Final Review: Ginga e Kickoff!

Ginga e Kickoff!! is an original soccer anime that follows the Momoyama Predators, a team formed by a group of primary school students. The series premiered during the Spring 2012 anime season for 39 episodes through the Winter 2013 anime season.

Ginga e Kickoff!! is a very simplistic series that gets its points across. The characters are appropriately childish as they are in 6th grade. The biggest problem with this show’s story is it starts off really slow with character recruitment. In fact, the entire first third of the series is completely character recruitment before any of the matches become remotely interesting. However, what makes this show worth watching is it has some very solid character growth or in this case team growth. The characters don’t become stars over night nor do they go off and win every possible match they ever play. The team suffers losses and learns through the failures that they make as well as the loss itself. There is, however, a very dramatic shift half way through the series when the team suddenly changes up and certain characters literally disappear from the series. Conclusion wise, seems conclusive yet not with the number of unresolved plot elements (e.g. Aoto’s father magically appears) and the final arc regarding the Galactic World Cup seemed rather random and out of place. A very interesting match but didn’t quite fit with the rest of the series.

Art is more or less basic. Animation is pretty solid with a few disfigured facial expressions at times excluding the typical wacky features. Considering it’s the same studio behind Tamayura, the animation is actually not too terrible but relative to other titles in the last few years, it’s pretty bland and behind the times.

OP is bad and ED1 is forgettable. ED2 is just hilarious overall for the lyrics. The song isn’t bad but completely cheesy. Yuu Kobayashi as Shou is very annoying despite taking on the role of a young boy in a very solid manner. Outside of that, I had no problems with the cast. It was generally appropriate for the characters of the series.

Enjoyment? There are a number of soccer titles in anime history, a number of which are actually solid. From Aoki Densetsu Shoot! to Whistle! and even Inazuma Eleven and Giant Killing. Ginga e Kickoff!! relative to these titles is generally an average title. It has some decent “tension” moments but definitely nowhere along the lines of say Giant Killing.

Overall, Ginga e Kickoff!! may seem like a kids soccer show at a fundamental level but at its core it can be quite a fair watch. It’s nowhere near a masterpiece but is a solid standalone work and a fair way to kill time.

 

Story and Character:

  • Premise (0/1): Generic soccer anime setup.
  • Character Personalities (0/1): Annoying as expected.
  • Character Development (1.5/2): Solid character growth.
  • Character Usefulness/Presence (1.5/2): Shafts some characters later on
  • Pacing: (0.5/1): Could use some work early on.
  • Reasonable/Plausible (2/2): Very.
  • Conclusion (1/1): Conclusive yet not. A fair end to the series nonetheless.
  • Total: 6.5/10

Art and Animation:

  • Backgrounds (1/2): Basic
  • Character Designs (1/2): Basic
  • Fluidity (1/2): Recycling
  • Visuals/Special Effects/Flashiness (1/2): Basic
  • Art and Animation “Expectation” (1/2): Slightly better than some previous works (e.g. Tamayura) though I expect Tamayura ~More Aggressive~ to be even better than this then. Behind the times nonetheless
  • Total: 5/10

Sound and Music:

  • OP/ED/Insert Themes (1.5/3): OP is bad, ED1 is forgettable. ED2 is good
  • Background Music (1/2): Average
  • Sound Effects (1/2): Average
  • Seiyuu (2.5/3): Solid casting and fits into the role. Shou is just annoying overall.
  • Total: 6/10

Enjoyment:

  • Amusement (1/2): Some good stuff at times. Can be overly repetitive
  • Weekly/Next Episode Anticipation (1/2): Matches had good anticipation episodes as they were somewhat unpredictable in their outcomes.
  • Presentation: (1.5/2): Very basic presentation. Keeps elements simple while maintaining appropriate levels of suspense and tension. Beginning third drags.
  • Re-watchable (0.5/1): Generally average show overall. More suited for kids obviously.
  • Recommendation (1/2): Many shows similar to this. Again, it has a niche audience.
  • Value (0/1): Not really memorable per say despite being a satisfactory watch.
  • Total: 5/10

Preliminary Score: 5/10

Final Score: 6/10

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