If you didn’t already know, there is a subset of the anime community called the Sakuga Community, whose principle value in anime lies solely within it’s production value. No matter how good or bad a show is, considering the hundreds of aspects that go into it’s production, this community will watch or drop a show on it’s quality of animation alone. While I never thought negatively of these people, I can say that I certainly never understood them. These are people who watched the entirety of Fate/Apocrypha for it’s sakuga, and watching a show THAT bad to completion just to see a few flashy
fights simply boggles my mind. I definitely wouldn’t have guessed that I, myself, would watch a show as melodramatic and cheaply written as Hanebado! for it’s gorgeous athletic choreography and animation alone.
The direction, the shot composition, the lighting, the angles, the perspective, the editing, the animation, especially the realistic choreography, everything about the visual presentation of the badminton matches was spot on perfect. The direction was often done in perspective animation of the birdie dashing like lightning back and forth across the court, with quick, intense, and energetic frames of the characters’ faces flashing by. The shot composition showed the impact of the birdies on the rackets, the muscle it takes to lean or jump for long shots, and the sweat leaping off the athletes’ faces when they switch directions to dance across the gym. Never does it slow down, drop detail, or pan across still frames, thus spending every second of every game zipping around the court and the characters playing on it. I cannot stress how much time and money was clearly expended hand-drawing these sequences. Do you remember all those production documentaries of the key animation team at Production I.G. studying professional volleyball players to animate Haikyuu? I can guarantee to you, one hundred percent, that the team at LIDENFILMS put in nearly the same amount of effort in animating Hanebado! because it’s almost as impressive as the likes of Haikyuu! and Kuroko no Basket…almost.
As for the rest of the show, well, you know, it’s pretty not great.
Our protagonist is a girl named Ayano who is the daughter of the most decorated female badminton athlete ever to grace Japan, and, as such, has been raised for the sole purpose of playing badminton and living up to her mother’s lofty expectations. As if that plot wasn’t already embellished enough, Ayano is portrayed as a “badminton monster” (I know it’s stupid, but they actually say it in the anime) who flips her crazy switch in matches that literally makes her eyes dilate and her hair messy. I guess I could take this seriously if her mother beat her or something abusive to warrant this level of distress, but every single flashback to her childhood shows her and her mother happily practicing badminton with no stakes and all smiles, so when the show suddenly cuts back to present day with Ayano looking like she’s ready to murder her opponent over a simple practice game I can’t help but wonder how she became so comically overdramatic. It’s not just her either. Her opponents are just as ridiculous and over-the-top. For example, there’s a Danish girl who threw her life and home country away to come to Japan for the sole purpose of beating Ayano and winning her mother’s favor. How are any of these personalities supposed to be believable or realistic in the slightest?!
Despite the matches LOOKING phenomenal, the script itself can only be compared to shounen battle manga. If I had to give an example, I’d say Fairy Tail, but all shounen battle manga have their own version of “the power of friendship”, otherwise known as the-writer-is-a-hack-and-the-main-characters-are-just-going-to-win-now-for-no-good-reason. Hanebado! has it’s own version of this too. Instead of following the examples of critically acclaimed sports anime such as Haikyuu! and Baby Steps, wherein the cast has to work for their skill and success with blood, sweat, and tears, Hanebado! just introduces characters with predetermined skill sets that we’re just supposed to accept. At no point in the show do they sit down and actually explain HOW or WHY someone is a good or bad player (even though they continuously use badminton terminology without explanation or demonstration.) After watching Haikyuu! and Baby Steps, I know the rules of both Volleyball and Tennis like the back of my hand. After watching Hanebado! on the other hand, the only thing I really understand about badminton is that when the birdie hits the ground someone gets a point.
Speaking of the overly convenient script, people competing in this show only win or loose when they WANT to. As I just mentioned, there isn’t any progression in the characters’ skill sets, so the thing that ends up deciding the matches is, you guessed it, their emotions. If Ayano is feeling unmotivated or corrupt, she looses, and if Ayano is feeling determined or righteous, she wins. This is true for every character in the show. If the lesson they have to learn involves suffering defeat, then they loose, and if the lesson they have to learn involves tasting victory, then they win. Skill and especially technique simply do not matter in this anime. Like, you don’t even know. There’s a match wherein the player knows, in no uncertain terms, that her opponent has a weak knee. Her coach knows this too, and he advises her to make her opponent run side to side in order to blow out her already weakened knee, and she then decides to ACTIVELY DISOBEY HIS OBJECTIVELY HELPFUL INSTRUCTIONS AND DELIBERATELY PROCEED IN A MANNER THAT SHE KNOWS SHE WILL LOOSE THE MATCH because his strategy, and I quote, “was not the badminton I wanted to play.” I guess you could make the argument that this allows the thematic depth of the show to really shine, but it’s only doing so at the cost of the script and logical progression.
In the end, just like the Sakuga Community who finished Fate/Apocrypha for the fights, I ended up finishing Hanebado! for the animation. I can’t say I regretted it, but I can definitely say that I would’ve dropped the show in episode one if it hadn’t been such a feast for the eyes. If you are also enticed by a high quality production like I am, or if you simply don’t mind melodramatic teenagers yelling at each other until they decide to be friends, then I highly recommend you watch Hanebado!. If you don’t, then just pass it off as yet another ambitious production that only got as far as it’s budget would allow it to.
Most people think the 'bad, in Hanebado is for 'badminton.' Unfortunately, it literally stands for 'this show is bad'. Long story short, this show is not impressive in the slightest. Abysmal writing and comic book antagonists (that would actually be disrespectful to comic book villans though)
Remember the show "Everyone Hates Chris"? This is pretty much Everyone Hates Ayana. They introduce a new rival every week that just make no sense. The characters don't care about badminton at all for the most part. Everyone seems like they hate it. The whole show is just doom and gloom. Every week we think they are turning a corner,
but it stays the same. It is just a really gloomy show. We get it, badminton requires a lot of sacrifice, but this show is over the top dramatic.
Brings me into my next segaway. This show is not funny. Contrary to the cheerful cover poster, there is barely any "fun" to be had. It is just drama after drama. There are no lighter moments. The only source of anyone trying to be funny is a the coach who feels like a blatant ripoff of "Trainer-san" from Uma Musume (miraculously he is one of the better characters which gives u a good glimpse of this show) I know comedy is subjective, but there isn't even a moment to critique the comedy, because it isn't even there. Serious shows can have lighter moments. Not everyone has to be so miserable.
I will give credit where credit is due and that belongs to the amazing art which is one of the best and solid soundtrack as well as the OP and ED (especially the ED as it signals the end of this show). But in all seriousness, one of the prettiest shows to ever be animated.
At the end of the day, Hanabado is everything bad about Sports Anime. No "falling in love" with the sport, not meaningful matches, and no realistic characters to like. If you want a sports show, watch Harukana Recieve. It is everything this show isn't and it is airing this same season.
Hanebad AKA Hanesaki Badminton is yet another underwhelming sports series from 2018. This time, our series focuses around edgy feelings stuff, crying scenes and other melodrama, and the title itself already acknowledges it is bad.
Apparently, life is pointless and so is badminton, so wearing an edgy face directly from Madoka Magica whenever someone hits the ball, or cringe flashbacks with sad feeling stuff occurs, is obligatory. I have no idea what the series tries to accomplish by anyone crying every 5 minutes and reflecting their suicidal vanity via badminton. Better cut myself some wounds that won't heal to understand how deep it is, I
Our characters are pretty boring. Moeblobs whose character design has gone thru more planning than their personalities, filled with bunch of psychological problems and depression, used by the author in purpose of trying to make someone feel for them because they are so full of these emotions, man. Practically the whole crew is Inside Out's take on what being a bitch in different ways is about.
This series also contains one of the most random scenes I have ever seen in the history of anime. Girl 1 yells at girl 2 in anger, followed by girls 3-5 yelling at girl 1 for yelling at girl 2, further followed by girl 4 starting to walk off into the sunset while girls 1-3 and 5 watch. All of my wat.
Originally, I was hyped to see the animated trajectories of badminton, but I have been too distracted by the obviously-an-anime character models and the thought that someone might start crying or kill themselves in the middle of a match, to get impressed by it.
Perhaps those who don't find the shonen sports formula to be very appealing, will find some satisfaction from this, but be warned: some edgy series are fun and some are this anime. I will still give this a generous 5 because there seems to be a chance of it getting better, which alone is worth of something because most airing series don't even have that.
Ever wonder what the female version of Haikyuu!! would look like?
No, you say??? Alright, then…..carry on.
Its just, this anime bears some resem—….oh, you still don’t care. Okay. I’ll just leave you alone….
F—k you! I’m writing this review whether you like it or not.
As regular as the seasons change, another sports-genre anime has graced our computer screens for what seems like the umpteenth time, the flavor of the month being: badminton. Not the most exhilarating sport in the world, but it definitely has intermittent moments of shock and awe (much like Hanebado!).
Following in the footsteps of its male counterpart, Hanebado! is
a semi-serious sports anime that deals with the psychological consequences of youth athletics. As the story progresses, we begin to learn that each girl is plagued by a personal shortcoming that impedes their progress as an individual player. These visceral, psychological battles become the focal point of the entire series, making the girl’s opponents, more or less, inconsequential, as they are primarily focused on their own internal “demons” (i.e. battling themselves). An excellent example of showcasing this internal struggle happens in episode two, where chalkboard animation is used to emphasize the duality of Aragaki’s height “advantage,” provoking her to overcompensate in other facets of her game. Not only is her height an emotional weakness (as other children call her a “beanpole,” and make fun of her masculine appearance) but it turns out to be a physical one, as well. The astute coach for Nozomi employs a strategy to force Aragaki to move from side to side, putting an enormous amount of stress on her knees, resulting in overexertion and possible injury. But due to her commitment of staying true to herself (i.e. overpowering her opponent through strength), she is able to circumvent this clever scheme.
