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Title: Area no Kishi; The Knight in the Area
Date Aired: Jan 7, 2012
Producers: TV Asahi, Shin-Ei Animation
Director: Hirofumi Ogura
Original Creator: Hiroaki Igano (story) Kaya Tsukiyama (art)
Genres: Comedy, School, Romance, Shounen, Sports
Characters & Voice Actors:
Aizawa, Kakeru: Sanpei, Yuuko
Mishima, Nana: Itou, Shizuka
Aizawa, Suguru: Fukuyama, Jun
Believing himself to be useless at football, Aizawa Kakeru opts to become the manager of his school's football team, while his brother Suguru is its ace, and is even good enough to represent Japan. However, Kakeru may be harbouring a strong talent within himself that only Suguru can see, and the two often get into arguments over Kakeru's denial of his skills. Things are made more complicated with the return of Nana, an old playmate of theirs that Kakeru has a crush on. Join the brothers in their journey to the national and even international championships!
(Source: ANN and MAL)
Additional Thoughts: The soccer version (reverse) of Cross Game? It definitely has a similar feel to it. You have an two brothers where one is the overachieving star athlete and the other lives in his shadows. The eldest brother (Suguru), who is the pride of Japan's soccer youth league, wishes his younger brother would get over a past incident that happened some time ago. The incident caused the younger brother (Kakeru) to fear shooting with one of his legs. Thus he has taken up the manager position on Suguru's team. An old friend Mishama Nana (romantic interest of the story?) moves back into their lives as a major life turning event is about to take place for both brothers.
I'm a fan of the sports genre anime so this particular anime caught my eye. The first episode starts off as an introduction of the characters and shows the up and down relationship between the brothers. They seem to be friendly enough but you can see as the episode progresses that the eldest brother is disappointed in his manager little brother. They used to play together when they were younger and formed a strong duo. Now Kakeru is just living in Suguru's shadow and he doesn't try to hide this fact. Actually he is very content.
Along comes back to town their childhood friend Nana who supposedly had a crush on Suguru. She see's that Kakeru is now a manager for his team and is surprised because she has always seen the potential in Kakeru. I won't spoil in this particular post but very interesting events take place in episode two and the fallout of the incident makes for a tense third episode.
Well if anyone else decides to watch this I'll give my thoughts on the next couple episodes later. I know sports genre anime are not the most popular but I'll be keeping up with the series if anybody decides they want to have some quality dialogue.
Im watching and enjoying this too. Best thing so far is defenitely that they didnt spent 20 eps about Kakeru crying because he has the heart of his brother.
I watched it up to ep 4 (5 aired yesterday if I think right) and for now its pretty good, but really predictable, be it who the alien was or what happens to Suguru. Or anything else.
The most interesting character so far is by far Ayaka-sensei since I wonder about her deep interest in the Kakeru-matter. Maybe something like that happened to her too.
But you have to explain something to me senpai-kun. Why do you thank Nana was in love with Sugeru? Neither in the flashbacks nor in the present I can find a indication for that. To be honest in my eyes she is far more interested in Kakeru than Suguru. Or did you just say that because that was the obvious/predictable route for this?
I don't know if she was in love with Suguru (can a kid really be in love?) but I could have sworn that during one of the episodes that somebody said she had a crush on Suguru when they were younger. The younger sister was the one who said that Kakeru had a crush on Nana for sure so I'm positive on that fact. I would have to go back and see if I can find who said that though.
Now I do agree that ever since Nana has returned that it's not apparent or obvious that she liked Suguru. But I think that her character (this older version) isn't the type to be fawning all over anyone like an, eyes wide open, heart on your sleeve, type schoolgirl. She's almost been like Kakeru's caretaker in a way because he's the one who needed the most looking after. But there is one other thing to keep in mind involving the whole 'love interest' angle. Since Kakeru now has Suguru's heart, and some of his mannerisms, it's almost like she can love them both. Maybe that will be something they address in future episodes or possibly not -- who knows. That is really what I meant by the story's love interest when I did the original post.
