Those who know me will be aware that I’m a rather big fan of sports in general (Proud Couch Spectator!) and an even bigger fan of the Sports anime genre. And if anyone has been paying to attention to recent sporting events, they will almost certainly be aware that the FIFA Womens World Cup is in progress.
Now as I alluded to in the season preview and certain other places, there is a distinct lack of pure sporting anime out there. In fact I don’t think there has been a proper sporting anime since Giant Killing (which I highly recommend if you havent seen it yet). So why is that?
Now I understand that sports may not have as great a following such as other niche genre’s such as Mecha or BL where fans will watch it just because its mecha/BL. But there have been (VERY) popular sports anime: Hajime no Ippo, Eyeshield 21, Major, Prince of Tennis, etc. However, despite all of the genre’s past successes, it just can’t seem to find any breakout hits anymore. I personally blame the moeblob/loli phenomenon as itseems that every anime needs them these days and sports anime historicaly don’t have such characters in them. Ro-Kyu-Bu hopes to change the tide by adapting to the norm with all its loli’s and stuff but yeah, we’ll see how that goes. Anyway, thats a discussion for another day.
Back to the Womens World Cup, ever since 2002, Japan has taken its football fanatism to new levels and it was mirrored in their national teams performances with both the senior and junior male teams doing really well in international competitions. But unbeknown to most the Japanese womens team were also starting to get their game together and this year they are on the verge of greatness. I’m not in Japan now but I should imagine that the nation must be near fever pitch… why? Well the womans national football team will be playing in the World Cup final, which is least to say, a truly amazing feat.
So here’s my proposal Japan, just hear me out. I propose that you guys make a football sports anime focusing on the soon to be legendary (provided the US in finals) Japanese womens national team. It has the elements for a potentially great story series;
- they’re the underdogs, not having progressed passed the group stages ever
- they beat defending champions Germany to progress
- it’s a female sport, so there is plenty of politics if they choose to go there
- the team is the perfect mix of veterans & youth
- they have a lead-by-example type captain – Homare Sawa
- a male former player turned coach
- and they have dedicated fans…
All the elements are there, everybody loves an underdog story and even more so they can draw the americans as being the bad guys if they want AND its a female sport so if they really want to, they could throw in some fanservice/ecchi… the brazilians!
As far as which studio/director should take on the task, I dunno, you guys can work that out – I’m an idea guy. And yes I know the Tatsumi thing won’t happen, just throwing it out there. [Fingers crossed]
I know we’ve kind of missed the boat a bit as event based sporting anime usually run before the actual event (Whistle, Captain Tsubasa) but I think we have a winner here, so the balls in your court now Japan. And for the rest of you, be sure to watch and cheer on the Nadeshiko as they take on the US in the final on Sunday (16/7) eve at 18:45 GMT. FIGHT OH!
Hopefully by the time you guys read this (it being the weekend and all) all of Japan will be drunk as they’re all off celebrating victory.
My heart nearly stopped twice during the game, I demand my anime!