Saturday, October 11, 2014

Rewind: Baby Steps

The sports anime genre is dominated by team sports. And, lately, it's been dominated by teams of cute boys, mostly bishounen. Only a couple exceptions have reached my watching list in the past few years. One of them is Baby Steps.

Baby Steps started airing in the spring, during one of the most exciting sports anime seasons I've seen. Baby Steps was never my favorite, but it was a refreshing addition to my Sports Anime Weekends. Unlike Daiya no Ace and Haikyuu!!, Baby Steps focused on a single, intelligent boy learning an individual sport for the first time.

Behold, my only screenshot from Baby Steps. I can't remember exactly
what the metaphor was here, but it was probably about his training
coming together. Of course, this is just form episode 14. At this point in
the 25-ep series, he's got quite the training regiment ahead of him.

I'll go into the story some more in a moment. First, I must mention the other big difference between Baby Steps and the other weekend sports anime: the animation. The visuals in Haikyuu!! and the recent Kuroko's Basketball are mesmerizing at times, particularly during games. Even the visuals in Daiya no Ace make me happy. Then there's Yowapeda, which isn't as pretty, but has fun colors, and Ping Pong, which is strange and thus fascinating in all aspects. In comparison, Baby Steps's animation is little more than serviceable.

Still, I enjoyed it and followed it closely through the Spring and Summer anime seasons. I can relate to Ei-chan (Maruo Eiichiro) and his obsessive note taking. I actually started learning Gregg Shorthand so I could keep up with one of my professors, and my journal goes everywhere with me. Granted, I'm not quite as thorough as Ei-chan, and if I take notes for non-educational purposes, it's because I like to have a record, or because I'm a writer... not because I'm a tennis player (though I really should be taking notes about my running distances and times). That aside, I appreciate his strategic and hardworking approach to whatever he pursues. Plus, he reminds me of the analytical Inui-senpai from Prince of Tennis, and you might remember how much that anime means to me.

I was going to say some deep stuff about Ei-chan's training and the Christian walk... but I was also really close to saying, "No. I'm too swamped for this." Homework is scrambling my brain. So deep posts can wait.

Anyway, I look forward to the sequel series coming next year. In the meantime, I have Daiya no Ace and the second season of Yowapeda... Anime-Planet users gave Yowapeda a higher average rating than Baby Steps, a fact I don't completely understand. But, oh well. It's fun enough.

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