Soccer is the most graceful sport guys

Tsukushi Tsukamoto is a high school boy who is constantly blushing and stammering. Jin Kazama is an attractive member of a futsal (a variant of soccer) team, which is short on members. For some unexplained reason, he decides to invite Tsukushi to participate in a match. Tsukushi accepts, and also brings along his childhood friend Sayuri, who seems to be attracted to both him and Jin. Predictably, Tsukushi  turns out to be terrible at soccer. However, he does earn some respect from the team when he keeps going despite a foot injury. He also manages to score the final goal of the match using only his head.

Due to having so much fun at the match, Tsukushi decides to join his school’s soccer club along with Jin. They meet the intimidating team captain, Mizuki, and begin with a series of intense drills. Again predictably, Tsukushi is the slowest runner and passes out. Mizuki sends him home immediately, and Jin feels guilty about encouraging a beginner to join a high school team. He is shaken from his thoughts by Sayuri, who frantically informs him that Tsukushi never returned home.

They find him at the field, exhausted but still determined to finish the 100 drills he was unable to complete due to passing out. Jin is inspired by Tsukushi’s determination and the two resolve to play more soccer together. Mizuki is revealed to have seen the whole thing, and presumably reversed his initial evaluation of Tsukushi as “hopeless”.

I did find Sayuri’s design cute

If you like sports anime, you’ll probably like DAYS. It is a sports anime. It ticks all the boxes: protagonist powered by sheer determination succeeds despite all odds while also having a close relationship (full of blushes and lingering looks) with a male teammate. As I’m not a sports anime fan myself, I found DAYS to be…bland and inoffensive. There was nothing about it that was bad, per se, or made me angry or upset, it just….was. I am having a hard time mustering any kind of emotion in regards to DAYS at all. It’s there, it exists, there will be people who like it, it’s about soccer. That’s about all I have to say.

I guess if I had to find something to talk about for this review, it would be that the art style is rather inconsistent. It’s not necessarily bad; it’s just that the characters look like they came from completely different shows. Tsukushi and Sayuri are drawn in a large-eyed constantly-blushing shoujo style, while Jin is the “cool” badass with a more refined, elegant design and Mizuki is all hard lines and angles and looks much rougher/harsher than the rest. This trend seems to continue with other characters who appear in the OP/ED but haven’t been introduced yet – there were definitely a few who stood out, including ones who look much more “standard shounen protagonist” than Tsukushi. (Who is cute, but I kept being vaguely put off by his resemblance to Shinji Ikari from Evangelion.)

So, that was DAYS. It was extremely average, and didn’t leave much of an impression on me. It receives an average score as a result:

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Okay, I’ll just say it this once…GET IN THE SOCCER TEAM, SHINJI

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