Posted by SuperMario on 18 September 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hanebado!

After the break last week (due to the Hokkaido earthquake), we are back with this final match between Ayano and Nagisa. While I can’t say I care too much about this match, Hanebado begins in a solid note. Having our two main characters flashback to their previous match, each questions the exact same concern: “what do they play badminton for?”. Although Nagisa and Ayano have different issues regarding their struggles, they all come down to that very question and I believe Hanebado nails it right there. Ayano plays badminton to win her mom’s attention again, while that match crushes Nagisa’s confidence to pieces. They all have good reasons to play this final match, except that… Ayano doesn’t take it very seriously at all. It’s just a bit of a shame that Hanebado portrays her as a one-sided boss who apparently need to learn her own lesson during this match.

Hanebado seems pretty comfortable now at showing Ayano’s multiple personalities. While previous episodes I have issues with her inconsistent character, this episode I feel that they did an alright job for Ayano, probably due to how they downplay it (still, watching Ayano turns from absent-minded mode to creepy mode in a span of an eye-blink is still… a feat to the eyes. Ayano’s mom, the person who is behind all this, is still… how do I put it… passive at best. It’s good that finally someone close to her (Elena) decided that she can’t stand this current Ayano so she confronts the bad-mom about it. Whatever they payoff gonna be, we will have to wait and see next week.

It’s Nagisa who do most of the lifting this week. Make no mistake, she regards this final match more as a match to overcome herself rather than to win Ayano. She carefully watches the video where Ayano played (which is implausible when you think about it. This is regional, amateur tournament after all) and she decides to throw Ayano off by not playing her smash. The match pans out alright so far, buy which I mean the first two points. Animation-wise it’s stellar, but they can’t escape two factors. First, the annoying analysis that tries to over-explain the situation. Why don’t you let us understand by the visual alone, Hanebado? Second, I’ve noticed for a while but Hanebado tends to place its focus way too much on the beginning points of the match. As someone who already been through this, I’d tell you that the starter points don’t always mean anything. Badminton is after all about the endurance, about momentum and about how you outlast the opponent so I just don’t feel the weight of these two points at all. The night is still young, girls.

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