Category Archives: Ping Pong The Animation

Ping Pong The Animation Episode 2

 

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This was incredibly well-written! You can really see the influence of Masaaki Yuasa’s previous works in here. The scene when Smile was in the locker room the first time and Peco is there to get him out, right out from Kemenozume! That match between Mr. Koizumi and Smile was so fast paced!

Tsukimoto [Smile] is a really interesting character that wants nothing to do with society yet has so much potential that his anti social tendencies get in the way of his ability to perfect his pong skills. At least so I thought was the case. He’s an enigma in this series from what I’ve seen of him. He has some of the qualities that Oreki Houtarou had in Hyouka. Using potential is a wasted and exhausting effort, and having conversations, helping others in various tasks is a bore. Here we have a slight difference in these two characters that makes a world of difference to how they are portrayed within an anime series. Directing.

I really noticed here that it wasn’t just Yuasa’s vision in art direction, sound and music that pulled Smile out of his rut during the match but the author’s original story. The scene cuts were done brilliantly here, and they made great use of the angles of the pong tables from each perspective, but all in all it was Taiyo Matsumoto’s writing style that helped push this forward. The dialogue was so psychologically draining against both sides, just as Kong was against Peco last episode. Here we had a different sort of inspirational rivalry more so one sided than anything else. Mr. Koizumi.

A coach that wants nothing more to unlock Tsukimoto’s great potential in this game. We saw that first hand when Kazama secretly wanted Tsukimoto to leave the cage and join Kaio Academy. Koizumi knew of how much greatness there is in Tsukimoto and that’s why he talked him up to Kazama towards the end of their conversation. Really, this show doesn’t feel like 24 minutes just went by.

I want to see more series be this dialogue heavy with the bantering back and forth, and psychological attacks with words! Take more risks like this series has done! This series would have been doomed completely if Hideki Tachibana or Seiji Mizushia directed this. Granted Mizushima did a fine job with UN-GO, there is just no way he would have been able to create the kind of pace and hearty intensity that Yuasa has done for this series!

 

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9/10

Ping Pong The Animation Episode 1

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STORY: A series about ping-pong.

Finally! The two Noitamina series have aired! The first one Ping-Pong The Animation adapts Taiyou Matsumoto’s manga. This was one hell of an episode here! Yuasa Masaaki was a perfect fit for director here! Masaaki is known for his awkward writing style, camera angles, creativity and animation style. The art here is certainly something I would like to see more of in Noitamina! Exceedingly brilliant! As some of you may know he’s directed quite a few great series. Kemonozume, Kaiba, and Tatami Galaxy. Even some feature films like Mind Game and the most recent Kickstarter funded project Kick-Heart. I would love to see this guy direct a Josei series!

Moving on to Ping Pong. Was this episode only 24 minutes? It seemed a lot longer than that! Peco has got to be my favorite character here, because he left the episode with so much development. At first he was a complete jerk but his friendship with Smile allowed a more genuine side to come out. So much depth to all these characters and we have yet to see what Smile is all about and his supposed skill at pong. More than half the episode was done in Chinese! Looked up the voice actor for Kong Wenge and he is chinese and the only anime role he’s ever done! Wow!

Weng was one tough adversary here for Peco, destroying him both physically in the match and psychologically dismantling his skill as a pong player. What a tense pong match combined with very fluid animation! The music played a huge role in defining what kind of player Wenge was. Not only that but Peco’s hope and determination to win only to be astonished by his opponent’s skill at the game. That scene transitions here were incredible especially when it switch from in to gymnasium to up on the roof, wow! You really could get a feel here of how GOOD Wenge really is just by his sense of hearing. Very inventive in foreshadowing here.

Interestingly enough was Smile’s avoidance at any sort of personal contact with other players, a sort of disconnect that I am sure will play a role much later in this show. This will definitely be a show to watch out for this season!

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