Last of the FIs: Cross game, Saki, and Basquash

vlcsnap-7612Aww… I heard that cross game was good, but I never expected it to me this CUTE! Of everything I’ve watched, this was probably my favorite.

I expected a baseball anime., and with the majority of sports related media I had little interest in it. So that’s why I was really pleasantly surprised at what a great slice of life it is. The art is old and I have a hard time telling some characters apart, but it was good and the animation was fluid. The characters are interesting and already has development, even within this first episode. The background tracks are good, but the ending song was fantastic.

vlcsnap-17021But oh gods, the story! The atmosphere was set so early on, and they set up the story to make the viewers think that the climax has already passed. It makes us let our guard down, and the death, it just hits you like a hammer whipping into your face! The emotions are so well crafted, and the story was just absolutely touching, I loved it.

Do not say that you didn’t feel like crying after watching this. Don’t even try.

vlcsnap-19216I have nostalgic memories of Mahjong. During new years and other holidays, my relatives would gather at my grandparent’s house and play Mahjong while betting toothpicks and eating those really good holiday foods. Unfortunately, I was young then and had no idea what the rules of Mahjong was, and after I watched Saki I was more confused than ever. I mean, having a lot of jargon’s fine in an anime, but it really doesn’t help the plot when the focus is a concept that the viewer doesn’t understand.

vlcsnap-18824The story’s kind of interesting (even though the whole hidden genius thing has been done to death), the girls are cute,and the art and animation’s pretty good, with the exception of Nodoka’s chest, which is just not right by any means. I found it interesting, maybe humorously so, that there were a good amount of 3D CG within this episode and a LOT of special effects during the matches (but of course, otherwise the viewers would be just too bored). The music’s unmemorable, and the characters seem shallow, but just because the girls are cute I’ll keep watching.

vlcsnap-39135Basquash was without a doubt the show I was anticipating the most for this season. The moment I set my eyes on those backgrounds that rivaled Makoto Shinkai and Imperial boy I knew this was something special. And of course, the first episode didn’t disappoint.

The action starts right off the bat, with our hero, Dan,  going around wreaking havoc with a basketball. Yes, he is causing harem in a city with giant robots chasing after him with nothing besides a mask, a skateboard, and a basketball. Now the interesting thing is not only the fact that it reminds me of Naruto (vandalizing public property to vent inner angst) but also that he’s doing it for money (his friend salvages electronic parts from the televisions he vandalizes).

vlcsnap-39797Of course, he has a crippled younger sister whom he dots one, a childhood friend who loves him (and has a sizable chest), 2 best friends who are uglier than him, a cute but scary pet, and a love for a sport (basketball, of course). And along with that came the required grudge of giant robots (which he ends up using anyway), and a love for the moon, which symbolizes a better life and everyone’s dreams.

The whole episode was done with pizazz, and we’re almost forced by some unknown force to like and cheer for the main character, who’s a bashful shouta. There is also a considerable amount of fanservice in the show, although it wasn’t too bad (is it just me, or am I really liking every show where the main male character has his shirt off?)

vlcsnap-43268

The music was interesting, with a particularly nice insert song which reminds me of Idolm@ster for some reason. I’m not sure if You’ve noticed already, but the backgrounds are BEAUTIFUL. Oh, and the characters look stylish too. The animation was excellent, effortlessly blending the 3D and the 2D with a storm of colors (unlike Saki, which just feels forced).

The story was written with style, with hints at a deeper plot. I can’t help but think that Dan’s wishes of getting to the moon will be dashed soon. The way that he believes the moon will grant him happiness and cure his sister’s legs just makes me cringe. Boyish innocence? Sure, but this dream has to be changed if there is to be any depth to the story.

P.S.: I can’t believe this, at the end Dan goes to prison for a year, and comes out looking the same as he went in? I was hoping for a Simoun-like transformation here (especially considering how a certain character really looks like Kamina)!

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4 thoughts on “Last of the FIs: Cross game, Saki, and Basquash

  1. I rather enjoyed the fact that Dan served his time. It’s the one interesting thing that came out of a rather annoying (if gorgeous) first episode.

    It was quite the unexpected turn, and made for a convenient way to sneak in a timeskip.

  2. I haven’t gotten around to Cross Game yet but I plan to. Your review definitely makes it more worth taking a look.

    YAY glad you finally got to catch Basquash, I really love Satelight and Kawamori, because together they = WIN!

  3. Cross Game is better than I’ve expected and I’d continue watching this one. Haven’t checked out Basquash yet but seriously, I just can’t be motivated to watch a mecha doing basketball… Meanwhile, I don’t know a thing on mahjong…

  4. One of the few things that keep me drawn to Saki is Loli-Gir—er, Yuki and her taco fetish. Even with that, though, I don’t know how long I can stick with it until it gets too boring or over the top.

    Cross Game on the other hand… yeah, that IS cute. It makes a show that’s otherwise about baseball a genuine must see this season.

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