Posted by psgels on 26 September 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Giant Killing




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.

Suggestions:
Shion no Ou
One Outs (It’s similar, although much less awesome)
Baccano!

7 Responses

  1. keizon says:

    i am not a soccer fan. i got to pick up this series after reading your positive reviews for the first few episodes. yes it is indeed addictive, especially with the cliff-hangers, one really look forward to the next episode. ‘Giant Killing’ is befitting title, with no big budget, it is able to bring out the best of anime: an exciting plot with lively characters.

  2. Maureen says:

    I’m not a soccer fan, either, but this show made it possible for me to watch soccer with understanding and enjoyment. I loved so much about this show, right down to the chants and songs. (And Mr. Kappa! He never got an episode!) It was really an amazingly solid series on every level.

  3. Earl says:

    definitely one of the best sports anime and is something new to the traditional shounen sports type anime. love how they portray all chracters involved in a pro team not just the players. hope they make a 2nd season!

  4. evolstar says:

    This is the first sport series I’ve ever watched and I absolutely loved it. Any possible sport series I watch in the future will have a hard time surpassing it.

  5. iamMAN says:

    psgesls, could you recommend more sports series like this one or post your animelist?

  6. beh says:

    It’s a good show alright! I so wish this would get a sequel or two, can you imagine Tatsumi being the coach for the national team?

    Anyway for suggestions, Major should be in there imho.
    Just watched the conclusion to the 6th (and final) season, and it’s been great from the start.
    You really should watch at least the first season when you have time. Awesome drama, and definitely worth it.

    echt waar!

  7. Mihai says:

    Well,Gino did get most goals in series.
    Tsubaki only got one.

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  • Friend
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 04:21 AM)
    @Asuka I honestly do not know what is on the mind of those lunatics. Storming into a government building, murdering innocent soldiers, and they think they’re accomplishing anything? It boggles my mind.
  • Asuka111
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 04:03 AM)
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 03:29 AM)
    @sonic: That just shows that they have budget issues and problems with asset management. Deen tends to hire a lot of commission contracts so the talen behind each work, and hence the quality, varies greatly.
  • sonicsenryaku
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 03:06 AM)
    Deen’s art has certainly improved and their cinematography has gotten a slight bump in refinement but their animation still could use some work and they still have trouble keeping their art and animation consistent through their series. All these critiques apoply to their tv series productions by the way; some of the movies they have worked on as well as they co-production works are pretty good
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 11:49 PM)
    @Emma I think Deen makes some really good looking anime. People tend to give them crap for some of their mid-2000 stuff and justifiably, but their recent stuff and early stuff is really quite visually arresting.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 11:43 PM)
    Now granted,deens adaptation of sankarea had some pretty neat visuals behind it.
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 11:14 PM)
    Granted that none of those manga had the type of mass appeal that Sankarea has, but they’re some pof the best manga I’ve read within their specific genre (sentimental ecchi comedies/romances). I love his art style too. It just works so well for sappy romantic stuff. Inu Neko Jump will always be one of my favorite manga.
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 11:12 PM)
    On the subject of Sankarea, I’m about as big of a Hattori Mitsuru fanboy as anyone could be and I have to say that Sankarea is my least favorite manga of his. His strengths and weaknesses just don’t lend themselves very well to that type of horror/drama plot. Umisho, Inu Neko Jump, and Otogi no Machi no Rena even were all better manga.
  • k-off
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 08:47 PM)
    To be fair to the series though, I thought that the owl was pretty cool.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 06:18 PM)
    But I’ve heard complaints about the fanservice of rea not making sense considering her past/background and I’m inclined to agree.

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