Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rewind: Area no Kishi

Ya'll know how I feel about sports anime. So when Area no Kishi (Knight in the Area), an anime involving soccer, started airing in Winter 2012, I quickly picked it up. It finished airing Fall 2012. I finally finished drudging through it this September.

This anime taught me something valuable: I am a stubborn fool who takes pride in the most inane things. Why did I finish all 37 episodes of this lackluster show? Pride, folks. Pride in my identity as a sports anime fan, pride in finishing what I started, pride in enduring... It was not worth it, but I still, to this day, feel some pride in the fact I finished it.

I'm ridiculous.

Area no Kishi started with drama and ended... oh. I already forgot how it ended. I think there was a game in the last episode. Anyway, I'm not a huge fan of drama. Usually, when I watch that genre, I watch with my Literature Student hat on, or I dust off my Film Class hat from the spring semester. I feel more appreciation than entertainment (with some notable exceptions). The soap-opera-type drama in Area no Kishi? Yeah. Didn't appreciate it.

The characters as little kids. From left to right: Nana, aka "Seven," the
love interests/childhoofriend; Kakeru; Kakeru's heart big brother Suguru;
and random teammates. This photo shows up in multiple episodes. As
you can see by the almost-translucent bar, I watched on Crunchyroll, so
no commercials to prolong the tribulation. Sorry, I'm being overdramatic.

So, what about the humor? Uh... no. Mostly annoying.

The sports aspect? I was excited during a couple of episodes, especially in the first half, before I got too cynical about the whole thing. But a lot of episodes were wasted on drama, hot springs, festivals, beaches, and musings about medical-ish phenomena. Of course, when I say "wasted," I say it from a sports anime fan's point of view.

Okay, you say, at least there were some cute boys, right? Nope. The animation was so-so at best, so even if I were still young enough to comfortably crush on these characters... heavens no. Not even their personalities got my attention. My care for Kakeru, the main character, mostly come from that loyalty that naturally forms between me and any half-decent protagonist.

The theme music for Area no Kishi is going through my head. Again. It's the same OP (and maybe ED? I forget) for all 37 episodes, and key parts of it play throughout each episode, so that adds up to... hearing the same several measures of music over and over and over again. I finally got it out of my head after I finished the show, but now, after writing this, it's come back. What have I done to myself?

So, do I recommend Area no Kishi? If you're not a picky, cynical, somewhat experienced fan who sometimes pretends to be a connoisseur... then sure! I'm really glad people like you are still around to enjoy these anime the way they were made to be enjoyed. I hope reading this post doesn't hold you back from that. I probably would have enjoyed Area no Kishi more in the earlier days of my fandom. And Anime-Planet users rate it, on average, just over 3.5/5 stars, which isn't entirely bad.

If you are picky, but you take pride in finishing mediocre shows, then no. Don't commit yourself to this. It's like committing yourself to SAO, but with less people to snobbily complain to, and without that nice, clear stopping point after two cour. And no pretty animation.


  1. I'm a very devoted soccer fan so when I saw Area No Kishi, I just had to give it a go! And you know what? I really enjoyed it. There was good comedy and some amazingly genius moves pulled-off by some players. Also, It was a gripping series and I honestly looked forward to it's every episode. :D

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'm not a big sports fan, though sports anime have helped foster some appreciation for various sports, including soccer. Speaking of which... have you seen Giant Killing? If not, I hope you have a chance to check it out—it's another soccer anime, and I really like it.

    2. No, I haven't watched Giant Killing. But, consider it added to my list.


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