Baby Steps 1 & 2 Review, One of the Best Sports Anime
I stumbled on my Baby steps 2nd season anime copy. Memories of the anime came rushing in my head, but I can’t seem to remember the ending. Because of that, I decided to re-watch Baby steps from the 1st season to the last. Uuuwwwwaaaaaa. It was a wonderful experience. It made me remember why I love this anime and why I love tennis. This anime is one of the best sports anime out there.
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 6, 2014 to Sep 21, 2014, Apr 5, 2015 to Sep 20, 2015
Premiered: Spring 2014, Spring 2015
Studios: Studio Pierrot
Genres: Romance, School, Shounen, Sports
Duration: 24 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 – Teens 13 or older
Synopsis: Maruo Eiichirou (Ei-Chan), a first year honor student, one day decides he’s unhappy with the way things are and lacks exercise. He finds a flyer for the Tennis Club and decides check it out. He’s instantly captivated by it. With no prior experience and poor physical conditioning, join Ei-Chan as he embarks on a tennis journey using his smarts, dedication and work ethic. (Source: MAL)
The premise is simple but very solid. It’s a solid sports anime with the addition of comedy and romance to spice things up. I really liked how they inserted the comedy and romance on the anime properly. It made the characters more realistic and relatable especially when they show their emotions. Their settings were also realistic and familiar. I could even say this anime has a touch of slice-of-life into it. There was no need of world building. I do admit that there were times that the pacing was slow, it even made me sleepy, but it was understandable. Those moments were needed to flesh out the characters more.
Just like the other sports and shounen anime, Baby steps also use the typical anime tropes. One of them was having a competition lasts for oh so how long. The creators used this trope properly. They only use this trope when the game was important to the growth of the characters. Unfortunately, they skipped most of Natsu’s games. It would have been nice if they paid more attention to her too.
Art & Animation (8/10)
I think one of the reasons of the realistic vibes were the art and animation. It’s not that shiny and visually stunning like the others. To be honest, the art and animation is only slightly above average. Hold the thought, I promise you it’s not bad. It’s simple, and through this simplicity other aspects of the anime stand out. It’s also consistent all through out the series. I think one of the reasons I love this series, is because of how detailed they animate the movements of the characters when they play. You can clearly see that most of it was not reused, and most of it was in 2D. Yes, CG was also in it, but compared to other animes, the 2D and 3D were blended together to a point you won’t notice. It was that good.
Personally, I really really liked the character design. It’s quite amusing to look at the fact that the main character looks too average compared to other minor male characters. It added more realism and impact to the story. I also like how they animated the reactions and burst of emotions of each character. It was very detailed and simple.
The characters were really likable and, like I said above, very relatable. From the main character to the last minor character, all of them played a good part in each other’s growth. Like I mentioned before, this anime uses anime tropes. Its usual in sports anime that the main character would get the most development over others. Even so, the minor characters got enough character developments that its quite shocking. And yeah, Natsu. Sigh. I really want more of her. I know that she was labeled as intuitive and unpredictable, but it would have been nice if she were given the spotlight at least for one episode.
I also mentioned above, how fleshed out the characters were. Their thoughts and emotions were shown quite a lot in the series. Its not a bad thing, it actually made the viewers sympathize and understand the characters more.
I love the music. In both seasons, they only used 1 OP song and 2 ED song. Dunno if they lacked the budget or they did this on purpose. For the OP, the song was very uplifting and it really delivers the message of the song, which was “believing in your self no matter what”. Its very touching. I even downloaded it and listened to it if I’m down.
The sounds all through out the series were really good. It fits well to the feel and atmosphere of the anime. I also like how realistic the sounds were when the characters play the games. The detailed sound made the anime more enjoyable to watcR.h.
Bruh. I love this series, with all my heart. From the story to the music, everything is above average for me. Like any other sports anime, I can’t stop pressing the next button every time an episode ends. But one of the things I enjoy about this series was the fact it made me love tennis more. Playing tennis is my hobby. I play whenever I can. That’s why I can totally relate to everything the characters were feeling and experiencing. This anime is definitely a precious.
I would give this a very high score. Every time I talk about this series, most of what I say is the positive points. Though, I am aware that there were also negative points, it doesn’t affect the awesomeness of this anime.
Oh yeah. I forgot to mention that I’m not contented with the ending. It was lackluster. No wonder I couldn’t remember much after all this time. Well, it can’t be helped, because the manga of this anime is still ongoing. If ever you finish the anime too and you felt the ending lacking, you can read the manga instead. It seems the anime ended around the 173th chapter of the manga.
If you’re a fan of sports anime, Baby steps is a must watch. If you’re a casual watcher, try to watch it. I assure you will enjoy this.
Before I end this post, I wanna address this question first.
Is this like the Prince of tennis?
No. Hell no. Lel. I love Prince of tennis, but this one is very different. The only common thing of both animes were the fact it’s a sports anime about Tennis. That’s all.
There are so many differences between the two animes. One of the difference is the art and animation of both series. There is a huge difference in terms of visual between the main protagonists of Baby steps and Prince of tennis. Echizen is Ikemen visual while Ei-chan is…an average-looking nice guy (Sorry Ei-chan, I still love you but it’s the truth). Another difference is the abilities of the characters. In Prince of Tennis, most of the abilities were….uuuhhhhh….too unrealistic. How the hell does a ball go sideways and not go above the net??? WTF characters can jump that high?!!? Hell, there is no real human being that can control the wind and made sure the ball goes to them. That’s laziness to the highest level! Those weird abilities in Prince of Tennis can’t be seen in Baby Steps. The abilities in Baby steps were realistic and mundane. Even a normal human being could do what the Baby steps’ characters could do. Nothing extra-ordinary.
I don’t know which one is better. Each of them have their own good and bad points, so it just depends on the person watching, what anime they will like more.
If you are already a fan of Prince of Tennis, you might find Baby Steps boring and meh at first look but I promise you, you’ll definitely enjoy Baby Steps. Just give it a try. 🙂
If you wanna share your opinion, comment, or discuss about the anime above, feel free to leave them down below.
That is all.