Ping Pong simulwatch [RS] (3rd November start)

D1tchd1gger

Flame Haze
Bit late on this. Even though I wanted to finish watching, I also didn't want to interrupt the flow at the end by having to think of something to say here and then having to wait a day for the next episode. Also I had to wait for a day when I could watch all 3 remaining episodes, read the comments here and make a reply. To make that last task quicker I'll say I agree with almost everything said.

I liked it very much, but there's a few bits that put it down a few points for me. Generally the art and animation were really interesting, but occasionally went a bit too off base with some of the action harder to follow in places than other times when the action was easy enough to follow. Then there was the occasional exposition parts were some character spouted Ping-Pong jargon about how the player they were watching was using the bat, etc. And finally:
Every other character is an accessory to Peco's tale.
I know this is a quote about the film, but I found this true for the anime as well as we got to the end, even though we got to know the other characters more than in the film it seems. It seemed a little weird, especially given the realism given to describing all the playing styles, etc., that Peco, with a f**ked knee, managed not only to come back from 2 sets down in the semi, but then go all out again in the final and still not do enough damage to f**k his future career up,
I'm going to give it an 8.

does he jump after the flashback ends? seems like he does.
I never actually questioned the outcome of that scene until you mentioned it.
That was the first thing I thought off at the end of the scene when we first see it. Knowing his dad was dead and had screwed up in his business. Plus:
The comments about flying seemed to have him thinking his dad may still be alive if he could fly, instead of falling to his death.
And the kid Kazama saying be careful just before the fade out.

God's nectar! My favourite, non-cola, soft drink.
There's diet and the zero/max version Xtra. Both without sugar.
 

João Gomes

Straw Hat Pirate
@D1tchd1gger first of all, we're on page 5 thanks to you, you're beautiful. ⭐

To speak to the part of my post you quoted, I don't think they're anywhere near comparable. The characters in the movie have no life outside of orbiting around Peco, nothing (again, for a 2h runtime, the director and team had to focus on something and they rightly focused on the main story of Ping Pong, at the loss of Smile's depth and so much else).

In the anime, Smile is given as much importance as Peco, arguably more. Koizumi is an actual character with his own dynamics with the rest of the cast, he has a family, he's fully dedicated to Smile's training.

Akuma is given background, hardships, a family and a future. Egami (? Don't hit me @Lordhippos, I can't remember for sure anymore) has his own little arc going on on the side.

Ota has to take care of the family business and we see how seriously he takes that responsability; also, he comes to appreciate Smile over time.

I don't need to list the rest, we watched the same thing. My point is many of the characters exist irrespective of Peco and even Smile, in some cases. They have their own thing going on. Sanada, Yurie, the past trio, Wenge... It's quite an achievement so much is packed in such a relatively short runtime. Again, Yuasa's series planning is crazy good for this.
 

D1tchd1gger

Flame Haze
In the anime, Smile is given as much importance as Peco, arguably more.
I think this is why the ending was off for me. I thought we were going the Smile route and of course Peco was important to his story, but the turn around was a bit too quick from nearly killing himself and being the flawed hero to actually being a hero that can win against the best even injured! So right at the end Wenge, Kazama and Smile were just people for Peco to beat for various reasons. I'm not saying I didn't like the explanation of them as characters, just the ending.

As you might have seen in the "What Anime/Manga have you bought" I've just purchased the manga. 11 episodes for 5 volumes isn't too far off the norm, but I'm guessing they'll be a bit more to glean from reading it.
 

João Gomes

Straw Hat Pirate
I think this is why the ending was off for me. I thought we were going the Smile route and of course Peco was important to his story, but the turn around was a bit too quick from nearly killing himself and being the flawed hero to actually being a hero that can win against the best even injured! So right at the end Wenge, Kazama and Smile were just people for Peco to beat for various reasons. I'm not saying I didn't like the explanation of them as characters, just the ending.

As you might have seen in the "What Anime/Manga have you bought" I've just purchased the manga. 11 episodes for 5 volumes isn't too far off the norm, but I'm guessing they'll be a bit more to glean from reading it.

