Fastest Finger First Episode 10: No Time For Distractions Like Backstory

Review:

They finally kind of got into the team leaders past this week on Fastest Finger First and then they decided that was too distracting from answering questions and we moved on. Or rather, Fukami does as she puts aside the question of whether their captain actually knows her brother or not and focusses on answering the questions in the third round as she fights it out for a place in the final.

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So if you are desperate for back story or anything really other than the quiz itself, you probably aren’t getting it this episode, but the quiz is really fun so that isn’t really too much of an issue. Plus, with so many religious themed questions this one didn’t really require specialised knowledge of Japan and made it much easier to play along at home, presuming of course that your knoweldge of Christianity is better than your knowledge of Japanese classic literature.

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All and all another fun episode and one that leaves us on a cliff-hanger as Koshiyama prepares for his own go at round 3.


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Days Episode 23

Review:

So Days continues to surprise me as it makes me care time and again about the outcome of the game even if it feels this week like it was a foregone conclusion. The ride getting to that final goal was definitely exciting. Of course, once again, we spent the entire episode watching the game and in honesty I didn’t much care for the other team and those characters so those moments were a little less than satisfying. Looking forward to next week and how this season concludes.

Days is available on Crunchyroll.

Days Episode 22

Review:

After two full episodes the game still isn’t over and I must point out that the animation definitely took a downward turn again this episode. Normally that doesn’t bother me but the sheer number of still images this week, plus some really terrible faces on background characters, kind of ruined the overall tension of whether or not they’d win this game. I like how the benched players are still being kept involved in the game and are offering their thoughts as we go. I like that most of the players on the team, even those that usually take background roles, have all been involved. However, this week offered a lot more on field bickering for both teams than what we’ve been used to in Days and it was a welcome relief when Usui (as acting Captain) got Seiseki back on track.

Days is available on Crunchyroll.

Days Episode 21

Review:

The game from last week continues and we see both sides make some mistakes and we also get to see the team’s first years struggle to deal with the pressure of suddenly being forced into a high pressure game. At the centre though is Tsukamoto who has finally genuinely found a love of the game and not just of being included as part of the team. For once we see him playing with a smile on his face and not crumbling under the pressure or fear of letting the team down. This is a fantastic step forward for his character and it was great fun to watch. I also liked the commentary from the characters who’ve been sidelined in this match. All and all, a fun episode in this series but nothing really amazing. Of course ending the episode with a ball flying toward the goal but not knowing if it lands or not is just kind of annoying. We’re 21 episodes in, we don’t need bait to come back next week.

Days is available on Crunchyroll.

Days Episode 20

Review:

Days continues into the tournament and we injure yet more players before the semi-finals. Of course, we only make it into the first couple of minutes of that game before it is episode over.

So what did we do for the rest of the episode? Well, we spent a lot of it with the team they are facing in the semi-finals and I still haven’t figured out the point of that choice. Either they are about to win and knock Seiseki out, in which case that’s the end of the road for Seiseki. Or they are about to lose, in which case we won’t really see these guys again so why do we care about them starting up a soccer club?

So yeah, I didn’t see the point of a lot of this episode but generally I’m still enjoying Days and I’m looking forward to the last few episodes this season.

Days is available on Crunchyroll.

Days Episode 16

Review:

After feeling like I’d hit my limit of this last week I was pleasantly surprised by this episode. I complained that Tsukamoto hadn’t really developed and they show us in the game this week that he is finally putting everything together in his own weird way. I was annoyed by the general lack of tension or anything to really keep you interested and so this week we set up a whole series of rivalries both within the team and with the opposition. So after this episode I’m looking forward to the next one again. Whether this is an ongoing change or whether this is just the last hurrah before this show falls into the forgettable realms of mediocrity still remains to be seen. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the episode this week and now I want to know how the next game goes.

Days is available on Crunchyroll.

Cheer Boys Episode 8

Review:

This episode brings the in-team tension to a head, has Hisashi try to quit, and then has a touching resolution before we go to a New Year’s training camp for a training and cooking montage. It’s fun to watch and we finish on a nice positive, but I can’t help but wonder why the rigid guy has to loosen up to fit in and why it isn’t the irresponsible guy who never quite get’s it that doesn’t have to pick up his act. The brocoli guy is seriously irritating and as a team member he kind of sucks. I would have definitely preferred an outcome where he started to take something a bit more seriously. Though, Hisashi definitely needed to learn how to give criticism without being offensive. Cheer Boys remains an enjoyable, if fairly pointless, watch.

I am however concerned about the fate of Kazu’s grandmother.

Cheer Boys is available on AnimeLab.

Cheer Boys Episode 7

Note: Sorry about the late replies to comments. I did not realise I was going to be without internet over the last few days. Hopefully everything is back on track now.

Review:

Well this episode is certainly an excellent case study on what happens when a team lacks a shared vision. It’s kind of hard to watch the inevitable break down of communication and the half-hearted and doomed efforts to patch over the problems rather than address them. That said, it is kind of exactly what this show needed because the feel good and everybody just pulling together thing was really starting to feel a little artificial, particularly with so many new team members joining for so many different reasons. Kind of hoping they find a genuine way to deal with these issues next week.

Cheer Boys is available on AnimeLab.

Cheer Boys Episode 5

Review:

This episode just flew by. I got so caught up in the team prepping for their first performance and then the performance was on and the credits were rolling. This episode just feels right, like the culmination of the past four episodes and all of their effort. Yeah, they still aren’t perfect and clearly the team is still growing (given how many boys we see in the opening) but this core group are finally getting things together and progressing and it is really satisfying to watch. My favourite moment this week goes to Haru’s outburst on the roof. For a normally quiet character when he let’s loose everything just comes out at once.

This show isn’t going to wow anyone but it has been a really pleasant ride so far and so if you haven’t picked it up it is well worth checking out the first 5 episodes.

Cheer Boys is available on AnimeLab.

Cheer Boys Episode 1

Overview:

Bandou’s family are into Judo but he was never all that good at it. Now he has injured his shoulder and finally has an excuse to quit. His best friend sees this as the perfect opportunity to start a male cheerleading squad.

Review:

Queue a whole lot of speeches about the power of cheers and positivity. Okay, this was actually a reasonable first episode but you get more or less what you would expect given the premise of this show. The characters are introduced in a reasonably sensible manner, they discuss events that they probably shouldn’t need to in order for the audience to know what is going on, and then they hand out fliers to start a cheerleading team. There are some funny moments but mostly this one has had a slow start.

My biggest complaint is the jerk who came up to them while they were watching a cheerleading team and berated them over wanting to start one. Who does that? Even if you think they have no chance, just laugh and move on. Why set yourself up as an antagonist when there is no need for it at all?

Anyway, Cheer Boys is available on AnimeLab and this one is a wait and see.