It’s been a long while since Anime Fridays! But I’m back with an anime review for you today!
This Anime Friday is all about the anime DAYS! It’s a soccer* sports anime with 24 episodes in total (and a few OVAs of which only one I was able to track down and watch). It’s produced by Studio MAPPA and the manga on which it is based on is still on-going.
*soccer = football (for people who don’t call it soccer…which apparently is a good enough portion of the world) – fun fact of the day, I guess 🙂
Here’s a little something new for those too lazy to read – i.e. “The Run Down”:
Genre: Sports (soccer)
Ep: 24 + OVAs
Manga: Yes (on-going)
TL;DR: Watch it for the warm humor and well-paced tale of lovable high school soccer underdogs!
For those not lazy and want to get a full on review, as is tradition, here is the lovely synopsis:
The series is about two boys named Tsukushi and Jin. Tsukushi is a boy with no special talent or traits while Jin is considered a soccer genius. On one stormy night, Jin meets Tsukushi, and they get dragged into the world of soccer.(From MAL News)
To add onto it:
It’s a sports slice of life following the underdogs of Seiseki high school and their dream of representing Tokyo in the Nationals, all with on-point humor, cuteness and angst thrown in for flavor.
Now onto the details of why this is such a good anime!
Disclaimer: All the views presented here are my own opinions. None of the material written here is to offend anyone in anyway. Feel free to agree or disagree respectfully if you wish.
Plot/ Story Line
Nothing to complain about here. The pace of the episodes is really nice all while getting to know the backgrounds of each character and what their motivations are in wanting to play soccer. As with any sports anime, our protagonists of Seiseki really have to work to get what they want, though with that ungodly anime speed and skill. The cliffhangers do their job but sometimes it falls into a very anticlimactic continuation; however, this just makes the story all the more loveable as the audience gets to experience those ups and downs along with our main characters.
Er my gawd! They are all adorable! Or rather, adorkable! Each of the main characters and second to main characters have so much personality! Even though the anime focuses on only half the team, during their matches and practice arcs, you can get a feel for the rest of the Seiseki team members and how close they are to one another. Yes, that goes for Kimishita and Ooshiba as well, even though they butt heads a good chunk of the time.
My personal favorites have to be Usui (the literal mom friend…every group needs that mom friend!), Mizuki (a pure child who loves soccer and is Seiseki’s team captain), Haibara (cuz we both short and share the same birthday month, huehue), and Tsukamoto (the underdog and mom friend in training). And I can’t forget (and not like) my strong ladies, especially Ubukata-san, the Seiseki team manager!
Yeah, you can’t help but fall for the entire cast of characters in this show!
Art + Animation
Studio MAPPA has really beautiful art and animation, especially with their recent works like this one. The art stays true to the manga’s artwork while having that distinct MAPPA finished look. The animation is smooth and beautiful, as it should be.
Do note that sometimes some of the scenes are animated with CG, especially in shots where you see the entire soccer field with the players running or in more fast-paced action shots. From an animator’s standpoint, this makes sense to have these kinds of things in CG. In my opinion, it’s pretty well integrated and barely noticeable.
Music – OP/ED
I’ll admit, I am one to skip the anime openings and endings but not for this one, surprisingly! I have to say that I love the second opening more than the first. The second ending is better, too, and has a cute little animated story to go along with it.
Within episodes, the music direction is spot on, with an anticipatory, suspenseful music whenever Seiseki is in a tough spot, and epic, energetic music when the characters play their best.
The lack of music and the classic heartbeat sound is also used in key places and man, does that make a huge difference! So music editing is a check.
You should know by now that I love me some humor! And DAYS has a ton of them sprinkled throughout in the right spots! The humor usually revolves around Tsukamoto and Mizuki but it’s cute humor. It’s the kind of humor that makes you laugh out loud while also going “awww!” on the inside.
I’m honestly shook at how underrated this anime is! It’s really worth the watch and worth continuing on the manga, too! This anime is well named for it is literally a bundle of sunshine children who play soccer dropped onto you.
I hope you give this anime a go and I’ll catch ya back here again next time for more anime fun!