First Look: Birdie Wing – Golf Girls’ Story

Anime original by Bandai Namco Pictures
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Eve The Rainbow Bullet golfs in high stake matches with money on the line to support her adopted family. Having lived in poverty her whole life, golfing is the only way she knows to survive. Blessed with a preternatural talent for it, she hungers for a greater challenge. Aoi is a golfing prodigy who plays on the pro scene and possesses deceptive power and skill. One day the two cross paths and the world of women’s golf is changed forever.

Gee’s verdict: Hole in One

We are blessed with an anime this deranged only once every few years. Even if the premise doesn’t sound interesting or you don’t care the slightest about golf, I think it’s worth checking out even just one episode of. It’s something you truly have to see for yourself. Birdie Wing is the occasional reminder you get that anime can cover just about any premise and make it the most entertaining thing in the world for 22 minutes as long as the show itself truly believes its own insane bullshit.

Birdie Wing unapologetically embraces the absurdity of its premise in a way that is both manic but undeniably entertaining. This is an anime where a character drives a golf ball between two train cars while Shuichi Ikeda of Char Aznable fame monologues in the background. Where Eve our protagonist says with a straight face, “I’m no pro. Not even a golfer. All I do is hit a ball with a stick to make money.” Where we’re interrupted in the middle of the episode by a sepia-toned montage of Eve’s life on the streets as a melancholy pop number plays. The kind of anime that ends with Aoi, our rival character, introducing herself by brandishing her monstrous 48-inch driver shaft and Eve responds by saying she’ll pierce her through with her Rainbow Bullet.

Let me be clear, this is not the anime to watch if you’re looking for a serious take on golf. While it doesn’t veer into gag comedy territory, there’s an energy to this anime that is unlike anything else airing this season. To use the word again, this anime feels deranged in the sort of maximalist way that only the medium of anime can achieve. Discovering that this work is fully original, I have absolutely zero idea why it exists or where it’s going, but I’m completely sold.

Jel’s verdict: Leader in the Clubhouse

When I saw the promo art for Birdie Wing I assumed it was just another sports anime, and yet, for some reason my gut told me to check it out. I was not prepared for what I saw. Birdie Wing is indeed a sports anime in the mold of the more bombastic, over-the-top examples of the genre, but then it smashes that mold and steps on the pieces. I don’t want to spoil too many details and ruin the shock value, I’ll just say it made me think about those wild mobile game shovelware ads with random, dramatic plot twists – a comparison that includes some shameless product placement in this first episode. It’s just pure chaos, and I love it.

My only concern is where we go from here. I love the concept of Eve as a shady back-alley golf hustler, but it in previews it appears she does go legit in some capacity. Would making her join the pro tour just turn this back into a more conventional sports anime? I’d probably still enjoy that given how hard Birdie Wing goes with the actual golf, but I really hope it doesn’t lose the unpredictable, chaotic energy of this first episode. It’s the most fun thing I’ve watched this season so far, and I hope they can keep it up.

Iro’s verdict: Yeah, Alright, Show Me More

The first episode of Birdie Wing had more twists and turns than some entire shows. It’s a totally straight-faced wacky sports anime; the kind where characters have supernatural levels of talent at a mundane activity, complete with special techniques. Eve boldly espouses the power of her “Rainbow Bullet” golfing style like it’s a martial art, her “Blue” swing powerful enough to smash apart planks of wood. Aoi uses an extra-large, 48-inch driver – the golf equivalent of a Buster Sword – to blast her custom Pac-Man balls down the fairway. It’s all ridiculous, but played completely straight with the self-awareness that we’re all just here to hit every cliche and have a good time. If it can keep up the energy, I’ll gladly keep up with the airing schedule.

2 thoughts on “First Look: Birdie Wing – Golf Girls’ Story

  1. This show is so weird. From the visuals to premise, characters and execution, it’s like it time traveled here from the early ’00s. I mean I am entertained, sort of, but even more than that I’m just curious of who thought it was a good idea to 1. make it now, 2. make it to be the way it is.

    • I don’t know if I would call this “good” in a conventional sense, but do I want to watch more? Absolutely, if only to see what they try to do next.

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