Beautiful Animation and Dramatic Stories – Hanebado! Mid Season Review

Beautiful Animation and Dramatic Stories – Hanebado! Mid Season Review

Right off the bat from my last review, I’ve been trying to keep up with this show pretty well. To that end, this is the show I’ve kept up with the best I’d have to say, even managing to time my watching to before Crunchyroll aired it and opened it, because their players will allow you to autoplay into the next episode even if it hasn’t been fully published. That aside, lets get to this beautifully animated and drama filled show’s review.

HANEBADO! Dat Animation

Episode 4 picks right off with Ayano beginning to get past the insanity of her mother issues and become more ingrained with the Badminton team. We have the team embarking upon a training camp in the boondocks and as they get situated they encounter a team called the FreGirls, who are a very prestigious team. Ayano, now feeling like being part of the team is a great goal, goes on an errand before her exhibition doubles match. En route, she gets lost and encounters a super tall blonde Danish girl and together they find their way to the convenience store. A few dropped hints later and the Dane finds out Ayano’s identity and everything clicks together and Ayano rushes off with the goods back to the camp while the still unnamed blonde girl fumes. When she returns, it’s revealed that the blonde is in fact Connie Christensen, the Danish prodigy that was trained by Ayano’s mother. After the service switches, Ayano realizes this when Connie ties her hair off in the exact same fashion as her mother. The episode ended with me screaming “OH SHIT SON, ITS GOING DOWN!”

 

After a through ass kicking and some taunting later, Ayano finally has it click that Connie knows her mother and that some craziness is happening. They switch into the second game showing off more of the anatomical detail and beautiful animation that hooked me into this show in the first place. After switching up their defensive tactics, Ayano and Riko begin to jive and return Connie’s devastating shots and smashes. At interval, we find Connie still holding in there at a resounding 11-7 even being hard countered. In spite of this she still insists on going it alone while Ayano ironically finds becoming part of a team as a much better prospect. Remembering her own troubled childhood, Connie catches back up and ties at 14-All and the tension rises, something I never thought I’d feel in a sports anime. Connie’s leg is injured as her partner jumps in and pulls ahead as a victory is won for the FreGirls and Ayano of course feels like shit for being defeated. One borderline ecchi bath scene later and we find that Connie is not the unapproachable individual from the court, but actually another girl with issues like Ayano. We wrap the episode with Connie and Ayano talking about their “mother” coming back to Japan and how without being a champion of Badminton, their mother would never acknowledge a daughter.

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She seems to not be a complete shit mother in this scene.

Mid season we have episode 6 bringing us to new uniforms for the team and a layout in the inter-high prelims. For a change of pace, the focus of our episode is not Ayano, but the rest of the team, specifically Riko as the seniors go towards their final tournament of high school. Riko hits a moment where she’s being a Debbie Downer because she’s up against her old schoolmate and final four participant from the year before. This carries through as for most of the time her opponent stomps her, finding herself at 19-7. As she resigns herself, Nagisa starts screaming from the other side of the tournament hall and Riko snaps out of it. In the end she finds herself defeated but having drawn out her much higher seeded opponent and wasting her stamina before continuing on wards. We wrap with Connie stomping her match and Ayano’s mother arriving as Kaoruko talks some shit for their rematch.

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This show has genuinely left me wholeheartedly surprised. Again, I expected this to be some generic BS with good animation and a focus on attractive female characters. While it has some of the best animation I’ve ever seen and a genuine thing for details that I may or may not have a thing for, this show is so much more. As they bring in more episodes like this between the things pertaining to Ayano, I find myself happy that it’s a team based thing. Opposed to shows that were so very focused such as Megalobox, I’m enjoying seeing things from other perspectives and I have to admit I was so heartbroken when they revealed that Riko just barely lost her games. All in all, this show has met my 3-episode test and surpassed my expectations in ways I didn’t even realize the past few episodes. I can’t wait to see how they keep up with this and I feel this may be my anime of the season that’s not a carry over. Let me know what you think and if you agree!

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Me during this show

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