Of course, this is all well and good for our protagonist, but a more pressing dilemma emerges during the match, because while Aragaki simply needs to impose her will — her identity, if you will — on the game, Nozomi comes to the realization that she has no identity. Her entire career has been dictated by “guidance” of her coach; thus, deteriorating her passion and creativity for the game. The themes that Nozomi and Aragaki experience are quite typical for teenagers in high stress, athletic competition, yet the resolution of said themes felt a bit artificial, too romantic. Is it truly believable that Nozomi’s coach would transition from yelling at her profusely (like she’s a red-headed step—…you know what, I’m just going to stop right there), to accepting her new perspective on badminton in the middle of a match — literally, on the drop of a dime?
Quixotic happenings aside, Hanebado! suffers from the same deficiencies that infect its male counterpart, those being:
-Random comedy from which there’s no reasonable explanation.
-A character (i.e. Ayano) with “superhuman” ability that cannot be matched by anyone else.
-The EYES of Ayano and Hinata both resembling a predator stalking its prey (both are small in stature, as well).
-Displaying unrealistic feat’s that are not attainable in real life for the sake of entertainment
-[Insert 5th point here — too lazy at the moment, its 3:30 in the morning]
Hanebado!, in all seriousness, had an extremely promising start with interesting conceptual ideas about the psychological consequences of competitive athletics; yet, with each passing episode, it quickly decayed into a bizarre, nonsensical comedy with a weird daughter/mother/step-daughter dynamic that was particularly unappealing for the viewer. Furthermore, the amount of melodrama was off the charts, with an innumerable amount of peaks and valleys, making even the most mundane task feel like it was a life or death situation. Ayano’s metamorphosis from a timid, reserved girl, to a heartless, animalistic human hybrid was remarkably far-fetched, not to mention tropey. It seems the desire to emulate its male counterpart was too strong, reducing Hanebado!’s effectiveness as a compelling story that can stand on its own weight.
Sometimes, I wish sports anime gets more attention whether it’s swimming, basketball, soccer, tennis, or anything competitive in nature. Sure, there was Free! from these past few years but it clearly had an audience from the very beginning. Badminton is a one of those sports where it doesn’t get too much attention, at least not on an international level. Yet Hanebado has its own fame when it comes to selling its sports drama.
I would have originally watched this show just for the sheer competitiveness feeling. However, Hanebado persuaded me to invest into its character cast from the first few episodes. We meet a colorful group
that includes Ayano, Nagisa, Riko, Elena, among others. From my initial impression, it reminded me of characters trying to make a name for themselves. But as more and more the story progressed, it felt like some really were pushing themselves to the limit. The most noticeable character is Ayano where she enter an insane beast-like mode when she is motivated. Some of her matches are noticeable of being extreme such as the case with Kaoruko. While Ayano is a main character, I find it difficult to root for her. The show chronicles her personality as being overly competitive to the point where it can toxic to watch her matches. On the other hand, I do think that Ayano is able to bring out the nature of badminton to a level that people were not anticipating for.
It’s probably easy to overlook some other characters at first glance but the show does attempt to bring out the best from others. Nagisa is another noticeable name that I ended up rooting for late in the story. As a way to prove herself, she pushes Ayano to her best in one of the most intense matches in the series. We also got to learn a bit more about both girls along the way. But unfortunately, I can’t really say this series makes Ayano likable. It’s like there’s two completely different characters of her – one that evokes fear and another that behaves like a casual schoolgirl. It’s much easier to relate to the latter. Ayano’s competitive side often reaches to a point that is unbelievable in this show. I find it even baffling at how she deals with depression because her past shows a case of abandonment.
Realism, in fact, does exist to some extent in the show. The characters skill sets are easily watchable as it’s not hard to tell who can beat who before a game is even over at times. But on the contrary, some matches feel like it didn’t live up to expectations with curb-stomp like moments. I also have some problems with how much characters changes, not just in the case of Ayano. For instance, there’s Connie who develops a meaner attitude after facing off against her. Regarding Ayano herself, it seems no one really tries to help her change either. This extends to their coach, Kentarou Tachibana. I’m not going to lie, this guy is hard to accept. He helps out Nagisa with her own problems but doesn’t attempt to do the same for Ayano. The show did make him likable in the beginning but his development doesn’t get enough attention.
As you may have guessed, Hanebado isn’t going to spoon feed you information much so you’ll have to learn along the way. Badminton isn’t an overly complex sport but it does require a lot of attention. To me, the pure competitive energy of the sport is enough sometimes. The series sells its drama this way during the matches. It’s a bit strange though. The more I watched badminton, the more I feel like this show mixes in psychology during the storytelling. Every match feels like there’s something at stake such as a player’s pride. As one of the positives in this series, every match carries an emotional weight that I think is worth watching for. If only the main character cast could be worth talking about just as much in a positive light.
That isn’t to say the series is unwatchable even with its questionable character roster. Jumping into Hanebado is a visual feast to the eyes with the production quality. There’s a lot of fluidity in the motions of the characters. Every movement in the series felt real and important especially during key moments of the matches. This ranges from the clever camera angles on the muscles to little details like body language. Character designs also look clean that gives each character a distinctive look. Ayano is an exceptional case once you see both sides of her character. That also leads to character expressions that I see very much as impressive. Ayano’s personality is highlighted with how she reacts to her friends or rivals. Others show their emotions without holding much back. Even during lighthearted scenes, there are moments that defines characters for what the creators wanted them to be in this adaptation. The theme songs (particular opening) contains a variety of dynamic camerawork that is admirable. It’s stylish that enhances the energy of the show. The ED theme song contains carefully crafted framework and artistic coloring. Definitely very thought provoking like a work of art.
There’s not too many sports series that hooks my attention and Hanebado did that in the beginning. While I still can’t forgive the character destruction of some of the cast, there’s definitely a few that are worth watching. You can be the judge on who to root for. For a show with sports competitiveness, there’s the feeling of emotional stakes. I did hope the series took better care of its characters in terms of their development and personalities. But Hanebado is a watchable. It’s not perfect by all means or even outstanding. Yet, it has an ability to tell a dramatic sports story.
I'm not a fan of the sports genre, I may be missing out on some treats, but I'm not interested in cliche games where the main character always wins. I came across Megalo Box and it proved me wrong, so I thought why not give this a try? It might impress me too... but it didn't.
The story is about a tournament in which challengers play against each other. I guess that's it, that's the most of the story. There's also the unnecessary drama which is also criticized by its fans, but if you dislike the drama, then what do you exactly like about the show?
The tournament? Is it really something praiseworthy? I'm not here to judge anyone's taste, you can like whatever you want to, but I really want a legit argument as to why this is likable. Anyway, each character has some sort of story with badminton and they're as forgettable as the characters themselves, with the exception of Hanesaki because the anime shoves down your throat that she plays badminton for her mother and you should not forget that. Then her mother comes back to live with her one day and we don't even get any kind of development or reunion scene. She comes back, and the director thought, let's skip to another scene, shall we?
I'm guessing the animators thought they could win over the fans with some good animation for the games and forget that a story or even character designs exist. The characters were so forgettable that I had no choice but to distinguish them by appearance, but even that was impossible because the characters pretty much look the same, just alter the hairstyle a bit, or not, depends on the character. They even forgot how to draw Hanesaki in episode 12 and made her look like she grew 30 years in the time frame of one game. They tried to have style over substance but couldn't nail both. As for the soundtracks, easily best part of the show, they were chill, intense, or anything that was needed. They didn't stand out much but they made the show a bit more enjoyable.
And now come the characters. I mentioned how forgettable they are so I pretty much forgot what I wanna say about them. Hanesaki hates the world for some reason, Nagisa is flat, not her breast though, and she was just... there, possibly to rival Hanesaki. The teacher had Nobuhiko voice him and that alone made him a bit remarkable, he was encouraging I'd say. Other characters had an episode dedicated to them but I can't really recall their names, personality, maybe even their looks, or their motives. They played games constantly and the game were just shortened to add in some irrelevant drama which does not affect the game. Characters keep on playing regardless of their past in their oddly paced matches. But it's notable to say the strategies used in the games were convincing so that's a merit to notice. Anyhow, I kind of lost track on what I was gonna say about them, but losing track is what their personality is best at. They're just bland and present to give you a well animated, oddly paced match featuring characters that look and act the same.
Rant of the day is over. You can now go watch this (or not) and ignore my opinion because this is definitely AOTY.
Hanebado is shaping up to be one of the more thoughtful and emotional sports anime. Instead of relying on gimmicks like crazy superpowers and overpowered shonen protagonists, it seeks to tell a more personal story by focusing more on the characters and them dealing with their internal struggles through a sport that they all enjoy.
The story setup for this one is about as simple as you would expect for a sports anime. A struggling badminton team is on the verge of closing when a new coach and an ace badminton player show up to join the group. With their powers combined, they begin playing matches
against other schools and will probably work towards some grand, national tournament where all of the personal character stories will come to their conclusion.
The simple nature of the plot and its inherent predictableness are probably Hanebado’s weakest points. It’s not that outlandish for sports anime to be fairly predictable, but it would be nice if this one threw some kind of curveball towards the viewer with regards to its overarching plot. The real strength of this show will be the characters and their personal stories and struggles.
With only a few episodes out, I’m already a big fan of the show’s two leading ladies: Ayano Hanesaki and Nagisa Aragaki. Hanasaki is the aforementioned ace of the group who, 6 months prior to the events of the show, destroyed Aragaki in a tournament 21-0. Without spoiling too much, this victory ran hollow to her due to the strained relationship she has with her mother, who happens to be a superstar player herself.
Though Hanasaki can come off as a bit edgy early on as she lays out her distaste for badminton really thick, seeing her come out of her shell and embrace her new team members is an absolute treat. Though she is shy and soft-spoken, there is an overwhelming kindness and sweetness to her character. Seeing the internal struggle between these two different sides of her will certainly be the main driving force for me with this show.
Aragaki is the more hotheaded and standoffish foil to Ayano. The show brilliantly sets her up by showing her inability to accept her loss and weaknesses by straight-up torturing her teammates to their breaking points. Though this might seem like a really unlikeable direction for this character, she does mellow out fairly quickly. Personally, I’m really interested in seeing how her inner turmoil will affect the team and her relationship with Hanesaki going further.
The other characters feel mostly like background objects that play badminton. None of them have any particularly unlikeable personalities, but I really hope the show has time to touch upon them at least a little. At the very least, Hanebado is teasing some very outlandish personalities for its antagonists which is definitely something to look forward to.
