Monday, 19 April 2010

Giant Killing - Episode 3

After setting the cat amongst the pigeons early on by showing up the regulars with some of the team's younger players, things were only ever going to be shaken up even harder by Tatsumi's decision to give the squad free reign to practice however they liked for the start of East Tokyo United's pre-season training camp.

Thus, Tatsumi sits back and watches while the squad all goes off and sleeps with one another's girlfriends.... oh wait, sorry, this isn't about Chelsea is it? Instead, Tatsumi sits back and watches while the squad implodes, or rather fractures, into its various cliques, all of whom have a different idea of what training should be about, before taking away all but one ball and watching as chaos descends and we're left with little short of a training ground brawl.

Not only that, but the new manager also has another interesting predicament to ponder in the form of "Gio" (or "the Prince" as he prefers to be known thanks to that wonderful footballer's habit of choosing their own nicknames) - An undoubtedly talented and skillful player, but also a huge primadonna who has no qualms about turning up late for training and doing whatever he likes. With the club's first pre-season friendly coming up, the proof will soon be in the pudding that Tatsumi has concocted in his own unique way, and with this opening match against the local champions of two years in succession it's hardly the easiest start to a managerial career either.

Even when the football itself is at a premium, Giant Killing continues to be oddly entertaining thanks to its blend of characters that might be clichéd, but oddly still feel quite realistic when set up against you're average top-flight football team (in England at least). Even Tatsumi himself could be seen as an interesting blend of Sir Alex Ferguson's mind games and Jose Mourinho's arrogant yet entirely justified self-confidence, while I could spend all day thinking up suitable comparisons for the various players given focus by this series. It's this mixture of Roy of the Rovers and Match of the Day which is keeping me absolutely hooked - I have no idea how non-football fans will be finding the show at this point, but personally I'm really rather loving it, and I can't help but finish this episode with a wry smile of satisfaction on my face. It's certainly more fun than watching Arsenal concede three goals in ten minutes, that's for sure...


Topspin said...

I'm not a football fan per se, and I also have that weird irrational loathing of sports anime that a lot of people have.

That's two things I figured would kill it for me, but you know what? I love the series so far, because it's presenting just the right balance of arrogance and self-confidence to feel "GAR", but still down to earth.

I honestly thought it would annoy football nuts more than outsiders like me.

Robert said...

I wonder... do you think that there's any chance that CBBC or CITV could license this series for afterschool broadcast? CITV at least has dipped its toes into anime before (Sonic X).

Even if it's only for the football angle I think that this show has a rare chance to achieve mainstream appeal.

JW said...

I don't have an annoyance toward sports anime. I like it. However, my exposure to sports anime remains limited to the plotline-recycling of "Prince of Tennis" and my bizarre love of Kikumaru.

Murakoshi is no Tezuka though. He's not as essential to the game as all his emotional rants would have us believe. The minute his title is taken away, he's reduced to useless silent scowling while his dog, the bully Kuroda, says everything he'd like to say.

I would like for Murakoshi to just come out and reveal what a total jerk he really is, instead of just standing there and trying to fool us into thinking that he cares about someone else besides himself.

I would actually prefer to see more of Yoshida's high-horsing, than another view of the self-righteous former captain.

I was disappointed by the music in the episode. We should have been treated to emotion-stirring music during the locker room fight.

But no. We got to listen to someone's SNES.

C'mon GK, you can do better. Do 20 laps and think about it.

Krungie said...

I think both genders would be pleased with GK thus far. I assume my fellow commentors are of the male side of the spectrum whilst I, a female, am enjoying this.

Granted that the music lacks a lil something, something. Agreed with JW that they might have spent a little more time or effort on this. Gosh, even "I can't beat Airman" is better than the crap they laid for an OP and ED.

But, since I skip the OP and ED's when I watch this no matter. I'm still watching.

Hanners said...

Robert, I'd love to see this show get some kind of UK treatment, although it would probably end up being mauled for a transition to kids TV while also proving to be prohibitively expensive.

I'm sure this show could do well over here, but sadly nobody will ever take the risk with it with the UK anime industry as it is right now.

Anonymous said...

Aaah, i'd rather watch kissXsis all night than watch arenal vs wigan again :(

Robert said...

Hanners: I don't know if the show being cut is that much of a problem. While anime presented for the children's market in the West does have a history of being brutally hacked to pieces (4Kids taking the cleaver to One Piece being the most obvious example), from the evidence of these three episodes at least that wouldn't be a problem. The show's been very conservative in its manners and I doubt that there'd be anything to censor. The most I can see is that the OP theme would probably be replaced with something in English. It's possible that someone would have a panic about the "violent" name (even though Giant Killers are part of common parlance you know that some shrill bat is going to cause a fuss about it) - but it can be called "Match Day" or something else easily enough if that's an issue.