Hanebado! Episode 2 – 10,000 Frames of Character Development

Now begins the weekly recap of stuff I’m watching this season, and oh man, this season has a STRONG start. Every show I’ve watched so far has been real good, but I think there are three that are the best so far! For today though, let’s talk about-


Source Article for 10,000 Frames!

Second episode now, and as per my title, studio LIDENFILMS continues redeeming itself from their association with Berserk 2016 (Yes, THAT Berserk), by animating the hell out of those 10,000 frames this episode. The use of rotoscopes is so smooth and natural, that alongside the photorealistic setpieces, my mind has to remind itself that I’m watching anime and not live-action television. It’s a trip to the uncanny valley in the best way possible, and if they continue this trend, they just might beat Hyouka for most animated anime show.

The sound design, as per Episode 1, is still amazing. The impact of the shuttlecock, the high-pitched footfalls of rubber shoes on the wooden court, and the swish of the racquet, and the heavy breathing of the players really make you feel like you’re watching a real match.

Now that’s enough gushing over the production, let’s talk about this episode’s plot progression.

I LOVE that Nagisa’s slump is resolved immediately this episode. It would have been a chore to watch every conflict in the series be caused by her stubbornness, because I love her character. Her insecurities about wanting people to appreciate the skill she worked for, not her height or strength, are very interesting conflicts, but it was a mental block that could have been solved with just a bit more communication.

Which is exactly what Perv-Coach does when he matches with her. I adore competent teachers in anime, and he’s definitely one of them, sexual harassment of Ayano’s hands aside.

During the match proper, we see Nagisa’s reliance on her SMASH! is definitely a mirror to her personality and outlook. She bruteforces her way to getting good at her passion, and ignores all other things in pursuit of her goal, be it in the club or winning a match.

This forceful and straightforward attitude may have helped her in the early days, but now it is threatening to stop her improvement altogether. That is why I am so glad that Coach manages to relate to her in that way by pointing out one simple fact to her.

She didn’t choose badminton because she was tall and strong, which gave her an advantage, or because some authority figure forced it upon her.

That comes later.

No, she chose it because she genuinely loved it. It was a fiery passion that she refused to be taken lightly for, and I love that, give me my cute, tomboy underdog!

A nice little touch that I like is that after Coach tells her she wasn’t alone in her problems (frustration at having your hard-earned skill be attributed to just being tall, like he was), her face grows softer and more vulnerable, and for the first time, when she starts playing against Coach, she’s smiling!

Nagisa’s my favorite character right now, and I’m glad her character development is as stacked as she is.

Next up, we see a tiny bit of PTSD from Hanesaki. We can’t assume too much from this little, but if certain movements are enough to get her to start having flashbacks, it could spell bad things for the team at some point.

It will be interesting to see where this goes, and oh man, that terrified look is really something, Keijo!! mom must have done something real neglectful.

Overall, a much stronger episode than the first! Better animation, more realistic portrayals of badminton matches, and the introduction of the most anime character so far!

Seriously, look at this Highschool of the Dead character in this serious sports anime.

That’s it for today. I also JUST watched Overlord and Cells at Work, and I’ll probably do a dual feature of them tomorrow, so stay tuned!

3 thoughts on “Hanebado! Episode 2 – 10,000 Frames of Character Development

  1. I get what you’re saying about not wanting Nagisa to drag the team down for too long with her issues, but I’m concerned that they may have resolved the whole thing too quickly.

    Her entire mindset is repaired in like 6 minutes of screen time. If this is the pace that they end up progressing through each character’s issues with, will the emotional impact be as strong as it could be?

    That said, I’m coming off the latest season of yowamushi pedal, which progressed really slowly in comparison so maybe I’m still acclimating.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Also, lolll @ the HOTD remark. I that that girl looked pretty familiar (as many of the typical character designs do) but you nailed it. Move that bow from her head to her outfit and you legit swap her in.

        Liked by 1 person

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