The other strength of this show is its art, animation, and sound. The show beautifully captures the feeling of being at an actual match. Everything from the sharp squeaks of the players’ shoes skirting against the court to the earth-shattering sound of a Forehand Smash to the sweat staining the floors as the characters desperately try to catch their breath bring an immersive intenseness to every match. Coupled with the fact that the protagonists aren’t completely overpowered, there has yet to be a single game that left me losing interest.
The characters themselves have also had no problem staying on model, though this aspect is particularly interesting to me considering studio LIDENFILMS doesn’t have the best track record with keeping their quality intact. Though their recent work “Killing Bites” didn’t really have that problem, works like “Koi to Uso” and “Berserk” show that the studio may have problems if they misuse their budget or become heavily reliant on CG. Considering that they are also working on “Phantom of the Twilight” this season, I hope LIDENFILMS will be able to keep the quality of Hanabado’s art and animation within acceptable standards.
Coincidentally, this anime aired when the hype was on Asian Games 2018 and I was fired up to watch sports! Phantom Thieves may have their own show this season but the one who stole my heart in this season actually not them but this very particular badminton anime. While many people resent how this anime flows (being overly dramatic), I am personally love them just because I could analyze everything in this anime scene by scene or even second by second. Hanebado! proofed that sometimes it is not too bad to change course from how the original material works for the sake of character building.
me start with how I could be dragged into this anime. Actually, there are two things that dragged me into this anime. And the first one is that first match between our two main characters, Ayano and Nagisa. This very first scene is beautifully animated with very good camerawork, integrated CGI and 2D animation, SWEATS! and the character tension. This very first match settled the whole series' vibe and set the very first bar to how they will animate the rest of the series. When I thought that they were setting the bar too high, I WAS WRONG. They really kept their animation quality as high as that from the first episode to the end. It is a huge kudos for the animators who have been very passionate from the very beginning to the very end.
The second thing that made me into this anime is Nagisa Aragaki and her character. While I could say that the writer did a very good job as they did not shy away to make a bad mother character that is Uchika Shindou when the community is full with good mother characters courtesy of Boku no Hero Academia Season 3, I should gave the kudos because of their exceptional job on writing Nagisa as a character. I always love tomboys as they tend to have insecurity conflict. In Nagisa's case, she is overly tall so everyone around her overestimates her and overlooks her hard work. After she lost from Ayano (who still a middle school student at that time), her insecurity came out afloat. Nagisa wants to be acknowledged by her hard work. I love how they made Nagisa's resolution to beat Ayano at the final match is because she wanted to beat herself from the past. You don't know how much I am rooting for her to win.
The other best part is... The writer is successfully made Nagisa as Ayano's mirror but with a very different characteristic. If I analyze a bit further, while being very different, Ayano wants to be acknowledged by her hard work just like Nagisa. But the reason is very different as her (very bad) mother left her because she was not good enough. And not just Ayano, because in the end, this anime heavily gravitates around acknowledgement while building their characters. Just like what the last sentence of this anime said "What you see on the other side of that net is always a reflection of yourself."
And then we enter the sound and music department. I would say that the soundtrack is very fit to the theme of the show as it has this tension around the music and made matches more heated than anything else. The soundtrack is full of determination just like how sports anime should be. I love the opening and the ending songs, too. They are very catchy but sometimes the opening feels out of character as it is too cheerful for the episode and not fit for the high tension and heated episode.
Oh my, did I just overdone this review? Just like I said before, the main reason I love this anime is because I could analyze everything scene by scene or even second by second. I just love an anime that invites me to talk about it or giving a huge room for any discussions because that is a very much proof that the writer did a good job to make us speculate while finishing the whole plot. Kudos for Hanebado! and all its production staffs.
When it comes to Sports anime Hanebado is one of the more realistic ones out there when it comes to the actual play of the game. No over the top nonsense like super powers or bring undersized and overcoming tall obstacles (im looking at you Haikyuu) or going down a Yaoi fanbase (im looking at you Yuri on Ice). Instead Hanebado focuses more on two girls who overcome personal issues to better themselves not only in Badminton but in life as well. I really would have liked to give this Story a 10/10 however the introduction of side characters backstories and side stories set this
back as a whole. I would have focused more on Ayano and Nagisa's issues and worked with that instead of bringing in the team issues.
The Art and Animation was simply flawless throughout the entire series. I cannot wait for the Bluray to be released because it is only going to be BETTER. The last 2 episodes were some of the most beautiful animated Sports action I have ever seen. Simply astonishing.
Awesome opening and ending with great insert music. The voice actors did an amazing job as well. No complaints at all.
The characters again would have been a 10/10 if the focus was more on Nagisa and Ayano. Connie and Kaoruko were two characters I really didnt care about along with most of the Badminton teammates outside of Riko and Sora.
I throughly enjoyed this anime because it was different compared to most Sports anime out there. Most Sports anime the MC only gets better with the power of friendship and trust with their teammates even if they are already talented. Ayano is OP from the start and eventually reaches a breaking point mentally and her character just gets better by the week. Same thing with Nagisa as each episode progresses their development is amazing.
Overall this is one of the best Sports anime I have seen in a long time. Realistic and the Drama in it was very well done. 10/10 anime.
Honestly, based on the ideas and quality productions alone cannot make this series to be an interesting or even watchable. Personally, I like nothing in this series starting from plots, ideas, characters, pacing, tones, dialogues, progressions and developments. This is one of most pandering and corny sport series I have ever seen for a while. It feel like I'm not even watching sport or let alone the series itself. Everything look fan service to me.
Plots that building up to be an obnoxiously over-dramatic sport life where everyone don't play sport as they feel
like or love to play it anymore. They only play sport for winning which in my opinion isn't the purpose or goal of sport itself.
Ideas that having weirdly morals about you can being a jerk and having no sportsmanship to everyone but if you are good at sport or you feel some kind of sorry, everyone will forgive and forget what you do even though they have no reason to.
Characters that are mostly confused because they don't know how to separate sport logic form life logic. You don't have to win every time or have to be the best at it. You can be yourself and happy to do the thing you like. If you don't feel like to play sport, just quit it. It's not like badminton is only occupation in the world right ?
The pacing and tones that keep going back and forth as director doesn't know how to direct other type of tones and pacing rather than drama and sport that only smack their shuttlecock to each others' face with no plan or strategy. (except the very last match between main character in final episodes which some kind worth to watch)
Dialogues that totally horrible as everyone always speak aggressively to each other and keep complain about how life so bad in a metaphoric way.
These are brief examples of the problems why this series is so bad in my opinion. Now let's get into the detail explanations.
1.) I don't like how this series present the ideas of badminton or sport at all. The ideas of badminton and how social life work seem so separate and don’t go along with each others so much. Even though the series want us to think that badminton is a life for characters or the whole world to move along with. But most of the time the logic and gimmicks to link this two ideas together don’t make any senses. Every scenes and plot points look extremely corny and forced. It feels like everything in the entire series always try to reason with each other by using badminton and sport as an important factor in every arguments. When characters and scenes are executed by using these badminton and sport life as main arguments, they look so stupid and so hard to understand what they are thinking. Some people may say that these combinations of both ideas are just some metaphoric and hidden massage of how realism work, but the point is in the end, these just make everything much more complex and over dramatic for unnecessary reason. Just drop the badminton things for a second and make character do and think like a normal person will make this series much more realistic.
2.) The morals in each episode are so moronic and hard to actually believe and work in real life. Again if this series follow the way of trying to be “REALISTIC” then the morals are actually important and it is the matter of fact that these will make the series to have much more visualize images of “what get what after done what” things going on along the entire run. Some scenes and plot points are exaggerated and pandering so much. Doing things that are absolutely not gonna happened in real life and then get away with it or characters and plots just forget about it seem so convoluted and doesn’t make any senses. This will be an exception to cut the score or to even considered as a bad point if the series doesn’t try so hard to become “REALISTIC” though (based on how the series tones and plots were presented). This circumstance actually make me believe that characters and plot points don’t have their own morals and stand points and they are changed over the time with no subtlety and development at all.
3.) This series have one of the worst dialogues I have ever heard in my life. This is the most important key that absolutely ruin this series in my opinion. First, characters usually talk nonsense and metaphoric which kind of annoying and irritating and actually extend the running time to become a boring mess that ruin both tone and story progression and development. Second, this series are extremely over dramatic because of dialogues alone as every characters usually talk like they want to punch each other face for all the time. They insulted and roasted each other for absolutely no reason which even make plots and sequences look so much pandering and fan-service which some time even extend the length of dramatic tone to the maximum limit that later destroyed other tone and plot as well. Third, characters usually repeat the same thing they have been speak and think for several time for no reason which even make this series so long and boring.
4.) Scenes and plots arrangements, pacing and even execution in this series aren’t very good at all. In fact most of them look so confused and hard to tell what viewers should actually focus at the very moment. They are too cramped for the starter. In one episode they have over 100 plots going around and none of them have an impact on each others. Also these plots are always appear randomly with no enough development and subtlety. They cut so many tone and story of an important point that viewers kind of care for the most of time and even make the overall episode to be much more chaotic and confused. Additionally, the storytelling and pacing in this series is sometime totally bad in terms of timing, cliffhanging and swapping. They are so many plot points that are telling in those stage which quite annoying and irritating for those viewers who doesn’t want to watch the three kingdom of badminton.
5.) There are so many stereotype of characters that viewers can actually see and predict their plot for a mile away and even stay the same with no developments or changes during the entire run. The hard strong shounen women who doesn't know how to give up and extremely hot-blood. The want to be winner innocent character. The senpai lover. The girl who look kind and nice outside but her life is very sad. Everything you can easily guess.
6.) This series is easily predictable. Nothing significantly going on during the entire run rather than things that you might seen and think since the very beginning of the series about girls who want to play sport (and win) so much which in each episode will have dramas as a layer to it as always and in the end will conclude with we are friend now kind of cliche'. Furthermore, every morals in each plot arcs (yes, the entire 2-3 episodic sequences) are actually the same. This is so boring in both short and long running viewing experiences. Watching this series only in the beginning and the last would actually give you the same result you want as watching the entire series.
