It’s time for another episode of Scorching Ping Pong Girls! The show’s second episode was a big step up from the premiere, offering a very satisfying match, some nice animation highlights, and plenty of sturdy setup for the payoff of Agari and Koyori’s initial rivalry. I was particularly impressed by the show’s illustration of Hokuto’s unique ping pong powers, which was not only just engaging in a visual sense, but also very clearly conveyed the tactical back-and-forth of the fight, and even ended up underlining Hokuto’s emotional shift throughout the match. The show’s character writing is still only so-so, and Koyori hasn’t quite come into her own as a person, but this arc is clearly centered on Agari’s anxieties, so that’s understandable. Koyori is the intimidating new villain in Agari’s life, and at long last, the time has come for the two of them to truly duel. Let’s see some sparks fly in Scorching Ping Pong Girls!
It’s time to embark on a new project! Scorching Ping Pong Girls is a recent enough production that I actually watched its first episode for the preview guide way back when it aired, and while I remember finding that enjoyable enough, I didn’t end up sticking with the show. The biggest takeaway I still remember is that it had an unusually sharp sense of emotional interiority for its slice of life/comedy/sports drama space, and also I think the match scenes were handled pretty well? Anyway. It’s maintained a humble but largely positive reputation since then, and seems to still be remembered pretty fondly within my own incredibly specific subsphere of anime fandom. All the various excerpts I’ve seen seem to imply this is a charming and surprisingly robust production, so I’m very on board to get started. Let’s start off with the first episode of Scorching Ping Pong Girls!
Holy shit I’m alive. Having dragged myself through one more gauntlet of endless, senseless, pitiless animation, I can finally say I’ve survived another one. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say this was the least psychologically damaging crop of debuts I’ve had to weather since joining the preview guide. Sure, there were bad shows – there are always plenty of bad shows – but the number of true spirit-breakers was mercifully low, and a surprising number of shows were competently executed even if they didn’t appeal to me. Anime’s current production model may be an unsustainable trainwreck of manic overproduction, but the bastards didn’t get me this time!
And so, having sat through all those many, many hours of animation, it’s time to send my battle report back to the folks back home. As usual, I’ll be running down every single show I watched in general order of how impressed I was, grouping things into categories based on how much they hurt me. Also as usual, you can check out the whole list of reviews over at ANN, or click on any of the titles below to go to that show’s specific reviews (I’m Nick Creamer over there). There’s a ton of very reasonable anime this season, so let’s get right to it!
The avalanche continues! More shows keep tumbling out, and with yesterday providing the first genuinely impressive crop of the new season, it seems about time to take stock once more. There haven’t really been any unexpected prizes yet, but both Euphonium and Yuri on Ice had terrific premieres, so I can’t complain. Today will mark the premiere of Flip Flappers, and from there, we’ve still got a fair number of potential stars to look forward to. Looks like we’ve got an exciting season ahead of us!