- Titles: Sayonara Watashi no Cramer
- Genre: Sports!, school
- Episodes: 13
- Studio: LIDENFILMS
Things aren’t looking all that good for the Warabis. Their team has never really won anything and now they don’t even have any 3rd years. All the school’s funding and ressources are going to the boys’ team instead. Sure they’re champions but still. How are you supposed to get better if you can’t even practice on the field? And now, they have a whole bunch of new first years that could be promising if they put their hangups aside for a minute and actually played as a team. Easier said than done considering many of them never really got the proper team experience before. Can the Warabis come together in time to win a match? And will their new coach make a difference?
I don’t know if I should be admitting this. As you see from the description, the team’s name is Warabis. It’s a cute name, I didn’t think too much of it. For a few episodes, the plot is that the girls are trying to raise money to get new uniforms because their coach ordered some particularly garish ones (that I would 100% wear) and they get to redesign their uniforms as they wish. They end up with these mostly white and green uniforms. I remember thinking, oh they got little kangaroos over the breast pocket, that’s cute. I wonder why they have that…
It actually took me a couple more episodes to realize, little kangaroos are wallabies…the team is the Warabis…
Yup, I almost watched the entire thing without ever even catching on and when I did, my mind was blown. Maybe you don’t want to listen too closely about what I have to say on Farewell My Dear Cramer. They probably tell us who Cramer is in episode 1…
As far as the technical side of Farewell My Dear Cramer goes, it’s devoid of artifice but well-founded. The art style follows the manga and is distinctive of the author (more on that later). The character models are fantastically consistent and movement is both fluid and well-choreographed. But everything is done in an understated way. There’s nothing too flashy or eye-catching here. And frankly, I wouldn’t blame anyone for calling this production a little boring.
The thing is, I know they could have made it more exciting. I find the animation in the ED absolutely wonderful, especially in the beginning. Let me show you what I mean:
I thought the way the eyeline was directed through the entire sequence to be great. The repeated circle(ball) motif is both thematically appropriate and ties all the scenes of the ED together and the few seconds in the beginning are a great ode to women in sports in my opinion that showcase some really fabulous animation. Unfortunately, I can’t think of a sequence that comes close to that in the actual anime.
Story & Characters
Those of you familiar with this site will know that I am a self-proclaimed Sports! Anime aficionado. Well maybe more of an enthusiast. And I tend to watch a lot of shows in the genre. That’s why I was excited about Farewell My Dear Cramer. We don’t get as many female lead Sports! anime and when we do, they often fall in the moe or ecchi categories and don’t really follow the tropes or structure of the genre that much. Not that that’s a bad thing, it just made me think that Farewell My Dear Cramer may be different from the shows I’ve seen before.
Moreover, I was really intrigued by the title. I still am. I’m sure it’s explained but I missed it.
However I did notice something before I started watching it. Farewell My Dear Cramer is rated 56% on AniList. I have not watched a show that badly rated in a long time. I figured I would give it a chance because it’s a Sports! anime and all but my expectations were pretty low.
And so I gave it a try. I watched the first couple of episodes and it seemed fine to me. It was a bit tropey, I could name a lot of shows with the same story beats and character archetypes but so what. Those shows are way better rated. The writing seemed decent, the characters had established personalities. I figured something must go south later on.
I kept on watching and well, it kept being a pretty typical sports anime. A newly formed team is working hard to prove itself. There are little slice of life adventures mixed in with a lot of practicing and tournaments. It’s what you would expect of a Sports! anime. It’s certainly not exceptional at it but it’s also not bad. I guess there is a bit of a messy aspect in that the story doesn’t seem to want to pick a protagonist but isn’t a true ensemble cast either so you do feel like some characters are getting robbed of development. Like I was often wondering what the other girls were doing while following a particular one.
And that’s an entirely valid criticism but I didn’t understand why it would warrant such disappointment from the viewers. I went to MAL and the results were similar, but MAL had a lot more reviews than I could read through to give me an idea.
And that’s where I found out a few things. Farewell My Dear Cramer was written by Naoshi Arakawa who also wrote Your Lie in April. Although it’s not spelled out in so many words, I think a lot of people had their expectations coloured by that fact. Almost all the reviews I read mentioned Your Lie in April and there was a repeated commentary that it was surprising the same person could have written both shows.
Now I have not read or watched Your Lie in April. The plot does not attract me. I have read the first volume of A School Frozen in Time which is also by Arakawa and decided not to read any further. It seems his writing style is just not my thing. And in any case, I didn’t even know who had written Farewell My Dear Cramer before I started watching it so I had zero expectations going in.
This may be why I was not disappointed at all. You may have noticed that I did not put either comedy or drama in the genres. That’s because I don’t think Farewell My Dear Cramer is particularly funny. It has a few moments here and there but on the whole, it’s not a series I would recommend to someone who wants a good laugh. I also didn’t find it that sad. Every girl had her ups and downs in a fairly organic way. It felt realistic rather than dramatic. And this might be where the disconnect is.
I don’t think that viewers were picking up Farewell My Dear Cramer expecting the same story as Your Lie in April, but they might have been expecting a deeply touching tale. That’s not what this show is. It’s a pretty calm and down to earth story about a high school girls’ soccer team. And that’s all it is.
There’s a pretty decent ongoing commentary about how women in sports are undervalued and therefore underfunded which makes it difficult for them to perform at a higher level perpetuating the vicious circle. Somehow, I’m not sure that’s something that really interests a huge part of the audience. But it is the strongest message in Farewell My Dear Cramer. There’s also a strong theme of holding onto the love and fun of sport despite the pressures of performance. And although friendship is of course ever-present, there are no huge bonding moments, no adorable shopping trips between the girls or sleepovers or anything of the type. It’s a fairly unemotional show when it gets down to it.
And I liked it for what it was. I was happy to watch more episodes. Like I said, I wouldn’t say it’s exceptional, but it wasn’t a bad show by any means.
You might like this anime if:
You enjoy women’s soccer. You want to see a very down-to-earth female lead Sports! anime
My favourite character:
Suo, I related to her a lot…
- Every time Shiratori does the hime laugh – take a sip
- Every time Onda gets excited – take a sip
- Every time Onda gets called boss – gasp!
- Every time Suo gets annoyed – be scared
- Every time Suo is actually scary – offer her a drink
- Every time the boys’ coach is a jerk – take a sip
- Every time they eat okonomiyake – get a snack
- Every time Shiratori pretends it was on purpose – take a sip
- Every time anyone suggests that girls are weak – roll your eyes
- Every time someone talks about the future of Japanese soccer – take a sip
- Every time Noumi scolds someone – take a sip
- Every time we hea some phylosophy from the opposing coach – take a sip
- Every time coach Fukatsu discusses strategies – take notes
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.