Sometimes when I’m listening to various anime openings and endings, I stumble upon ones that I haven’t heard before and they end up persuading me to watch that particular show, just by the music. Some good examples were Kekkai Sensen with it’s seriously catchy and groovy ending; Steins;Gate with the popular and iconic theme song; and especially the really pure and relaxing ending of Non Non Biyori.
And with today’s show, it was no different.
I’ll be talking about Scorching Ping Pong Girls (2014), a sports anime originally from a web manga written and illustrated by Yagura Asano, and then adapted by Kinema Citrus (Black Bullet, Barakamon, Yuyushiki).
The competitive scene of table tennis among middle school girls has tensed up even more after a school that has been winning national tournaments for nine years straight, lost in the early rounds.
After that shocking turn of events, we then cut to the ping pong team of Suzumegahara Municipal Junior High, where the top ranked player is Agari Kamiya. Her popularity is to the point of the underclassmen thinking that she’s a goddess of ping pong, and she is so happy that she can be noticed and praised often.
Alongside the happy-go-lucky Hanabi Tenka; the knowledgable senpai Mune Oomune and the quiet Hokuto Itsumo, this group of girls with more members involved, make up a great table tennis team.
After hearing about the highly-favored school losing early in the tournament, going to nationals is now on Agari’s mind and how cool it would be to participate and win. On her way to school, she noticed a girl on top of the school gates, crying for help. A red-haired, helpless Koyori Tsumujikaze.
Koyori gets down from the gate and finds out that Agari is apart of the ping pong team at the school. Koyori gets extremely excited, since apparently she loves table tennis and wants to check out the early morning practice.
While doing casual rallies, it comes to Agari’s attention that Koyori is actually pretty damn good at table tennis and can return a lot of difficult hits.
Everyone else in the ping pong team comes to early practice and Koyori ends up going against some members…. when I mean some, I mean that she beat ten first-years in a row, including the skilled upperclassman, Munemune-senpai.
The surprising discovery gets Koyori an acceptance to the club and her rank goes up in a rapid pace. Because of that, all the underclassmen now look up to Koyori and start to forget about their ace, Agari. And, yeah, Agari has a big conflict to resolve now.
It’s what you expect in a sports show. They include a lot of cliches you see in sport based shows such as the one player who is extremely good and idolized by others, dramatic and overhyped battles between players, a person on the sidelines commentating the match and describing all the strategies and such, you know, the things we see in sports shows all the time.
It’s actually fairly entertaining because I don’t think I’ve really experienced a real, cliched sports anime before. I’ve only seen small clips from like memes or something, but surprisingly, I’ve never fully watched something like this. Being a decent ping pong player, that was another aspect that interested me since I understood most of what they were talking about and doing.
The characters, as I mentioned, have a lot of troupes in them, but they are still entertaining and do things that made me chuckle. Oh, and if you thought there wasn’t fan service in this cutesy show, you would be VERY wrong.
The art is pretty normal for a moe themed show. It’s cute and fun. The intense table tennis matches were decently intriguing and the animations are very smooth, I applaud them for that.
I saved the best for last, the music. As I said at the beginning, the opening of this song immediately got me interested in watching this. I’d like to say I’m into the cutesy pop genre of anime music thanks to Love Live! and slice-of-life anime, and the theme song of this anime, “Shakunetsu Switch”, definitely is included in that genre.
Ah man, this song is great. The different tones and paces of the instruments, pairing with the cute and really good singing of the voice actresses “es muy excelente”. But when it gets to the chorus, it’s that’s when shit goes down… not in a bad way.
I liked the ending as well. “Bokura no Frontier” by Wake Up, Girls! (a popular idol group), it’s a more calming song and still fun.
Overall, it’s a fun show. I don’t think the combination of moe and sports pairs up together that much, judging by the “sports” genre on MyAnimeList, so I guess this would be a good refresher if you enjoy the more intensified tone of sports anime, or if you like watching cute girls doing things. I enjoy it so far and I can’t wait to see the rest of it.
MyAnimeList Page: https://myanimelist.net/anime/33031/Shakunetsu_no_Takkyuu_Musume
Thanks for reading!!!! 😀