So three weeks and 120+ episodes later, I have finally caught up with the current series on my list for this season and have noticed a common theme amongst a lot of them that doesn’t speak well for the current titles being produced from Japan. There just seems to be a lot of series this season aren’t that good at all and while few of them have proved to be under average the majority just hovers around the average meter for me and that isn’t limited to only one or two genres (as I really am not a heavy genre favouring type of watcher). But with every new season, there is bound to be a series that flies under the radar of most people but turns out to be an absolute gem above all of the other bloated and indeed overrated series (just look at K-ON and you will know what I mean). Basquash! is one such series which completely surprised me as I unfortunately fell into the same mentality as a lot of people before starting the series. “Meh, it’s just a crappy looking sports anime with mechas in”, was my thought but the funny thing is when an anime turns such an unfair and generalising sweeping statement onto it’s head and presents you with something that is of another dimension. Basquash! is this type of series and I believe that you would be mad to miss it.
The colourful cast
Now where to begin, well the world of Basquash! has quite a complex setup despite it’s initial impressions. What the viewer sees in the story is a typical hotblooded and troublemaking young boy (Dan) who causes trouble in his home town because of his hate for this sport called Big Foot Basketball (BFB) which is basketball played whilst riding big mechas and seemingly saps the life and soul out of the name of the sport. Ironically Dan becomes a legend in his home town when he trashes the place driving one of these mechas to show the town the heart and soul of a true basketball player. This legend soon spawned off a type of street basketball play style where there are no restrictive rules like the BFB. Then some more events happen in between with Dan facing off with other famous street basketball players and the rest is history when the name Basquash! was invented by Dan.
Dan AKA Dunk Mask a guy who can be so extremely cool when the situation calls for it (but a pure idiot at other times)
But this is only the tip of the iceberg for the series so far as there is a lot more complex stuff working in the background and ultimately a strong story with an vast cast of characters. In this universe, the moon has actually been turned into a place where only the most talented people can live and getting up there is no small task. For Dan it is his dream to go to the moon since the advanced technology there is the only chance Dan has in trying to help his sister (Coco) to be able to walk again due to an accident in the past when Dan was directly responsible for Coco’s legs being crushed by a bigfoot which changed her from being a lovely cheerful young girl into a silent and sheltered away hikkikomori causing Dan to be the rebel that we see today (starting to see a cycle here?).
As far as shounen series goes this is without doubt what you would expect to see from one. Dan is the tragic anti-hero who is fighting against authority whereas the high and mighty “moon people” are the ultimate evil. This theme is common and shouldn’t come across as being a surprise but what does surprise me is how all the different types of characters all match their roles so perfectly as well as to shine as individuals. There are a lot of characters here but none of them fade away after being shown just once whether they are main, supporting or just background. The sense of unity is important and this series delivers that in an extremely well way…in fact the only other series that comes to recent mind when it comes to a large colourful cast is undoubtly Gurren Lagann itself.
The funky theme of the series is also one which I can relate to towards Gurren Lagann as well as Soul Eater. The OP/ED theme themselves proves that point really well.
So why did I decide to mention episode 7 in this entry when I have yet to touch upon it so far. Well the answer is simply because that I feel that this episode is really THE ONE in showing simply how awesome the series is. Like I’ve said on AnimeSuki, this is one of the first series since recent memory that really delivers in impact and I got BOTH goosebumps and a chill running down my spine when watching Dan tearing the whole town apart to show the fans the true meaning of Basquash! and not some crappy rebranding that a high ranking guy who came down from the moon is trying to turn it into. Basically the first “villain” we have here is a power hungry guy called James Lone who is the man behind BFB and is trying to turn Basquash! into something he owns by rebranding it to OCB (Open City BasketBall) and then to overload it with rules.
James Lone, a rich bastard
Well SCREW RULES is what I say and Dan is of the same mind. This is where his idiotically straightforward mind comes to work as he is the sort of character that would drill to the heavens (or to the moon) and kick reason to the curb. So no surprises that I am extremely attached to this series for being the type of series that makes me want to cheer and scream along with the crowd, and oh boy did I do that to the computer screen like a idiot :p
With an atmosphere like this, how can you NOT cheer?
But it is also worth to note that Dan isn’t entirely and idiot and he has his own complicated reasons for being the way he is and that is mainly because of his love for his sister and the undeniable regret that he feels. Common to a lot of shounen, this one also touches upon the reason to move forward and in this case, the motivation that fuels Dan’s over the top personality. This is where the thought from the viewers are inputted into the series and just adds so much more enjoyment (for me at least) when you can watch these character grow, learn and deepen their experiences over time. This is one simple joy of watching anime for me but over the times, a simple fact that is seemingly forgotten and we get crap themes being circulated around like a bad odor. Mindless comedy or extreme service seems to be what the majority wants nowadays but I would really prefer more series to be like this one and for good reason.
Thankfully this is a refreshing series and uniquely one of its’ kind. I really wish that it will continue to be as enjoyable as it has been so far and you never know, it might become one of the best series this season…now if only more people know about it so for those who already do, spread the word!
And don’t get put off by the service either, it is meant to be silly but she has a logical excuse why they are so big since living on the moon you experience less gravity, duh!