Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Soccer Tuesday – Area no Kishi, Ginga e Kickoff

[HorribleSubs] The Knight in the Area - 16 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.27_[2012.04.24_15.33.24] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 02 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [D3D54DF4].mkv_snapshot_12.40_[2012.04.24_17.25.27] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 02 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [D3D54DF4].mkv_snapshot_20.37_[2012.04.24_17.33.23]

Possession: Barcelona 72% Chelsea 28%
Shots: Barcelona 25 Chelsea 7
Aggregate: Barcelona 2, Chelsea 3

Football is a funny game.

Area no Kishi – 16
[HorribleSubs] The Knight in the Area - 16 [720p].mkv_snapshot_02.44_[2012.04.24_15.16.40] [HorribleSubs] The Knight in the Area - 16 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.02_[2012.04.24_15.18.58] [HorribleSubs] The Knight in the Area - 16 [720p].mkv_snapshot_06.47_[2012.04.24_15.20.44]
[HorribleSubs] The Knight in the Area - 16 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.24_[2012.04.24_15.23.21] [HorribleSubs] The Knight in the Area - 16 [720p].mkv_snapshot_10.49_[2012.04.24_15.24.46] [HorribleSubs] The Knight in the Area - 16 [720p].mkv_snapshot_12.11_[2012.04.24_15.26.08]
[HorribleSubs] The Knight in the Area - 16 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.40_[2012.04.24_15.29.37] [HorribleSubs] The Knight in the Area - 16 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.43_[2012.04.24_15.31.40] [HorribleSubs] The Knight in the Area - 16 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.53_[2012.04.24_15.32.50]
[HorribleSubs] The Knight in the Area - 16 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.56_[2012.04.24_15.35.53] [HorribleSubs] The Knight in the Area - 16 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.07_[2012.04.24_15.36.04] [HorribleSubs] The Knight in the Area - 16 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.49_[2012.04.24_15.36.46]

I’m still not quite sold on this whole Kakeru-Suguru possession side of the story.  This time Kakeru hits his head (we saw that last week) and launches an incredible dribbling run that includes a nutmeg, then launches a pass that was too good for the overweight (though slimming) Araki.  All of this was apparently right out of the Suguru playbook.  I get the brotherly bond, and then there’s the whole bit about getting donor memories from a heart transplant (which I think is bogus) but my problem is that it detracts from what should be Kakeru’s character arc.  Is he trying be be himself, or his brother?  At some point I want to see Kakeru become a better Kakeru, not another Suguru.

That said, this was a pretty solid ep mostly because the match play was quite entertaining.  I still have no idea why Uryu gave his opposing coach a pep talk at halftime, but as expected Enoshima stormed back in the second half.  Iwaki uses a clever plot to draw a yellow on Kimu (the laser throw-in dude) and Kakeru manages to score a goal on his own striker’s instincts.  After Mako ties it, Enoshima has to survive one last laser throw, but Kakeru takes advantage of the no-offsides on throw-in rule and the empty three seconds – the very real phenomenon of a side being vulnerable to a quick counterattack after an attempt at goal - to spring to the enemy goal, finally unleashing his very own “mythical feint” (so mythical they couldn’t show it on camera) and scores the game-winner.

Next week: the return of Leonardo Silva, another ghost from Suguru’s past.

Ginga e Kickoff – 02
[Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 02 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [D3D54DF4].mkv_snapshot_02.39_[2012.04.24_17.15.25] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 02 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [D3D54DF4].mkv_snapshot_04.34_[2012.04.24_17.17.20] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 02 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [D3D54DF4].mkv_snapshot_05.58_[2012.04.24_17.18.44]
[Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 02 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [D3D54DF4].mkv_snapshot_06.45_[2012.04.24_17.19.32] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 02 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [D3D54DF4].mkv_snapshot_07.00_[2012.04.24_17.19.47] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 02 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [D3D54DF4].mkv_snapshot_07.56_[2012.04.24_17.20.43]
[Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 02 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [D3D54DF4].mkv_snapshot_10.58_[2012.04.24_17.23.45] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 02 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [D3D54DF4].mkv_snapshot_11.23_[2012.04.24_17.24.10] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 02 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [D3D54DF4].mkv_snapshot_14.15_[2012.04.24_17.27.01]
[Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 02 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [D3D54DF4].mkv_snapshot_15.15_[2012.04.24_17.28.01] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 02 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [D3D54DF4].mkv_snapshot_16.13_[2012.04.24_17.28.59] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 02 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [D3D54DF4].mkv_snapshot_17.36_[2012.04.24_17.30.22]
[Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 02 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [D3D54DF4].mkv_snapshot_18.13_[2012.04.24_17.30.59] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 02 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [D3D54DF4].mkv_snapshot_19.08_[2012.04.24_17.31.54] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 02 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [D3D54DF4].mkv_snapshot_19.09_[2012.04.24_17.31.55]
[Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 02 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [D3D54DF4].mkv_snapshot_22.35_[2012.04.24_17.35.22] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 02 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [D3D54DF4].mkv_snapshot_22.46_[2012.04.24_17.35.32] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 02 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [D3D54DF4].mkv_snapshot_22.59_[2012.04.24_17.35.46]

