Area no Kishi – First Impression
My impression of Sports series is that they usually fall under two categories – ridiculous in nature or realistic with a touch of drama.
Where “Prince of Tennis” falls under the first category, “Area no Kishi” seems to be more of the latter by sticking closer to reality.
“Believing himself to be useless at scorer, Aizawa Kakeru is the manager of his school’s Scorer team, while his brother Suguru is its ace, and is even good enough to represent Japan. However, Kakeru may be harbouring a strong talent within himself that only Suguru can see, and the two often get into arguments over Kakeru’s denial of his skills.” – ANN
The first episode basically overs whatever the above sypnosis had stated. Although we don’t actually get to see Kakeru in a proper match in this epiosde, it is obvious that Kakeru is meant to be talented although he does seem to be suffering from a case of ‘yips’. The end of the episode then hints at an impending doom that would change both brother’s lives forever.
Note: I am having a hard time finding the words to describe this show as my brain is currently refusing to cooperate with me… =_= So please pardon my lack of….stuff.
If you are not one for sad tragic beginnings, I would suggest approaching this series with caution. Although I don’t know exactly what is going to happen next, the end of the episode is as good as a setup for tragedy as any other.
The series gives off a fun vibe and it is looking to be an entertaining watch. The last soccer series that I had seen was “Giant Killing”, and where ”Giant Killing” was more about strategy, I would say that this show is leaning more towards being something like “Cross Game” where the focus is on the characters’ lives along with their budding romance and relationships with one another. As to whether that would turn out to be the case… we will just have to wait and see.
The comedy in the show is pretty light with the only real comedic scene being the “alien” moment where Kakeru had a one-on-one match against a person dressed as an alien. I couldn’t help but chuckle a little at that moment. I was definitely not expecting any comedy in this show at all, so it was nice to be able to have a few laughs here and there.
What I did like though, was the focus that was placed on Kakeru’s character and the way his character had developed in this episode. From starting off as a little brother who worships his older brother, to being a lackey for the soccer team, followed but the revelation that he’s hidding some secret behind him giving up soccer, to the determination of proving himself, the episode had definitely accomplished a lot in a short time. It is quite obvious that Kakeru has an inferiority complex due to his brother’s “genius-like” abilities as a soccer player and even in the romance department. But I always welcome a Sports genre series that bothers to develop a person’s character/life alongside developing their skills as player, as that adds another level of depth to the story.
Looking at the romance in this episode, it does feel like this would be one of those shows where the main lead (Kakeru) is unable to muster up the courage to confess even if the girl that he likes were to start dropping hints about liking him. Although right now we have the brother as a complication, I doubt that that would last for too long since it is looking to be more related to Kakeru’s inferiority complex over his brothers accomplishments.
As for the animation, the way things look are pretty generic. What I mean, is that there isn’t anything particularly striking about the animation. The palette tones are definitely nothing “special” unlike how Cross Game was with their use of pastel tones to reflect a more laid-back feel of the show. Instead, the art in this series feels pretty stock standard. The animation is neither fluid not horrible. In essence, it just feel normal. =P But what I do like is the fact that we are actually able to see what is going on (most of the time) with each move that the character makes instead of mere montages of still images that some sports shows suffer from.
For now, the show is looking to be like an entertaining and fun sports series that might provide a good story. It is honestly too early in the season to say what sort of direction the series is going to take, but I had enjoyed this first episode. Whether it will turn out to be more of a laid back sports series with a touch of romance, or a more sports focused high energy series would require one to watch on to see how things unfold. However, it does feel like this series would end up being something that we’ve already seen done before.
Episode Rating: 7/10 - It is looking to be a decent Sports series that might be a good alternative to this season’s Prince of Tennis if “unrealistic and over-the-top” moves are not your cup of tea.
Which kind of Sports series do you prefer? The realistic ones or the ones with unbelievable moves and situations? Or is this genre just not your cup of tea?