Manga Adaptation by MAPPA
Streaming on Crunchyroll
Tsukushi, a shy and clumsy boy completely new to the world of soccer, finds himself with a sudden passion for the sport after being asked to help out in a futsal match by classmate and budding soccer genius Jin. Despite his lack of skill or experience, and the fact that his high school is known nationwide for its amazing soccer team, Tsukushi decides to sign up.
Artemis’ verdict: Cliché But Heartfelt
I’ll be straight with everyone, the last sports anime I watched and enjoyed that wasn’t Free! was Big Windup! – and that came out nearly a decade ago now. So yeah, not exactly a fan of the genre.
At least on the surface, Days so far seems almost exactly like every other cliché sports anime out there. Smallish guy with obvious confidence issues and thus few friends enters school, sucks at the sport he suddenly finds a blinding passion for, probably wins at both it and life because ZOMG his sheer determination will overcome all challenges set in his path! It’s the classic clueless-underdog-becomes-amazing story, complete with all the other hallmarks of the genre that need exclamation marks after them. Friendship! Team work! Sweat, blood, and tears! You know the drill by now, I’m sure.
I can’t tell yet if Days will do anything more than what’s expected of it, in this or in any other regard, though the first episode didn’t give any particular reason to believe so. However, I have no doubt that what it does do, it’ll end up doing very well. All the ingredients are perfectly in place for an earnestly sincere and heart-pounding tale of hard work and extreme effort paying off – and with MAPPA at the helm, it gets to look really good doing it. There’s also a really well-balanced mix of seriousness and comedy going on, which helps non-sports anime fans like myself be gentled into the story.
I’m not completely sold, if only because I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this all before (and because personally, I’ve never cared much for team sports), but Days has at the very least earned itself another couple of episodes while I make up my mind.
Euri’s verdict: There’s Sweat On His Jersey Already, Mom’s Spaghetti
It’s really easy to dismiss new sports anime as attempts at grabbing some of the money generated by shows like Free and Kuroko’s Basketball. And hey, Days has a handful of moments that’ll appease the doujin writers at Comiket, that’s for sure, but based on the first episode this seems like a sincere attempt at a feel-good football story. I haven’t watched one of those since… Giant Killing? Sign me up!
Our protagonist has never played football before, is very clumsy but also very enthusiastic. Cliché, but you know, I can see shows like this doing great things for getting kids out of the house for a kickabout in the park. Seeing the more experienced football players encouraging him is the kind of thing we need for kids that are too worried that they aren’t good at sports, along with a blank slate character that kids can related to, one that will hopefully give them a confidence boost.
Of course, this is just my view on it, and I couldn’t even tell you if this is even targeted at kids that age. Still, I hope it keeps it up, because aside from all that there’s potential for an interesting story. My only complaint is that the opening music needs something on Giant Killing‘s calibre.