If I’m to be honest, Ginga e Kickoff is the better soccer show airing this season, and it’s a by a clear margin.  The writing and direction is sharper, the humor has more punch, and the soccer itself is more realistically portrayed.

I’ll give you an example – take the sequence when Shou and Erika went to practice with Misaki’s club team, the Tokyo Roses (love that name).  The kids’ embarrassment mixed with excitement at being in such an unlikely situation was perfectly portrayed, and once they got on the field the practice match between the youth team and the junior team was used to highlight what each of them bring to the table.  Erika is known as the “Speed Star” (at least that’s what she says) but even she can see that the difference in skill even with the youth team in her age group is huge.  But Shou – though his physical skills are modest – has a great eye for the game.  He was able to pick out that the difference between the Roses and the juniors wasn't so much skill, but confidence and field vision – something he brings to the table himself, as he ably demonstrates in the practice game. His little body can’t necessarily take advantage of his what his eyes and mind tell it just yet, but it’s his vision and field sense that set up Erika’s goal in the match – and she’s not too proud to realize it.

My favorite part of this sequence is after that match, though.  Miskai sends the puppy-eager Shou-kun off to buy drinks so she can have a pep talk with Erika – let her know that she understands her frustration in trying to defeat the boys and sexism too, and that all female players have been there.  She does all this one on one so she doesn’t make Shou feel left out or set up a rivalry between he and Erika – and she lets Erika know that Shou has greatness in him, and she’s seen it (we can see her pointing it out to the coach earlier).  It was subtle but so deft on her part – everybody’s happy and included, and made to feel better about themselves.  That was a great example of mentoring done right.  And I should also point out that it looks as if the hero of this series is going to be a defender (he certainly defends Erika heroically ), which is where Shou’s skills seem to be taking him – and that’s a very cool change from what we see in most sports anime.

In general, Ginga e Kickoff is just better in every facet than you think it’s going to be.  The plot is more interesting, the action more exciting, the animation cleverer and the jokes and face-pulls funnier.  And it has a contagious energy and positivity that sweeps you up and carries you along in its wake, which is what all kids anime and sports shounen should do.  The task now turns to putting together a team, as Misaki has promised the kids that if they can find eight players they can attend practice every month with the Roses.  That quest introduces us to more members of the stellar seiyuu cast, as we meet Kagura-kun (Maeno Tomoaki) the giant sixth-grade star of the New Tokyo FC youth team and the old Predators rival that Shou hopes to use to goad his old teammates the Furuya triplets (Kenn, Tachibana Shinnosuke, Hosoya Yoshimasa – sorry, you’re on your own for now as to which is which) into re-joining the team.  They’re known as the “Triplet Demons” for their temperament as much as skill, and it was their heated departure that led to the breakup of the team.  With Shou-kun’s relentless efforts, their resistance will surely break down sooner or later (probably sooner).  Then it’s just three more players (Pita Ten’s Ten-chan look-alike Aoto is sure to be one) and one coach (the drunk-on-juice guy from the park) to go…


19 comments:

  1. It sure is rare to see an American who knows about the UEFA Champions League.

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    Replies
    1. Not as rare as you think, I suspect. Soccer isn't going to crack the big three anytime soon but it's gaining on hockey (ahead in some regions) and Americans who are serious fans certainly know the Champions League is a huge deal.

      Delete
    2. Are those stats from both games combined?

