You know, it’s been an unspoken goal of this blog to get Matt converted to Sports! anime. And by unspoken, I mean I talk about it all the time. So when Matt announced that he was slowing down just a little bit on the blogging, I figured it was the perfect occasion to lay the bait.
Picture it, random Twitter small talk then completely out of context:
- Me: You know, there’s this baseball anime coming out in spring….
- Matt: Yup already on my watch list.
In my head – Score!!! O.K. Irina, play it cool…Don’t spook him…
A week or so later,
- Matt: If you’re happy to continue our ongoing collab we can review the girls baseball anime together?
- Me: Love to
In my head…doing the happy dance, doing the happy dance….
And here we are. Matt you didn’t read any of that, did you??? Come on, Irina I knew what you were doing from the start! *sweats profusely* (I’ve gotta step up my game here, Irina’s playing on a whole different level!) Ahem…
So I know why I wanted to see Cinderella Nine, it gave me “A League of Our Own” vibes and seemed rather strongly veered towards sports tropes. But what did you see in it Matt? I haven’t seen that film but I at least know what it’s about! For me it felt like it was meeting halfway between a sports anime and a CGDCT club anime (it reminded me most immediately of ‘Anima Yell!’).
And did it disappoint? It was cute and endearing so hard to call it a disappointment at these early stages.
Ok so first of all, I have to say the visuals are fairly nondescript cute girl style. Pleasant but nothing to write home about and the animation is a bit lackluster. I didn’t mind personally but if you’re here for major eye candy it may be a letdown. It was a bit rough around the edges but I’ve come to expect that from a lot of the shows I watch seasonally. What was very distracting me was the character designs–specifically their eyes–all of the girls have thick eyelashes (not uncommon for anime girls) but their colours match their eye-colour. In 99.9% of anime girls have black eyelashes so it take a bit of getting used to but I was almost entirely used to it by the end.
I did find it hilarious that Yuuri (the blonde – also OMG I learned a character’s name) had visible bad hair extensions. Awesome catty touch on the part of the character designers. I was wondering what was going on with her hair, that makes a lot of sense now.
The first episode hits hard on the underrated sports club trope, with two senpai’s desperately trying to get more members for their Baseball club and catching the attention of two new first years. This is a super standard opening episode for this type of anime. To me, it’s familiar and comforting. I can’t say there’s anything spectacular about the storyline here but it feels like home and I want to see more. This may not translate as well for other people though… I totally get the “comforting” vibe, even though I have no particular fondness for sports or sports anime. I related to the ‘struggle’ of both the senpai’s and the new girls which is always helpful to feel during a first episode.
I did notice two things though, that I’d like to get your thoughts on Matt. Or rather I sort of imagined your thoughts on and you should probably correct me…
First I thought, my those school skirts are minuscule, Matt’s gonna be happy. Pfft, I’ve seen shorter.
Second I thought: Wow, save for the rarely seen aforementioned skirts, there’s just about no fanservice in this, despite some fantastic occasions to just work it in naturally. I wonder if Matt’s still going to want to review this one with me…..? I watch a lot of super wholesome (aka no fan-service) slice of life/CGDCT shows (‘Kiniro Mosaic’ most recently–100% wholesomeness rating) so it’s going to take something a lot more glaringly wrong with a show to get me to stop watching. Plus if I get bored I can just imagine them naked… wait, did I say that out loud?!
So far, Cinderella Nine is really pouring out the cute instead of the sexy. There’s a lot of really high pitched innocent sounding voices and vulnerable shy girls but not sexalized which is something I haven’t seen in a while. And we even got some baseball exposition in. The scene of Yuuki running with her bat was funny. It’s a rookie move that always makes me smile. Do you like the sticky sweet? I might not know hardly anything about baseball (it’s not really played here in Australia so the rules are something I’ve had to learn via other Western pop-culture) but I do know you’re supposed to drop the bat so that little touch made me giggle too.
Although it wasn’t insisted on too much, I think the fact that they are a girl’s baseball team in a mixed school is going to have some sort of plot importance. They did mention that girl’s teams were fairly recent and not to widespread yet. We also had a throwaway comment from an unnamed extra that it was ridiculous to try to form a girl’s team when they didn’t even have a boy’s team. Maybe, it’s hard to know what kind of show this is going to be from just one episode–plus the fact that the ending credits seems to show that Tsubasa was in a mostly baseball team in (presumably) middle school might mean that gender is going to come up. Though on the topic of which I was happy that the kids they played with were a mixed group of boys and girls.
I’m not sure they can pull this particular plot point off but I’m interested in seeing the story try. This isn’t an all girl universe so potential for gender clash exists and it’s not something we’ve seen explored in this type of show very much. Exactly.
Final thoughts? This episode was really sweet, I even shed a tear at one point or another (but then again I pretty much cry at anything these days). It’s not among my favourite first episodes for the show’s I’m watching this season but I’m interested to keep watching!
wait, before you go, here are a few more pictures!