The hit comedy duo, The Giant and The Brows.

The hit comedy duo, The Giant and The Brows.

Two of the new freshmen at Jinko High School stand out quite a bit – Sumiaki is incredibly tall while Gion is incredibly short. They end up aquainted when Sumiaki manages to ‘save’ Gion from some bullies who ganged up on him, and although they eventually become friends their personalities aren’t remotely alike. Despite his enormous height, Sumiaki is a gentle and timid crybaby, while Gion is fierce, brave and easily angered. He also has a massive complex about his height as it causes people to make fun of him and exclude him from things he would otherwise enjoy.

One of Sumiaki’s middle school friends invites them to watch a rugby game, and Gion, who had never even heard of the sport, is enamoured by it. He realises that even if the big guys have an advantage, it’s a sport that anyone can play regardless of size. Sumiaki, on the other hand, is uncomfortable about it, only remarking about how dangerous rugby is and refusing to join the club – opting for the much safer literature club instead.

Gion soon learns that Sumiaki’s reluctance to involve himself in Rugby stems from an incident in his middle school years in which he badly injured his friend and team-mate, which traumatized him enough to never want to play it again. Gion decides that it’s up to him to help Sumiaki find Rugby fun again.

WHAT IS THIS HAIR

WHAT IS THIS HAIR

I feel like every time I review a sports anime I have to give my standard disclaimer that I’m almost never a fan of them, ever. The only sports anime I’ve ever managed to care about have been ones where I don’t mind the sport itself. For example, I love the hell out of Yowamushi Pedal, but I also like riding my bike and as far as rules go, bike races are easy to understand. I don’t give a fraction of a shit about netball, nor do I understand the rules, so try as I might Haikyuu bores me to tears. For years people have been telling me that it’s not about the sport, it’s about the characters, but for me, the characters have never been strong enough to overcome my colossal disinterest in the sport.

Now, I grew up in rural Australia, where everyone and their aunt’s dog breathes rugby, and I hated it. When you hate rugby and have it shoved in your face all through your formative years, it’s not hard to start outright despising it. Which makes it an absolute miracle, and honestly somewhat ironic, that this is the first sports anime I’ve seen where I liked at least one of the characters enough to make up for my sheer hatred of the sport. Sumiaki is goddamn adorable and all I want is for my giant son to be happy.

It’s a shame that Gion isn’t half as likeable (pun very intended). He’s basically just a generic shonen protagonist shrunken down a little and injected with more fury, but it makes him come across as a jerkwad. The contrast with him and Sumiaki is fun, and they have the potential to become a good duo, but dammit kid, calm down. As for the other characters, it’s too early to tell, but a lot of them are definitely on the ridiculous end of the ‘funky sports anime character designs’ spectrum. It’s like the artist looked at Yowamushi Pedal’s crew and thought ”yeah but what if they had more ridiculous hair”. There’s better ways to create memorable character designs than just putting random shit in their hair.

I actually really enjoyed how expressive this show is, and everyone emotes quite a lot. The art has an almost retro feel to it in places which is at almost jarring odds with the bishounen shots of Sumiaki every now and then, which feel like they’re from a different show. Speaking of which, the promo image from when this show was announced literally just featured closeups of the boy’s asses clad in rugby short-shorts – whether that’s the direction this show is headed in remains to be seen because there wasn’t an awful lot of beefy fanservice in this episode whatsoever. It definitely feels more like a typical shonen sports anime on the surface, but the pre-release advertising definitely betrayed its main target audience. Maybe once the games begin there will be a whole load of man-on-man action. I mean, rugby’s pretty dang homoerotic on its own.

To be honest, I would rather be watching a show about giant softie Sumikai being in the literature club because not only was that scene adorable, but he was genuinely happy there. It’s probably good for him to get over his trauma and all, but it just seemed kind of mean to force him to play rugby if he doesn’t want to. Even if he does join the club, if the show keeps on showing him doing cute things like that then I’m in. I’ll watch this for him. Maybe there will end up being something else to like about it, but I’m in for as long as he can sustain my interest on his own.

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”All my ribs are broken but man what a blast”

Out of 5,
melonmelonmelonmelon

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