Manga Adaptation by Madhouse
Streaming on Crunchyroll.
The anime industry needs another group of schoolboys to sell their merchandise, and it seems the sports genre is popular right now. With no swimming, basketball or volleyball this season, it’s rugby’s time to shine.
Euri’s verdict: I’m Out!!
I’ve been on a sports anime binge lately, watching shows including Captain Tsubasa and Days. I’ve also been learning more about the NFL variety of Football, playing a bunch of the new Madden game and watching some old Super Bowls. So while I’ve never been much of a rugby fan (besides that one time I watched aliens play it), I was admittedly pretty excited to watch this and see if it would be a gateway into the sport. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be that.
The majority of the episode is dedicated to our two main characters. There’s Gion Kenji, a rather small guy with a hot temper, and Iwashimizu Sumiaki, a rather tall guy who, despite his size, is actually quite meek. We get a brief introduction and a little backstory for Sumiaki, but for an episode that decides to focus on them, we don’t learn nearly enough. The only opinion I really have of either of them is that Kenji seems like a bit of a dick.
But who cares about all that stuff if the rugby is okay, right? Perhaps, but we’re not going to find out in this episode. We get some fantastic shots of Kenji and Sumiaki forcing their faces through a chain link fence while watching rugby happen, but we barely see a ball thrown in the entire episode. You can argue that there’s no rush when this is a 25 episode series, but to me it seems pretty telling where the priorities lie. Muscly boys first, rugby second.
Now I’ll admit that I’m being pretty pessimistic about this show, but it’s hard to get enthusiastic when the anime industry insists on regurgitation over innovation. I would be happy to give All Out!! the benefit of the doubt and check back in later on, but when we have multiple shows this season that look like cheap cash-ins of older, popular shows, it’s difficult to see this being any different. If you plan on keeping up with this, do let me know if it ends up improving.
colons’ verdict: Remind me that this show exists once the next Comiket rolls around
The characters we’ve been introduced to so far are truly some adorable boys, but despite trying pretty hard, episode one failed to make me actually care about them. There’s a whole backstory about the big burly boy who’s actually super timid accidentally breaking some other kid’s arm in rugby and henceforth refusing to play, and it’s sympathetic and all, but it doesn’t make me especially confident that the rest of the show’s gonna be at all interesting. That said, this ship sails itself.