so so bad about updating this thing.
i continue to spend my copious free time on learning japanese, and watching anime, jdrama, and reading manga. i want to write interesting reviews, especially of the things i love, but somehow i am stalling out on them because i can't make them sing the way the works sing inside my heart. damn.
so i'm just gonna, for the record, write about one of the shows that isn't doing it for me at this point, despite coming highly recommended. i've already written some of this as a comment elsewhere, so it's easy to riff off a little further here.prince of tennis - テニスの王子様 - tenisu no oujisama
by 許斐剛 konomi takeshi.
this manga and anime are amazingly popular in japan; the manga is at > 330 chapters and still going, the anime at > 175 episodes. there are additional OAVs, there are live action movies. there are musicals! it's a sports anime, even though the tennis is, ya know, anime tennis and defies the laws of physics. this isn't like hikaru no go
where one can actually go and play the games they show on screen. ergo, it is not normally a show i would even touch. but bookshop
, my favourite pimp, is enamoured with it, and if aja says it's worthwhile, it usually is. :)
which is why, *wah*, i am sorry i don't actually like tenipuri at this point. i've not read the manga at all, but i've watched the first 15 episodes and a few strategically picked others, and it's really hard for me to sit through them.
but let me start with what's good about it: the character design is actually decent. the show has a huge cast -- players at seigaku, a leading tennis school, players at rival schools, and plenty of ancillary characters. and they do not all look or behave alike; they're clearly characterized even if they spend very little time on-screen. i think that's quite the feat; i do not need to use a character sheet to try to identify who is who at all.
||the star of the show, echizen ryoma, 12, a tennis prodigy, is the sort of character i like a lot -- he is cocky when challenged, but he can actually back it up; he's otherwise quiet, untalkative but observant, he takes his tennis very seriously and is constantly trying to learn new things, and he stands up for weaker people when they're being given a hard time by some bully. he's voiced by minagawa junko (who also does ritsuka in loveless), one of the few female seiyuus whose voice i enjoy because it sounds young but not high-pitched. also, adorable, ne?
||the team captain is tezuka kunimitsu (voiced by okiayu ryoutarou, one of the seiyuus i adore), the tennis school's top player -- who's the strong, silent, responsible type. hard to read, therefore he must be deep, right? *sigh*. also, he wears glasses. *swoon*; glasses and okiayu-sama; be still my heart.
||i consider the top seigaku players in general mildly interesting -- they're all made immediately unique, and i find myself wanting to get to know them better.
but here's what's bad: there are so many annoying shounen characteristics in this show -- almost all women and girls are worthless props; cutesy, squealing, blushing, adoring the men without qualification. the comic relief is over-the-top grating, both in the shape of horio, the bragging know-it-all kid who actually doesn't know anything, and ryoma's father, a former ace tennis player who is now a monk whose "pervert" tendencies are played to the hilt ("pervert" in this case refers to him looking at magazines with swimsuit models. oh please.). also, there are a lot of super-duper special tennis moves all with their own special names (*yawn*), the animation is lackluster, the colours typically bright without much nuance, the backgrounds only so-so.
the way the episodes are put together makes it torturous for me to watch; the comedic elements actively pain me, and there's no emotional depth so far to make up for it.
i don't just watch anime for teh gay these days (though it might be hard to tell), and i would be fine if this show had none. yeah, it is majorly slashed, of course, being as it has goodlooking male characters, *snicker*, but it has no actual yaoi content -- the canon doesn't, so far, support any BL whatsoever, and i personally find it unslashable at this time -- i don't mind pushing the envelope a little, but here the distance is too large for my slashy heart to go all pitter-patter, in part because ryoma is 12, but it's mainly about the characters' interaction, which is just ... not close enough for me to start spinning romantic subthreads. this is not a problem with the show; i am just noting it.
i will continue to watch it because aja says it might grow on me, but i'll do it in small drabs, so as to not overdose from the comedic gratiness. and i won't start the manga at all unless the show really does grow on me.
gratiness. that is not a word, is it.