- Titles: Mou Ippon!
- Genre: Sports, School
- Episodes: 13
- Studio: BAKKEN RECORD
Michi or should I say Ippon Michi loves Judo. Ok, maybe I shouldn’t say Ippon Michi cause she really doesn’t do many Ippons at all. In fact, she’s never won by Ippon even though she’s been trying to for years. And this time might be the last time. After losing this tournament and all their seniors, the judo club is down to two members anyways. So no more sweaty dogis, no more getting your hair pulled out during pins and throws, no more achy joints and early morning practices. Michi is going to it all behind and live her best high school life. She might even get a boyfriend. And this mysterious new transfer student who desperately wants to restart the judo club is not going to change her mind. Nope, she’s put all that behind her. Who cares if Judo is super fun? Well, Michi cares and this time, she might actually earn the nickname Ippon Michi.
It’s been a while since I watched a good ol Sports! anime. Well at least for me! And I remember why I love it. I’m going to watch Blue Lock next. I have heard great things about it. But even though I do love Sports1 anime, there’s a danger to me watching them. I always want to try out the sport after. The only reason I haven’t signed up for judo yet is that the thought of touching strangers creeps me out a bit. If I can do it with a mask and surgical gloves, I’m all in!
I do not know why I think this but Ippon Again kept reminding me of Madoka in its look. I think it’s because of the little glasses Homura and Samae. See!?!
But really that’s it. Those are the only two characters with any design similarities and yet I just kept thinking about Madoka the entire time I was watching Ippon Again. Maybe it was something in the shape of the eyes or the slightly squished face shapes.
This isn’t helping any of you. What I’m saying here is Ippon Again looks nothing like Puella Magica Madoka but it reminded me, and only me, of it. Brilliant reviewing here, wouldn’t you say!
Let me try to be a bit more helpful. Ippon Again is fine. It has the soft colours I usually associate with the CGDCT genre and maybe slightly unusual character designs in that the girls look more realistically proportioned than I’m used to but otherwise nothing really sets it apart for better or for worse.
They do occasionally skimp a bit on the animation during Judo matches but it’s not very noticeable at all and I appreciated that for the most part, there is a lot of detailed choreography that looked pretty natural to my eye. I know nothing about judo so I could be way off the mark here.
Story & Characters
So Ippon Again is a Sports! anime. I always try to just say that and get away with not explaining anything further but then I always cave. I don’t know how many of you have read my Sports! anime screeds so I guess here we go again.
It’s the story of a scrappy little judo club that I almost shut down because of a lack of members when a new judo prodigy arrives at the school and revitalizes everything. Quickly after a new advisor joins, an old member decides to come back and finally a member of the kendo club switches over and we have a full team.
Afterward, the girls join a tournament where they do surprisingly well.
It’s boilerplate stuff. If you watch Sports! anime you have seen this exact story before. Maybe not with judo or with an all-female cast but still, all the same plot points are staples of the genre and have been used countless times.
So what sets Ippon Again apart? Well not much really. The characters are fine. They also happen to be pretty standard archetypes but that didn’t bother me at all. Nothing about the show surprised me or made me discover a new aspect of the genre. It was just a nice little sports anime. I happen to like those. So I liked this!
I will say that this was the first time I watched a Sports anime about judo specifically. There are others out here, in fact, AniList recommended a few. I just hadn’t watched any and I enjoyed learning about the sport. I’m not kidding when I say that it looks like a lot of fun and I am tempted to try it. I am also not kidding when I say that I would at the minimum need to be wearing gloves at all times if not a full hazmat suit. You can imagine how fun I am at parties! I am! I talk about anime the whole time!
I am very happy to see that there are more and more female casts in sports anime. And that these shows aren’t treated any differently. I hope the trend continues as high school sports for girls are super underfunded and it’s good to remind people they exist! Ok, I’m making myself sound way more thoughtful than I am. I just like diversity, is all. It’s nice to mix things up once in a while.
Should you watch Ippon Again? Maybe… It’s a fairly average but not unpleasant little sports anime. You can certainly do worse. If you like the idea of an anime about Judo or if you like any of the screencaps then why not give it a try?
You might like this anime if:
I dunno – you like Sports! anime?
My favourite character:
Anna Nagumo – she’s actually one of my favourite takes on the team manager character
- Every time Nagumo gets ignored – take a sip
- Every time there’s an actual ippon – raise your glass
- Every time there’s a flashback to episode 1 – take a sip
- Every time Hiura blushes – awwww
- Every time Michi and Samae bicker – take a sip
- Every time we see kendo equipment – take a sip
- Every time anyone mentions “boyfriends” – take a sip
- Every time anyone says “dogi” – take a sip
- Every time Michi wants to be friends with someone – take a sip
- if it’s Midori – get a snack (preferably a parfait)
- Every time Hiura does that weird smile – be scareed
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.