This show is OK but it has gotten pretty ridiculous besides being very predictable. The fact that Kakeru's problem with futbol is that he "lacked the heart" to shoot with his left and than having his heart literally replaced was just over the top for me. I was face-palming while watching all of that unfold. The nurse is my favorite character so far. The comment she made to Nana about whether it was Suguru's heart or Kakeru the one that responded to her was priceless. Too bad this show is nowhere near as good as Giant Killing was. I've decided to watch this shows in its entirety though as I am curious as to how it will turn out.
Blooming flower, please tell me
Why do people fight and hurt one another ?
That's what I've been thinking. I think I got maybe 3/4ths of the way through Giant Killing before I stopped watching, but thought the show was great. (Stopped watching not because I disliked the show or anything like that, just happens to me with shows that I'm not super invested in nowadays). I feel like I roll my eyes every so often at things, like when Kakeru goes into Super Suguru Mode. Also his reasoning for not kicking with his left foot was just plain stupid. The show just tends toward the melodramatic. But for now I'll keep on watching, and maybe this will make me finally finish Giant Killing.
Sports anime though have just far too much to live up to in my mind now. Gotta blame that on Cross Game for being such a superb story that it raises the bar too high.
Hm, am I the only one who found the nurse kinda obnoxious?
That's why I was saying earlier that sports anime are not everyone's cup of tea. Because you have those that are more serious like Giant Killing and then you have the ones you refer to as more melodrama. I would like to point out that so far Cross Game and Area no Kishi are probably more similar than you like to believe when it comes to drama. They both involve major deaths early on in the series and both play around with romantic angles (assuming that Area no Kishi will since I've seen romance in the genre labels).
I can see where Area no Kishi can be a bit more dramatic though when it comes to the brother's heart transplant angle. The female hospital psychologist did say that in some cases it was reported that the person who gets the transplanted heart takes on some of that person's traits. When I heard that I also kinda raised an eyebrow but it's not like I'm a doctor and have any real knowledge if that could possibly be true or not. I think instead of taking things too seriously I just want to be entertained by the story. If you have to go a little bit at of the realm of logical reasoning I'm okay with that.
I fully realize how similar they are in concept with that regard. Cross Game just does it with so much more finesse and has such better writing so far. But i'm gonna continue to give it a chance.
I have heard of that phenomenon before, but Area no Kishi just takes it to an extreme, but not quite so far as how it's been done in other media. (THink of the tree house of horror episode where Homer gets a hair transplant of a murderer and starts killing people). It's called Cellular Memory, as I just googled it to find out. In the cases of it the recipients of the organ undergo minor personality changes such as tastes, opinions, cravings, and other mild personality changes.
This post has been edited by Barbobot on Feb 04 2012, 10:10 PM
comparing this to the master piece that is Cross Game? Blasphemy I say!!! This show doesn't even deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence . Like you mentioned there are quite a bit o similarities between this and Cross Game the one big difference is that in Cross Game all of that came together wonderfully while in this show it just comes of as rather cheap. Suguru's death had nowhere near the impact that wakaba's death had. It was a pretty convenient way to remedy that "lack of heart" Suguru mentioned. As for the split personality, I'm as skeptical as you, it sounds pretty ridiculous. Apparently its something called cellular memory, there are a bunch of stories out there about it.
Actually that is the reason that I like her. The way she messed with Nana was very entertaining.
LOL I got ninja posted
This post has been edited by oppai-ga-suki on Feb 04 2012, 10:20 PM
I dropped this one after episode one. I wanted to really try to watch it but found myself turned off by the story and the characters...I too, compared it to the greatness that is Futbol "Giant Killing anime style" but well, this one was no where near that fun series. Ossi-san let me have it for comparing. Now, I understand that GK was in a setting quite different but I was referring to the quality of story line, characters that could really appeal to me and capture my fancy, so as to keep me watching...none of that happened. I read what would come after I stopped watching and even then, I did not feel compelled to pick it up again...but wait!
