Anime Review: Giant Killing Episode 4

(Originally published on Livejournal on 5/31/10)

Anime Review:
Giant Killing Episode 4

tl;dr review: First test match of the pre-season against big-name team puts the speed-line manufacturers into overtime. Unconventional strategy with the big-ego captain leads to a goal, but a rookie mistake by the new player evens up the score.

About The Series: Ten years ago, the future was bright for East Tokyo United, with their new star player, Tatsumi leading the way. But when he suddenly left to play soccer overseas, the team fell into a long slide. Today, ETU is on the verge of collapse, losing key players, sponsors and fans. In a last-ditch effort to turn things around, they hire Tatsumi back as the head coach. After being branded a traitor, can he win over his former fans and teammates, and will his unorthodox methods shake things up enough to bring ETU back from the edge?

In This Episode: It’s the first big test game of the pre-season as ETU faces off against Tokyo Victory. Normally it would just be a chance to try out some of the new players and hone their skills, but with Tatsumi’s managerial skills being questioned by everyone, this friendly match takes on much more important overtones. He has already shaken up the team by rearranging the first squad, now he give the captaincy to Gino, the arrogant ass who is able to back up his bravado with talent. Naturally, the opposing team and coach immediately dismiss Tatsumi and ETU, expecting to pull out an easy victory.

As the game begins, they use some new strategies and tactics that leads to ETU scoring the first goal. But not everyone on the opposing team is easily cowed; Tokyo Victory’s star player Mochida decides to target the rookie Tsubaki as ETU’s weakest point. He takes a dive drawing a foul and free kick from Tsubaki, and the score is tied. The episode ends at half-time, as both teams rethink their strategies.

My Thoughts: Bleah, this was tiresome to watch. Lots of detailed game-play as the players run up and down the field, and the characters acting as one-dimensional as ever. Tons of slo-mo shots as the characters talk to themselves; tons of speedlines all over the place; tons of running against blinding-white backgrounds. Double-bleah.

I won’t go into the details of how the strategies worked or didn’t work, because that’s exactly *NOT* what I wanted in this series. I want to see more of the personal interaction between the characters, conflicting personalities and such — not an entire episode spent with the intricacies of soccer passing the ball back and forth. If I wanted that, I would actually watch a *real* game.

(The token female of the series, who shows up for a few seconds each episode. Giant Killing is not exactly an eye-candy show.)

I’ll give this show another episode because I would hate to stop watching in the middle of the big important game. But I’m leaning strongly towards dropping this series unless I’m wowed.

The Verdict:

My review of Episode 1, Episode 2, and Episode 3.
Random Curiosity review of Episode 4:

Up Next: The Tatami Galaxy.

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