ones were constantly repeated.
Overall just like the titles says, Slow Step is slow in advancing its romantic plot and any real advancement is due to the sports side of things, where it all comes down to a simple bet. The sports element was interesting, especially when it also went into boxing but don’t expect anything on the level of Hajime no Ippo. With that said, this turned out to be an unsatisfactory anime. Even with five 45min episodes, absolutely nothing was resolved but keep in mind that I didn’t find it a completely wasteful experience.
Put on those boxing gloves, and step into the ring. We're going to take a look at some of the most intense and enjoyable boxing anime and manga in existence. Are you tough enough to handle these knock-out titles?