Posted on 5 September 2010 with categories: Giant Killing



Aargh! Stupid cliff-hangers!

I mean… wow. The way this show builds up tension is just amazing. I mean, I can’t stress enough how nerve-wrecking this episode was, and it was just meant as a build-up! It was pretty much all about Natsuki, a character who had just been introduced, less than ten episodes ago. I really did not expect him to steal the show this way.

At this point, I’ve seen quite a few sports series already, and it really is an excellent genre: I hardly ever watched one that didn’t work. I used to be very biased against the series, but when I actually got to try out one of them, I quickly realized how completely stupid my biases were as I discovered a number of amazing sports series. And yet, despite such a high standard (and with “Shion no Ou” not counted as “sport”), at this point I’m willing to label Giant Killing as the best sports series I have ever seen. It rocks at everything: the characters, the tension, the chemistry, the depth, the entertainment. The animation is the only part at which it isn’t amongst my favourites this season, but in exchange it does have excellent character-designs with a unique graphics style, so even there it could be forgiven.

I also loved how this episode took something so obvious as “the ball belongs to the team, and not to you”, and went much further in this. Alone it would indeed have been a bit of a cheesy saying, but it becomes actually pretty interesting when related to Natsuki: I really put my money on how he was once one of those guys who took these crazy egotistical risks while understanding that at the same time the ball belonged to the team, but right now this 8-month leave changed him significantly. He’s no longer able to take the crazy risks due to his fear of getting injured again and having to spend 8 months out yet again (something I actually can relate to a bit).

It’s a bloody shame that the DVD sales are terrible, though, but this had it coming, unfortunately. In Japan, football just isn’t as popular as baseball, and it has very little to do with traditional Japanese culture. Still, I really believe that this show has a market internationally, especially in the countries in which football is really big. It’s a series that will be near-impossible to dub, but I feel that this is one of those series made with an international audience in mind, rather than just a Japanese one.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

11 Responses

  1. Roldan says:

    it’s weird even though football isn’t as popular as baseball, the animes usually get pretty big.

    Hungry Heart, Whistle!, Aoki Densetsu Shoot! and
    Inazuma Eleven all became pretty lengthy animes. though those were aimed at more the shonen crowd then the seinen. good episode btw.

  2. Revenger says:

    I don’t think this is about football not being popular in Japan, the Giant Killing manga is like the fifth most popular manga over there after all.

  3. marks says:

    Sales figures are not really considered terrible because GK is the Satellite TV show. The DVD sales seems rather decent compared to other Satellite TV animes. GK is also sponsored and distributed by a State-run TV station so the show is not exactly made for commercial purpose.

  4. Reltair says:

    Giant Killing has cliffhanger after cliffhanger, which keeps me wanting more. 1 more episode to go!

  5. Kaza (brazillian) says:

    I really hope for this show to come to Brazil…since Captain Tsubasa was a big hit here years ago…and we’re the Football country, so….ETU on Brazil!! \o/

    I can’t wait for a [possible?] 2nd season!

  6. gandalf8 says:

    It seems like Gino did purposely give out bad passes so that he could overwork Hiraga, which in the end made him unable to stop Tsubaki on his counter attack run. Just show’s that Tatsumi is one shrewd tactician and strategist. And the cliffhanger, I hope that ETU gets their first goal. With a goal, they will deal some serious psychological damage to Osaka. Before this they were all thinking about just adding their goal tally, but if ETU scores, it will probably derail their attacking rhythm. Add to how Kubota was totally wrecked when Tsubaki stole the ball from him, and how the defensive midfielder Hiraga seems to be tiring after chasing all those stray Gino passes, and it looks like the counterattack planned by Tatsumi is starting to get underway. I can hardly wait for the week to fly by.

  7. Matheus.../ says:

    But football IT IS popular in Japan, its one of the most popular sports out there, second only to Baseball.

    Anyway, also counts that DVDs/BDs sales and TV ratings are not the only way of a TV anime to get profit and specially nowadays (when seinen animes are resumed into only shitty moe shows and real seinen anime are more rare) this ”other way” of make money is getting more and more used by the producers who wants to make money with a real and good seinen anime.
    What I mean its the marketing behind the name of the anime and the products that it can sell.

    For example if the anime adaptation of some manga its increasing the manga sales, depending of the producers you can tell, or not, if this anime will get a 2nd season.

    And in that point you can say pretty much that Giant Killing is doing very well.

    Although what marks said its correct, GK is sponsored and distributed by a State-run TV station (NHK) so the show is not exactly made for commercial purpose.

    Despite this, I agree with you, this show is kinda internationally market oriented, Im brazillian and I would feel very happy if some day we could see Giant Killing in our television.
    Captain Tsubasa was a big hit here years ago.

  8. Li says:

    it was really awesome when tsubaki finally did something and ETU finally attacked…
    but i’m getting so tired of natsuki’s angst, hes like a pregnant teenager and this match is actually lasting longer than a normal 105 min match…

  9. Gunslinger says:

    The best part in the episode has to be when natsuki screams and the defender behind him gets startled. It’s small things like this that make this show awesome

  10. Delveonian says:

    GK is okay, but I think that you might like Eyeshield 21 more. Granted, it’s a shonen, and it suffers from every drawbacks that a 125 episodes series can have, but it does have everything you like in GK, only, in my humble opinion, often better. And it does something that GK did not manage to inspire me: it makes you want to play football.

  11. Goblin says:

    Aoki Densetsu Shoot was pretty good although the one that really makes you want to play football is Hungry Heart (being by the same author of Captain Tsubasa). Let’s just say it’s generic and the animation isn’t the best, but it’s really inspiring.

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