Jul 10, 2024
Humans from a distant future travel to the past to cultivate a human who can prevent Earth from being destroyed by invaders from another universe. Super Xiang is a Chinese gag series where the main character, Pin Xiang, is born with superhuman abilities and is subconsciously tasked with pursuing a career in professional football (soccer) to save Earth from a future calamity. As Xiang grows older, his adventurous ambition starts at the Academy, where the soccer club struggles to gain new members. To realize his dream, he begins the first step of stardom—recruitment. How does Pin Xiang fare against an oblivious impending doom?

Story & Character: 6/10 & 8/10
The story isn't ambitious or serious in the slightest; however, this is where Super Xiang deviates from your typical sports anime. It flips the genre on its head by using pop culture references and sports tropes in devious ways to develop the story and characters. For example, instead of the main character and his team being the typical petty underdogs, Super Xiang belittles this trope by making it an opposing team. Many events in the series didn't seem significant at the moment but accumulated into an enjoyable execution. My only gripe is that the story started as satire but eventually grew into a full-blown rivalry between opposing teams, which I wasn't expecting.

The characters in this series are probably the most enjoyable I've seen in a sports anime. They nail a plethora of personalities and go beyond with the unhinged main character, Xiang. The over-the-top dialogue and slow-burn comedy add to the enjoyment of each character. Each character recruited by Xiang shines in the spotlight, with backgrounds littered with obstacles interfering with their joy for soccer. This subtle development works well in fostering characters from various regions and social standings. However, I wish they had treated characters more canonically and kept only the important ones named. Since there were several opposing teams and extras, it was difficult to remember some of their names and faces.

Art & Sound: 6/10 & 5/10
The art lacks in terms of animation but makes up for it with very bright and flashy visuals. The character designs are typical of a sports anime, with each team member having distinct personalities. However, Super Xiang focuses primarily on Pin Xiang, resulting in other characters lacking consistent design. Despite this, the focus on Xiang is a welcome addition, considering the series revolves around him. The hidden liberation style sequences felt like comedic stereotypes against capitalism, possibly subliminal propaganda pushed by a certain party.

The sound design is largely mediocre and passable. The voice acting is generally good, but sometimes it is overdone in scenes with Pin Xiang. The soundtracks are used but not to a standard that would make them stand out as masterpieces.

Overall & Enjoyment: 7/10
If I were to explain this series to a new viewer, I would say that Super Xiang is a crossover between Saiki K and every sports anime in existence. The series does well to cover a lot of pop culture references and takes hits at how ridiculous modern sports anime can be. It wouldn't be a Chinese piece without mentions of economics and financial endeavors. I enjoyed the series overall but wished they had stuck to a less serious ending, as the final episode took a more serious approach than the usual light-hearted comedy seen throughout the rest of the series. Despite this, it was still a good watch, and I look forward to a sequel.
Reviewer’s Rating: 7
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