Two boys, Tachibana and Hiiragi were once brutal rivals in the game of basketball. Hiiragi soon transfers into Tachibana's school and basketball team. They begin as team-mates, but with Hiiragi's family pushing him to play on a better team. Tachibana and Hiiragi must now play against each other.
I'll / CKBC is not your typical sport anime. It's about what all those who play the sport at one time or another ask themselves... for whom or why do I play this sport for?
This OVA is pretty underground having passed by largely unnoticed and will appeal mostly to those who have read the excellent manga by Hiroyuki Asada.
One has to say that this is more drama oriented than sport, but the competitive atmosphere and the dilemma of the characters is something all sport fans have felt.
- ANIMATION -
The animation is fluid and the scenes transpire at a pace fast enough to keep up with.
Both episodes build up to the final match, mixing in flashbacks of the characters' past encounters with the present time. As the anime revolves around a basketball court, the background and surrounding imagery is pretty basic; yet the definition of detail is kept at a good standard. Although there is not much playing action during the anime, the few moments that do, show the typical problem in trying to animate sports play. The speed of the ball dribbling or other player movements are sometimes either too slow or fast for portraying how accurate the realism should be; so you find a lot of slow-motion frames or only upper body shots burdened with dialogue. However, the style of the characters is thankfully kept to that of the manga.
- SOUND -
As far as voices are concerned the japanese dialogue fits well with the characters. One regrets that the background music is not that noticeable, apart from the very addictive closing theme song. The sFX are very good and are what you would expect to hear when playing a basketball match inside a sports hall - a lot of sneaker and friction sounds
- STORY & CHARACTER -
Regretably the storyline is very much restricted as it is only a 2 episode OVA, so in addition the viewer fails to really see the inner conflicts of the main characters and see their paths develop. The character designs seem to focus too much on the stereotypical. Most of the boys are portrayed as attractive and fit individuals capable of stealing the cheers from supportive girls, while the comic relief character seems to be more 'unathletic' and 'nerdy' of the team.
Apart from the two main characters one really does not learn much about the supporting secondary characters of the series and so the sense of the 'team' is lost.
- VALUE & ENJOYMENT -
I must say that I was somewhat disappointed with this OVA since I am a big fan of the manga. The manga title is a long story arc with a lot more attention given to the problems of all the team members and how they come to terms with them. There is also a lot of fast pace basketball scenes in the manga which one would have hoped the OVA would focused more on. Sadly the anime lacks the much desired gameplay sequences. One feels a lot was missed out from the series in its translation from manga to OVA, but these two episodes do a heartworthy attempt in presenting a somewhat more mature and introspective side of two athletes trying to realize their potential.
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.