And here it is, a taste of Tatsumi’s giant killing in action! I say let the underdog story prevail, even if I have to live vicariously through a soccer anime to see it happen. As I mentioned last time, Tatsumi divided ETU into two separate teams upon his arrival as the new coach and declared that a bunch of benchwarmers with quick legs are the new regulars. After literally giving the shaft to the captain, Murakoshi a.k.a. “Mr. ETU”, and the other star players by having them wear bibs for the scrimmage, Tatsumi manages to dumbfound them with his passive-aggressive instructions to his team. It was mostly mind-games to Murakoshi at that point, as he couldn’t understand why the fastest legs on the team weren’t utilizing their speed to their advantage. Just when he thinks he’s figured out Tatsumi’s game plan of tiring them out though… BAM!, the unorthodox giant killing coach lifts his team’s ban on making one-touch plays.

It turns out Tatsumi wasn’t only banking on quick legs, but the players with the best stamina as well, whose supposedly inferior passing is miles better than that of an exhausted team of regulars. The end result speaks for itself and I loved how Tatsumi didn’t even celebrate like a miracle just happened. To him, it was just another day at the field, taking down star players and showing them that there are obvious weaknesses in their team play. The fact that he’s so nonchalant about it all, even at the press interview, just makes it all the better too. As you can probably imagine, this caused a huge rift between him and Murakoshi, which widened even further when Tatsumi decides to relieve him of his captaincy. To Mr. ETU, the man who’s given his all to the team since Tatsumi’s sudden departure, this sudden decision obviously didn’t sit well with him, but surprisingly, Tatsumi shows that he’s not trying to make an enemy out of the team’s star player. Instead, he simply wants to take some captain-like burdens off his shoulder so that he can focus on being a player and leave the coaching stuff to him.

It was at this point in the manga that I found myself completely hooked to the story, as it doesn’t only feature a seemingly unorthodox coach who loves playing the underdog, but also one who’s genuinely concerned about his team’s success yet won’t suck up to the players for acceptance. There’s a lot of back and forth drama that results from that somewhat arrogant attitude of Tatsumi’s, but once I realized he he’s actually looking out for the team’s best interest, I just wanted to see where he takes things from here on. Murakoshi is evidently still hesitant to accept his ways, but I’m looking forward to the moment they see eye-to-eye and work together to turn ETU around. Great sports drama, which quite frankly could make for a really entertaining live-action series.

There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll continue following this 26 episode series, but since it’s one of the less popular Sunday shows, I’m likely going only cover it periodically (if at all). I really believe more people should give this series a chance and would like to cover it in detail to convey what it has to offer, but I unfortunately have to be more selective going forward. Time is definitely an issue, as well as my sanity, so Arakawa Under the Bridge or WORKING may be better on both fronts since they’re popular and supposedly only one cour long. However, I haven’t ruled out the possibility of a manga-like, single screenshot, quick impressions type of post for shows I can’t cover in full.




  1. I love the style of this show, and also football as a sport. I hope you continue to at least do screengrabs of this series, as the manga only has a few chapters translated to english that I have read so far, so the anime will definitely get ahead soon.

  2. I guess I’m in the minority, but I do actually like the artwork. And if you don’t like this art style, just wait until House of Five Leaves & Yojo-han Shinwa. Also, I ran through all the chapters they have scanlated quite quickly. So, I’m glad this was given an anime adaptation. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

    1. Yes, but you read a book for the words, not the cover-art.
      On the other hand, the animation is a significant part of anime… As is voice acting, I actually stopped watching because of the terrible English VA in the first ep, but your enthusiasm made me watch it again.
      I’m glad I did, because the story has me hooked. It’s just a real shame the art looks so… weird.

  3. I checked out the manga chapter for this episode, and the characters’ noses weren’t that pointy. They were still pointy, but it certainly looked more natural to me. DEEN is doing the noses too pointy, especially for those side-face (sorry couldn’t think of a better term orz) shots of the characters .

  4. I imagine they figured a soccer anime would do pretty good seeing as how the world cup is fast approaching [1st Match – June 11 – *MEXICO* vs South Africa!!!] but i didn’t expect it to be as interesting as it is! I’ve never really liked sports anime but I will definitely be keeping up with this one!

