★Writer: Richard K. Moe
Behind The Anime
★Animation Studio – Tatsunoko Production (Psycho-Pass 2, Gatchaman Crowds, Sket Dance, C)
★Director – Masaaki Yuasa (The Tatami Galaxy, Kemonozume, Kaiba)
★Writer – Masaaki Yuasa (The Tatami Galaxy, Kaiba)
★Character Design – Nobutake Ito (The Tatami Galaxy, Kemonozume, Kaiba)
★Music – Kensuke Ushio (Space Dandy)
“Despite having drastically different personalities, high school boys Peco and Smile have been friends since childhood. Now, they’re both talented members of table tennis club of Katase High School. Peco gets decisively defeated by a Chinese student and thus becomes so devastated that he quits practicing. Meanwhile, Smile’s personality always prevents him from winning against Peco. Coach Jō, however, discovers Smile’s potential and tries to motivate him to overcome his psychological obstacle”. (Wikipedia)
- There are some clever strategies that the characters use in ping pong. (E.G. Tsukimoto loses to read his opponents play style, Sakuma hits the ball high up constantly so his opponent gets tired when returning it, Kazama focuses on strength and reaction).
- The information given about ping pong shows that the creators really did their homework on it. (E.G. The paddles, the balls, the strategies, the mats and even the exercises are all explained well).
- Realistic reactions. (E.G. Tsukimoto was getting yelled at by Coach Koizumi and left the building quietly because he was angry, Tsukimoto will say or do something passive aggressive to show his anger).
- Tsukimoto seems like a push over character but he actually isn’t.
- Everyone has a clear reason to want to win or lose.
- The characters are relatable and become likable.
- The time given to each character is fairly distributed.
- Kong is a well created character who develops well.
- Everything is connected well at the end.
- The story’s conclusion is amazing, brilliant, and well thought out.
Directing & Animation
- Camera angles are not boring. (E.G. Shoulder view, Floor view, Tracking shot, Split panels).
- The ping pong games are very engrossing and entertaining. (E.G. The camera changes views, Replays are shown from different angles, Special effects come into play, Clever strategies).
- Ping pong games can get really intense. (E.G. The colors become grim and bright, Music is amped up, Characters are freaking out, Special effects are used).
- The story moves at a reasonable pace.
- The moments of grief and sadness are played out well.
- Conversations are funny and well done due to the script and voice acting.
- Kong and his coach feel authentic because they are actually voiced by Chinese voice actors.
- The symbolism used throughout the show is wonderfully implemented.
- Animation is fluid and constantly stays that way.
Character Design, Animation, Directing
- Doesn’t have the most appealing art style.
- From certain distances there is no detail in the faces and body parts are drawn out funny.
- The pacing of the show begins a bit slow.
★9.5/10★ IT IS PRETTY DANG EXCITING!
Look, the P.V. is right here. Watch it, might as well since you’re here.