back with another wrap up for a Summer 2011 series, RoKyuBu, the loli fest that I decided to stop reviewing, barring this final review. This series, from the beginning, seemed like a nice inspirational plot of an underdog basketball team and the usual feel-good lessons they learn along the way. While RoKyuBu definitely was a feel-good story, it didn’t wear out with old plot devices, instead opting to provide fresh and interesting ways to present the trials and accomplishments of the team along the way, as well as the individual milestones. Though, there’s one thing that really put me off, and actually caused me to no longer want to do a regular review; up to 75% of any episode (with a few exceptions I’ll explain later) was a loli-fest, or at least Subaru insisting he isn’t the dirty-minded pervert he so “unfortunately” gets depicted as.
Even the original premise of basketball seems to get tossed to the wayside 3/4 of the way in, in favor of the (very underage) fanservice. I personally don’t mind some fanservice in my anime, but when it pushes off actually plot or character development, I get annoyed. This is doubled by the extremely unsettling fact that these characters are (supposedly) elementary schoolers, albeit very very VERY developed elementary schoolers (I’m using sweet, shy Airi as a prime example).
Creepiness aside, there are a few things I think RoKyuBu did very well, namely, the animation. I rarely feel impressed watching anime, concerning the animation, but RoKyuBu does an unexpectedly great job, especially during the games, with very dynamic angled views, realistically operating physics (typically, due to costs, fast, directionally moving objects, such as basketball being passed, can seem to take on an un-earthly law of physics, really only noticeable if you have experience with both physical motion and the animation process), and well-used slow motion shots. In-game, I never get the interrupting thought that something didn’t move right or how it operated didn’t make sense. So, my utmost regards go to the animators for a job very well done.
As far as plot, I’d give RoKyuBu a C+, because it is, in essence, an “inspirational” story of an underdog team, but I’ll admit there is a freshness to how events unfolded. But, that being said, if you erased the loli-fests, you’d get maybe 4 episodes of actual plot (I might be making a pessimistic guess with that number).
So, if you have *ahem* “that” kind of interest, these elementary schoolers will keep you entertained, but if you’re a casual viewer looking for something to sink their teeth into, I’d pass on this. Overall, RoKyuBu had potential to be a rather cute, nice to watch series, but I’m disappointed to see it take, what I think of, as a very cheap route, opting for fanservice instead of substance.
Overall, Saki was the most refreshing character, as she didn’t typically go all in for most of the loli-fests.
Until next time,