I saw this on MAL and realized that drama is to be had everywhere one goes...
Episode Director of Area no Kishi Apologized For Insulting Director Ogura Hirofumi
This post has been edited by ImTakes on Feb 05 2012, 03:58 AM
The first few minutes of the fifth ep were so bad I thought I watch a fake version in both sound and visuals. The 2 or 3 year timejump alone was completely stupid but the recruting for the fun club was even more so -.-
The second half was ok again, but still I cant believe they turned the person Kakeru was searching for into a "fat comedian" -.-
The nurse obnoxious? Why?
This post has been edited by Killer_Ossi on Feb 05 2012, 09:47 AM
I watched episode five last night and yeah the first half of the episode did lean towards the boring side a bit. Though Kakeru must have been eating his vitamins and drinking his milk because he kinda towers over Seven now. Did anybody else notice Seven's swimsuit from the backside view (not front). I almost experienced a Seven Swell Phenomena in the pants area (Eureka Seven fans).
Why was the time skip stupid? If they wanted to focus the story around him joining a high school club wasn't it necessary? Now the fun club was typical sports shounen. Have a made up club full of the lesser known rise up against the established club. They were definitely going for that whole underdog overcomes the improbable angle. Dare I envision Kakeru and the FC actually losing to the main club? They did have me going there for a second when that teacher (FC club advisor) gave that speech about aiming beyond winning high school tournaments and aiming for the nationals etc. I thought that he was going to reveal that the FC was actually some super secret club of elite level players. Then ten seconds after the speech you find out -- ummm not exactly lol.
oppai shhhh... if Aoba finds out about this she will take back my fan club membership haha well I certainly wouldn't put this anime in the same class as Cross Game. After all there has only been like five episodes released. Plus my expectations weren't that high going into this. Cross Game had a lot more buzz and rightfully so.
Nothing too terribly exciting happened in episode six. The match between the SC and FC club got underway and things were going well for Kakeru and the guys for a while. Then as predicted the SC started to pull away because they are just more talented and physically imposing. So you knew something was going to have to turn the tide of the game and right at the end of the episode Araki the "king" (umm I won't bother getting into what I think about his nickname) makes his way onto the stage for his errr "magic" show as he so lamely put it. Hmm all I can say right now is that this is at least better than the other sports show going The New Prince of Tennis which is I know not exactly a ringing endorsement.
It gets worse and worse. Suddenly Araki is all thin and gay instead of fat and emo and even the game is a laugh since even the Inazuma Eleven crew would call their shots completely ridiculous.
This is far too much made for comedy what is a real shame, especially since Im currently reading the Whistle-manga so I see it done right.
Nana is really the only thing I watch this for, but I guess not for any longer.
I remember my cousin telling me it got addicted to this series when it first started airing and to be honest, I was really considering watching this but I've read a few bad things about it, I'm usually not one that stops from watching something when ppl say it's bad, its usually the opposite for me.
Anyways, I'm thinking of watching this just before the final episode starts airing.
My Incomplete Anime List =P
LUNA is mine!!!!!!!!!!!!
TYPE-MOON Slave....TSUKIHIME ROCKSSSS!!!!
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Captain(Taichou) of GHFC ~*Ghost Hunt Fan Club*~!!
Proud member of NBP ~*NANA Blogish Posters*~!!
Proud member of KKA~Kawaii Kawaii Asa-sempai~!!
Proud member of MSFGFC ~*Manabi Straight Forward Go Fan Clubber*~!!
Proud member of NGEC ~*Neon Genesis Evangelion Crew*~!! (a "permanent" prisoner of the EVA thread)
Leader of YNSHFC ~*Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge Fan Club*~!!
Leader of BRFCFC ~*Busou Renkin Forever Campaign Fan Club*~!!
