- Genre: Sports!, comedy, school, drama
- Episodes: 25
- Studio: Madhouse; TMS Entertainment
Gyon is a short king who’s tired of getting pushed around by the big boys. Actually, no one pushes him around, it’s all in his head. But can you blame him? After a lifetime of getting teased by and roughhousing with his enormous older brothers, he has developed a bit of a bias. And it doesn’t help when on his first day of high school he meets up with the tallest first year ever. It’s going to be alright though because Gyon just found out that even the little guys can make a big difference in rugby and he is psyched about joining Jinko’s perpetually losing team!
You know, there are certain sports I don’t mind watching. Football for instance (or soccer if you prefer) and hockey (duh). But I never really got into rugby. Nothing against it really it’s just that I never really bothered to learn the rules so I could never really figure out what was going on out there.
I can’t say there’s anything particularly special about All Out!! (Spoiler: this is going to be a running theme through this review). The production was in all aspects perfectly competent and pretty much what you would expect of a sports anime with a decent budget. It’s almost impressive how little I have to say about it.
I guess the one thing that occasionally stood out is the character designs. You had some sweet anime hair going on with characters like Sekizan and Ise and some weird alien eyes on Zanba. But even the relatively normal characters are drawn in this unusual exaggerated almost Bara shoujo style, with huge eyelashes and accentuated hourglass figures as well as massive muscles and square jawlines. They also blush all the time. I have a feeling this may be hit or miss with fans but it did give the visuals some personality at least.
This was important for me. I watched Hinomaru Sumo not that long ago and if it wasn’t for that one aspect, I could easily have mistaken one show for the other.
You know every time I start a Sports anime I go through the exact same mental ritual. In the first five minutes, I go “oh wow this is fun”. Then we usually meet the loud genki character and my suspicions flared up. After an episode, and every single trope in the playbook, I think to myself “all sports anime are the same”.
And they kind of are. I guess Yuri and Free broke the mould a bit by being dramas instead but even the fantastic Haikyuu still follows the same basic tropes and narrative structure most sports anime do. By now I can pretty much predict which characters will drop out, which will have a falling out with the team, who is going to get injured and which games they will win or lose within the first three episodes or so.
And All Out!! Was no exception. I had it sussed more or less from the start. I can’t say anything surprised me much.
There’s also a third thought that comes to me once I’ve established it is, in fact, a Sports!! Anime. And that’s: “I really like sports anime”! And All Out!! Was no exception.
I won’t lie. There’s nothing that special about the show. But it’s got the fundamentals down (that’s sports talk!) It did what I expected it to do in a pleasant entertaining way. I want to call it junk food, you know tasty but ultimately devoid of substance except eating too much junk food makes you nauseous and sick. It’s more like celery if you happen to really like celery. There’s not much to it but you can pretty much mindlessly consume it forever!
Well, that’s not fair, there is one thing unique to All Out!! It’s about rugby. That’s rather unusual. Not American football, actual rugby which I now know is not the same thing. (Don’t quiz me) I figure that for the 5 hardcore rugby and anime fans out there, this show will fill a very niche slot. As for me. I have never watched an actual game of rugby. And I doubt I will. But for some reason, the game episodes in All Out!! were some of the most interesting I’ve ever watched. Usually, the games I Sports anime are fine for me but I like the training and fallout more. When a game starts to drag on for multiple episodes, I get impatient or lose interest. But not this time. For once I was eagerly awaiting the next match and slightly disappointed when they were over. I can’t explain why maybe I just like rugby? You learn something every day!
So there you have it. Unless you’re a fan of rugby specifically or classic non-sexy sports anime in general, you can probably skip All Out!! For my part, I’m glad I saw it and enjoyed every second.
Favourite character: Yumie-chan!
What this anime taught me: goal/point/score/unit in rugby is called a try so when a person scores, their teammates say “nice try” as congratulations which is sort of the opposite of what that expression usually man’s and that made me happy.
