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Knight in the Area - First Thoughts PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 06 January 2012 23:31
Kakeru is the manager of the junior high school soccer team, while his older brother Suguru, is the captain and rising star in Japans soccer world. During an intrasquad game, Kakeru is placed as the forward. Will this bring back his love for soccer or will old memories stop him dead?

Deluded fansChallenged

"I love soccer! I really love soccer!", proclaims Kakeru in the opening lines of the episode. I don't. I hate soccer - give me rugby union or cricket and I'm happy, but soccer? Ugh, no thanks. So it was with very small expectations that I stuck this on, expecting to give it the New Prince of Tennis treatment when I was done.

But I can't, because I actually quite liked it. The soccer is done fairly realistically (allowing for the infallible star playet that all sports anime seem required to have), it doesn't take itself too seriously, and the characters are a likeable and fun-loving bunch - with the possible exception of big bro Suguru, who in this episode at least takes himself and his sport far too seriously. With the focus seeming to be more on the people playing the game & their interactions than the game itself, there's enough going on to keep away any feelings of "why the hell am I watching football!?". Whicbh is a good thing.

THE GOOD: Doesn't overdo the actual football. I'm sure there will be times when we get 3-episode-long penalty shootouts, but for now they've got the balance just about right. Good characters who are mostly fun to watch.

THE BAD: It's still football, and Suguru needs to chill out and relax.

If I can't come up with worse than that, though, it's doing okay. I'd been fully expecting this one to take the drop after the first episode - now, I'm willing to give it a few more to show what it has up its sleeve. And that counts as a big surprise to me.

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