Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ginga e Kickoff - 04

[Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_08.44_[2012.05.09_13.40.37] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_15.33_[2012.05.09_13.47.50] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_20.44_[2012.05.09_13.55.46]

Today’s Afterschool Special: “Let’s Make Friends With the Drunk Guy in the Park!”

The best show you’re almost certainly not watching continues to be great fun, and I’ll continue to talk to the four people who are watching.  As I've said already, everything about Ginga e Kickoff is just better than you expect it to be.  The animation, the writing, the performances, and the soccer accuracy.  There’s nothing generic about this production whatsoever – it’s just a straightforward, high-quality all-ages sports shounen.  It may have started out as a guilty pleasure, but now it’s just a pleasure.

It seems quite fitting that Ginga e Kickoff opens with Shou waking up with a huge grin on his face, because it sums up his character perfectly, and the series too.  He’s a force of nature, this kid – a combination of relentless optimism and limitless energy that never seems to take offense at any of the challenges life throws in his path.  I think Erika-chan is treating him rather badly, truth be told – she’s been giving him basically no help in organizing things and trying to save the Marauders, and when the Furuya Trips walked out again she basically left Shou in the lurch to go interview with another club.  If anything Shou is a little too much of good sport – he’s getting taken advantage of a bit, and I feel badly for him.

Fortunately Shou seems immune to depression or discouragement and his quest to save the team proceeds apace, and he finally catches a break.  Another chance encounter with the drunk guy in the park reveals that the Ojisan actually has some skills, and Shou begs him to at least teach him to head the ball better, as he’d just suffered a humiliating loss to Erika in a heading contest (aside: when I was playing soccer as a kid, heading the ball properly was one of the hardest things to learn – and it hurt).  Turns out the drunkard is Hanashima Masaru, and the fact that a true seiyuu God like Kouyama Rikiya is playing him is typical of how “Ginga” goes the extra mile to get it just right. 

We learn a little about Masaru-san (“don’t call me Ojisan!”) as we go – he’s looking for a job.  He has a wife or girlfriend named Kaoru who plays badminton.  And most important for story purposes, he clearly knows football – he’s not only skilled but manages to teach Shou to head the ball in a day (and for all his limited ability as the series starts, Shou definitely has the ability to learn).  A pickup game with the Furuyas and an old rival eventually ends up with Masaru being drafted in and showing his true power as the “Lightning Light”, apparently a former pro player.  Something seems to have gone terribly wrong and Masaru says he’d done with soccer forever, but just what that is Kaoru won’t say.

There’s not much suspense here – Shou is so relentless he could sell ugly to an ape, so we know Masaru-sensei will give in and coach the kids.  And that’s a big plus as he’s hugely entertaining as played by Kouyama-san, and a good addition to the cast.  The pleasures of Ginga e Kickoff might be simple ones, but they still promise a lot of entertainment – Shou getting better as his skills grow to match his will and field sense, Masaru rediscovering the joys of soccer, and eventually the team playing competitively again and questing for a title (and even more eventually, a little innocent puppy love for Shou and Erika perhaps).  “Ginga” may not surprise you with its plot too often, but it’ll make up for that by surprising you constantly by how damn good it is.

[Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_12.00_[2012.05.09_13.43.53] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_13.39_[2012.05.09_13.45.34] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_14.10_[2012.05.09_13.46.05]
[Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_14.53_[2012.05.09_13.47.11] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_15.22_[2012.05.09_13.47.40] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_16.05_[2012.05.09_13.48.23]
[Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_16.23_[2012.05.09_13.48.41] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_17.29_[2012.05.09_13.49.47] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_17.48_[2012.05.09_13.50.06]
[Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_19.17_[2012.05.09_13.51.35] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_19.29_[2012.05.09_13.51.47] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_20.04_[2012.05.09_13.52.22]
[Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_20.35_[2012.05.09_13.52.53] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_20.47_[2012.05.09_13.55.49] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_20.57_[2012.05.09_13.56.00]
[Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_21.09_[2012.05.09_13.53.27] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_21.16_[2012.05.09_13.53.34] [Doremi-Oyatsu] Ginga e Kickoff!! - 04 (1280x720 x264 AAC) [FD57BABB].mkv_snapshot_21.55_[2012.05.09_13.54.13]


8 comments:

  1. Thanks for blogging about this series - it made me decide to give it a try, and I'm utterly charmed so far :) Shou is just too adorable not to like.

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  2. Do you think if the subs kept up with the raws more people would watch Ginga?

    I've been following them myself as I'm okay with raws and it's not difficult japanese with a huge amount of terminology (SnS) so why can't subbers keep up?

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  3. Honestly, no, I don't think it would matter. I'm grateful that someone picked up GeK at all, to be honest - I think the problem is that it's a sports shounen with a pre-teen male lead and people just assume it's for kids.

    The subs will probably catch up with the raws soon, at the rate things are going. So then there'll be no excuses!

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  4. I just noticed something after watching my favourite part of Ginga (right before the OP starts the part where the BGMs stop and Shou side kicks the ball and you can hear the thump of the ball on his leg) there's a second girl in Ginga in the OP and she kind of looks like a character we've seen before (not wanting to spoil)

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  5. I'm watching this show now because of your blogging and I must say you are right on. It's much much better than one would assume just by looking at it. I hope this show isn't really for kids though because "talk to drunk dudes at the park, they'll turn out to be awesome!" really isn't a good moral to be teaching ;).

    "Hey little boy, got some good soccer tricks to show you, just step into my van over here..."

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  6. I'm really enjoying Ginga. It's surprisingly better than Area no Kishi. It's got fun and lively characters that's makes you want to tune in for more.

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  7. Look, I assure you, there's more than four people watching Ginga, I swear! Scout's Honor Enzo :D

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  8. Well, I have like six commenting here so I guess you're right - but that's probably all of us!

    ReplyDelete