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Ahiru no Sora


By BoblobV2Published 3 years ago 3 min read

What stands out about Ahiru no Sora is that fact that while basketball is a huge component of the anime, and a lot of time is devoted to it, much of the drama in the narrative comes from outside of the court. It is a story that revolves around the characters rather than the sport itself, which makes it different from sports anime such as Haikyuu, or Kuroko no Basket. This makes it neither better nor worse than either of the anime I mentioned, it makes Ahiru different.

The basic narrative is quite basic, and starts off in a generic manner. The main protagonist starts high school and wants to be in a basketball club desperately. He is on the shorter side and has to fight against the odds to stand on the court while getting players together so that they would be able to compete in tournaments. If you are seeing connections to Haikyuu, that is very understandable, both are sports that have an emphasis on a height advantage, and shorter players have to be creative when they are on the court. Gathering the players, going to tournaments, and developing rivals, all sports anime hallmarks. However, that is where the comparisons end.

Ahiru is a show that balances the drama between what happens in the players lives outside the court and on it. Naturally if you are expecting a sports anime in the vein of Kuroko, you will be disappointed because the focus of basketball is not as high in comparison. If you are looking for a drama, there is the very real possibility that you would be disappointed because there is a fair dose of basketball present throughout the show. This is a show that has a balanced dose of drama both on and off the court.

There is a wide range of characters in the show, both in terms of personality, and in terms of the difference in skill level that they all have. In terms of skill you have experienced players, and complete novices coming together to play in the team, and in terms of personality, it is a group that you would not expect to form a basketball club together as most of them start out as delinquents causing trouble. Seeing them change from hoodlums to a set of players that wants to do the best they can for the team is a gradual and satisfying journey.

In addition, the challenges that each of the characters are different from each other as they have to work through it in their own way, whether it be alone, or with the help of others and with each challenge they overcome the stronger the bond between them becomes. In terms of basketball this is a pure underdog story, and in terms of personal drama it is one of self actualization, coming to terms with and learning who they are. What is incredibly interesting is seeing how the different characters interact with each other, the chemistry can be volatile and at times can be incredibly stable, it is a delicate balance that is handled quite well.

Interestingly, unlike most anime today where a single season is likely to last between 11 to 25 episodes before returning the next year, Ahiru had a 50 episode run right away. This is an interesting choice, however when watching the anime, one cannot help but feel that as a result of that the visuals had to be sacrificed. What I mean by this is the fact that when the show is still it looks quite average, and when movement is required, there are a lot of reused animations, still frames and the like to give the illusion of movement. This makes it quite inferior to many of the other sports anime coming out today. If it had been spread out over a few years as opposed to a single year, the visual quality may have improved, and may have been more bearable for the animators. Though this is speculation on my part with no concrete evidence so I shall leave it at that.

The music in the show is quite memorable as well, the openings and the original soundtrack, as I have found myself going back to listen to various aspects of them since I finished it.

Finally what I will say is that, if you are going to be watching this, it would be better to approach this as a slice of life that has basketball in it rather than a basketball anime that has a slice of life in it. Imagine One Tree Hill, but with a little more basketball in there.


About the Creator


Writing about anime, and anything else I find interesting.

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