“Write Drunk; Edit Sober.”
Suggested drink: Mudslide!
- Every time Sekizan disciplines someone – take a sip
- Every time Iwashimizu gets flustered – take a sip
- Every time Sekizan gets crazy eyes – blink
- Every time anyone says “scrum” – take a sip
- Every time Ebumi gets mad – get some water
- Every time Gion gets called small – take a sip
- Every time there’s a super low tackle – stretch
- Every time we see young Sekizan – wonder what happened to his hair
- Every time anyone blushes – drink the water, you need to cool down
- Every time it rains – wow so much water in this drinking game
- Every time Mutsumi opens his eyes – gasp!
Of course, there are tons more pictures on imgur (here) and Pinterest.
20 thoughts on “All Out!! – The Elusive Rugby Anime”
I liked this show a lot. Like Haikyu! it did a lot of explaining for the non-initiated in a non-didactic way, and it also worked the trick of not demonising the opposition. I also liked the fact that the series ended in an open-ended and incomplete way – quite often life isn’t about grabbing the glory and the championship, it’s actually about what happens along the way.
Oh, and you must, must, must watch more rugby – union, that is (which is what they play in Japan, NZ, France, England, South Africa and Australia and a bunch of other countries) and not league (pretty much Aus, UK and France). So much more entertaining than American football (the most boring team sport ever invented along with baseball). 😛
I think I enjoyed watching the actual sports more than I have in most sports anime.
All Out!! for how long it was (25 episodes) and it’s premise was a lot of fun. It started airing shortly after I found out my friend was a rugby player at her home university so it was something for us to bond over. I also appreciated that while rugby has a lot of technical talk; All Out!! skipped breaking things down too far in favor of just showing you. You can describe a scrum or try all you want, but once you see it, you get it.
Curious if you’ll pick up ‘Number24’ (also a rugby anime) next season. ‘Try Knights’ wrapped last season too… Guess studios wanted to cash in on the rugby world cup having been hosted in Japan earlier this year lol.
Isn’t Try Knights football? I’ve never heard of number 24 but if I find it I’ll give it a watch
I haven’t seen Try Knights myself but it has been tagged as rugby.
Number24 isn’t out yet. Next season!
I remember watching this till almost the end of the series, but I stopped for some reason. Not that I didn’t enjoy it of course, in fact I was starting to get really into it. I guess I should get back to this after I finish up Diamond no Ace
I need to start the latest season of Ace. Looks amazing
Same old vanilla sports anime, just the way I like it! Needs more training arcs though
Never knew this was a thing… i went to a school where rugby was basically forced upon you. Must say i was rather good at it. Not good enough for 1st team tho. But the year of 2003 our team the “Dragons” , who was the school’s 4th team were undefeated that whole year… good days, great post. Thanks for sharing
I didn’t even know there was an anime about rugby, so that unique and original aspect caused me to be intrigued. Alas, the Hikaru no Go effect strikes again!
I loved Hikaru no Go. We may have different tastes
I really like Hikaru no Go. I was comparing All Out!! to that in how both series use a concept that is quite unique to anime.
Oh! I get it now
Yeah. I should’ve clarified that earlier. Hikaru no Go is one of my favorite Shonen Jump-related series and when I say something has the HnG effect, I mean it as a compliment.
I watched All Out just for the rugby aspect. I’m not a rugby fan myself but I do know the basics of the sport and I was intrigued to see how they would go about making an anime of it. All Out wasn’t bad at all. I quite enjoyed watching the games and the character designs were also quite interesting. It’s refreshing having a sports anime about rugby.
It turned into a telenovella at some points but it was fun
Not heard of this one before, but I’ll definitely have to check it out. I played a bit of rugby at school and, alongside basketball and golf, it’s one of the few sports I enjoyed playing. Never watched a game in my life though. Maybe this anime can convince me.
I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed the sports aspect here