Hey, Kaushik here with some new anime impressions. Since the spring season has just gotten underway, I’ve been sampling a lot of new shows. I’m liking some of what I see, not liking some others, overall things are pretty standard. But there are always a few shows that wow me with their first episode and this is one of them: Ping Pong, an anime based off of a 1996 manga series. It’s being produced by Tatsunoko Productions, a fairly famous studio that has been around since the 60s. The director is Masaaki Yuasa, who is somewhat marked by his unique style. He’s done shows such as The Tatami Galaxy, which was fairly well-received. His newest work, Ping Pong, is excellent.
With only the first episode down it’s obviously a little difficult to offer any absolutes on the quality of the show, but the first episode was definitely very promising. From incredibly solid animation, to a unique art style and an interesting plot, Ping Pong is off to a great start. From a viewer like me, who is mostly used to the newer animation styles and art designs, seeing something like Ping Pong is a little jarring. It’s so different from what I regularly watch, but that doesn’t make it bad; on the contrary, it’s actually a little refreshing.
So far the plot of Ping Pong has been fairly straightforward, but it’s clear that there’s some potential for drama and excitement in the future. The main character is a ping pong player named Smile, who has joined his school team. He’s known as something of a powerhouse player, even though he’s a new recruit to the club. He joined with his friend Peco, who never shows up to the club. Peco is said to be better than Smile, and the two of them go to inspect a school that has flown in a hot new player from China. Peco has a match with the new player, and gets blown out. However, the Chinese player has some sort of interest in Smile, and that’s where the episode lets off.
This is my first Masaaki Yuasa show, but I can already tell his unique style is great to watch, and I’m looking forward to going through some of his past works in the future. The spring 2014 anime season has a lot of shows to offer, but definitely take the chance to check this one out!
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