Saturday, February 7, 2015

Rewind: Ping Pong The Animation

I have to be honest: I'm dragging my feet about this blog post. Ping Pong evokes neither excitement nor annoyance. Its style is unusual, but that's about all it has going for it. I wrote the following about Ping Pong back in May, when I was less than halfway through it:
This is the oddball on my watching list. It's different in almost every way, starting with the visual style. Then there's the sport... who'd have thought you could make an interesting anime about ping pong? The characters are different, too. Tsukimoto (aka Smile), never smiles. He lacks aspiration, even though he's an amazing ping pong player. The supporting cast is a bit off-klter, too. This anime will never be my favorite, but I enjoy its uniqueness. 
Meet "Peco," Tsukimoto's friend. Also, meet Ping Pong's color
scheme. There are a few other colors, but they're all the same
faded tone. (Episode 1)
I repeat: the uniqueness is pretty much all I enjoyed. Sure, Tsukimoto's skill level was cool, and I appreciated the specifics about ping pong paddles and shoes—details like that add depth to an anime. Characters' fantasies and perspectives were shown in unique ways, too. 

I guess the plot should have moved me at least a tiny bit. They addressed the balance of values such as loyalty, admiration, and competitiveness. But the anime felt fractured, and not just because of the visuals. The way it jumped between characters, settings, and even times... I never felt attached to a single character, never felt more than passive curiosity about their fate. To me, this anime was just an artistic experience with a soul I didn't care enough to grasp. This sounds harsh, I know, but it's true.

I wanted to get a different screenshot for this post, but my computer is lagging again, and it's getting late (or early, or... yeah). If you want more information or would like to check out Ping Pong yourself, you can find its Anime-Planet entry here

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