Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

30 July 2018: Hanebado! teaches me badminton is full of bitches

I love that Ayano has Mystic Eyes of Badminton Perception.

Impressive animation in the PV guaranteed I was going to give Hanebado! a try, despite knowing essentially nothing about badminton. Through four episodes, the animation quality remains higher than I would have expected, and the show itself continues to land solid hits on many of the sports tropes I enjoy. Notably, its star is a preternatural talent who is weighed down by a hefty load childhood drama.

I guess you wouldn't know just by looking at her.

Specifically, it sort of seems as if her mother is a terrible person, but possibly this is a bit of misdirection since she hasn't been properly introduced to the show yet. What we do know, however, is that badminton seems to be dominated a disproportionate amount of mean bitches who are cunts to each other for basically no good reason. May Haruhi bless them all.

Yu and Sora
Somehow not bitches.

Oh, it seems there are some nice people in the school club, though. The cast is fairly large, and I appreciate the show's effort to spend extra time on them episode by episode to make them stand out a bit more. For example, the side character Yu did not get a full-on Yu episode, but I remember who she is because episode two gave her extra scenes. Likewise, I know who Sora is now because of episode four.

Connie and Hina
Connie is not a nice person.

Really, though, this is all just setting the stage for Ayano and Nagisa. Or at least it ought to be, but I'm not seeing any indication that Hanebado! will run for more than 13 episodes. That is woefully short for a sports anime, so I'm skeptical it will be able to offer any sort of satisfying narrative in the space it has available. I'm seeing reports on the Twitter that the anime adaptation differs quite a bit from the manga, which reportedly has undergone a bit of tonal evolution more than once, so maybe it will work out if the anime devotes all its attention to a single strong effort. In any case, I'm enjoying Hanebado! quite a bit, and I hope it sticks around for more than a single cours.

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