Ayano Hanesaki, a first-year student at Kanagawa Prefectural Kitakomachi High School, has a badminton ability able to surpass others effortlessly yet avoids playing the sport. She meets Nagisa Aragaki, a third-year student who practices day and night aiming to become the best player in Japan. Encouraged by coach Tachibana Kentarou, supported by club colleagues, and fired up by various rivals, the two engage in their youth and adored sport so thrilling like a shuttle flown at high speed!
Have you ever watched a glimpse of a show that captivates you from not the overall of the first episode, but in the first 3 mins of the show (and NO I'm not kidding)? Then Hanebado is the premiere show and one of the better ones to watch this Summer season. From the get-go, this series gets full-on with the techniques, visuals and storytelling, checking all the boxes of a series that's worth a shot to remember.
Hanebado, in a nutshell, is like sports shows in the realms of Haikyu! and Kuroko no Basket where the sports genre is played at the centerpiece and is what
makes or breaks people, in this case, the 2 female MCs, whom their rivalries quiver from (quote Mother's Basement): Natural-born talent vs. Hard-fought skill, at playing badminton.
The high school setting should be a no-brainer to everyone (while indeed overbearing), but the real caveat is in the character drama and how it is portrayed throughout, setting the scenes that are planned in motion. We are introduced to the characters that are borne out of necessity for each other: the hardworking Nagisa Aragaki and the disillusioned talented Ayano Hanesaki, two girls whom have fought with each other in a local competition in middle school, only to have that one win and loss determine the set-treading path for them.
Ayano, trained by her prodigy of a mother, their relationship as a family tradition fell out when she could not meet her mother's expectations, and has laid the foundation of her fear and reprisal of playing badminton, only to have the coach refuel the fire in her heart and overcome the fear of reprisal and just doing her best to enjoy playing badminton at her very best.
Aragaki, fuled by the loss to Ayano in middle school, hardened herself to train and in the process, got cold feet by others whom are not replicates to Ayano in skill and has a temper problem...until resolved by their coach and regained her happiness in the sport.
And together with the Badminton Club members and their insane leg-touching coach, as they solve problems and get better at doing that they do best: playing badminton in hopes of reaching to their ultimate goals. And seriously the writing and portrayal of the series was truly a sight to behold.
You know what else makes Hanebado stand out amongst the crowd? It's art and animation, held by people responsible over at studio Liden Films, of which the stunning visuals (the motions of the shuttlecock and matches between players) and breath-taking character models (human thighs that express real-life aesthetics) help spice the series in its direction forecasting and how the series used its manga source material and made it tenfold better, and you can tell that the staff clearly enjoyed the manga, and to which improved the anime adaptation from its simple premise to reeling in viewers with impressive and outstanding visuals. And that is backed by an OST which is both creative and crazy-frenzy and adds to the appeal of both OP and ED songs which are easy to listen to, yet are the pumping drivers for the series.
Hanebado is truly like the genre of sports anime in its Renaissance stages, with last season's Megalo Box to boot and following from trend-setters from popular series like Haikyuu! and Keijo!!!!!, and this being the up-the-game series to cement that sports anime is still good and pleasant to watch. And I'm not generally a sports anime fan, but this show won me over like how Megalo Box did last season.
This show is truly phenomenal in its production, and will give us viewers a taste of pleasure at the sheer amount of dedication put into this series, and comes highly recommended even if you're not a sports anime fan like me, but appreciate well detailed series and oohs and aahs at the wonder of such a project with passion and persistence.
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.
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.
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.