Badminton, Beats, and Beautiful Animation – Hanebado! 3 Episode Test

Badminton, Beats, and Beautiful Animation – Hanebado! 3 Episode Test

So another of the shows the BAYOG group tried out while in LA for Anime Expo was Hanebado! This show grabbed my attention surprisingly not because of the “plot” but because of the absolute beauty and quality of the animation. One thing I read about this left me stunned and that is the average amount of frames in this show is 10,000. The average seems to be about 5,000-6,000 depending for most anime, with a good amount of shows falling below even that. Now while the validity of that statement is questionable (I usually only half believe the things I read on the internet) anyone who watches this show can tell that the animation is frankly some of the cleanest and best put together we’ve seen in a long while.

HANEBADO! My Reaction.gif
Practically my expression when watching this show

So again, our main draw is the fact that Hanebado’s animation is just breathtaking. There’s a bit of amazing physics and anatomical accuracy in the beginning and we see what you would assume is the main character in a match in the junior national championships for badminton. This assumption is quickly quashed as the busty Nagisa Aragaki is completely curb stomped by a girl with dead eyes named Ayano Hanesaki, the titular character for the show, the full title of which is The Badminton Play of Ayano Hanesaki! The rest of the episode plays out with Nagisa being thrown by her loss and trying to find more recruits while being a terrible team captain and driving away members. Finally she finds a familiar face on the tennis court, who sprints and returns a powerhouse smash from a tennis star. This, of course, is Hanesaki and she is drafted into the school’s badminton club along with her childhood friend Erena Fujisawa.

HANEBADO! Freeze Frame.jpg

Ending with me wondering if badminton is really in the Olympics, we roll into episode 2. We find Nagisa and her Team Vice Captain, Riko have a pretty cool relationship and this dynamic begins to be fleshed out with the rest of team as well. The show does a great job of setting up for growth and development. Beyond that we find some sort of very odd and strange PTSD trigger related to badminton and Hanesaki. On this note, as shown above Hanesaki’s green eyes are super animated detailed at times. Additionally we see some really crazy and anatomically correct details in the players. One of my favorite details is that they genuinely have the thigh shading shift to match the movements of the players. This equates to the show demonstrating exceptional detail to being accurate in showing the movement of someone playing badminton. The end of this episode kicks in with some really good/funny smash comments from a new coach and Nagisa realizing that being a bitch is not an effective leadership methodology. Also we end with some random Danganronpa looking chick making a Danganronpa like declaration on a Danganronpa looking island.

HANEBADO! Danganronpa Esque

We come back to this past episode and I am genuinely trying to remember what this show was about. A quick reminder later, and we get a DBZ style fight of badminton rallying and the introduction and explanation of the above pink haired character. Turns out this is Kaoruko Serigaya, the childhood rival of Hanesaki and a major plot point for her. Turns out Hanesaki has some serious life issues, and a problem with her mother having abandoned her after a loss against Kaoruko.While that may seem extreme to disown her for a simple loss (which happened because Kaoruko tied down Hanesaki and infected her with a cold), it absolutely was. They rationalize this by explaining that Hanesaki’s mother is Uchika Hanesaki, the 10 time consecutive national champion of badminton. This is the justification of why Hanesaki seemed dead inside during the nationals. Worse so, we have Hanesaki find afterwards that her mother moved to mentor other badminton players, especially a new person that I feel they will justify as a future rival she will need to defeat. The episode ends with a more positive note of Nagisa and Hanesaki training together in a playground at the behest of Erena.

HANEBADO! Instant Cuteness
Me anticipating this show for the season

Wrapping this up quickly, I’m left really looking forward to this show. What I got into for was the animation and I’m definitely not being left down. What I didn’t expect was a really promising plot and a grand and touching backstory. I’m hoping this show keeps me entertained as it’s passed my 3-episode test and I’m going to keep enjoying it as long as I can. Normally I don’t do sports anime but this exception has me thinking of others I may want to try. Do you enjoy how Hanebado is shaping up or does it seem to strange for you?

Also that pout is cute AF


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