Area no Kishi is based off an ongoing manga that involves Kakeru Aizawa who dreams to be the Knight of the Area that his deceased elder brother, Suguru Aizawa, imagined him to be. With Suguru's heart transplanted into Kakeru, Kakeru now feels his brother's spirit inside him and the urge to be the soccer player and striker in Japan, with his first goal being the inter-high champion. Area no Kishi ran for 37 episodes beginning in Winter 2012 and was simulcasted by CrunchyRoll.
Area no Kishi is the one of two soccer anime titles these past few seasons, with Ginga e Kickoff! being the other. While the latter title is still ongoing, Area no Kishi is yet another one of those shows that simultaneously tries too hard at being another while throwing in original elements from the other end of the spectrum. In this case, the show tries too hard at being Cross Game, a show where someone dies and makes a large impact on someone else's performance in sports. As for original elements, it's "comedy." Unfortunately, the comedy is extremely bland and doesn't fit well with the show. Furthermore, the soccer "skills" in this show are far from believable yet attempts to pass it off as tamed, which is usually not a good thing to do. The biggest flaw of course came in the initial episodes where Kakeru saves a kid from being run over by a car with a single kick of a soccer ball at the weirdest possible angle. The weirdness only continues from there for the remainder of the series. The suspense of the soccer matches are also nowhere near as exciting as they should be. A lot of recycled plays are often found and there's no clear explanation or visual of deducing and getting around an opponent's strategy. This point is where Giant Killing prevailed a few years ago and Area no Kishi failed. Instead, the series relies heavily on "miracles." Araki's volatile weight problem also remains unbelievable.
Art is okay for the show. The backgrounds are a bit bland but okay for the most part. Character designs are nice and colorful but don't really match the backgrounds. Animation, however, is incredibly basic. Movements are stiff and repetitive and there's a heavy reliance on special effects for a number of plays. Last I checked, soccer plays don't involve the ball moving in impossible angles. If this show tried something like Kuroko no Basuke's explanation or approach, there would at least be some backing to it, but in the end, they simply call these players or executors "geniuses." Animation wise, Shin-Ei Animation is behind this. This is the studio behind Doraemon and Crayon Shin-chan so I would say this is probably still on par as they don't seem to have improved significantly over the years. Of course, they also did Jungle wa Itsumo Hare nochi Guu, which is still quality animation to this day for them.
OP is boring and forgettable. There is no ED for the series. Background music is often just repetitive variations of the OP instrumental. Sound effects are below average with a huge lack of appropriate soccer sound effects. Seiyuu wise, Yuuko Sanpei was disappointing as Kakeru. Far too annoying considering her experience as Yumehara Nozomi (Cure Dream) or Renton in Eureka Seven. Shizuka Itou as Nana was solid as was Jun Fukuyama as Suguru.
Enjoyment? Area no Kishi started off with some potential but quickly turned south with its "miracles" and poor sense of humor. It quickly became a drag to watch and given that it seems like the show ended earlier than anticipated, it likely means the ratings agree. Ginga e Kickoff! was clearly a better choice from the get go despite an equally annoying protagonist.
Overall, Giant Killing and Cross Game are far superior alternatives to Area no Kishi. You could also throw in Inazuma Eleven if you want soccer with superpowers. Area no Kishi has nothing that the former two don't already do much better though. Furthermore, the 37 episodes don't even provide a satisfying conclusion or anything to really look forward to in the future if this show does get a sequel.
Preliminary Score: 8/10
Final Score: 4/10
And a couple of other parting thoughts for this show:
I believe this show was originally planned (or at least from what I recall) for more or less 52 episodes but seeing as the show was reduced by an entire cour, I presume it was cut from the lineup due to poor ratings as the ending was rather abrupt. That said, this isn't the first show to have happen and in fact it seems to be happening more recently with Beelzebub, Sket Dance, and Bleach all facing the same fate recently. In fact, I would not be surprised if we see Naruto Shippuden cut short soon. If this thinking is correct, however, I think it's good for the industry as it frees up space for more shows and also keeps trash at a minimum for these longer running titles. Gintama is a great example of utilizing it to the fullest thus far.
