Ro-Kyu-Bu!

rokyubu

Ro-Kyu-Bu! starts off with Subaru getting blackmailed by his aunt, a teacher at an elementary school, into coaching their girls basketball team. Subaru had always been in love with basketball, and chosen the high school he was going to based on their team. However, as soon as he got in, the school’s team was suspended due to a scandal. Thus, he ends up coaching elementary schoolers. The team is composed of Tomoka, the strongest and most experienced member of the team; Maho, a rich and hot headed girl that’s somewhat of a natural; Saki, someone with the ability to think calmly, quickly, and tactically under pressure; Airi, a girl that’s tall but seems to have some sort of trauma related to her height; Hinata, the smallest girl who starts off weakest but undergoes the most development. Subaru ends up training them for multiple events, including winning against the boys team, winning the school sports festival, and even going up against a high level team, all the while dealing with the drama, misunderstandings, and comedy that come with being involved with a group of elementary schoolers.

***

Even after watching the show, I still don’t know how to actually play basketball though beyond some of the absolute basics, which I find pretty funny considering that’s what this anime seems to be about, at least at the surface. It was pretty easy to forget this was a basketball anime sometimes, and even when it was about the basketball it never really got too deep. The focus of the show was mostly on being amusing and whimsical over having a strong plot, and hence the enjoyment from the basketball portions was more the obvious nail biter moments or shows of teamwork than the intricacies of basketball, and even then all around it felt pretty light. There were actually some plot points that I think I would have had a major problem with if the plot was the focus, such as the ending, but due to the tone taken and the character focused narrative, it still came together very well. It also seems like they could easily pull off many more stories by just showing off the fun and diverse cast doing more fun things. Personally, I’d really like to see Subaru actually do things that are more substantial though. Hence I think there’s a lot of potential and I’m looking forward to the second season. Though considering they can’t actually play official matches I wonder how it’ll actually work.

As for the other aspects, the art was pretty nice, in that it was cute, the chibi art included. The soundtrack was fine but not especially memorable. The OP was pretty good reminded me a lot of Unfinished from Accel World and Sister’s Noise from Railgun. Also I think it had easier Japanese than any other anime I’ve seen so far, which makes sense considering their elementary school students. I could actually pick up on some of it. Not much though.

8/10

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