Giant Killing, my favourite airing show of the past three months and likely to be my favourite sports anime (if board games aren’t sports). It’s a breath of fresh air in its execution, and a delight to watch from start to finish with a well developed cast that just sparkles with personality.
From the outside it may seem like a bit of an unimpressive football series, but it turns out to provide a unique look into the world of professional soccer, and it doesn’t ignore anything: aside from the players, it also gives ample attention to all kinds of supporters, the press, photographers, coaches, management, everyone involved is portrayed as a character and important to the series. The cast here is incredibly diverse, allowing everyone to stand out, rather than blend in. Credit also goes to the character-designers, who gave every single character in the series his own look.
I also feel that this is the series that shows one of the bewst portrayals of “there is no I in team”. It’s indeed true that Tatsumi is a brilliant coach, and there are a few brilliant players, but the series is entirely different from all of the teams in fiction that are just built around one player. Instead, everyone has the points at which he’s good and the points at which he’s terrible, and throughout 26 episodes, this series really tries to put as many people under the loop as possible. It really tries to do as much as possible in every episode in terms of characterization, and this really makes the huge cast come alive. It’s not like there’s one character that stands out, and instead it’s the characters together that form a very addictive whole.
Because it continues to explore its characters, evenin the quietest parts, there hardly is any part about this serise that’s not interesting, but the soccer matches, and especially the long ones, are where this series truly shines. It’s not that they’re the most unpredictable out there, you can pretty much predict the outcomes. Everything apart from that however is a huge roller-coaster ride, especially the final match that forms the climax of this series. It’s a match that’s constantly cyhanging and evolving, utilizing as many characters (including the opponents!) as possible.
This is really how a series without a big animatio budget should be done. Giant Killing can drink many of its big budgetted counterparts under the table with its incredibly detailed and addictive storytelling. It also is the series that is the single best at handling foreign languages, out of any anime I’ve ever seen: French, English, Dutch, Portugese, this is a really international anime that portrays foreigners as they are, rather than as the xemophobic stereotypes you usualyl see in anime. It’s not like this series has one particular character that is really well developed. What it does have, though, is dozens of characters with their own charms, quirks and flaws who subtly change over the course of the story.
|Storytelling:||10/10 – Utilizes every minute to put as much detail into its cast and football matches. Addictive beyond belief.|
|Characters:||9/10 – Lots of characters, who are all diverse and sparkle with personality, and are explored really well throughout the series.|
|Production-Values:||8/10 – The animation isn’t stellar and it uses a lot of shortcuts, the series has a unique look nevertheless. The music is also simple but mesmerizing.|
|Setting:||9/10 – An excellent portrayal of professional football and everything around it.|