First Look: Shoot! Goal to the Future

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Anime original by EMT Squared
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Hideto Tsuji is traumatised by the mere thought of playing football after losing his childhood teammate. He definitely wont be joining the school team by the end of episode two.

Euri’s verdict: Aoki Densetsu Shite!

Over the past year or so we’ve seen a surprising number of football anime, but this might be the first time I’ve ever been conscious of there being two of them airing simultaneously. Not only does Shoot! Goal to the Future air alongside last season’s Aoashi, but they both air on the same day and within hours of each other too. With Aoashi being a surprisingly good watch, this show has its work cut out for it from the get-go.

One thing that Shoot! has going for it is that it’s an anime-only sequel to Aoki Densetsu Shoot!, a well-liked show that aired all the way back in 1993. While it seemingly doesn’t have any involvement from author Tsukasa Ooshima, you would hope that the franchise would be well-handled if they’re turfing it out after nearly 30 years.

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As you might well have guessed from my verdict, I thought this show was bad. Hideto Tsuji is a miserable character who appears to be angry about everything, and the other kids we meet after that are not much better either. I’m sure he’ll have his redemption arc within the next few episodes, but dealing with any more of him feels like a big ask already. 

His anger and misery can be pinpointed to his childhood friend he used to play football with – masterfully telegraphed by using the same flashback scene three times in a single episode. The show leads us to believe that this kid is dead – Hideto literally vomits at the thought of playing football again near the beginning of the episode – and then the guy just shows up at the end of the episode for a friendly match with the school football team? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for subverting expectations, but this ain’t it.

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To top it off, the show is also very messy. There are certain shots that clearly have the kind of polish you’d expect, but it’s hard to ignore the rough character designs, janky 3D animation and the overuse of having key characters with their backs to the camera to avoid animating their mouths. If you want a football show and you’re not already watching Aoashi, just watch that instead. Maybe this will settle down in a few episode’s time, but I won’t be sticking with it.

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