This is not an original concept, but it’s a new one for me. During this season, I have watched sports anime about soccer/normal football (Days) and wrestling (Tiger Mask W). When it comes to seeing these two on television, I just can’t care for them. The anime versions of the sports just click better for me and there are many reasons why this is true. It’s between not spending enough time invested in the sport, not knowing the rules, not knowing who the players are, or just knowing that what is on TV is fake (wrestling). This is the beginning of my thought pattern towards this concept.
I am much better about explaining my thought process through examples, so I am going to use soccer (normal football) for this one. I never understood what people liked about the sport. When I watch it, it looks like people running around back and forth. I feel the same thing about basketball. I know that there is a set of rules and strategy that goes into this game of nearly people running somewhere, but I can barely see it. I suppose that I haven’t put in the time or the investment to understand it more, but it feels so off putting that I don’t want to. Watching the latest Seattle Sounders game was a very boring experience because of these factors. Watching Days is something different. By watching this show weekly, I am getting more and more invested into characters that I wouldn’t have cared about otherwise. I know who they are and why they are doing what they are doing. Even some of the other teams have some development on them, which makes each match up more interesting and layered. I don’t care about the rules or the game itself because I like these characters.
That’s the main point that I want to convey. When watching a sports anime, you don’t have to know about the rules of the game itself to enjoy it. The characters and the excitement are what the watcher is in for. This is probably a good thing because the anime will most likely not follow the rules in favor of having its own form of drama. I can say the same for this season’s March Comes in like a Lion as well. While the show does represent shogi play realistically, showing that the creator has down some research on it, the show goes through the rules and game play extremely quickly because it’s merely a plot point and not what the show is about. In the end, I think this is okay. The characters, the story, and the animation are more important than the accuracy of the sport. If the former aspects are good, then the later doesn’t matter as much.
In the end, I think watching sports anime can be good for getting people interested in these sports. From actively playing them to just watching them, this is a starting point. I’ve read many stories of both things happening online (reddit, facebook, etc). Maybe I will start watching the Seattle Sounders at the beginning of their next season so I can get invested in the game more. Who knows? At some point, I aso need to watch more sports anime about sports I do care about. Seeing how they change the sport for the anime would be interesting. These would be either American Football or Baseball. The problem is most of the series for these sports are extremely long and will take up a large amount of time.
I may have used this topic to talk more about Days, but I don’t care. I really like it.