For the first time in a long while, I stumbled upon a title that I immediately felt the need to binge watch after completing only episode one. This newest show, when added to my collection of experienced anime, has taught me two things about myself…
- I apparently love sports anime???
- I definitely have an awkward 20 year old son named Wataru.
Delving more deeply into that first point, I’ll note that I discovered this title after taking the plunge and googling “anime like Yuri On Ice.” I had been afraid to do this for some time, as Yuri On Ice is pure sweet goodness to me, and I was afraid that I’d just get recommendations for boy love or yaoi (again, not my thing) due to the relationship ambiguity between Yuuri* and Victor. I am happy to say that this was not the case. I stumbled upon sports anime instead, specifically…
CHEER BOYS!! (Cheer Danshi!!)
If all sports anime is like YOI and Cheer Boys, I can’t wait to find out more.
I loved watching the relationships unfold and characters conquer their issues, working on bettering themselves in often light but always meaningful ways. I loved those moments to which I strongly related (or even those I didn’t) that made my heart hurt and pushed me to emotionally adopt every single character.
Unlike the usual shoujo title, the men featured in Cheer Boys (a sports shonen) are not meant to be shipped with a main protagonist. Really, there was no shipping to be found at all… and that was weird for me as a general rule, but I ended up greatly appreciating it because it allowed the title to devote more time to the bonds between the men.
Men were allowed to cry. Men were allowed to feel, to hurt. Men were allowed to be passionate and excitable. Men were allowed to cheer.
I rapidly came to the conclusion that I wanted Haru and Kazu to be BFFs forever, and I worried at first that the introduction of any love interest might hinder that focal point, but I realized rather quickly that such an introduction thankfully wasn’t about to happen, at least in a serious way. Even if it did, while the show itself would have been hindered, the in-show universe would have remained unchanged, because Haru and Kazu are in their broship for life. My babies. ❤ ❤ ❤
This brings me to my second point: the characters. While every character brought something unique to the title and were really the driving force behind this mildly slice-of-life-y (that’s what I’m calling it now due to my limited sports anime knowledge), and I may have loved them all, not one quite won my heart like our breakout star, Wataru.
Like any proud parent, I can’t help but sing his praises. The biggest element of comic relief in the series, Wata was the single greatest factor that contributed toward my need to watch anime for 5-6 hours the other night and irresponsibly finish Cheer Boys!! in one go even though I had other obligations. He is my awkward, quote-loving, blunt, socially awkward child, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. *puts them up like a boxer*
The art had a few awkward moments, but so do many shows, Yuri On Ice included, so I take off no points there. All in all, it’s just a fantastic title. It could have admittedly been more dramatic, but I don’t think that was the intent behind Cheer Boys from it’s inception. Rather, it features mild drama, absolute hilarity, and incredibly endearing characters.
I watched the Funimation Dub of Cheer Boys, and the voice acting was very well done. I can’t help but wonder if this Summer 2016 title was hedged out of the limelight by the amazingness that was Fall 2016’s Yuri On Ice, because I can think of no other explanation for the lack of overt appreciation I’m seeing online.
No one says it’s bad, but no one is really saying anything.
I insist on putting some love out there on the interwebs for this show, and it all begins here~~ Go, go Breakers!! Let’s go Breakers!! ~~!!!!
Tell me, do YOU love the Breakers? Let me know in the comments below, and share with me other sports anime that you love if you feel so inclined! I’m working on “Sakamoto Desu Ga?” and “Haikyuu!!” next, but I’m always looking for that next great marathon watch!!
While I have you here, I would also like to low-key point out that the Male Dance Team at my high school (which was amazing and won all sorts of state competitions, by the way) had all of the girls swooning with their awesome performance in an area of athletics traditionally practiced by women, so I can totally back up the realism of girls thinking that cheer boys (especially those first tumblers, Gen and Suzu as they impress the tennis court ladies) would be swoonworthy. It is highly realistic.
With Love and Warm Krispy Kreme Donuts,
*You can tell that I’ve read a lot of YOI fanficiton if I’ve started to instinctively spell Yuri’s name as “Yuuri” without realizing it. I didn’t even notice until I went to proofread. Oh, well. As long as I don’t start writing Victor as “Viktor,” we’ll be okay. (;P)
My real-time reactions as I watched Cheer Boys!! are found below!