Figure skater Tazusa Sakurano is on the fast track to the Olympics. As a top contender, her chances rest on a single competition in Canada. However, during her program, she falls and hits her head on the ice, knocking her unconscious. At the same time, Canadian stunt pilot Pete Pumps goes down in a fiery blaze.
After her devastating failure, Tazusa returns home to Japan, but she starts hearing a voice in her head. In reality, when Pete had arrived at the gates of heaven, he was denied access for his sins. Instead, he was told to wait 100 days and is now trapped in Tazusa's body! Unwilling to let this interrupt her life—even if her body is a bit crowded—Tazusa moves forward with skating, all while a pesky voice may just be able to help her achieve her dream.
Being from a cold weather climate winter sports have always been a part of my life, and that includes figure skating. What little girl from my generation didn’t admire the grace and beauty of Katarina Witt and not want to emulate her? Ice skating anime is pretty rare and to my knowledge this is the only one I know of. It’s quite good and should appeal to almost anyone, even if you don’t know a double axel from a triple toe loop.
Ginban Kaleidoscope revolves around a young Japanese skater, Tazusa Sakurano whose dream is to make it to the 2006 Winter
Games in Torino. She is one of the top skaters in Japan but has the unfortunate tendency to fall in big events. After another disappointment while at an event in Canada in which she suffers a bad fall she suddenly finds herself possessed by the spirit of a Canadian teen who died in a plane crash, Pete Pumps. What follows is some hilarious comedy, sports drama, and a little romance.
Having an athletic background I think I can relate too many of the themes presented in this anime. Though it is obviously dramatized for the screen I think the figure skating portion of it is fairly realistic. The interaction between Tazusa and Pete is amusing considering to everyone else she is talking to herself. Some of it is the kind of things only Japan would think about, such as Tazusa holding in going to the bathroom because she didn’t want him to see her doing that. Everything from her changing her clothes and bathing blindfolded so that he couldn’t peep on her to her eating tomatos because he hated them was also amusing and in a way gave some realism to the situation they were in. The comedy all works and I found myself laughing all the way through it.
There are a few inconsistencies though. Mainly they revolve around Pete's possession of Tazusa. In the beginning we are told that he can only see what she sees and can’t manifest his spirit outside of her but this is contradicted many times later. Pete sees things that he shouldn’t be able to be seen, and Tazusa will speak at him as if he was standing next to her. Now I know why they did it, to have her not speak to anyone and not have a physical form for Pete for the audience to see might have been a bit odd but the story could have been written better to account for this. It’s a minor annoyance but significant considering how important this was to the plot.
Tazusa and Pete are the only real important characters in the story. The entire show is seen pretty much through her perspective. Little development or screen time is given to any of her classmates, family, or even skating rivals. Most of them just come across as background scenery. None of them really feel like villains as the main antagonist in the story is really Tazusa against her own fears. Anyone who has competed in athletics knows that, especially at higher levels of competition, everyone has talent and everyone’s talent is usually pretty close to one another it is the mental toughness that often makes the difference. Tazusa's doubts about herself and her ability and her fears are very important to the story and make her feel very real. I thought she was a very interesting character and was the main reason I liked this show so much.
Pete is also a good character but ultimately not as interesting as Tazusa. This is mainly because the story really shows no interest in developing him at all as a character. We learn almost nothing about him. He was a pilot, he lived in Japan a lot, and he hates tomatoes. That’s about it. Never does Tazusa even try to find out about his personal life, his family and friends, or even what he looked like. I thought this was a bit farfetched as if I had some guy possessing me I think I would probably want to learn something about him.
I wouldn’t call the art amazing but it is very good. The settings are very nice and the characters are appealing. I really liked Tazusa's skating costumes and the sports action was well done. There were a few inconsistencies such as characters talking in profile out of the sides of their mouths. The music was good, the OP/EN songs as well as the incidental score and the songs played during the skating events. I thought Tazusa's and Pete’s voice actors turned in a solid performance.
Those of you who like sports drama and comedy should really enjoy Ginban Kaleidoscope. While it’s not an amazing series for the ages, it should be worth quite a few laughs and tears.
For every anime where a plucky amateur becomes the star of the competition, for every anime where love and peace makes the hero or heroine new friends, and for every anime where dreams come true, there is Ginban Kaleidoscope; a bittersweet tale about reaching for your dreams and finding that winning isn't everything.
The strongest aspect of Ginban is easily story. Though the premise is hokey, the execution is flawless and handled exceptionally. Most tales of this nature often fail by lending themselves to comedy. Ironically, Ginban does that, but the jokes are just pointed enough that they sell. Not every joke, such as the running
gag of Mika thinking Tazusa is yelling at her when she's yelling at Pete, hits the mark, but the dialogue between Tazusa and Pete is full of zingers and visual gags that nearly always hit the mark.
