Suddenly, summer is here! And with summer, a whole new batch of anime comes rolling out to our computer screens… I think.
Well Ro-Kyu-Bu is on top of the list as the first Summer Anime to be airing, so naturally here’s my first impression.
Notice: Spring Anime Roundup post coming soon…
Subaru Hasegawa, an avid basketball player becomes a coach for a grade school girls basketball team after his highschool team’s suspension after their coach was suspected of being a lolicon. The grade school girls basketball team; Tomoka, Maho, Saki, Hinata and Airi greet their new 3-day coach in coveted ‘little sister maid uniforms’, planned by Maho attempting to gain ‘affection points’ towards Subaru, ends in failure when Subaru fails to take tolerance. He then coaches the girls in several types of basketball practices from passing and rallys to shooting and drills, and assesses the girls strong and weak points over the course of the first two days. Subaru becomes interested towards Tomoka by her shooting and overall skills, being the only one of the team who has past experience and has her own check-list. Maho asks Subaru that if they keep going and gain more “experience points” over the course of three days that they’ll be able to compete in the prefectural competition. Subaru disagrees with the idea and says that they’ll need many more months to get to that level standard, this disheartened Maho causing her to suddenly run out of the court. Subaru finds a note in his changing locker to stop being the girls basketball coach, and meets with the boys basketball team the day after, presumably the ones who written the letter.
I first came across Ro Kyu Bu during my summer trip to HK last year in a bookshop called Populars. Upon coming across the series while looking at some localised Index, Zero no Tsukaima and Shana, I was attached to the Tinkle-like illustrations and got myself to purchase the third volume (because it was the only volume on shelf). Truth be told I was rather nervous when I handed over the volume along with volumes 2 and 3 of Oreimo over to the female clerk, handing them over back cover first… Back at the hotel, hiding my power level from my family of course, I simply just scanned through the Chinese text (being azn yet I can’t read azn…haha) of the LN and stared at the delicious illustrations, especially the colour pull-outs of the girls bathing in their swimsuits and on the other side a gorgeous pin-up of Tomoka with a beachball.. Tinkle illustrations are nice…
But anyhow I was soon shocked that, not only was the original illustrations of the LN were really from Tinkle as I speculated, but the fact that an anime adaptation was in-order! The producers teased us with a live action skit of the VAs of the main cast acting as their roles in their elegant high school and gym cosplay, a 45-sec teaser of the VAs performing the anime’s OP theme and soon after some real juicy animation preview of the first episode.
Overall, I found the first episode to be more enjoyable than expected. Aside from the obligatory loli fanservice that the series is known for (yum LN illustrations) the plot has a lot of potential for a grade-school-basketball-series, and the first ep really does set itself up for it. Drama-wise, the series also has potential for some serious drama elements coming to play. If you didn’t pay attention to the first episode excluding the service scenes, here we see how Subaru was about to give up basketball due to his team’s suspension, all because his coach was caught red-handed of being in cahoots with the club advisor’s 10 year old daughter (naughty rascal :3), while his teacher…older sister…? tries to save his relationship with basketball (he was able to go to the highschool he’s in now due to his basketball scholarship thing) – by blackmailing him using his kindergarten essay of how much he loves his mum to become the grade school basketball girl’s coach. Cause the MC needs right now is to coach a basketball team comprising of elementary school girls after having his highschool team suspended because his coach was about to violate one… makes total sense…
Your panchira… REJECTED.
Oh no wait – there it is.
Subaru possible momcon? :0
It’s funny because in Ro-Kyu-Bu the male main character Subaru is actually an ALL-RIGHT GUY.
Speaking of humour, it is simply more than a gimmick that comes with the fanservice. I even found myself chuckling when the girls appeared in maid uniforms in the first scene! Not forgetting my-favourite-character-of-this-series Airi and her height-complex, I never actually knew she was that tall when I was staring through my volume 3 LN other than the fact that she had huge knockers :3
Production-wise, the animation I found to be much fluid. The quality however, reasonably acceptable at times though I think has room for improvement. The colour pallet I found again quite washed out and think it could be better if it was more “brighter” in a sense. It was the same as well as last season’s Hidan no Aria as I couldn’t get over the dull colours and the grainy quality. The music used for the opening sequence – marvellous. Loved the OP’s music and animation alike, especially the Clannad-like character introduction snugly fitting in the first half of the sequence.
The voice acting cast is as follows;
Kana Hanazawa as Tomoka Minato
Rina Hidaka as Airi Kashii
Shizuka Itou as Mihoshi Takamura
Youko Hikasa as Saki Nagatsuka
Yui Ogura as Hinata Hakamada
Yuka Iguchi as Maho Misawa
Yuuki Kaji as Subaru Hasegawa
Here we see some familiar and top-named voice actors and actresses of this day and age’s anime. Not going into detail with each individual but here you can get some idea if the actresses of the main cast… w00t KanaHana 8D
So all in all, if you’re still deciding to watch this;
IF YOU LIKE BASKETBALL – YES
IF YOU LIKE FANSERVICE – YES
IF YOU LIKE POTENTIAL DRAMA – YES
IF YOU LIKE POSSIBLE PLOT/CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT – YES
IF YOU ARE A LOLICON – YES, BUT DON’T GET CAUGHT BY THE COPS
IF YOU LIKE KANAHANA – FUCK… FUCK YES
I, myself will certainly be continuing watching this masterpiece and you should certainly too. So SCREW ALL YOU TSUNDEREMOEFAGHAETERS.
Yeah, I’ve been going on /a/ too much lately…