Sep 20, 2015
Revenir (All reviews)
I've only done review for poor shows so now here's a good one. After the experiencing the incredibly strange and very disappointing Prince of Tennis, I was hesitant to pick up another tennis series. But after marathoning a slightly slow but promising first season, I continue into the even better second season of Baby Steps

Story and Characters:
Maruo Eiichiro continues on his path to professional tennis, having only just started playing 2 years previously. Maruo goes to THE LAND OF THE FREE, to do some training and improve. The show keeps things interesting and continues to show how he grows and improves at the sport. In this aspect it may be the best sports anime. It details Maruo's training regimen and the numerous hours he spends while being believable. Along with that it shows different strategies and techniques needed to win matches, making viewers interested in the show and the sport itself.

This importantly comes together so that at no point does Maruo have a strange or illogical jump in skill and neither does it make his opponents look weak. You continue to see just how difficult MC's training is and how hard he works with weight training, jogging, drills, and all the other crap no one wants to do. The show doesn't preaching about working hard though. Maruo works in the most effective way possible. MC then goes onward to reach the All Japan Junior tournament, competing to be the best young player in Japan and eventually go pro

All the players represent different playing styles and personalities that are interesting and believable. In sports and shonen anime at times characters can be ridiculous exaggerations of certain personalities and archetypes found in real life but that isn't the case here.

A few things I did like was after MC played someone who used various "dirty" tricks, the lesson at the end wasn't that you can't use tricks to win, you have to use them in the right way. In the end the player need to use the tricks to back his tennis, rather than making them the center of the play.

The animation does it's job. Though there are sports anime with better animation at certain moments, Baby Steps never has issues with poor animation or episodes where time and money is clearly being saved for later. That being said this is a case of you'll find the best of the animation in the OP.

Overall: 8/10
Everything makes it truly interesting to see how far the MC can go. Though matches don't create the same excitement and some other sports anime, they're still interesting and moments in between are never dull

Season 2 steps up from last season and I eagerly await a third. Baby Steps is one of the best sports anime out and it's well worth watching