First Impression: Backflip!!

Title: Backflip!!

Genre: Sports

Synopsis: Shoutarou Futaba has always loved sports, but he never became more than a benchwarmer on his middle school baseball team. After noticing a group of gymnasts practicing in the park, he decides to watch a rhythmic gymnastics tournament on a whim. Although displaying an exhilarating performance at the competition, the Shoushukan High School’s Rhythmic Gymnastics Club places second-to-last due to penalties acquired from not fielding a full six-man roster.

The demonstration of skill captivates Shoutarou, and he decides to enroll at Shoushukan in hopes of joining the team despite having no background in the sport. The club recruits him alongside Ryouya Misato, a prodigal gymnast who was the runner-up in a junior tournament.

Now with a full six-man roster, the team sets out to compete in the upcoming Inter-High tournament. As he strives to accomplish this ambitious endeavor, Shoutarou must learn and master the basics of rhythmic gymnastics all while working in tandem with his new teammates if Shoushukan wants to stand a chance at claiming the title. (Credit: https://myanimelist.net/anime/43756/Bakuten)

Right off the bat, I like the premise and the storyline. When it comes to sports anime, I want it sports heavy and with a point. We meet our protagonist who is nothing more than a benchwarmer for his baseball team. As he is leaving the game, he notices a group of boys stretching. Intrigued, Shotaro Futaba, our protagonist, decides to watch the boys’ rhythmic gymnastics competition going on.

Immediately, we get to see a full routine. The bar is set regarding what we can expect through the season. If the season continues to actually put a lot of the sport in the show, I’ll be pretty happy with it.

Shotaro is inspired and awed by their performance. I, for one, have never watched men’s rhythm gymnastics so I don’t know anything about the sport. I was pleased to see that our protagonist immediately engaged into a conversation with a couple of guys who broke down the very basics of scoring and why they scored so low despite being very, very good. Another point for this show. I like when the show explains the basics in a natural way. It was obvious our protagonist knew nothing about the sport, and the two sitting next to him naturally wanted to share their knowledge so he understood why their score was low.

Shotaro decides to go to the same high school as the team that inspired him in hopes of joining even though he has no experience. We’re immediately greeted with comic relief and the introduction of the individual team members’ personalities. Just like I like it! While passing out flyers, they meet a boy ready to join the team. Embarrassed and, now, intimidated, Shotaro spies on the team in their club room. To his dismay, he gets discovered and wrangled into an introductory session. This way, he can watch a team practice and decide if he wants to join.

We learn our protagonist has spent his life following others and this is the first time he’s wanted to pursue something on his own. This is what I like in a sports anime, too. He is obviously going to be naturally talented, but still an underdog. I can foresee in the season that he is going to have moments of doubt because his skill level isn’t as great. But, I think, that makes the best kind of sports anime.

I think as long as the series follows this flow, I’m going to add another enjoyable sports anime to my list!

2 thoughts on “First Impression: Backflip!!

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