OP: 「Wake We Up」 by (HOWL BE QUIET)
「それだけで僕はどこまでも走れる气がするんだ」 (Sore dake de boku wa doko made mo hashireru Ga suru ndesu)
“With Just That, I Feel Like I Could On Running Forever”
PUT YOUR PASSION WHERE I CAN SEE IT.
DAYS is the most recent candidate for the contemporary sports anime renaissance hall-of-fame (copyright 2017). Generally speaking, the most important qualities of the genre (in its most successful form) come down to the spectacle of the matches, as well as the likeability and depth of the characters. So how well does DAYS’ debut episode make its case?
Pretty well actually. DAYS follows bumbling high school freshman Tsukamoto Tsukishi(Yoshinaga Takuto), a clumsy, nervous, insecure lad. One day he is suddenly recruited by soccer prodigy Kazama Jin (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) to fill an empty spot in his local soccer league. Oh by the way I’ll be referring to the sport as “soccer” for the duration of the post. I’m American. Sorry.
From there, Tsukishi discovers his intense love of the sport, exerting every fiber of his being—enduring every and any injury—in order to get the W. A bond is cemented between the two, despite their disparity in skill, one which is deepened further once Tsukishi slaves away at night to compensate his abysmal showcase during practice.
Right off the bat, all of these characters come off as nothing but likeable. Tsukishi initially comes off as just a dash too much nervous and naïve, but the rest of the episode makes clear that the kid’s determination, perseverance, and just sheer guts deserve our admiration. The kid’s got mad hustle. He’s cute, excitable, and kindhearted which leaves the path open for plenty of growing up and maturing to do over the course of the series.
Kazama also comes off as a really likable guy. He seems to have nothing but love and concern for this random guy he just met, demonstrated when he ponders his regrets and next course of action regarding Tsukishi’s early troubles.
And perhaps that’s the only real issue with DAYS first impression: it provides very little depth to these characters. There’s nothing really said of their motivations or internal conflict. We get the impression that Tsukishi is a kid who just wants some friends, yes, but very little is explored in at least this first episode aside from a brief implication here and there. For Kazama, the show just barely hinted at the potential of parental issues, or lack thereof. No significant conflict or general tension is established, besides the fact that Tsukishi really really likes soccer. And Kazama, apparently. These characters come off as just sort of vague and insubstantive, despite their charm and appeal.
However, maybe this is all the show’s beginning installment really needs. I can think of plenty of other phenomenal sports anime which started out in the same vein. DAYS does plenty to establish its tone and premise—light, fun, and occasionally dramatic. Sure plenty of other sports debuts have done it better and with more insight, but this first episode sufficiently provides the potential for some great material. There’s plenty more time for more in-depth characterization.
The only other significant disappointment is that we don’t get a substantial taste at how the matches will play (HA) out. Sure, we got glimpses in the opening hook and in the local match, but I think it’s safe to assume that the actual matches will be unrecognizably fast-paced, intense, and dramatic. Again, not needed for a debut—Yowamushi Pedal first couple of episodes didn’t even come close to showcasing the kind of ultra-intense, hyper-adrenaline induced races that would catapult the show’s worth.
That being said, the show looks exceptional. Animation is fluid—every kick and run cycle is relayed naturally and convincingly. Colors are bright, cheery, and eye-catching—perfectly complementing the fun vibe of the show. Voice acting is on point, and the music delivers on all the right emotional and dramatic beats. These are all definitely the right ingredients for some possibly breathtaking action and drama down the line.
Overall, DAYS does a great job of conveying the great potential the series holds, but not much more. Characters are introduced as mere impressions, and not with any noteworthy depth of internal conflict. Plus, not much can be said about how the show’s soccer matches will turn out.
However, this is all okay. This debut provides all the right clues and hints of the show’s potential quality. Maybe I’m unfairly giving DAYS a pass because it’s a sports show, but plenty other in the same genre have started off in the same way only to turn out absolutely fantastic as episodes go on. It’ll be a slow grind for sure, especially considering the practically nonexistent skill level of the protagonist. For now, DAYS’ first entry provides a fun, pleasant romp through what the show has to offer.
ED: 「EVERLASTING DAYS」 by (Seiseki High School Soccer Club)
Screenshots from the OP, ED and Preview are broken.
I was pleasantly surprised by Jin’s character. At first glance, I thought he was going to be one of those aggressive and hot-tempered gangster types. Turns out he’s a pretty cool bro.
Dem blush circles on Tsukishi’s cheeks are really distracting though.
I had high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, can’t stand the MC. From his always-red cheeks, to his literally running away from the ball. There’s charming dumb, and then there’s a barely functioning idiot. Don’t really care about the idiot. I actually really like every other character, but this one just kills it for me.
So I’m not the only one huh? For me, the main character of a show plays a huge role in deciding if I’d like a show or not, no matter how good a show might be. I just really dislike Tsukushi’s character archetype. Really couldn’t get into the anime at all. Why couldn’t we have Jin as the MC? Ah… because otaku can’t self insert into a such character. It’s shame, really, with all the quality work MAPPA’s putting into this.
Yeah, this would have actually been my first sports anime. Don’t really care for sports, except soccer (and even then, only a bit), and the character designs I’d seen looked interesting. But MC was just atrocious to watch. Unfortunate.
I don’t care for sports either and I don’t really watch sports anime but I must say I love Haikyuu!! a lot. At this point I wouldn’t mind watching real life volleyball match either. xD So, I highly suggest watching Haikyuu. The main character Hinata is short and rather inexperienced but he sure can jump. He’s funny, outgoing kid and makes friends quite easily. The rest of the cast are also very lovable.
I found the MC a little TOO into it. I understand he didn’t want to screw up the guy’s last match before he leaves, but for someone that doesn’t seem to have cared about sports before this, he’s just too motivated during the try-outs practice.
I hope it’s not just because he wants a friend & there’s a better reason for his God-tier determination .
As a football fan myself, I find myself waiting for Days. A combination of my 2 favorite stuff, football and anime, what could possibly go wrong ? Well, a lot actually. Unlike other sports, football is a sport where the players rarely stopped playing, it’s continuous. That’s a real problem trying to animate it.
So I’m pretty much on the edge regarding this. The 1st episode didn’t showed much whether my concerns would be realized, so for now I’ll keep watching. My other concern would be the level of reality on the anime. the opening showed each players applies incredible individual showcase to score a goal. In RL that’s impossible, because this is a japanese highschool level. So, I’m pretty concerned regarding how real they’re gonna take this anime. For now though, the jury’s still out for me.
If it’s reality level would be on par with Captain Tsubasa, I’m afraid I will drop it. that’s just way too much for me to stomach. But i have no doubt if done right, I would fucking love this anime.
The spiritual successor of Giant Killing is finally here, and didn’t dissapoint. While the ep didn’t showcase much of the characters, at least Tsukushi is featured as the heart and passion that envelope the sport. It doesn’t matter that you’re a rookie or don’t play at all, if you like it and strive for it, it just goes naturally. Jin look like proto CR7, he has the ability, but not the drive to do so, which will eventually fall on Tsukushi.
Someone called this Yowamushi Pedals Soccer edition. Haven’t decided if that’s a bad thing
I just hope this Anime here do not show us an Boy that is Slaved to this Sport, risk his healthy and burn his joy just to be of help in the team
“i do anything for my friends, even if i break my body!”
inb4 everyone makes commentaries before shouting goal 7 times :V