チア男子!! – Cheer Danshi!!/Cheer Boys!!

80360lDisheartened with judo, college student Haruki Bando was invited by his childhood friend Kazuma Hashimoto to create “BREAKERS”, an unprecedented boys’ cheerleading team. Those that came to join all were very characteristic in nature: argumentative Mizoguchi, voracious Ton, frivolous Kansai boys Gen and Ichiro, and Sho who has cheerleading experience. 

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Cheer Danshi!! was definitely NOT one of my favourite sports animes. This series had a lot of potential featuring an all-male cheerleading team, however, it failed to deliver the character development, animation, or plot other sports animes had successfully done.

Forgettable Character

The characters were unmemorable and cardboard. I can’t remember any of them other than Haru, Kazu, and Sho, who have a bit of back story going on. Most characters are defined with one characteristic, that is displayed over the top in an unrealistic manner, some characters’ only unique characteristics were their accent, some were completely forgotten after 2 episodes. Even the more developed characters were two-dimensional, Sho, for example, was defined by only three traits: 1) his love for a squirrel character – Nishijirou, 2) having experience cheerleading, and 3) being stoic, reserved and serious. Unfortunately, his three traits not only didn’t work together, they worked against each other. It seems like the producers thought it would make him less boring to have a “silly” side with his obsession over a squirrel but it just left me wondering why is an adult man being so obsessed with a product mascot. His character seems to change from time to time as if he is not the same person.

Melodrama

The actions of the characters are so melodramatic and unrealistic, but not in an entertaining way. Their over-the-top conflicts over their non-problems left me confused as in what on earth they are all yelling about and how are these people, adults. Noting the fact that they are all university students, with some of them over the age of 20 made it even more cringy, if they were in elementary school than the reasons of their conflicts and their reactions would have made more sense. I’m still not sure why they thought it was a good idea to have university-aged characters acting like a bunch of overly emotional children.

Lack of Tension or Competition

One reason people enjoy sports animes is because of the emotional roller-coaster you experience on the journey with the characters. The whole feeling “hot-blood” is what makes sports anime interesting.  The tension from the competition, the anxiety to overcome each challenge that would be harder and harder as your rivals grow along with you. Most importantly, the characters would be passionate about the sport they are playing.

Cheer Danshi!! lacked competition, an essential element of sports animes. I can’t remember even one name of their competitors. There are no serious bonding between the team members either, there is too many characters with no time for them to form any emotional connection, other than Haru and Kazu who are supposed to be friends before the team was formed.

I also didn’t feel any passion from any of the characters in this anime. Sure, a lot of them keep saying that they love cheerleading, but other than Kazu none of them has any reason behind that. One of them went as far as throwing a hissy fit because his teammates were not working hard enough, but overall they ever show the desperate for success characters in other sports animes did.

Disappointing Animation

Just the  visuals themselves were not impressive, but they were not terrible either. However, there were a lot of still frames and sometimes you can only see the character’s mouth moving. Which wouldn’t be a big problem if this wasn’t a sports anime, or if there were really no redeeming values to cover up the huge failure in animation, which sadly, there were none. Cheerleading is a sport that is all about visual pleasure, but I didn’t see many impressive choreographies of them actually cheerleading, instead there were a lot of snippets or even still frames of them practising.

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