And that's all my opinion why this series is so bad even though it has very good productions. If the main important characteristic of the series, plot isn't compelling enough or even downright design to be fan service, then I have no reason to watch such failure series.
The final score is 1/10. 1 score comes from quality animation productions alone.
“this badminton anime has had like 6 or 7 different characters break down crying in the first episode. badminton must be absolutely miserable” -@shaun_jen
The protagonist of a sports anime will typically have some talent that makes them eligible to be the protagonist – Kuroko lacks presence, Hinata jumps high, Sawamura has flexible wrists, and the list goes on. This is an ability that they have, that no one else will be able to develop, no matter how hard they try, and it’s what gives them the edge over their competition. Hanasaki Ayano has every talent there could be when it comes to badminton – handedness,
reflexes, etc – though it’s never quite that simple.
Ayano isn’t just talented; she’s also worked hard to hone her skills through a childhood of practicing against her mother Uchika, a champion at the sport. However, said mother’s love was conditional on whether she was able to beat her peers, which forced Ayano into a mindset of viewing the game only in terms of winning and losing, and destroyed her ability to simply enjoy the sport or have any respect for her opponents. Ayano plays not for a love of the game, but for her mother’s approval, and the only joy she seems to find in it is the sadistic glee of destroying those who dare believe that hard work will get them anywhere.
So, what about hard work? Luckily, Ayano isn’t really the protagonist of Hanebado – that honor goes to Ayano’s senior and rival, Aragaki Nagisa. Aragaki is definitely talented (though not on the same level as Ayano), but her true strengths lie in the effort that she puts into every match she plays and her love of the sport. That said, this effort often crosses the line into self-destruction, so her behavior isn’t to be emulated either, even if it is a step above Ayano’s. Still, she embodies the ideals that hard work and perseverance are able to overcome talent, and that winning isn't all that matters, and for that, the show roots for her.
In the end, Hanebado is a messy show. It challenges the quixotic foundation of the sports anime, and while it ultimately affirms it, it only is able to do so by being willfully ignorant of its own flaws. It can be repetitive in its ideas, and often borders on melodrama. But for all of its missteps, Hanebado also gets a lot right. The animation for the badminton matches is stunning, and it nails the catharsis factor that’s essential for any successful sports series. If you're looking for a sports series with more focus of the drama outside of the game, and you're willing to deal with tonal whiplash and other issues, then Hanebado might be the show for you.
No words could better describe this series than a progressive trainwreck of its characters, amidst the overall setting, and we literally just got so trolled over the fact that we don't ever know what this anime wants to be anymore. And that was the result of Hanebado!, a pretty intense yet mind-boggling series that has everyone calling foul over many issues that have since happened.
Let's get the bad things out of the way, then we can end this on a good note. (Spoilers be warned)
First off, it is the adaptation from the manga that immediately develops its own material while taking snippets from it. Immediately,
with how Episode 1 focuses on the introduction of Ayano Hanesaki, a normal looking high school girl with a hatred from playing badminton, and that was displayed magnificently. However, it is from there that the anime adaptation slowly leashes away from the light-hearted manga adaptation, and drops the ball, heavy and hard, on the original drama that we've come to see throughout all this time.
And that brings me to my next (and BIG) pointer: the biased character development.
3 months of production runtime was more than enough to showcase every character's development of how they had persevered throughout timeless trials and tribulations, but somehow, series composer Taku Kishimoto (Joker Game, Erased, Haikyuu!!) had chosen the route that with the light-hearted manga source material, it wasn't good enough, so the heavy character drama was what we got instead, for good and for bad.
Take our MC Ayano Hanesaki for example. She is the stereotypical character of a lunatic, that is not apparent at first, but throughout the series, we definitely can see why she has to act like a sovereign BS of a character that's crapping over everyone else, and that's due to her upbringing. WHICH immediately questions the single-handedly bashed neglected side of a perfection: her own mom Uchika. Every parent wants the best for their own children, but Uchika's actions paving the way for Ayano's devilish side is really pushing the extreme limits of a stereotypical adult teaching his/her own children of what to do and how to follow in their footsteps.
Another hindrance followed with competitor Kaoruko Serigaya, wanting to compete dirty with the high consequence of getting Ayano sick and limiting her potential of losing the junior finals, adding onto that with Uchika's "seeking for perfection" causes her to abandon Ayano and find her next line of protégé (which resulted in another stranger, Connie Christensen). All that pent-up frustration is solely there to give the thought that Connie lives up to Uchika's name and Ayano being the back-burner is seriously excruciating enough. With that set in mind, Ayano has to work her way up again and regain her own neglected mom's very high expectations, to prove to her that no matter her growing-up years of staying away from badminton (and brought back by Elena), she still has the in-game going for her and hopefully her mom will recognize her again.
The other characters had lesser screen-time to focus on their weaknesses and problems to eventually get better at their craft. One such side character, Nagisa Aragaki, falls into that pit. She lost to Ayano at the junior finals, and swore that she will never take anyone lightly, which explains her initial amounts of frustration for perfection from others that limits her potential. Only once did she start to understand that with strength comes confidence in playing better, then she is able to enjoy playing badminton (and that's for Episodes 1-3), and that sets the basis for future matches to try and outwit Ayano's prowess and play badminton her way. In the midst of focusing in both Ayano and Nagisa's efforts, the other members (mostly Riko who has been playing alongside Nagisa) of the Badminton club too have each of their shortcomings, but they do work hard (off-screen, that is) to also prove why they play badminton in the first place.
Honestly, with so much that the anime has shown us, it almost felt like the character drama was very overbearing to the point where people started to drop this series, and honestly it's a very big flaw on the series overall. The (minimalistic) redeeming part is the small snippets that it actually adapts from the manga, but then again, the overarching mainstay of the drama still will force people to turn away with conviction.
The best thing going for the series is the art and animation. As I've mentioned before in my prelim review, the art is good, but the animation's way leaps and bounds better. The production staff at Liden Films really took extreme care to showcase the realism of the characters from the non-grotesque body motions to the 3DCG stop-gap motions of the badminton rackets and shuttlecock responses, so much so that it stands out from the get-go. And throughout both art and animation didn't let me down as it's mainly used for the badminton matches, which makes me wonder that if this aspect is meant to eclipse the over-the-top character drama that we had seen the ugliest of it. Which side wins, it's up to you to decide.
On the music side, it helps that Kazuhiro Wakabayashi has maintained his flare when it comes to brilliant OSTs and his work here doesn't let us down as always. This is YURiKA's third OP (accounting for Little Witch Academia and Houseki no Kuni) and as nice as it sounds, it is nothing short of methodical and fantastic and was an OP that I couldn't afford to just skip and let loose. Alongside Yuiko Oohara whom has the same music repertoire with YURiKA (performing the same series songs, plus Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san's sweet OP), it was an excellent song through and through and really spoke life into the host of characters. Overall, another great strike for the win.
Hanebado! as a series, it's very controversial as much as its realism depict and reflect the happenings of such sports in real life. The reasoning for not being able to follow in the parents' footsteps, to one that eventually makes and breaks oneself is brutal AF (but definitely not the way to go), and I thought that it did justify the case studies of such family-based situations, and for what it does, it did a heck of a job (but not everyone's gonna take it well). So unless you care for such forced unnecessary drama, you can throw this series out of the bag. I never thought I would say this, but if drama is your forte like so many cringeworthy drama-based shows act like the way it should be, then this is your sauce. If you ain't any match for drama, then why are you watching this?
Hanebado has proven to being one of the more unique, emotionally driven sports anime. What I mean by that is it tackles the genre by having a more serious tone, focusing on the ‘dark side’ of competitive sports that sports anime don't usually show. It doesn’t have those stupid “special moves” or fanservice crap you see in sports anime.
Hanebado is basically a sports anime about badminton. Whilst saying that, I think one of the core strengths of the series is it focuses more on the characters, their inner struggles and overcoming their emotional tramua. Badminton is in a sense the platform to have to
have these characters interact and and advance the plot of the story.
The foundation of the story revolves around two MCs who are depicted in the classic “talented prodigy Vs hardwork underdog” tale.
The first is Ayano Hanesaki, a talented high school girl who was trained by her prodigy of a mother, and has years of built of tramua that are rooted from Ayano wanting to live up to her mother’s expectations who left her. The other is Aragaki, the head strong, hardworking team captain who has earned her stripes through hard work. While she does have her height at her advantage, she has no natural talent. It’s mentioned early on Hanesaki and Aragaki have a history playing each other in middle school. This event gave birth to a new rivalry/relationship between them. Aragaki, fuelled by her loss to Ayano, hardened herself to train harder. These two depressing stories create a beautiful parallel between the girls, where they both ask themselves the question:
“Why do you play badminton?”
The characters are well written, diverse and memorable. Ayano’s rivals (Aragaki, Connie, Kaoruko) especially get fleshed out really well and get a good amount of character development (albeit Connie’s wasn’t the best executed and her changes come off a bit unrealistic imo). We get insight into their characters, their childhood, what shaped them to be the people they are now and their motivation to playing badminton.
However, the ones who stand out and I’m most invested into are the main leads, who I think are brilliant characters. I love the fact that Ayano has a split personality and the way the show portrays the dichotomy between her shy, soft spoken self to this absolute merciless, monster on the court, which is entertaining to watch. It’s a unique and refreshing take on a MC that I haven’t seen in a sports anime.
I know some may be turned off by “Darth Ayano” and think she’s edgy because of her blunt and rude attitude, her lack of sportsmanship or love for the sport she plays. However, I feel some people fail to grasp the depth of Ayano’s psychological tramua and how badly it’s affected her. Also, seeing Ayano slowly breaking out of her shell slowly and coming to accept her team in her character arc is brilliant to watch unfold.
The visuals are beautiful. Every time I see a close up or zoom in of a badminton shot, I’m in awe of how absolutely stunning the animation is.
The opening is probably my favourite out of all the anime I’ve watched this season. The OP is energetic, lively and upbeat. The chorus especially is catchy and fun.
I liked Hanebado. It was one of my most anticipated anime I looked forward to watch of Summer 2018.
