Taiso Zamurai (First Impression)
- Studios: MAPPA
- Source: Original
- Genres: Sports
- Synopsis: “Year 2002. Japan’s gymnastics world was once strong. Former Japanese representative Shoutarou Aragaki (29), who devoted his time to gymnastics, was unable to perform as expected. Even so, after training on a daily basis, his coach Amakusa recommends Shoutarou to retire. However, the fate of the Aragaki family will change significantly due to a certain ‘encounter'”.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, sports anime is love, sports anime is life. Taiso Zamurai immediately caught my attention with the key visuals and focus on gymnastic (though to be completely honest I was expected an anime about traditional samurai with kanatas…). Gymnastics is a very intense sports that comprises of a variety of routines and pushes your strength and flexibility to the limit! I’m curious to see how in-depth and the amount of attention to detail that the show will get into. Let’s dive in!
And right off the bat, the animation that we can expect for the routines that we will inevitably see throughout the show. Taking a close look at this opening scene, it’s clear to see that MAPPA will be going back and forth between 2D animation and CGI. 2D for those close ups and crucial moments in a routine, and CGI when it comes to broader views or simpler movements. In a sport that is articulate and dynamic as gymnastic, it’s not surprising that it’s been split so that everything won’t have to be 2D. We see a lot of this type animation in the Love Live franchise (which is an idol anime with just as dynamic movements), so it’s not extremely surprising.
Taiso Zamurai takes place in the vicinity of Ikebukuro, as you can see on the station sign on the top left. I imagine that the shots will be references to the real life location around Ikebukuro as well as the venues where the competitions will take place. It’ll be fun to see fans visit these locations with the screenshots of the moments in the anime in hand!
Character development is going to be important in this show, as one of the biggest motives for Joutarou is to be a Father that his daughter can be proud of. Even with just the few screenshots, it’s easy to see that they have a wonderful relationship. Besides the father and daughter bonding, there are a number of other things that the story juggles, Joutaro’s conflict with the mother in law, the desire to push past his limits, and a rogue ninja.
This rogue ninja will most likely play a crucial role in the show as a big motivator for Joutaro as well as act as comedy relief now and then. But…just who is this mysterious ninja?!
And I’ll leave it at that!
Taiso Zamurai is a wild card in the season. There is potential in the set up that has been laid out in this first episode. The animation is fairly decent and I imagine there will be really well animated moments throughout the show. There is a heavy emotional weight within the story, building up slowly, it will no doubt explode at some point. I’m recommending this show to all that are interested as this could be a diamond in the rough.
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