    Oh and thanks Divine for keeping RC alive!!! I can’t imagine a world without RC so thank you thank you thank you! ^^

  5. @divine
    im with you on this one, after watching episode 1 of giant killing, it gave me an interest on the series so I decided to read the manga and it was so addicting that after finishing one chapter I decided to read the next chapter until ive finished all of the chapters that has been translated. My only problem in this series is that they didnt do justice with the anime in terms of animation quality. Its like im watching a very low budget anime series. Did they improve the quality in episode 2?

    1. I wasn’t trying to pick the animation apart too much for this episode, but I actually thought it was similar or slightly better than the first episode’s. It still leaves much to be desired, but it’s not exactly terrible either.

  6. @rayshix
    imo Major’s animation quality is a lot better compared to giant killing but I did enjoy Major and im currently watching season 6. As for this one, im also enjoying the series but im really hating the animation quality that they put on in this series.

  7. About the coverage of the sunday’s series, seeing that K-On!! is the killer of the slice-of-life section, following a less-than-entertaining WORKING (in comparison with our favorite band) would be a waste. I’m not seeing Arakawa just because SHAFT, but since it seems interesting, you could do intervals between AUB and GK.

    Returning to GK, brains and brawl for Tatsumi the soccerBRO.

  8. Personally I know I will be following this series even though I’m neither much of a sports anime fan or Deen fan. Partially it’s because I do like Seki’s work in general and the other being the interesting premise. WORKING looks terribly boring to me and I’m half and half on K-On!! The first series was cute at times and at others was a bit of a sugar overload. I have to be in a real mood to watch something like that. This series on the other hand is something I can definitely follow to the end and promises to be exciting to boot.

  9. I wasn’t planning on watching this series until I read how much you were looking forward to it on the spring preview, so thanks for that. The animation and directing got better this week, and those are really the only the flaws this show has so far. I’m not really a sports fan (though soccer is my favorite sport), but this series has done the best job of establishing it characters this season. I also look forward an eventual breakthrough between Tatsumi and Murakoshi.

  10. Great episode. This series looks like it will be a lot of fun. I am really surprised that Arakawa and Working! are more popular than this. I haven’t seen Arakawa under the bridge but i read what it was about and then looked at some of the pictures and it looked terrible. Especially that star faced guy what the hell is up with that? Also i agree that the animation could use work but it really does not matter at all to me. I am surprised so many people make such a big deal out of it too. And who ever is doing the drawing for the characters really has a thing for noses lol. Watch an episode and you will see that they are HUGE.

  11. I’m really excited for this series. And I think the animation fits with the story line, Tatsumi’s personality and the OP/ED. There is just a roughness to all of it.

  12. I must say that I began to watch episode 1 after reading your first impression. This is the third sports anime series (after One Outs and Cross Game) for me. Well, not including the on-off watching of Slam Dunk when I was in high school and that was years ago. I didn’t like the art but it grows on me, the same way all the other “not-so-cute” anime series I watched. I’m in for the tension and psychological and strategy game between Tatsumi, the guys in ETU and the fans/rival teams. I really enjoyed the first two episodes and found myself cheering for Tsubaki (I’m an instant fan!!). Thanks, Divine!

    Lil' Lilly
  13. I don’t mind the animation, I’m not watching this show for the artworks but the story. And that is intriguing to say at least :] I hope you’ll continue to cover Giant Killing even if it’s only the manga-like quick-impressions-style.

  14. divine, I am surprised that, despite your glowing recommendation of this show, you are choosing not to blog it regularly because of its lack of popularity. I know that time is a factor in your decision as well, but it seems to me that you should blog the shows you like the best and not worry about their overall viewership. But I may be mistaken and perhaps your goal for this blog is to cover the popular shows because they appeal to the most people. Or I could also be wrong in assuming that you like this show more than Arakawa and Working. In any case, I love this show and I am one of the few who likes the artwork. Maybe it’s the fact that these aren’t the prettiest designs which appeals to me because we are dealing with professional athletes here, not male models. They should look like they can play real soccer and not have to worry about breaking a fingernail. 🙂

    1. I’m excited about this series, but can’t really say I’m looking forward to it more than any of the other shows on Sunday just yet, so I thought I’d let the readers decide what they want to see covered. I plan to watch all four series, so it’s no loss to me one way or the other. If I cover shorter series like Arakawa or WORKING, it actually works out better for me come next season too.

  15. Manga style single shot posts for series you otherwise wouldn’t keep up with blogging sounds good yeah 🙂 Just don’t fall into the habit of doing it for all series!!


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