This is one of the animes I’ve enjoyed more during this quarantine. I wish I had had more time to enjoy it in two or three days; but it took me more than a week to watch the 13 episodes.
By the way, you can watch Hanebado! legally on Crunchyroll by clicking here!
HANEBADO! tells the story of Ayano Hanesaki, a first year student in high school that is a beast at playing badminton, but after a match against a certain character that left our protagonist as “not-the-best” her mother abandons Ayano, taking away her daughter’s motivation to play badminton along.
The other main character is Aragaki Nagisa, captain of the Kitakomachi High School badminton club, she lost a game at the Junior Nationals without scoring a single point. After that, she’d started to take her anger out on her friends.
Things get an abrupt change the moment Elena convinces Ayano Hanesaki to join the club; trying to help her friend to find, recover, and follow that passion for badminton again. To forget everything that had happened before and play. At first, she didn’t want to listen to her friend, but it doesn’t take too long for her to try a few friendly matches.
“Why do you play badminton?”
This is a recurring question that everyone asks to each other. And this is where we start to really know the main cast. Every member of the badminton club has a reason to be there, one could be more substantial than the other; but that is not exactly the point. In real life, we’ve had our unique motivations to do our own things, a career to follow, perhaps.
What makes things interesting is as the details unfold for each of the main characters, they evolve along its thirteen episodes, for good and for bad. These motivations ended up affecting positively and negatively on their respective teams or teammates. This emphasizes more with the two central characters. And I must say that their evolution is very well-done; the story has a few subtle twists and a satisfactory conclusion.
There is one character that is the rival for Ayano, even though I liked her, I believe she went kinda out-of-character the second time they met. First encounter she wanted to win against Ayano, and the second time they met is a different story; almost as if she were being a different person.
Subtle fan service
The fan service is subtle. Nothing that would distract you from actually enjoying the show. We know there are animes that had a very interesting premise, but that is ruined, DESTROYED, by their ridiculous fan service. Here, though, you can argue that the body proportions of some of the female characters are a bit exaggerated; I am happy to reply with a relieved “WRONG! Well, yes, but WRONG!”, nothing happened in the anime that turned into a distraction from the story. Just the matches are great enough to put you on the edge of your seat. Especially the final match!
Must not miss
This is definitely a good anime. The animation, the characters, and the competition against each other and themselves, make this a MUST choice for those looking for an anime focused in sports. Perhaps badminton doesn’t seem like an appealing sport, but that shouldn’t let you judge the series without having a look first.
Hanebado! is available on Crunchyroll for both premium and FREE users!