Aikawa Kazuhiko was the captain of Tendoji high school prestigious basketball team. He moves into a new town to attend Mizuho high school and joins its basketball team. However, Mizuho high's basketball team is far from being prestigious, in fact, it's now defunct. Nevertheless to say, Kazuhiko's persistence, passion and basketball skills inspired other team members of the dysfunctional basketball team to gear up and start practicing again.
The goal is to play in the national tournaments where all young basketball players meet their opponents to compete with them. The tale of youth of the five protagonists: Fujiwara Takumi, Ishii Tsutomu, Dobashi Kenji, Miura Ranmaru and Aikawa Kazuhiko have just began along with the live of Mizuho high school basketball team.
The animation was acceptable, but got worse towards the end. Eyes that didn&rsquo;t match, weird or wrong faces (and why did the girls look so much like boys with long hair?). The background was plain. The basketball actions weren&rsquo;t drawn very well, sometimes making you wonder what they were doing and half of the time you didn&rsquo;t really get how they got past their defenders. As for the OP and ED, they were pretty bad.
This was very well done. Most (not all) of the voices were really good and were nicely complementing their personalities. The sounds were what you would expect, not extraordinary
but not horrible either, just average. The music during episodes was also very good, the music you needed during the scene was used, and I was enjoying it. But again, the OP and ED were bad (that&rsquo;s a matter of taste though).
The typical high-school sports story: Trying to win the nationals. It wasn&rsquo;t really astonishing, but there was a little originality in the story. There was no basketball team to begin with (it was suspended from the tournament for one year). Because of that all the senpais quit the team and only 4 players remained. Then one extra player (Aikawa), a transfer student, came and the team was reborn.
The five main characters were nice, but nothing special. You&rsquo;ll see a little about their background, about what happened to the former basketball team or why Aikawa transferred to their school, but it wasn&rsquo;t anything impressive. Only three of them made real development, trying to get a little closer to Aikawa, while the other two (Aikawa and Taku) made almost no progress.
The other, less important (or not important at all) characters weren&rsquo;t very good. The girls, from the girls basketball team, were more of a support for the five (main) boys than that they hade a real personality. The opponents weren&rsquo;t good either. They were almost the same as the five main boys, except for the team aces and captains. The only difference was their look.
A couple of the characters started, or made progress with, their relationship with each other. The friendly relationships between the team players (from both the main team as well as their opponents) were pretty nice to see and made the basketball games more enjoyable, while the romantic relationships hade nothing to do with the story and weren&rsquo;t really good.
I watched this series for the basketball, but I didn&rsquo;t enjoy it. Mostly because of how the action was animated. During some games you finally got to see some real basketball, but it wasn&rsquo;t much. Most of the time it was just seeing point after point (not much action) and when Mizuho (the main basketball team) was losing, Aikawa would speak to the rest of the team and Mizuho would get fired up, finally starting to play real basketball.
Despite it&rsquo;s flaws (bad animation & a little below-average characters), it had some strong points (very good sound & some nice relationships), which made it a decent (sports) anime. But I would rather (re)watch Slam Dunk which has a better (but older) animation, superb characters, little better story and gives you a better (basketball) enjoyment. And if you have already (re)watched it, you can always read the manga (which is even better in my opinion).
Dear Boys focuses on the main characters and their emotions encompassed around the game of basketball. Hints of comedy and romance are noticed through out the anime. Watching this anime made me realize and appreciate how much more there is to basketball and in fact any team sport in terms of tactics, team spirit and abilities and a mere win or loss in a competition is the end result (though not necessarily a reflection of) after a long journey of physical and emotional challenge within the players.
The characters are well developed and each serves their purpose within the story. The animation though was
a let down but after a while you get a hang of it and end up so engulfed in the plot-line helped with intense background music that complaining about the animation takes a back seat.
Dear Boys is an inspirational anime on the trials and tribulations of the sports world; expect a lot of hard work and sweat as winning is never easy but so worth it in the end!
Apparently dear boys is a pretty good basketball show. But in terms of its animation, it is rather bad, especially when the boys bounces the basketball, it looks kinda out and fake. A short story but could be more detailed like slam dunk. There is said to be a season 2 but no exact release date about it.
Hoop Days was an anime I wasn't expecting much going into. It doesn't have a particularly outstanding score here on MyAnimeList, it's not exactly a new anime and while it may have been my first proper sports anime, I had people left, right and centre telling me that sports anime in general aren't very good. On top of that, the voice actors in the English version were those who work for Blue Water Studios, Ocean Group's cheaper sister studio which isn't exactly known for quality dubbing outside of a couple of notable exceptions (i.e. G Gundam and Cardfight Vanguard.)
With that said, I was pleasantly
surprised from the very first episode with how much I really enjoyed Hoop Days.
The story of Hoop Days is nothing too complex. It's the story of a High School student named Kazuhiko Aikawa and the basketball club of Mizuho high school. To start with, Mizuho only has 4 players, with their captain, Takumi Fujiwara being banned from playing for a year due to punching out the team's coach a year prior. Slowly but surely, however, Aikawa's positive attitude begins to rub off on the rest of the players in the basketball club, and slowly but surely the boys' basketball team gets back together, regains their passion and begins to win games in their quest to be the best basketball team in Japan. Again, nothing too complex, but it works. The characters are so well-written and likable that you genuinely want to root for them to achieve their goals and succeed. Aikawa in particular is such a nice guy that you can't help but feel his positive attitude rub off on you as a viewer.
As far as voice acting goes, I was pleasantly surprised and a little annoyed. Surprised because while I had fears coming in due to my own past negative experiences with Blue Water Studio dubs, they did a really good job dubbing the characters in Hoop Days. Each voice actor was cast appropriately for their character. Mark Gatha in particular turned in another strong performance as Aikawa. The voice acting suited the characters perfectly. On the other hand I was annoyed because as a fan of the Gundam franchise, I wondered where the quality voice acting was in such Blue Water dubs as Zeta Gundam where the voice actors seemed to really phone it in. If they'd been this good in Zeta Gundam, it more than likely wouldn't have left such a sour taste in my mouth. But this isn't a Zeta Gundam review, and I really can't complain about the voice acting in Hoop Days.
Animation-wise? Nothing too spectacular. A lot of gratuitous CG on the basketball during games and the hoop in games, but as the same studio that created Hoop Days created Initial D's anime, it's to be expected. There are a lot of Initial D elements present to be honest. The same goes for the soundtrack. Very urbany, very hip-hoppy and europoppy, nothing that wouldn't sound out of place in Initial D. Failing that, the animation is nothing overly spectacular. If you're expecting high-quality HD-quality animation, you won't find it here. Hoop Days is *definitely* a product of the mid-00's.
All-in-all, Hoop Days is a fun anime. While it may take itself a bit seriously at times, the characters are enjoyable, the story (while simplistic) is enjoyable and the soundtrack and voice acting are very good. If you're looking for an anime full of complex, mind-blowing twists, you won't find it here. But if you're looking for a light-hearted, fun and entertaining sports anime, Hoop Days is a good place to start. At only 24 episodes, it's not overly long either. Highly recommended.
If you are an avid basketball fan or you simply enjoy watching sports anime, then this article is for you. Learn how different anime shows and manga portray different aspects of basketball, what is their focus and why you should check them out.