First Look: Futsal Boys!!!!!

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Anime original by Diomedéa
Streaming on Funimation

Premise

Yamato Haru was inspired to start playing futsal when he saw U-18 Japanese-team player Tokinari Tennoji jump 30 feet into the air while yelling ‘Storm of Horizon’, then overhead kicking a ball into the opposing team’s goal.

Euri’s verdict: Press Start

Regardless of their quality, I’m always happy to see new football anime. I enjoy following the Japanese national team and you can see things like anime as ways of getting new people into the sport – little investments into the future of Japanese football, perhaps. That in mind, I was surprised to see a futsal anime on this season’s docket. It’s not super popular here in ol’ Blighty so it’s not something I often think about, but it’s does have a considerable following in Japan.

And, well, this sure is a futsal anime! If you’re not super familiar with how it related to regular football, there are a number of differences – teams have 5 players, you can sub people in and out as often as you like, and the balls, courts and goals are smaller. There’s more, but that’ll probably cover most things the anime will touch on. It is certainly similar enough to football that anime like this can still invent wild special moves and signature shots. Yes, this is one of those shows – we see one of the protag’s new teammates kick a ball so hard he summons a dragon.

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I had my suspicions about this show when the Namco Bandai screen flashed up at the start, but as soon as we see Tennoji do a special move in an international futsal match, it became pretty obvious that this was part of a multimedia franchise. While it turns out that there’s no video game yet, there’s one coming, so I guess get ready for that.

Futsal Boys!!!!! is also bishounen through and through. Every key character in this show is a cute anime boy, and they make short work of setting up some relationships for you to latch onto. There was a good balance of futsal to character development in this first episode, so it does feel like the futsal is getting a fair share of the spotlight, while also giving you copious boys to go get in the inevitable gacha once the game comes out. I’ll personally be pulling for futsal Lelouch and banchou Shaggy.

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Possibly the biggest head-scratcher for me is just how powerfully annoying the protagonist’s voice is. It’s like they took Hinata from Haikyuu!!, a character who already teeters on the edge of painful at times, and dialled it up to eleven. It’s honestly like nails on a chalkboard to me.

I suspect I won’t be keeping up with the show, but I’ll have an eye on what this planned multimedia franchise has to offer. Futsal would lend itself better to a mobile game than regular football so I have to assume they’ll go that route with it, and if Captain Tsubasa: Dream Team could be a genuinely pretty solid game despite dripping with gacha stuff, I’m curious to see what this might be able to do.

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