Anime Reel – Anime & Manga TV News

Giant Killing Anime Will Provide Break From Cute Nothingness

Posted on: December 8, 2009

Giant Killing, the soccer manga that isn't actually about high school kids.In a huge break from the moe boom of the past few years, NHK and Studio Deen are animating Giant Killing, which is about a professional soccer coach. That’s right, the manga doesn’t focus on a gaggle of high school girls acting cute, nor does it have various concepts or objects anthropomorphized into handsome young men who act androgynously sexy. Giant Killing has won quite some acclaim for its writing, not for its cute art or marketability – and for that reason, it gives me hope for 2010.

The story of Giant Killing follows Tatsumi Takeshi, a 35-year-old man with experience coaching soccer in the lower echelons of the English leagues. When he is hired as the coach of fictional J League soccer team East Tokyu United, a perennial doormat for the other soccer teams in the league, he devotes his entire being to pulling the team out of the gutter. He stays late at night analyzing video of the team’s next opponent, he sleeps in the equipment room, and he’s determined to morph the players from a pack of dejected losers into world beaters (or, you know, giant killers).

It’s an underdog story that doesn’t rely on anything other than its subject matter to draw interest, and I’m definitely intrigued enough to pick up a few volumes of the source material. The characters are all adults, very few of them – if any – are just window dressing, and the underdog story appeals to the sports fan in me. We’ll see how this project shapes up as we approach April, when Giant Killing starts airing on NHK’s BS2 network.

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