Top 5 Ongoing anime (6/5/2012)
*Note: Gundam Seed HD Remaster does not count*
1) Fate/Zero 2
2) Aquarion EVOL
3) Sakamichi no Apollon
4) Lupin the Third: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna
5) Accel World
-Lacus (Gundam Seed/Destiny)
-Hayami (H2O ~Footprints in the Sand~)
-Priecia (Prism Ark)
-Fate (Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A's)
-Caro (Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS)
-Yuuko Amamiya (ef ~A Tale of Memories/Melodies~)
-Yomi (Ga-Rei -Zero-)
-Nanaka (Myself; Yourself)
-Reika (Goshuushou-sama Ninomiya-kun)
-Rika Furude (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni/Kai)
-Hanyuu Furude (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai)
-Riko (Gift ~Eternal Rainbow~)
-Tamao (Strawberry Panic)
-Nagisa (Strawberry Panic)
-C.C. (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion)
-Makoto (Kanon 2002/2006)
-Mai (Kanon 2002/2006)
-Chikane Himemiya (Kannazuki no Miko)
-Kaon (Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora)
-Hazuki (Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito/Touka Gettan)
-Hatsumi (Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito/Touka Gettan)
-Shana (Shakugan no Shana)
-Chiara Toscana (Shakugan no Shana)
-Nagi Sanzenin (Hayate no Gotoku)
-Hinagiku Katsura (Hayate no Gotoku)
-Yami (To Love-Ru)
-Mikan (To Love-Ru)
-Sora Kasugano (Yosuga no Sora -In Solitude Where We Are Least Alone-)
-Marta Lualdi (Tales of Symphonia Knight of Ratatoskr)
-Haruka Nogizaka (Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu)
-Mika Nogizaka (Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu)
-Alistia Rein (Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu Purezza)
-Kotori Shirakawa (Da Capo)
-Nanaka Shirakawa (Da Capo II)
-Suiseiseki (Rozen Maiden)
-Suigintou (Rozen Maiden)
-Sheryl Nome (Macross Frontier)
-Ranka Lee (Macross Frontier)
-Tomoyo Sakagami (Clannad)
-Suiseiseki (Rozen Maiden)
-Suigintou (Rozen Maiden)
-Index (To Aru Majutsu no Index)
-Taiga Aisaka (Toradora!)
-Mana (Gigantic Formula)
-Yumemi Hidaka (Munto)
-Rina Ogata (White Album)
-Azusa Nakano (K-ON!)
-Nodoka Haramura (Saki)
-Amae Koromo (Saki)
-Kanade (Asura Cryin')
-Misao (Asura Cryin')
-Misaki (Hatsukoi Limited)
-Koyoi (Hatsukoi Limited)
-Alice (Pandora Hearts)
-Ada (Pandora Hearts)
-Sengoku Nadeko (Bakemonogatari)
-Shizuku Sakurai (Candy Boy)
-Seika Houjouin (Princess Lover!)
-Airi (Queen's Blade)
-Mafuyu (Seitokai no Ichizon)
-Kaede Sakura (Kampfer)
-Chise and Chiho (Kobato)
-Belphegor (Umineko no Naku Koro ni)
-Lucifer (Umineko no Naku Koro ni)
-Frederica Bernkastel (Umineko no Naku Koro ni)
-Kukuri Tachibana (11eyes)
-Nymph (Sora no Otoshimono)
-Mina Tepes (Dance in the Vampire Bund)
-Kureha Suminoya (Sora no Woto)
-Sylvette Suede (Letter Bee)
-Fumino Serizawa (Mayoi Neko Overrun!)
-Yui (Angel Beats!)
-Kanade Tachibana/Tenshi (Angel Beats!)
-Poplar Taneshima (Working!!)