While there’s some flaws, for example the input of excessive drama- while removing some of the comedic aspects and moments of lightheartedness were we see the team bonding in the manga annoyed me. The anime changing the characterisation of some of the characters e.g. Connie and Kaoruko, who were portrayed to being more of bitchy rivals to Ayano in order to further along the regression of her mental state so we see Darth Ayano sooner. Also, the overall direction/route it took in some scenes weren’t executed great and I thought were much better handled in the manga. I still think the show gets a lot of unnecessary flack.
I’m glad it’s not all happy go lucky shit where the team all gets along and everyone has the same mentality reducing their personality to a ‘herd mentality’ like for instance, in Haikyuu. I don’t mean to throw shade at the show, I just think it’s too idealistic and unrealistic in the way it portrays how everyone puts the team first above themselves in any given situation. That’s why I like the interpersonal drama in Hanebado because it adds realism. Not everyone is going to get along, and their will be some conflict/drama that arises in competitive sports, but we accept each other’s flaws or weaknesses and move on. Here, the characters are treated as people with their own personalities and motivations that drive them to playing badminton, as well as being a team.
I prefer the manga more, but that doesn’t change how much I love the amazing storytelling, visuals, beautifully animated matches, the techniques and information about badminton, and drama potrayed within the anime. Gotta love the drama ;)
I honestly don't know why I bothered finishing this. As a child I grew up with Badminton so to see the first two episodes portraying the sport in such an ugly fashion put me off it for a while before I continued. But here we are and let's have a chat on Hanebado. (Insert joke about how you can't spell "Hanebado" without "bad" here).
I've watched two sports anime this season based on fanservice-heavy manga. The other one being Harukana Receive. While I can't comment exactly on how faithful each adaptation is, I would've much preferred Harukana's approach to the genre. That is to say a
generic, but decently done sports anime on friendship happiness puppies sunshine and all that nonsense with a heavy dose of fanservice and waku waku shequasars. On paper, Hanebado's approach of forgoing most of the fanservice and light-hearted moments and instead zeroing in on the drama and misery seems right up my alley. After all, Ayano's character is defined essentially by her abandonment by her mother. However, in execution it just doesn't cut it for me.
My largest complaint about the series is its lack of focus. From the first 2 episodes focused almost exclusively on Nagisa's development to the point of making her seem like the main character (she's not, but she's still the most important secondary character), to the side stories on sausage girl and senpai boy which I frankly don't give much a toss on about, the series feels somewhat schizophrenic when it comes to its plot. While ostensibly about Ayanon, she doesn't make much of an impact up until episode 5. I will say however I did enjoy Ayanon's drive and character study, especially the drama surrounding her and her shit mother, though the resolution to that in the final episode is a complete copout.
Speaking of characters, they are either hate-sinks or mostly forgettable. They change personality so quick you'd swear they were bipolar. Prime examples include Connie and Kaoruko where after taunting Ayano several times they show up a few episodes later wanting to be good friends? And to have Ayanon forget all the shit they've done?? What!? You can't just take a shit on my lawn and say you wanna be friends me while I'm bashing your head in with a badminton racket the next day. Good thing Ayano's one of the few characters with consistent personality. Her anger doesn't dissipate and the comeuppance she serves is cathartic. You can feel her breaking point and her insanity leaking out at any moment. It's brilliant. The horror music too perfectly ramps things up a notch. Making this my second favourite unintentional comedy of the season (the other being Happy Sugar Life). Though speaking of Happy Sugar Life, it's awful how Ayanon's mother came out unscathed and without any karmic retribution or even any lasting hatred from Ayanon.
The audio design in this is pretty bad too. A lot of the times the BGM can overpower the lines of dialogue spoken by the characters. Especially when the horror strings are playing. Ayano with her softer voice is the prime victim in this. It always feels like her voice lines are played loud enough to be heard with any clarity, even when she’s shouting.
At times I do wonder if the director actually hates the sport. Badminton is portrayed as a really ugly thing in this, being the driving force behind Ayano's trauma and the source of many conflicts throughout. Matches are animated well enough, and they don't bore me to the extent of how Harukana's did, but honestly the characters behind the net ruin the experience for me. Being the horrible people they are.
Oh well. I wonder if Yonex ever regrets sponsoring this.
Hanebado! This anime has come under a lot of praise and criticism since it first released this summer. Some have praised it for its realism while others have criticised it for bad writing and character inconsistencies. For me though, I’m actually really happy with the way this anime went. I got invested in this show because there’s a lot I can relate to. To give us out some serious talk, all us have had some kind of issue growing up especially with our parents. Now granted, most of us didn’t have the kind of issue that Ayano has with her mother, but the anime gives
a good example of what happens when you make a bad decision that has a long lasting effect along with showing just how bad life can get. This is the reason why so many people are so frustrated with this show.
And I get it. No honestly, I do. I get why people wouldn’t like this show because most of us have never experienced the kind of hardships that Ayano has been through. Most have never even experienced the pain or fear of abandonment. Simply put, the people who hate this show comes from a lack of experience themselves, not because they’re bad people themselves. That’s why I like this show so much. The writers were not afraid to tell this story the way they did instead of playing it safe, even at the risk of being heavily criticized themselves. It’s easy for the younger anime fans to criticize these things because they have yet to experience real hardships themselves. On the other hand though, it’s easy for the adults, the older fans, to forget that they were once teenagers themselves. And since the majority of anime characters are teenagers, we as a whole tend to forget that at that age we are bound to make more mistakes than we would as an adult.
The thing you need to understand about Hanebado is that this is not a typical moe show with cute girls doing cute things while all sharing the same passion like Harukana Receive or Yuru Camp. And while this anime is about badminton, the sport is not the main focus of the story. In fact, it never has been. This isn’t a sports story with a bunch of drama thrown in, this is a character driven story that is mainly about one character’s tragic journey with badminton being her driving force. The sport itself acts both as a subplot and a driving force for its characters. Every major character you see has their own story to tell. What they went through to get where they are, what hardships they had to face, and ultimately how they feel about each other.
To give some comparisons, Hanebado shares a lot of parallels to the Rocky movies, specifically the first two, and it’s story is essentially the dark side of the those film. While Rocky Balboa was on quest to prove himself, Ayano is on a quest for revenge. Additionally, many characters in Hanebado represent other characters in the Rocky films, with some obvious differences of course. To truly understand Hanebado and the story it’s trying to tell, we have to look at every character individually. Which is why for this review, instead of doing my usual EASY TO UNDERSTAND kind of thing, I am going to talk about every who has played some role in Ayano’s life. On that note this will not include Nagisa or Nozomi because both of them virtually have nothing to do with Ayano. Hopefully, even if you still don’t like this show after this review, one day you will come to understand and perhaps even appreciate it because as we get older we begin to have a better understanding or not just fictional characters, but the human mind as well.
KAORUKO SERIGAYA - The Arch Nemesis
Let’s start with the one who inadvertently started the whole thing. When we first see Kaoruko she immediately strikes you as a person who is very arrogant, very disrespectful, and perhaps a little crazy. Her history with Ayano is that of a classic arch nemesis. Being one of the earliest of Ayano’s opponents, Kaoruko was unable to beat her until she deliberately got Ayano sick with her cold, sabotaging their match while using the excuse that she wanted to fight on even terms. Because of that, Ayano ended losing, something that would a devastating effect on her. A few years later she shows up at Ayano’s school unannounced and challenges Ayano, beating not through skill but through psychology.
So in the beginning it’s easy to dislike Kaoruko. She intimidates her opponents by talking down on them, making them feel that they’re no match for her. She even trash talks her own teammates. However, there’s a lot more to Kaoruko than you realize for she is essentially the Apollo Creed of this anime. In the Rocky movies Apollo also liked to brag and trash talked his opponents, but he also had the means to back it up. He didn’t become the heavyweight champion for nothing, he did it by doing the work that was required. Kaoruko is exactly the same way. She may be rude and disrespectful, but she didn’t get where she was by doing nothing. She’s worked harder than any other player on her team. She doesn’t play badminton for popularity points. She plays it because she wants to, and she wants to be the best out there. She’s earned the right to brag and trash talk.
But of course, her arrogance eventually got the better of her. In her second official match with Ayano, she made the mistake of thinking she was facing the exact same opponent. Well, she soon found out she was wrong and lost because of it. However, she didn’t go down without a fight and this is where I really do admire her. Like Apollo, she’s very knowledgeable about the sport she plays. In addition, she does have a cute side to her which is shown when she develops a schoolgirl crush on Ayano’s badminton coach. However, when it comes to badminton she gets serious. When she realizes she is not facing the same Ayano from before, she changes her strategy. She uses all her knowledge of badminton in a effort to beat her opponent, believing that she can win after falling behind. All the work she’s put in shows, to the point that even her teammates, who she was rude to before, can’t help but cheer her on. But in the end, it’s not enough and she loses, her pride being further damaged by Ayano’s own trash talk.
Now you can say that she had it coming, and she did, but I like to believe that her loss against Ayano finally showed her that she wasn’t invincible, that she was as vulnerable as every other player, and that she finally accepted her human. This may sound crazy but I actually consider Kaoruko to be the best girl of the anime. The reason why I believe that is because in that final scene when she broke down after her loss, it showed me that beneath all that arrogance there is a sweet girl there. The problem is that she lacks the social skills to really express them. So in the end, Kaoruko is not an evil person. Arrogant, yes, but not evil. And she actually respects Ayano because she is the reason she works really hard to perfect her skills. And again, she may have started the whole thing with Ayano, however she is not directly responsible for Ayano’s mother leaving. And speaking of which, let’s now shift our focus to…
UCHIKA HANESAKI - Worst Mother Of The Year
We have every reason to hate this character, for under no circumstances should a parent ever abandon a child. However, I disagree with everyone who says that she is a terrible person. A terrible mother, definitely, but not a terrible person. The thing you need to understand about Uchika is that she is a badminton fanatic. To her, badminton is her life to the point where it’s her obsession. It consumes her everyday thought. And when you look at her past, it’s understandable. She was a ten time national champion… who suddenly became pregnant and had a child. Now we don’t know what the exact circumstances were leading to her pregnancy, but even though her life had suddenly changed her obsession with badminton didn’t. And sadly there’s a lot of parents in the real world who are like this.
