Hanebado!

Hello everyone. I hope you are all doing well. It is 2021! I am a little bit late to the party though. Sorry for that. I hope everyone had a great New Years. Here is to hoping that this year is a good year for all of us. I want to start the year off with a brief blog post about an anime: Hanebado!

What am I playing Badminton for?

This is the question that plagues the two main characters in Hanebado!: Nagisa Aragaki and Ayano Hanesaki. Nagisa has loved the sport of Badminton for as long as she can remember, but after she suffers a devastating 21-0 loss at the National Junior Badminton Tournament, she begins to question why she plays the sport. As a result, Nagisa’s disposition turns sour, and her negative attitude drives away members of the Badminton club. The team’s supervisor, though, has an ace up a sleeve: Olympic hopeful Kentarou Tachibana. Kentarou was destined for the Olympics, but an injury ruined all chances of that happening. He has since repurposed his skills and become a coach. Kentarou, however, discovers a new girl at the school has an affinity for Badminton, and it is revealed that the girl is Ayano Hanesaki, the same girl who beat Nagisa 21-0 at the tournament. Ayano, however, is also going through her own troubles, and after the tournament has since denounced Badminton. After much coaxing, Ayano decided to join the Badminton club. Now, Nagisa faces multiple challenges: confront her self-doubt, help her rival with her life problems, put her school’s name on the map and deal with physical obstacles as well.

The visuals of Hanebado! are very nice, smooth and colorful. The animation is smooth, and the Badminton matches/scenes are a joy to watch. I really enjoyed the music too. The sound design is excellent. The whack of the racket hitting the shuttlecock, the screeching of the shoes on the court, the ambient swishes you hear as the matches are being played; it all brings the sport to life. Sport anime are quite popular, and for good reason. They have great direction and it is a genre that is different from the usual action/adventure stories that people are used to from anime.

Ayano Hanesaki (left) and Nagisa Aragaki (right). Image Credit: MyAnimeList

Hanebado! is unique because it focuses on an incredibly niche sport which is why, in my opinion, it is quite an underground anime. Sport anime have been criticized for being too dramatic at times, and Hanebado! falls into this trap at times. However, it was not overly dramatic to the point where it put me off, although there were some close calls if I am being honest. The show is paced well enough that when the final episodes were drawing near I was antsy to see how the story would end. The final two episodes were very dramatic and tense, but also fun and exciting. The story is actually an inspiring one. Although Hanebado! features familiar themes of struggle, personal turmoil, friendship and redemption, it is an anime that incorporates these themes in a sports setting and does it well.

I started watching Hanebado! a few years ago, but stopped watching when I reached a certain episode. I did not like where the anime was going so I stopped. However, a few weeks ago I was randomly watching some Olympic Table-Tennis and Badminton matches, as I really like those sports, and then memories of Hanebado! came rushing back. I decided to start watching it again from the beginning, and I blew through the whole anime in one sitting. It is only 13 episodes, so it is a quick watch. The story also resolves itself at the end, so there are no cliffhangers or anything like that. I will leave the trailer below if you want to check it out.

That is it from me. I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please be safe, and I will see you all in the next blog post.

Sincerely Yours,
Kojo

2 thoughts on “Hanebado!

  1. I’m a badminton player, and I completely agree that it’s a sport that we don’t see in the limelight as often, which is why I was so excited to watch Hanebado! The sounds really brought back so many memories, and I love the attention to detail that came with this anime! It definitely isn’t my favourite sports anime but it’s not bad at all. I’d probably give it a 6.5/10 (I was mostly put off by the way they focused on their bodies – which I think is something you can never really escape with anime sadly – and the way the storyline seemed a little dry at times). Loved your review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your comment! I do agree with you about how they focused on their bodies. It was something I noticed as well. I am happy to hear that a badminton player like yourself liked it!

      Like

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