I hear you on it being too quick. I'm fine with it but I can understand not everyone being OK with that turn around.

On the other hand, and even though he nearly drowned, I never read the situation as him wanting to kill himself. I don't know if that's a mistake on my part but I always saw it more like him trying to isolate himself for a bit, being able to think; his love of ping pong would end up showing up sooner or later. Smile's role in Peco's ascent is undeniable: he was his biggest fan and supporter since they were kids.

As for his injury, again, my read: we see Smile going for his knee but I don't think he kept doing it for the duration of the match; I'm not saying he went easy, he just didn't try to make Peco purposely self-destruct.

The fact that there's a timeskip leaves ample space to accept that he stopped playing for a bit after those matches to recover and there were short term consequences, but nothing lasting. I mean, maybe this sounds silly on paper, but it's something I took for granted in my head, even if I'd never put it to words.

I don't think we'll agree on the characters. The series goes to lengths to give these people life, drive and purpose outside of Peco's existence. Peco's presence however, liberates and elevates them.

That's why he's the hero, and so, I can't help but see Peco as helping Kazama finding true enjoyment out of a sport he's practiced for so long and associates with excruciating pressure and personal trauma; not as Kazama being just another obstacle. We see later that he's out of the team, but he's ok with it. That would've been unthinkable years prior. That's something Peco helped him with. He goes on to live his life.

Wenge grew from the arrogant guy who came from a country with the best ping pong teams in the world to finding companionship and realizing his dream of playing for the national team, only in a beautiful twist reflective of his growth: Japan's. I have no doubt Peco had a hand in elevating Wenge and his talent. His character is set up such that, in my mind, he got his mom to come over to Japan. He sees his old trainer every now and then. Etc. Irrespective of Peco's presence at that point.

In the anime, these characters have life and their lives. In the movie they don't. I really don't think it's comparable. Peco rubs off on them but they're still their well-established selves.

I definitely want to get the manga at some point. I flipped through it the other day at a shop and the series is shockingly similar to it. I gotta get deep into Taiyou Matsumoto's body of work.
 

Lordhippos

Vampire Ninja
we're on page 5 thanks to you, you're beautiful. ⭐

5 Points on a Star. Perfect number of pages 🌟

We just need to stop before page 6 :)

I would in particular like to highlight the sound design (I'm reminded of Eizouken here!) which easily gets full marks from me: I'm sure @Lordhippos will agree that it was spot on and probably the reason I've been on a nostalgia trip with every episode.

The sound design/music is really good in the anime! I have only just finished watching Eizouken for the first time actually as it has been on my back burner for a while, that was also really good I thought.

Akuma is given background, hardships, a family and a future. Egami (? Don't hit me @Lordhippos, I can't remember for sure anymore) has his own little arc going on on the side.

Haha 😓

It's Egami, and yes I really missed the extra events in the movie, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said the movie was Peco-centric, but at the cost of the others we saw a fair bit of in the anime. Egami going off on his adventures was a lot of fun to watch and was a highlight to me.

On the other hand, and even though he nearly drowned, I never read the situation as him wanting to kill himself

No he didn't intend to try and kill himself, but he nearly did all the same.

As for his injury, again, my read: we see Smile going for his knee but I don't think he kept doing it for the duration of the match; I'm not saying he went easy, he just didn't try to make Peco purposely self-destruct.

My read on the situation was that Smile wanted to take advantage of his knee but that Peco wouldn't let him, if you watch the final match again you'll see that Peco had Smile on the run rather than the other way around, Smile could not dictate anything as he was overwhelmed.

I don't think we'll agree on the characters. The series goes to lengths to give these people life, drive and purpose outside of Peco's existence. Peco's presence however, liberates and elevates them.

Yuasa does tend to have these very interesting characters which are refreshingly different from a lot of cliches you see. I noted in Eizouken that the main trio all actually felt like friends/comrades and weren't just fan service bait or lolis or something, I personally like to see characters that are more dynamic like these.
 
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