When you’ve had such a successful career in whatever your profession is, settling down and starting a family is the furthest thing in your mind. You’re either ready for it, or you’re not. And that’s the thing with Uchika, she was simply not ready to become a mother yet because her mind was always on badminton even when she was pregnant with Ayano. This carried on through Ayano’s childhood and later Connie’s. In every scene Uchika is in, flashback or otherwise, she is always talking about something related to badminton. It’s never about them. Heck, she doesn’t even see them as her daughters or even as children. She sees them as her proteges. She doesn’t see herself as a mother, she sees herself as a coach. It doesn’t mean she didn’t love them any less, it’s that she doesn’t know how to be a mother. Her obsession with badminton is her undoing.
Her leaving Ayano initially wasn’t because of Ayano, it was because of herself. When Ayano lost, her badminton mind told her that she had failed as coach. Because of that, she leaves Ayano to relieve her frustration by training her other student Connie but ended staying longer than she planned when Connie started to show potential. Again, her mind is always on badminton. Later on, we discover that the real reason was because she wanted Ayano to develop her skills on her own without having to rely on her. Now of course, this doesn’t excuse her actions but when you look at her character it does make sense and she even acknowledges that she’s been a terrible mother. A terrible person wouldn’t say that. In families who are financially successful, especially the very rich ones, more often than not we see the children of those families grow into spoiled brats, sometimes even violent ones. This is because either the parents are spoiled brats themselves or were so focused of their lives and careers they ended up neglecting their own children. In the case of Ayano and her mother’s successful career, who’s to say Ayano wouldn’t have turn out the same way if she continued to cling to Uchika?
When you really think about, Ayano’s strained relationship with her mother is not much different from Indiana Jones and his strained relationship with his father. Both their parents are very much alike and yet they were both trying to teach their children to rely on themselves rather than their parents. Henry Jones ignored his son for the most part partly due to his obsession with the Holy Grail while Uchika took the more extreme method by leaving Ayano behind. Both had the same idea, but Uchika’s method was entirely wrong and she knows it, but again her mind is always on badminton. Her decision has left a permanent scar on Ayano, one that she will have to deal with one day. Luckily for Ayano, she had at her side…
ELENA FUJISAWA - The Childhood Friend
At this point in time Elena was the closest person to Ayano after Uchika’s departure. She had tried to support Ayano the best that she could as a friend though. In a way, she’s essentially Mickey Goldmill, Rocky’s original trainer. Her mistake though was that she didn’t fully understand Ayano’s trauma with her abandonment. You see, a lot of people claim that Elena is entirely at fault for bringing Ayano back into badminton when she didn’t want to when in truth it wasn’t because how was she supposed to know what was going to happen to Ayano? Simple, she couldn’t have and it’s because she didn’t know about Uchika’s other student Connie.
The reason why she forcibly brought Ayano back into the sport of badminton was she because she felt that Ayano’s reason was very foolish, and I agree with her. Why should you abandon the sport you love so much just because you’re mother left you? Elena is basically trying to tell Ayano that, “Hey, there are better ways to play badminton. Forget about your mother. Play for yourself, or better yet, play for a team.”. Elena was simply doing was friends do, helping her friend out by telling Ayano she shouldn’t give up her passion just because her mother. And in the first five episodes, Ayano begins to see a new light in the sport. She begins to enjoy it again and becomes fascinated with the idea of being with a team. Elena had done her job by bringing happiness to Ayano again and all was going well. That is until the sudden and unexpected arrival of…
CONNIE CHRISTENSEN - The Other Protege
Now Connie is the most misunderstood character in this anime. A Danish girl who is rather tall, she was trained by Uchika at an early age due to the overseas trips Uchika often took. People write off this character because of how she initially treats Ayano and for her sudden character shifts. I understand perfectly well why people really dislike this character. However, the reason for the dislike isn’t necessarily because of bad writing, but rather the anime’s poor execution of her character especially when she tries to be nicer to Ayano. For me though, Connie is the character I feel the most sorry for because she is basically the innocent victim in this story. Granted, she pretty much brought on herself but let me try to explain Connie’s character as best I can.
The thing about Connie is that she’s very competitive when it comes to badminton. Her coach Uchika is also very competitive in badminton, so naturally she assumed Ayano would be the same. Like Kaoruko, she wants to prove that she’s the best in the sport but the big difference is that she has a more personal reason. She wants to prove that she’s the better student of Uchika’s two proteges. In a competitive sport like badminton where you’ve been trained by the same teacher this is a perfectly normal thing to do. Who wouldn’t want to prove who’s the best of the two? The problem was that Connie was overcome by her overeagerness to prove herself. While it’s never shown in the anime it’s heavily implied that Uchika did not want Connie to face Ayano just yet. Whether this was because Ayano would beat her easily or because she wouldn’t take to well with suddenly having a stepsister is uncertain, but given Uchika’s character it was quite likely both.
Now some of you I’m sure are asking about Connie sudden request for Ayano to accept her as her sister instead of her rival when she was so hostile towards her in the beginning. Well, to understand that you have to look at Connie’s own past for it’s very similar to Ayano’s. Through her flashbacks we see that Connie had lived a very lonely life in her childhood. Every scene we see her she is always alone. We’re never shown why exactly that but considering she was living in a very nice house it’s safe to assume that she had parents that virtually ignored her and not because she was an orphan. She developed a passion for badminton but this did little to cure the loneliness in her heart. Then comes Uchika, who not only becomes her coach but takes her in as her daughter. Despite Uchika’s faults, this is one of the kindest things she’s even done even though it would later have a devastating effect on Ayano.
The reason for Connie’s initial hostility isn’t actually directed Ayano personally, but rather at the idea of being part of a team as shown in their first match. This has nothing to do with any so called rivalry, it’s actually has to with Connie’s insecurity. When you look at her past, it makes a lot of sense. Given the lonely life she’s gone through she’s pretty much taught herself that she doesn’t need to rely on others. However, deep down she wants to be part of Ayano’s family, but now that Ayano is adopting a new family with her team Connie considers this to be a threat. When she realize she that she wasn’t alone through her teammates, she discovered that her entire thinking was wrong and she tried to make up with Ayano. At least, that was the intention. The problem was that the anime didn’t execute very well which is why her sudden change came off as both unrealistic and unbelievable to many. However, by the time she realized this the it was already too late. Her declaration to Ayano about being Uchika’s second daughter ended causing much more damage to their relationship than she realized.
Connie’s mistake though was that she rushed in without thinking. Her even bigger mistake was on how little she knew about Ayano. She only knew what Uchika had told her and had assumed that Ayano would be no different from her. What she didn’t know was the fact that Uchika had abandoned Ayano and that it had left a very deep scar. She didn’t know about Ayano’s mental state until she actually saw it for herself. And when she did, it scared the living hell out her. All of a sudden she found herself right in the middle of ugly family feud, something she wanted no part of. She could have attempted to apologize to Ayano for her reckless behavior, but at that point Ayano had already gone over the edge. Yes, she may have cause it but again this was due to how little she knew about Ayano. Any apology now won’t do her any good. This was now Ayano’s and Uchika’s problem. They have to sort it out themselves. Luckily for Connie, she had her teammates to support her. And now let’s finally talk about…
AYANO HANESAKI - The Near Tragedy
Ayano’s story is a very sad one. It is a perfect representation of someone who fell to the dark side. To quote the famous words from Jedi Master Yoda:
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”
One thing these characters all have in common is the fear of losing, which is quite common in single player competitive sports. All of us who are very passionate about sports hate the thought of losing. It is a bitter pill to swallow. But for Ayano, it’s a much more personal reason.
Ayano’s fear started when she lost to Kaoruko and that loss was greatly magnified when she sees her mother literally walk out of her life. No phone calls, no letters, no communication of any kind, nothing. She believed she lost her mother because her loss to Kaoruko was too much Uchika to bear, not knowing the real reason behind it. Because of this, she was afraid she was never see her mother again. She convinced herself that the only way she can get her mother back was by winning again. Winning every game she played would bring her closer to her mother. Any loss would take her further away, so losing for her was not an option. And that’s exactly what she did, she turned into a badminton monster. Then one evening she sees a badminton magazine with Uchika on the cover, the very first time she’s had any contact with her mother. However, when she opens the magazine she see a picture of her mother with a stranger at her side, kissing her on the cheek along with a quote that she won her championship thanks to Uchika as her coach. It is here that Ayano’s fear turns to anger. To her, it is the ultimate betrayal.
Luckily she was able to put aside her anger by pursuing other sports such as tennis, as we saw in the beginning, only to be dragged back into badminton by Elena for reasons I’ve already stated. Understandably, she was nothing to do with the sport she once loved. Before then she only playing in the hopes she would get her mother. Now that she knows that Uchika has another student, she no longer has a reason to play. At this point, she feels she’s lost everything. Her rematch against Nagisa reminds her of her loss against Kaoruko. Then Kaoruko herself shows up and Ayano tries to quit the badminton club after Kaoruko beats her again, and then later on when she loses against Connie she nearly suffers a mental breakdown. She tries to make excuses for it but then runs away. However, before that game happened she was beginning to see badminton in a new light. She was beginning to fascinated with the idea of playing for a team. Unfortunately, Connie’s untimely arrival would destroy whatever hope Ayano had from saving herself from her anger. When Connie declared that Uchika was her substitute mother and she was going prove her worth over Ayano, this finally pushes Ayano over the edge. Her anger has now turned into hatred. She now wants revenge for all the suffering she’s gone through.
Elena is the first to see Ayano’s yandere like eyes and it scares the living hell out of her. The sweet little girl that she knew from childhood was no longer there. It was now replaced by this monster who is out for revenge. At this point, Ayano wants the people who put her through all this suffering to pay for it. She starts with Kaoruko, the one who again inadvertently started it all. As mentioned before, Kaoruko made the mistake of thinking she was facing the same opponent. But at this point, Ayano’s quest for revenge was in full force. While Kaoruko did fight until the very end, she was no match for this new version of Ayano. All the trash talk she had gave Ayano earlier was thrown right back into her face and it really hurt her pride. Ayano’s next target would be Connie, possibly followed by Uchika who she intends to abandon in the end. She wants to prove that she no longer needs her mother. However, she will have to get one last obstacle who is in the form of Nagisa.