Still, while the comedy is suprisingly good, Ginban does a praise-worthy job at handling the gravitas of a romance between a living person and a dead one. By the end of the series, it's very clear Tazusa's feelings for Pete. The resolution of which is purely bittersweet but well-crafted. Likewise, so is the resolution to Tazusa's Olympic dreams which demonstrate how much Tazusa really won.
The characterization of Tazusa is also amazing. Her development, attitude, and the whole of her parts when all is said and done is not only the antithesis of the stereotypical Junichi Sato heroine, but it highlights her individuality, her brazen independence, and her determination as something that can be admired as well. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the cast, but Ginban is so scattered and minimalistic with how it handles the supporting cast that it's better if you just focus on Tazusa and Pete, solely because this series very rarely focusing on anyone else.
Unfortunately, the technical aspects are hardly of praise. The art is sub-par and many of the performances are filled with reused animation. Even in the big performance, it's mostly just a rehash of an earlier performance with nothing that signifies how grand the performance is actually supposed to be. To further the point, I'm pretty sure you could have a drinking game for every time they use the animation where Tazusa falls on her butt.
The sound aspect is better, but not because of the BGM (which is rather bland) or the songs (which are also rather bland), but the performances, especially by lead Ayako Kawasumi in a role very uncharacteristic of her other performances. She completely sells Tazusa's entire attitude better than probably anyone else could. Hiroyuki Yoshino as Pete also does a capital job of filling the role of Pete. The Engrish was a bit hard to bear, but he was great when he stuck to Japanese.
In short, Ginban was a very pleasant experience. It's technical aspects may not be up to par, but the storyline and how the character of Tazusa is handled and performaned are praise-worthy for their brash originality.
Overall, I give Ginban Kaleidoscope an 8 out of 10.
For a sports anime, it wasn’t that bad. I’m not really a fan of sports-themed anime, but Ginban Kaleidoscope had another aspect to it that I liked. Comedy.
Comedy is probably Ginban Kaleidoscope strongest asset. Every episode had something you can laugh about. Some gags were repetitive, such as Tazusa’s inability to restrain herself from talking to Pete in public. It’s either people think she’s crazy (cause she looks like she’s talking to herself) or when she says something mean to Pete, people around her think that they’re talking to them and in turn they get hurt (Specially Tazusa’s coach and her friend Mika). Tazusa’s
tomato binges are also something to laugh about.
The characters were OK. Pete was likable, but I’m not sure about Tazusa. She is a bit high-maintenance. I don’t get where all her pride comes from because almost everyone hates her. The two characters were OK, but like most characters in typical romantic comedy shojo anime, they don’t have a lot of depth.
The voice acting was so-so. I guess I have to note the engrish. It was a good effort, especially for Dominique Miller’s seiyuu, Maya Okamoto. Smug and cocky sounded like Smag and Cacky. The surprising is, the extra voices had better English pronunciation/accents.
Animation was sub par. The drawing wavers almost every episode and it’s very noticeable. Takashima’s face changes every time he makes an appearance. There’s nothing special with the colors either and the colors are inconsistent as well.
I actually like the music. Both themes were very poppy, catchy and contemporary. Definitely fit for a shojo anime fanatic’s taste. I like the inserts and BGM too. Most of them were inspired by classic music. In fact, most of them ARE classic music.
It’s not bad, but it’s not that good either. I like the story, but I wish the other aspects were better too. I’m still glad I watched it – it’s still worth it after all.
The Story isn't really much interesting, because I didn't even know that she should win the Turino Cup olympics, It kinda revolve around the 100 Days till later in the story, I give it 8/10
The Art is pretty much, well it's very good, but then...In some episodes, Tazusa's Arms are longer than it should be before! So I'll give it 7/10
The Sound, is actually, OUTSTANDING! The opening and the ending theme song is really what gave Ginban Kaleidoscope, its name. The opening song is Focused on the Ginban (literally meaning: Figure Skating) part, we see in the opening theme: 'Dual', Tazusa and Pete Skating, while
in the ending theme: 'Energy' we just see a Kaleidoscope well, make Ginban Kaledioscope Complete, xD so 10/10
The Characters was alright, though some of the character wasn't really focused at all, Some of Tazusa's Competitors was just focused later on the story, because the Anime pretty much focused on Tazusa and Pete. So 8/10
The Enjoyment is, I really don't know what to put it in here, I enjoyed the Anime very very much, which makes me mad if I just missed one episode, xD so I'll give it 9/10