Rou Kyuu Bu Episode 1
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Rou Kyuu Bu is a twelve-part weekly television series that aired between July and September, 2011, based on a light novel series. After his team was disbanded due to misconduct by the coach, freshman Subaru doesn’t want to have anything to do with basketball. But after being strongarmed into temporarily coaching the elementary school girl’s basketball team, he decides to stick it out.
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ep. tl;dr review: High-school boy coaches underage girls in basketball; And pedophiles everywhere rejoiced!
Spoiler-free Episode Summary: After the coach has been caught making the moves on an underage girl, the boy’s high school basketball team was suspended for on year. Despondent, Subaru Hasegawa decides to set aside his hopes and dreams for the sport for a while. But his aunt has other ideas, blackmailing him into coaching the elementary school girl’s team for three days. When a reluctant Subaru shows up for his first day of coaching, he is greeted by five girls who try to impress him by wearing maid outfits…and it all goes downhill from there. But there is one girl on the team, Tomoka, in whom Subaru sees talent and potential, piquing his interest.
My Impressions: In a year filled with other highly questionable shows, Rou Byuu Ku is surprisingly NOT the most potentially perverted or skeeviest show of the season. And yet, it certainly does set off the Pedobear alarm loud and clear. You would think that after being awash in a media culture that has become inundated with sexually charged underage girls, I would start to become inured to the idea. But nope, my morals seem to remain intact, and I am as offended by some of the stuff implied/portrayed here as I am by all the other times when teen or pre-teen booty has been shoved in my face.
Mind you, the basic premise itself is not a problem: A group of mismatched, rag-tag students on an underdog team fighting for their survival against all odds is a standard theme in anime sports shows (and non-anime ones to boot). In fact, I have somewhat of a soft spot for those type of shows, so you would think it would be right up my alley. And yet, the producers felt the need to throw in a lolicon bone or two, much like the similarly-themed Softenni from earlier this year. It’s not as blatant as Softenni (which was far beyond the pale), but did they really need to throw in that barely-censored gym showering scene featuring sixth grade girls, for example?
Seriously, if they played this as a straightforward sports-underdog show (with the corresponding sub-themes of growing friendships and the coach regaining confidence), and left out the (albeit minor) sexual hooks, I’d be fine with that. While not a great show, Rou Byuu Ku is otherwise *okay*, and I would have given it a thumbs-up to the next round. That is, if I could get past the image of drooling pedophiles everywhere watching this show in their darkened bedrooms with one hand down their pants. Not exactly the image I want to have burned into the back of my eyesockets, but there you go, the hazards of reviewing pedo-bait, I guess.
- Preview trailer on Youtube.
- Info resources: My Anime List, Anime News Network, AniDB, and Wikipedia.
- If you like this, you might also like: Softenni or Kodomo no Jikan
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “The entire episode was just uninspired dialogue and fanservice over and over, but the worst thing is that it actually tries to take itself seriously: this episode kept hinting in the most unsubtle hints that half the cast has a dark past with some of the ham-handed build-up imaginable. This is pretty much the archetype of what’s wrong with modern anime. Potential: 0%.” – Star Crossed Anime Blog
- “The entire episode is reeking with implication of fanservice, despite that the story is making its stride to be interesting. The whole concept of a bunch of elementary girls playing basketball, at the same time being cute in front of those perverted audience who would buy the blu-ray version of them groping each other. Grade: 1/5.” – The Dere Moe Project
- “Ro-Kyu-Bu! stinks of blatant loli moe, with the elementary school girls highly sexualized in multiple ridiculous situations…Gag me, please.” – Marina Sauce
- “Aside from all the fanservice and fetish stuff in this episode, there does seem to be an overall conflict brewing, where the girls do actually want to learn how to seriously play basketball because they’ll eventually be facing off against other teams. Unfortunately this feels tacked on for the most part, considering how probably 80-90% of the episode is fanservice and random banter between the girls. Grade: 6.0/10.” – Emory Anime Club
- “The premise of a group of pretty little girls trying their hand at a male-dominated sport as a means to establish their own identity and answer deeper questions about purpose in life is good, admirable and can even be inspirational. However the set up in Ro-Kyu-Bu is almost by-the-book moe pandering in one of its more repulsive form. I fear it will drive away more than it will attract, even if it is a relatively unique hook.” – Japanator
- “If that’s not bad, they even has a shower scene with them naked and placement of strategic bubbles. Then, they even feel each other up in that fucking shower. I mean, these kids are elementary students, for fuck’s sake. What are you trying to teach them? Hentai lifestyle? How fucking lolicon can you be? I won’t allow my kids to watch this show. Nu’uh. No fucking way. Grade: 4/10.” – Conspicuous Klux
- “Although it was stated to be a comedy slice-of-life series, towards me it’s more of a sports series with some slice-of-life moments. Ro Kyu Bu reminds me of Moshidora but in elementary school…It concerns me by how moe this show is and how it will affect the story. If this turns out as some moe, fan-service series even Hikasa Yoko won’t be able to save it.” – Sekijitsu
- “There are no bones about what this show is trying to do with the fanservice, preposterously cute character designs and off-color lolicon references. That could be refreshing blunt or a little skeevy, depending on how you look at it – but at least you’re going in with your eyes open.” – Lost in America
- “Oh good! More shit to piss me off! Thank you Japan, arigato gozaimasu! So in case you ran out of lolicon to fap to, there’s a new lolicon show about loli girls running around being lolis and playing with balls (lulz). Oh joy! Just my type of bullshit.” – The Notaku Blog
- “As much as I love basketball, I can’t see myself watching this, specifically because it’s revolving around Lolis. This episode already raised a red flag warning of what’s to come in the future – EVEN THOUGH IT’S THE BARE MIN, NEVERTHELESS ITS A WARNING!” – Angry Anime Bitches
- “The story actually looks like it might have some potential. The girls seem to have some sort of conflict with the boys at their school, and need to win the prefectural tournament in a month for some reason. The short basketball segments weren’t bad. And the coach’s family and classmates seem interesting. Of course, this is all assuming you can get past the rampant pedophilia.” – Draggle’s Anime Blog
ROUND ONE RESULTS FOR SUMMER 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round One: Busou Shinki: Moon Angel, Blood-C, Mawaru Penguindrum, Kamisama Dolls, No. 6, Dantalian no Shoka, Uta no Prince-sama, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, Nekogami Yaoyorozu, Kamisama no Memochou, Nurarihyon no Mago Season 2, Natsume Yuujinchou Season 3, Usagi Drop
Thumbs-down for Round One: Double J, Morita-san wa Mukuchi, Mayo Chiki, Nyanpire the Animation, Carnival Phantasm, Copihan, Yuruyuri, The Idolmaster, Sacred Seven, Manyuu Hikenchou, Blade, Higurashi no Naku Koko no Kira, Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi, Twin Angel Twinkle Paradise, Baby Princess 3D: Paradise Love, Rou Kyuu Bu
Coming up next: Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Second Season, R-15, Oretachi ni Tsubasa OVA, Astarotte no Omocha EX, Touhou Project: Gensou Mangekyou, Kid the Phantom Thief Special