Henshin Ganbou! caught my eye a cloudy Tuesday when i had nothing better to do.
The first thing i noticed about it, was that it was written by the same person who wrote Bakemonogatari. The second this was that the art was above standard, for a one shot, that is. Those 2 things was enough for me to read it.
Henshin Ganbou! is a story about our main character Sunaki, who is a backup player on the baseball team. Sunaki places a love letter in Hiroi's locker and hopes for the best. Hiroi is known as the "class madonna" so his chances are VERY slim.
day Hiroi's friend Ichizono rejects our main character. What a surprise...
Heartbroken over the girl that we know shit about, Ichizono tries to cheer Sunaki (our main character, in case you forgot) up, by listing all his flaws and somehow manages to convince Sunaki to make Hiroi fall in love with him. "How does he do that?" you ask, rocking back and forth in your chair in pure awe. By being the BEST FUCKING BASEBALL PLAYER THERE EVER WAS!!!
This is as far as i can go, without spoiling the rest of the story (that is only 21 pages long.)
The art alone was enough to raise it from 7 to 8 on the scoreboard.
The background is very well done. Shadows looks very good too. The characters look realistic (as realistic anime characters can get) but still cartoony enough to not make it overly serious.
I never got the feeling that something was missing or something didn't fit in. I would even go as far as saying that it's beautifully drawn. Even if you don't like the story, you'll most definitely enjoy the art.
We aren't given much info on... Well, really ANY of the characters.
Sunaki is your typical shounen protagonist. He get's shot down, he's down, he gets motivated, he gets his ass in gear and completes the thing he set out to do.
Ichizono is the motivational drive behind Sunakis' actions. We're not given that much info about her, but it's still more than the "class madonna"
That's the only 2 characters that you should be interested in. Yes, they aren't deep, but they don't need to. They fit the story perfectly and the characters doesn't need to explain their reasons behind their actions in lengthy monologues.
It was more pleasant to look at this one shot, than it was looking out of the window and into the grey sky. I mean this in a good way!
The story is by no means deep. It (probably) has no deeper meaning behind it and you could go on with your day, without even knowing this exists.
BUT! If you come across it, you'll surely like it. If not for the story, then for the characters. If not for the characters, then definitely for the art. You can finish it in under 10 minutes.
Whilst finishing this review, i looked at the one shot again and again, and again. It really started to grow on me. Even if it's nothing special, you get a feeling that i'm not sure how to describe.