To give an comparison, Ayano in the beginning is very much like John Rambo. In the movie First Blood, Rambo was both abandoned and betrayed by his country simply he was a Vietnam War veteran. He was alone and very depressed. He virtually had no reason to go on. Ayano is very much the same. She was abandoned by her mother for no good reason and later on she lost the will to play badminton. Then Rambo finally snaps due to his mistreatment from police and goes on rampage for survival. The same thing happens to Ayano after Connie’s declaration, except this time it’s more personal. Ayano essentially becomes a more extreme version Clubber Lang from Rocky III. Like Clubber, she develops a very cold and arrogant personality. She treats everyone like they’re below her, even her own teammates. She’s no longer interested in teams, she’s only interested in playing the actually good players with the intent of destroying them entirely and then giving payback to both Connie and her mother.
Despite these great characters and a really powerful storyline, I'm really disappointed with how this anime ended. I had hoped for, and even wanted, a second season. With the way the story was going, I just didn't believe that LINDEN FILMS wouldn't end the way it did. Unfortunately though, that was too much to ask and the ending we got I felt was both underwhelming and it made the story feel incomplete.
While I didn't expect Ayano to forgive her mother right away, she really learn anything throughout her experience through the whole series. It pretty ended the way it started. Nothing was really resolved between Ayano, her mother, Connie, and to lesser extent Kaoruko. It was just left the way it was, leaving you feeling really unsatisfied. Worse yet, Ayano is still in her her crazed state. Don't get me wrong, I didn't want to see Ayano go completely to the dark side, but I would like to see some kind of redemption.
The best characters, heroic characters that is, are the ones who make a mistake, a very big mistake, and then go on a journey to redeem themselves and to make things right again. For this anime I felt that some major tragedy should have befallen Ayano, one that finally wakes her up from her craze state. I knew her being beaten by Nagisa might have some impact, but not one powerful enough to really get through to her.
I would have liked this better if season one ended on a tragic note and then season two picks up right where it left off with Ayano going on mission to redeem herself while receiving help from a completely unexpected source and ending with her biggest and most important match against Connie. And it the end, all are able to forgive each other and peace is brought back into their small world. That would have been a much more satisfying ending, at least for me.
Overall, Hanebado! is not a bad anime, but a really underwhelming one. The story and characters are great despite some poor executions. However, the ending does not doe the story justice for how it resolves some things but leaves others unresolved. A prime example of wasted potential. This anime deserved a second season, but sadly it's unlikely we'll ever get one.
I was reluctant to call this show a summer Sleeper Pick
I mean who would think a show with amazing animation, body physics, and deep and investing plot that satiates you in the moment but is appetizing enough to keep you craving for the next serving.
Rich and Robust characters with varying degrees of development and outlooks, each holding their own goals and desires close at heart.
One of the best opening scenes that i have watched in quite some time, with little to no dialogue, a world was built in between the girls you were watching in a spell...doing what?
That's right, Hanebado is
a sports anime, about Badminton. In reality I feel Badminton is only the device used to put over the actual plot of the story, and that overcoming emotional distress.
Nagasaki-The tall voluptuous take no names badminton player, who has earned everything she has through hard work, she has no natural talent, her height is at her advantage, but she never just relies on that alone. She goes hard at practice so much so in the early scenes you can see the negative effects this has over the entire badminton club.
Ayano- Daughter of a prodigy, with overbearing natural skill its almost annoying, the kinda of girl who has natural skill, that in comparison to Nagasaki you really want here to lose until...you see the insights of her back story,were she came from her child hood, and of course there is a picture so damning, so hurtful, that when you see it in the show, you stare at it in show the anger you hope Ayano feels begins to surround you...
These two depressing stories, make a tie in for an emotional conflicting ride that only wants you to see the best for birth girls...
Key note there is some things the Anime left out in the early story about Ayano, Personally for the Anime this heightens the drama a lot and keep a certain mystery shrouded in total darkness, and very anxious.
The Manga dampens the blow but in my personal opinion "same story two different tones" Thus far I love the anime adaption...
I gave this show 10 across the board
Sometimes you run across a show, you hit play, and you fall into the world, and enjoy the ride.
I only write short reviews for the people who want a quick rundown of what to expect. (this shouldn't spoil anything for you)
The art and sound were incredible at least...
Now the story was enjoyable and I would argue the main points were believable for example Ayano's mom leaves her at a young age (guessing between 6-10) and she obviously resents her for it and thinks she left because of her talent. When she starts playing in high school she plays only to win to prove to her mom she doesnt need her (which i think is MORE the reasonable) which i enjoyed because it was
consistent and it separated her from the crowd of protagonists in sports animes. But of course they needed to have a happy ending so in the last episode she realized how fun badminton is and makes up with her mom when she had shown up three days before the final, and Ayano had refused to talk to her due to the anger she had. That ending felt so forced and unnecessary, she can realize its fun to play badminton without having to do a complete 180 on liking her mother and becoming the stereotypical protagonist?
To be honest i only wrote this because of how mad i was after watching the 13th episode. I liked the first 8 when she was a ruthless player and only thought about winning but after that it started talking about morals and went to shit. well maybe my rant will make you wanna watch it... though i really don't care.
It takes a lot of effort to fail at sports anime but this one manages to do it.
Yeah, it's pretty bad. The worst thing for me was that it felt like they didn't really know if they wanted the show to be your typical "funny, upbeat with a few serious moments here and there" sports anime or something more serious and realistic. At times they want to make the whole thing sound really serious and realistic and then they give one of the main characters an "eye transformation" power up or an "i win because of the power of my heart even though i'm actually
playing injured" moment which throws away all the seriousness they'd built up and overall makes the whole thing feel bs af.
The characters are average at best. By the time the last episode came i really didn't give a banana peel about any of the characters involved in the final match. Both were annoying, bland and quite boring, although "psycho eyes" mode girl was interesting for a little bit but they also ruined that with a bunch of cheap drama. Their reasons to "fight" were lame or even non existent. Things happen because the plot dictates it, not because the characters have real motivations and feelings to make them happen.
The plot is basically non existent. Several things are happening but each character's stories never really come together as a whole. The ending feels rushed and incomplete. They never really explain important plot points like why the hell the main character's mother just decided to leave her like a bag of trash and go live in another country and adopt another girl. Don't ask how the hell is a japanese single woman able to adopt a kid in Denmark? I don't know either. The mysteries of bad writing.
Overall looks alright, sounds average, plot is bad, characters are bad.
Ah Hanebado, the sport that is really underrated in all honesty is finally being adapted into a show...except that show is disguised as a cheap drama with a competition to see who can draw the best yandere face at LIDENFILMS
They don't call it HaneBADo for a reason amirite?
*THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS*
So Hanebado delves into the perspective of 2 central protagonists. Well I say to but really we just have 1 protag while the other is pretty much disregarded for half the story. If I had to give an analogy over how the story went, let's use a burger shall we? Now Aragaki our
hero...ine represents the buns, shown at both the beginning and the end of the story whereas Hanesaki, is like that weird special sauce that once you bite into the burger just leaks everywhere and covers the entire burger and gets your hands all dirty and gives you a bad time. Anywho our story starts off with a match between our central protagonists, in which one is clearly putting all the effort she's got while the other, yep you guessed it...has a yandere face on. Yandere face wins and our other protagonist goes into deep depression and copes using drugs and alcohol, which leads her to develop anger issues. Well everything except the first and last parts are false. Fast forward years later in high school and what a surprise! They're both going to the same school. Eventually our yandere friend (who is perfectly sane at this point) get peer pressured into joining the school's badminton team even though she clearly doesn't want to, and once she meets Anger issues guess what... she gets anger issues!! Now I would be lying if I didn't say that this setup was pretty promising (barring the obvious issues). What we could've gotten is 2 rivals who are opposed against each other, one who is energetic and the other who is more serious, learn to cope with each other for the greater good of the school's team and rely on each other to develop their own skills. Sounds familiar doesn't it?
Instead what we got was 12 eps of utter nonsense ranging from Hanesaki's mother leaving her when she was young (which we'll have fun with that later), to Hanesaki having a non-biological sister (yay yuri shippers) to pointless side character expeditions just so we know that the whole world doesn't revolve around our protagonists and that there are actually other members in the club. Cause y'know, it's a sports anime
See the main problem with Hanebado is that it tries to fit in a bunch of shounen elements (even though it's a seinen) but it never takes the time to well... actually show them. What we end up getting is a bunch of half-assed executions and all problems getting resolved in a matter of minutes. Athlete is currently in a slump? Yeah just play a few rounds and you're good as new. Can't win a game even when your yandere face is active? Yeah just remember that one time everyone said "we're a team" and despite you treating them like absolute shit, they're still behind you. Mother left you for supposedly bad intentions when you were young? Yeah don't worry about it she obviously had good intentions for it, just lose a game and it's all settled
So how does this wonderful journey end you may ask? Well we do get that typical sports scenario where the last few episodes are all focused on the end-all game of the century where it's round 2 between yandere and anger issues (although she has calmed down at this point so hey, character development amirite). Now usually in shows that do this like Kuroko's Basket, we get these prolonged episodes to build tension and hype into the game, in order for all the elements such as sound, art and characters to come together for the epic ending. In Hanebado's case, what we get is the kind of shaft style art you'd see in ef: slow motion jump cut back and forth, and constant breathing for about a solid minute or 2. Yep that's it. There's no thrilling use of OST, no witty quotes about never giving up, we don't even get to see SPOILER Aragaki smash it or finesse it past Hanesaki. We just get a bunch of uncolored lines, some breathing and then it jumps to the end. Even the crowd were like wtf is going on
Judging by the last few sentences you can probably guess where I'm going with sound. It's not really there. Well it is but not where it is needed the most. One of the main purposes of the OST is to set the atmosphere, whether it be tense, joyful or dramatic like we've seen recently with BnHA S3. Part of what makes OST's so outstanding is the ability to recognize certain tracks that play, such as Monogatari's Suteki Meppu, or the infamous hug scene in Clannad AS. Sure there are dramatic tracks in dramatic situations, but there's nothing really that gets me into the mood of the situation. Now you may be complaining "It's not a shounen so don't expect that kind of stuff" but even in something like the Chuunibyou movie, the use of the OST provided an excellent set to the situation. Moving on the OP isn't anything too spectacular/funky/outright intriguing. It's not a bad song per se, but the energetic vibes from it really contrast with the show in general
Now this is the one field where I do have to give credit for. Not so much the art, since it was basically yandere faces and especially during the final match it was all over the place, but the animation. For badminton, a sport with a lot of rapid movements, I thought the animation was pretty well done, especially since the use of CGI was scarce (if used at all apart from the shuttlecock). Maybe the animation off the matches wasn't amazing, but definitely the actual matches themselves were some eye candy
Characters: As my old friend Anakin would say, this is where the fun begins
Bunch of Side Characters: Literally have no use at all other than to visually show how much Hanesaki/Aragaki are treating them like shit, and to lighten the mood when those 2 can't since they're always mad. There was also a romance subplot going on with some love triangle drama, but that turned out to be rubbish because main girl didn't know if she like the B(adminton) or the D(ick). Spoiler, she chooses the B.