-Aoba Tsukishima (Cross Game)
-Haruka Morishima (Amagami SS)
-Amu Hinamori (Shugo Chara!)
-Rima Mashiro (Shugo Chara!)
-Ryouko Ookami (Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi)
-Hitoha Marui (Mitsudomoe)
-Kirino Kousaka (Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai)
-Kuroneko/Ruri Gokou (Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai)
-Ayase Aragaki (Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai)
-Mio Isurugi (MM!)
-Zakuro (Otome Youkai Zakuro)
-Wendy Marvell (Fairy Tail)
-Mirajane (Fairy Tail)
-Stocking (Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt)
-Tsukasa Ayatasuji (Amagami SS)
-Feldt Grace (Gundam 00)
-Mileina Vashti (Gundam 00)
-Saori Chiba (Hourou Musuko)
-Homura Akemi (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica)
-Naruko Anjou (Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai)
-Eucliwood Hellscythe (Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?)
-Sarasvati (Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?)
-Aria Kanzaki (Hidan no Aria)
-Victorique de Blois (Gosick)
-Cordelia Gallo (Gosick)
-Yuina Wakura (Hanasaku Iroha)
-Erio Touwa (Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko)
-Yuuko Shionji a.k.a Alice (Kami-sama no Memochou)
-Subaru Konoe (Mayo Chiki!)
-Himea Saito (Itsuka Tenma no Kuro-Usagi)
-Dalian (Dantalian no Shoka)
-Misaki Tokura (Cardfight!! Vanguard)
-Ruri Aiba (Sacred Seven)
-Iori Minase (The [email protected])
-Miki Hoshii (The [email protected])
-Kyouko Toshinou (Yuru Yuri)
-Fear Kubrick (C3)
-Yukiko Amagi (Persona 4)
-Rise Kujikawa (Persona 4)
-Kobato Hasegawa (Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai)
-Sena Kashiwazaki (Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai)
-Horizon Ariadust (Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon)
-Tsugumi (Guilty Crown)
-Inori Yuzuriha (Guilty Crown)
-Ririchiyo Shirakiin (Inu x Boku SS)
-Chihaya Ayase (Chihayafuru)
-Mikono Suzushiro (Aquarion EVOL)
-Yunoha Suroor (Aquarion EVOL)
-Crea Torosera (Aquarion EVOL)
-Chiaki Kurihara (Mouretsu Uchuu Kaizoku)
-Nana Mishima (Area no Kishi)
-Toki Onjouji (Saki -Achiga-hen-)
-Ryuuka Shimizudani (Saki -Achiga-hen-)
-Kuroyukihime (Accel World)
-Tsumiki Miniwa (Acchi Kocchi)
-Chieri Sono (AKB0048)
And another show I am surprised is over and stopped somewhere in the middle just like Sket Dance (which seems to be a new old trend coming back to live).
So what to say about this show. Its by nowhere good in the sense of it doing anything right.
The worst point first, the comedy. It totally sucked and almost made me drop it in the beginning and never got any better.
The football itself wasnt that much better with a lot of shoots beeing totally ridiculous (for example Kakerus Phi Trick which wouldnt ever work in reality), but thats the norm for football animes.
Characterwise wasnt good either. A lot of characters were totally annyoing (for example Araki, Da Silva, Mai, Nadeshikos coach) and the ones who were not didnt get enouhg screentime,for example Nana or Ishiki. Ok Nana got a lot of screentime but there she always just did the same sadly.
Characterdevelopment was none. The stuff with Kakerus brother was done with quickly and they never really got into Mai loving Kakeru, while he loves Nana which wouldve been interesting to see how it develops. For the other characters there was none either.
Animation was pretty bad without any details and sloppy faces. At least most girls and woman were beautiful so was sufficient-
Overall this show has done so many things wrong and nothing right, but despite all that I still enjoyed it because of who knows why. My guess is because of two reasons, beein football and Nana.
Rating this one is really hard because its a bad anime but I enjoyed it. Guess I will go with a 6/10.