Anime Taste Testing: 2.43 – Seiin Koukou Danshi Volley-bu

Come for the promise of a decent sports anime, stay for the Fukui-ben.

I don’t tend to watch a whole lot of sports anime – maybe just one or two every year. Mostly because team sports don’t do a whole lot for me in general, but also because I’m not a huge fan of the “friendship and teamwork solve literally everything and this sport is literally our lives!” kind of mentality. You’ve seen one sports anime like that, you’ve basically seen them all as far as I’m concerned.

I was worried at first that 2.43 would be much the same, since the first few scenes don’t do that much to dispel this idea. You’ve got the genius main character who’s naturally gifted at his craft and 1000% driven, the second main character who’s way more easygoing and not particularly interested in dedicating himself to anything much, and a club of nominal volleyball players in a rural high school who’ve never played in any competition, much less placed in one. Clearly, the first MC’s going to whip the rest of the group into shape and they’ll all miraculously discover the true power of sweat and sparkles, right?

Well, maybe not – as it turns out, there’s a bit more here beneath the surface than the premiere initially lets on, and while I wouldn’t necessarily call the show dark or even complex, suffice to say that the characters and character dynamics (both in and out of high school) are way more interesting than just “ice-cold guy with a bit too much ambition but terrible people skills” and “laidback childhood friend in need of a motivational boost”. Of course, whether the story is going to take this to a genuinely interesting place remains to be seen, but I think the show at least has potential.

Production-wise, I don’t have much to say. The artwork and animation look decent, probably above average in most respects, and there’s thankfully little to no awkwardly-integrated CG to contend with. I’m not really into the OP and ED music choices, but I’ve definitely heard worse. Incidentally, this anime is based on a light novel series which was then turned into a josei manga – this may partially explain why the overall look and tone lean more toward serious/grounded than the whole cheery/dynamic high school club thing that many shounen sports anime are known for. Think more along the lines of Hoshiai no Sora than Haikyuu.

The major bonus for me is that the series is set in the boonies in Fukui prefecture. Anyone who’s been following Otaku Lounge for a while knows that I love me a good rural setting. However, I also happened to live in a tiny town in Fukui-ken myself for two years, so going into this without having first read the synopsis and then hearing all that countryside dialect was a fun surprise. Needless to say, I’ll be giving 2.43 at least another episode or two to see where things go from here.

Score: 7/10

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9 thoughts

  1. Not gonna lie I thought the accent was from around my area, Aomori, before giving it another listen and realizing not even close. Fukui’s got a distinct accent though!

    I think you’re pretty spot on with the Hoshiai no Sora comparison, at least premise and design-wise. Gotta appreciate that they built in some non-player characters outside of school earlier on, and skipped the ‘spend three episodes gathering people’ that bogs a lot of shows down.

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    1. I also thought the accent could be from somewhere in Tohoku or even Hokkaido at first – there are definitely a couple of broad similarities. Then the scenes continued and my mind caught up with what I was actually hearing, and as you can imagine I perked right up! Not many anime set in those parts (though even fewer in my first and longest Japan home, Ehime).

      Oh, definitely. So long as a story isn’t overly complicated to begin with, I’m pretty much always happier the less exposition I get, so I was pretty happy with the general pacing here, as well as just the overall vibe the series currently has going for it.

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      1. The similarities are a bit uncanny! Mostly my brain thought it must be Tohoku since all the snow and super rural area. There’s always something so comforting about seeing a series set around where you live.

        Since this seems to be slated for 12 episodes… I’m actually hoping we keep the pacing too. I wouldn’t mind an episode for a flashback, but it seems like our main cast is pretty much set and I’m cool with that.

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  2. I wondered whether I should watch this. I didn’t really make a decision either way and haven’t watched it yet. I just came off Haikyuu this season, and wasn’t sure I wanted another volleyball anime so soon, and there were plenty of other shows premiering at the same time… This post pretty much convinced me to give it a try. It’s good to hear that the focus isn’t squarely on just the game, or just them boys being pretty. And judging by the screenshots I’m actually down with the artstyle (no obvious CGI is also good). I’ll see where I get with this.

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    1. Yeah, I feel you. It was an easy choice for me to stick with this at least for now, because the last sports anime I watched (other than last season’s Taisou Zamurai, if that even counts) was about 4 months ago, so I figured I was about due for a new one. It’s of course possible that the focus will center much more on the game and technique as the series progresses, but so far, it feels more like a drama to me (sans boys being pretty), which personally does sound like something more up my alley.

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      1. I’ve now watched the show and actually enjoyed it. Who knows whether I’d have watched it, so thanks for the helpful impression post. (For what it’s worth, I pretty much had the same impression as you.)

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