Izumi: Slightly more important side character. She stays by Aragaki's side when she goes batshit crazy and practically causes half the club to leave. Oh yeah, she also's involved in a match or 2 and gets involved with some past beef with big lips and her rapist looking coach
Tachibana: New coach that introduced himself by molesting Hanesaki's hands in the beginning. Nice. Literally only there to provide commentary on the game (as every sports anime needs) and to constantly remind Aragaki that her knee is gonna get messed up (but she has plot armor so who cares)
Nozomi: Big lips. I say that but they aren't really that big so excuse me. Anywho not much to say other than she was selected because rapist coach though she followed instructions well or something. Pretty much becomes rapist coach's slave until she manages to get saved with the power of Badminton, cause every sports anime needs that slave needing saving right? (Looking at you Major)
Rapist coach: By far the most developed character. We see him start off as your generic douche-bag who only cares about winning, but then he suddenly does a 180 and becomes the generic old dude who gives insights on the match. Now that's some serious change! Oh yeah, he also completely analyzed Aragaki and her fitness by staring at her ass for a few seconds
Serigaya: Pink haired ponytail antagonist. Molested Hanesaki when they were young so that she would get sick and therefore lose the game (which led to her mother leaving her). What an asshole. Eventually gets paired up against Hanesaki and gets defeated. Take that dick
Erena: Hanesaki's BFF and that girl who peer pressured her into joining. Ngl she's probably my least favourite character. The whole time she acts all confused as to why Hanesaki is so depressed and yandere like when she's literally the reason. And when she gets scolded by Hanesaki she just sits there and sulks (Well I guess what else are you supposed to do)
Connie: Golden haired ponytail antag...actually I don't even know. In the beginning she acts like an antagonist, triggering her period when she realizes that she was at the convenience store with Hanesaki after all. Then she proceeds to rub it in Hanesaki's face that she's her half-sister and all of a sudden she acts all nice and wants to make amends with her? She literally makes no sense and we get an entire episode on her devoting herself to become a family with Hanesaki (like that's gonna work) and then gets dumped on and shat by yanesaki (get it cause yandere Hanesaki? No?) and then is no longer seen ever again. And that doesn't even begin to question the way she got with yane's mom. She literally impressed her with her badminton skills, Uchika tells her that she's her new mom and she just whole heatedly accepts? There are so many things weird about this. Where are her biological parents? Why does she completely ditch said parents and/or guardians to go and live with a complete stranger? Why is she so casual and calm about this even though she's a kid? Why is she at a badminton team if her parent's are nowhere to be found?
Uchika: Oh boy here we go. Trying to understand Uchika's mind set is like trying to claim Ousama Game is the best anime of all time. You just don't. Being the all famous pro badminton player that she is, it's normal for her to want to get her daughter into the sport she loves. So, when she loses a game since she was playing while sick, what does Uchika decide to do? That's right, fucking LEAVE HER. Like seriously I don't even know how much weed the author must have smoked to come up with a plot line so random as this. It's about as ridiculous as Snake destroying a tank with solely grenades, but at least that was bad ass, this was just retarded. But wait! At the last minute we're presented with the whole bad mom was good all along, and her reasoning was that... she wanted Hanesaki to get better at badminton? Like seriously that's some ass writing. But because of happy endings and all Hanesaki and Uchika reunite at the end and hold hands and circle jerk over how Connie hasn't been shown for a couple of episodes and everyone lives happily ever after. Speaking of Connie, Uchika literally showed no sign of guilt over leaving Hanesaki, even going as far as casually talking about her and showing photos to a young Connie. I get how Darling in the Franxx was trying to low key promote more births, but if people are gonna give birth to Uchika's then humanities sense is gone.
Aragaki: Arguably the best character in the series, mainly because she wasn't present in half of it. For real, even though she started off being some angsty teen she gradually grew to become more calm and collected in her actions, as if the writers decided halfway through that they forgot to include the quiet type character into the show. Despite constant moaning from coach molester, she soldiers on and eventually wins the whole tournament and goes to nationals. Whoop di dee.
Hanesaki: Yay saving the last character for last. If you're ever bored and want to play a drinking game with your friends, drink every time Hanesaki puts on her yandere face. By the end of the show congrats! you'd be in hospital. Seriously the amount of times she puts on her yandere face makes Yuno look like your average harem girl. And the constant mood swings don't help either. Her personality changes so many times even a mathematician would have a hard time finding that angle. As the story progresses, we come to learn more about our protagonist. Like how she got molested, got sick and then got her mother leaving the front door. But don't worry, she wasn't mad that her mother completely abandoned her, she was mad that she thought her mother thought she was shit at badminton. That way at the end, all the pieces were put together for their heartfelt reunion amirite? Oh yeah, she also treats everyone like shit for pretty much her whole time, but as soon as she returns to normal everything's all good and no harm done. If only irl sports teams worked that way.
Overall I wouldn't say HaneBADo is the worst sports anime there is, but it certainly is far from the best. On paper it's good that they took a more dramatic approach to typical sports shows, but if you're gonna do that route, then it kinda makes you look bad when you start adding cliche shounen sports elements to it
Although I’ve marked this series as “Completed”, I actually ragequit in the last episode with only a few minutes left to go. I’ve never seen a supposedly character-driven show fail so hard on every plot-related aspect while acing everything else.
The OP drew me in with its slick, beautiful animation and the charming smile of Ayano Hanesaki. Unfortunately, upon finishing (or near-finishing) this show, the only positive impressions I was left with were indeed the animation and Ayano Hanesaki.
Hanebado! seemingly wants to depict the growth of Ayano and her counterpart Nagisa into badminton players who play with a happy, healthy mindset. Yet while it
sets that up decently, every step along the way is fumbled. Most damning of all (and it’s hard to pick any one thing here) is the treatment of Ayano. Ayano is depicted as a girl with massive trauma lying underneath her seemingly cute, innocent surface. She’s been abandoned by her mother because of her inability as a child to be a perfect badminton robot and as a result, playing badminton reverts the paltry progress she’s made into having feelings or developing a persona separate from vying for approval from her only caregiver, even if it’s stunted, childish, and a little backwards. It’s actually a nuanced and realistic portrayal of childhood trauma that I deeply relate with.
Somehow, every single character watches her relive her trauma and shift back into a zombie who plays solely to avoid being abandoned and to create some feeble sense of self-worth, with snark and arrogance as her only defense, and NOBODY HELPS WHATSOEVER. As they witness this descent that they themselves brought upon her, her clubmates fail to see that she needs people to care about her and react to her with jealousy and hostility as soon as she really begins falling apart, her coach gives up on projecting his failed Olympic dreams into her when she fails to have any emotional response towards them and dismisses all her hard work as “natural talent”, her best friend doesn’t realize she needs to take responsibility for pushing Ayano into this until the very end, and worst of all— her mother. The story idea of “I’m a poor trauma survivor and everybody hates me” isn’t impossible to work with, but everyone here is portrayed with no critical eye, and absolutely nobody has to deeply rethink their worldview. The sideplots with the other club mates whose names I can’t even recall are dumb and boring as a result, and absolutely nobody is likeable. What’s the point when we’ve clearly seen a setup of “Ayano’s trigger is badminton and she’s reliving her trauma because of that” and then proceed to have everybody stomp on our protagonist?! Shouldn’t we hate them then?! But, of course, this show doesn’t care about that— just look at the mother.
The mother returns to Ayano in the second half of the show. Unsurprisingly Ayano reacts with pure numbness and completely rejects her. The mom doesn’t realize the error of her ways— AND THE SHOW REFUSES TO ACKNOWLEDGE THEM. Up to the end, her mom holds the same messed up belief that she raised Ayano the right way by abandoning her because she’s better at badminton now (?!?!) and the show STILL attempts to depict her as a sympathetic figure. When Elena weakly calls her out, there’s no follow up. When it’s nearly the end of the show and it’s time for Ayano to magically 180 and decide she loves playing badminton because the club mates who previously hated her also magically 180’d and suddenly don’t hate her for being snarky anymore, Ayano forgives her mom. And that’s when I closed the episode.
These magical 180s pop up often: sometimes for drama or plot convenience, and sometimes for no reason at all. Whether it’s Connie suddenly coming to Japan and her flip flopping on whether she likes Ayano and what she actually wants with her (wants to be sisters, but is cruel to her? but then sugary sweet? but why?), her club mates randomly changing their opinions on her (sometimes even before she has a breakdown, club mates tell her they hate her... but now they’re friends! Even though she hasn’t talked to them for two episodes.), Nagisa’s Tension Creating Potential Injury, Nagisa’s power level, Ayano’s power level, Nozomi deciding losing is how she wants to play, Nozomi’s coach being okay with that... the character motivations and actions simply don’t make any sense. I’d praise the badminton strategy and technical showings, since it’s a sports anime, but the complete whiffing of the final Big Badminton Final (power levels aside, SWITCHING HANDS BETWEEN HITS?) also makes me strongly question the writers’ ability to write something coherent. Sure, it’s beautiful— the faces, the unabashed depiction of sweat— and the breathing sequence is ambitious, but it’s completely soured by the heavy baggage of the plot.
In summary, just enjoy the opening. Look at Ayano’s cute smile. And for both her sake and your own, don’t watch Hanebado.