Giant Killing 26

Much like Gino's former manager, I have to scramble to find something to fill the void left by this series.

Spending six months blogging this series has brought much more than I thought it would. Through the end of the European domestic season and the World Cup into the start of the new season, Giant Killing provided me the brief chance to combine two of my passions in this one space as we followed East Tokyo United through half of a season. Of course I hope for additional seasons of this as the entertainment value of the show was incredibly high as it weighed realism with professional sport. As DVD sales of the show seem disappointing and the inevitable sad conclusion to the story anyway probably mean this is the last we see of this team.

I can't be the only one who thinks this should have been used in the OP instead.

The final episode sees ETU start a new winning run after their win over Osaka, while Akasaki gets called up to the Olympic team forcing Tatsumi to make changes to his lineup. Finally, in a moment of inspiration, Tatsumi organizes a community curry party on a whim which proves to be successful. The three items addressed today are Tatsumi’s squad rotation issues, internationals and building a community club.

Miyano makes his first appearance in this episode as an enforced change

Squad Rotation

With Akasaki’s little international football adventure and Kuroda being suspended due to yellow card accumulation (off screen apparently), Tatsumi was forced to make some changes against Chiba. With that in mind, their Serbian manager targeted their attacks at Kamei, who looked well short of match fitness. Though ETU got a point out of that match, it perhaps shows how lucky Tatsumi has been with his squad this season.

Akasaki on international duty, completely forgetting they should have beaten Hong Kong by more than a single goal

International Football and the loss of Realism

For ETU, having someone from their team to represent Japan at any level seems like an accomplishment. Akasaki being Tatsumi’s first international player is an accomplishment for the manager. There certainly were questions I had about the whole manner in which the national team is portrayed, though.

In real life, 2/3rds of J. League clubs have had at least one player represented on the national team at senior level. Understandably, none of ETU’s older players would justify a call-up at that level anyway. With 3 first-team regulars who qualify for the Olympic side, it makes less sense that none of them would have been called up to this point. The U-23 side in real life sees players from the third tier of the Japanese leagues represented, so why wouldn’t they call up players facing better opposition consistently be called up before then?

I think more should have been made of the fact they could only beat Hong Kong 1-0, but last year Hong Kong’s Olympic team did beat a U-20 Japan side on penalties at home, so it isn’t completely out of the realm of possibility.

Ah, the return of tsundere Kuroda.

Més que un club

At times in this episode, Tatsumi seemed rather disinterested. The curry party at the end seemed to light a fire under him and really symbolized all he wanted the club to be. At his English club, Tatsumi became a part of the community and was celebrated for the clubs success in knocking off league opposition in the FA Cup. With a much larger staff at ETU, Tatsumi was able to organize an event that connected the community, players and support staff at ETU together at a fun event.

In about 5 years, this would have been a league match in the Blue Square South.

Thoughts: This is actually the first series I’ve completed here, so this completion thing is a new thing for me. I have to say it was a good experience writing about this unique series, though its lack of commercial success is hardly surprising. So the storylines involving the Japan Cup, safety in the league, the backstory involving the leader of the Skulls will probably never be resolved in this medium. Thinking further about it, outside of this little aniblogosphere thing, does Giant Killing have any sort of impact? Finally, a question for my readers here. Since I have some time to fill in my “Blogging a show other than Legend of the Galactic Heroes” slot, is there any series I should really be looking at to write about past or present?

10 thoughts on “Giant Killing 26”

  1. I don’t think it’s made a big impact at all, though it did satisfy those who are interested in football primarily.

    I mean, are most anime fans sports fans? Think about it.

    I think we’re a minority here, as multi-sports enthusiasts. It’s not going to convert sports enthusiasts into anime viewers either.

    Too bad, I love this show, and I suppose I’ll just follow the manga soon.

    1. I think the percentage of anime sports fans is fairly small. I guess it’s my luck there are few things outside of anime that I have an interest in that link back to it. I’ll probably have to go look for the manga soon enough as it is.

  2. I’ve been checking your blog since you started weekly posts of GK and really enjoyed it.

    FYI, Giant Killing is a NHK show. It means the DVD sales has almost nothing to do with making second season. Their first TV run was aired by their Satellite TV channel which has extreamly low rating. But they do re-air multiple times by their official channels from next season. Also, they cannnot put ads on any media. that could result on low sales figure.

    1. Thank you for following my updates on the show. It’s also good to know that there is still hope of additional seasons if the re-airs do really well. We can only hope, right?

  3. I have to thank you for turning me on to this show. I’ve enjoyed both the show and your blog posts about it.

    As for anime fans who are also sports fans, well…..we seem to be in the minority. MY blog is actually about sports, but I use anime to illustrate the points I’m trying to make. I write mostly about soccer and motorsports. I know that Jason at blogsuki is a big sports fan…a lot of his blog posts have sports references.

    Giant Killing was a wonderful show and I’ve going to miss it. I hope they do a second season. I really liked the OP by The Cherry Cokes. The story was great, and it hit home.

    I laughed at your comment: In about 5 years, this would have been a league match in the Blue Square South.

    That could happen sooner than we think. Well…yeh, it might take 5 years come to think of it. Meanwhile, we can look forward to Queens Park Rangers and my Norwich City Canaries replacing Everton and Liverpool in the Premier League next year. There’s Giant Killing for ya.

    1. I probably don’t get around enough in the anime blogs to really know that many sports fans. There’s a few basketball fans out there and others who like motorsports, but I would hardly say they represent the average anime fan.

      It really was a wonderful show to watch and then blog. The second season possibility is really up in the air, but it will take some time for that to ever happen. Though maybe with the Asian Cup in the winter, interest might pick up.

      While it would be hilarious to see Liverpool and Everton go down, there are much more deserving teams like Wolves and Stoke who should join Liverpool in the Championship. Can’t say I’d want to see Norwich join QPR up in the Premier League next season as an Ipswich fan, but the East Anglian derby should really take place in the top division in my opinion.

  4. I’m in a smaller minority than most. I’m a female sports anime and manga fan. I’ve read or reading every sports manga and watched or watching every sport anime. I really love it. Thanks for all the GK love. It was a wonderful anime “period”. I hope there is more or someone brings the manga over, but then I want Ones Outs, too. Like that will happen. 😦

    1. One Outs is an interesting case for me from what little I’ve seen. The premise is patently absurd, and watching it as a fan of baseball, I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the defensive shifts. I can see where you are coming from though.

      1. One Outs is about gambling like Akagi, but it does develop into a decent baseball story, imo, with elements about gambling on what the other team will. Very similar to GK, in that respect.

      2. The whole gambling genre really hasn’t been something that appeals to me either. I know One Outs uses a gambling story to set up the baseball, but it seems like something I could only enjoy ironically. I’ll still give it a shot anyway.

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