      I couldn't decide who to support as an Arsenal fan. Guess Chelsea was a better choice as if they play an equally physical and defensively tight team but with much better attackers like Bayern Munich or Real Madrid, especially Bayern as the final is at their stadium, they will lose.

      Barca's team since Yaya Toure left has always had problems with fast, physical teams. Out of their defenders only Pique has actual height and Busquets, their defensive midfielder, goes to ground at the slightest touch. If Guardiola stays as coach he should remedy that and reduce the burden on Messi.

      No one can defend a Champions League, not even Barcelona.

      Back to Anime and AnK was better this episode than last.

      Is Ginga funny for all ages and at least as good a show as Kuroko no Basuke?

      Delete
    3. Yes, those are aggregate stats - but the 72% possession was the same in both legs.

      Ginga is definitely funny for anyone, and I would say as good as KnB - though quite different. Think Major S1, without the freakishly talented hero and the melodrama.

      Delete
    4. GE

      I LIKE GINGA. NO, I REALLY LIKE GINGA.

      Thanks for the heads up on a show I pigeonholed into the realm of kids anime. Its funny, energetic, even GARR. The music, animation, seiyuu, characters and story all fit together perfectly.

      Its a great show for anyone, like my other favourite Spacebros.

      AnK eat your heart. Ginga is how you play it.

      Delete
  2. Whyyy whyyyyy Barca lost is not fair, god dammit T_T

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    Replies
    1. Bad week for Barca - 3 straight losses, Champion's League and Spanish League both gone. Guess they'll be big Bayern Munich fans tomorrow.

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    2. You can count on it

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    3. If I recall correctly Barca's 2009 win against Chelsea was a little lucky so revenge here was very nice. Premier League>La Liga. Possession is worthless if you can't get it in the back of the net. Go Blue. Also go Real.

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    4. Premier League is stronger than La Liga, but honestly, you can't seriously believe Chelsea is on a par with Barca. Barca has won 13 of the last 16 trophies they were eligible for, and they dominated Chelsea - they were just due for some bad breaks.

      Real Madrid might be better than either of them, though it pains me to say it about Fascism's favorite team.

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    5. Premier League has more depth than La Liga. The teams that are in 3-6 in the table there are much stronger than teams in the same positions in other leagues and that's not even considering Liverpool (8th). But Barca and Real have players that only teams like Bayern, Dortmund, Man U, Man City and AC Milan can have a hope to be considered equal to.

      Chelsea rode their luck:
      Messi's open play misses and penalty miss
      Cech being awesome
      Torres' late equalizer
      Defence working hard after their idiot of a captain got sent off.

      Whoever they play it will be much harder to beat in the final, especially Real since Mourinho knows Chelsea inside out.

      Delete
  3. Just doesn't have the same ring to it as Taichi Tuesday's :)

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    Replies
    1. Well I am re-watching Chihayafuru on Tuesdays, so they're still unofficially Taichi Tuesdays. Picking up lots of foreshadowing this time.

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    2. Me too

      Manga y u no catchup?

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    3. I'm not reading the current chapters until the ones in between are scanlated. It kind of pisses me off that someone jumped in and started doing that, actually.

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    4. Oh yea chapter 91-92. Quite annoying.

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  4. Comments need more on-topic Ginga e Kickoff praise...

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    Replies
    1. What I especially love about Ginga e Kickoff is that it's been medically sound thus far. No doctors punching an underage heart transplant patient directly after waking from a surgery, no overworking teenagers to death in order to lose an insane amount of weight without dropping dead etc.

      Certainly, it's no Cross Game, but at least I'm not sacred from the thought that a kid might be watching it, and it's certainly cute and interesting so far. Will watch.

      Delete
  5. Well I just finished the two subbed episodes and they were excellent. Quick pacing and humorous, I liked how Shou, like Kuroko, isn't very good at the game conventionally but understands the game better than most. Maybe he should be the manager not a player. I really like Erika's Osaka accent (big fan of Manzai comedy) as it really adds a lot of humor than only Osakans (not sure about the plural) can do.

    Because of Yuu Kobayashi Ginga reminds me a lot of Today's Class 5-2, although playing football all the time rather than superballs.

    Verdict: Ginga is Good. Go Ginga. You should be watching (hope funi won't catch that)

    ReplyDelete