HANEBADO!–Episode 7 Review: Winning’s All That Matters

Another HANEBADO! post that’s releasing after the next week’s episode has aired. This sort of thing should change fairly soon since I’ll have more time to space out my posting schedule and get things done, but once again, sorry for the late post (I should say sorry for all of the late posts…yeah, sorry. They’re coming…).

Anyway, HANEBADO! episode 7 was actually fairly decent aside from some issues I figure deal with physics and experience playing racket sports, as well as playing on what we know of our characters. Let’s get into this!

 

We start with our two major players of episode 7, Hanesaki and Kaoruko in a stairwell, and Kaoruko gives Hanesaki a handkerchief saying she’ll need it to wipe her tears away or something. Well, Hanesaki’s personality shift is in full effect now, so what we get is a faux reply…or, well maybe it’s a true reply and we’ve finally gotten to see who Hanesaki really is.

The Hanesaki we’ve come to know through the previous six episodes (or possibly five since there’s been focus on other characters) has been someone who doesn’t want to play, then someone who wants to be part of a club and make friends, and now we get…this. It’s drastic, but it’s also wonderful in a way. It has an ability to draw watchers in and wonder what’s going to happen with her next since she seems to be mentally unstable.

I do have a problem with our new Hanesaki, though: she’s too good. And by that I mean her athleticism is outrageous. Going on little tangent here, I’ve played a racket sport for years. I played tennis competitively for about seven to eight years (making my state tournament twice–a 1-2 record there, sadly…) and have played recreational tennis since I was about five or six, so seeing some of the movements that Hanesaki displays bothers me. The physics are off–to an extent.

Screenshot (123)
She would fall on her side or back doing this

The picture above raised some questions in my head. The way her body is moving, the way she’s extended her legs straight and is getting ready to return that shot by Kaoruko would force her to extend her arm straight back. This would make her a plank in the air. There should be no way she lands properly and has the ability to make to the net to return Kaoruko’s next shot. It shouldn’t be possible. Hanesaki would fall to the court and not have time to return Kaoruko’s next shot the way she does. But, I digress, as this is an anime, and physics aren’t it’s number one focus. It’s entertainment, so I guess I’ll have to deal with it. Hanesaki is playing like a girl possessed, and that’s interesting enough.

The match goes through some quick moments, but we get to see how the pace of the match is going. Kaoruko wants to play slower and wear Hanesaki down–because until now she’s really just been playing defense. However, Hanesaki displays a great sense of offense in this episode and quickens the pace of the match, which throws Kaoruko’s steady, calculated game off.

Screenshot (125)
Even Kentaro noticed Hanesaki’s change in style!!

So, we’re getting a completely different look at Hanesaki in this episode and I’m actually more intrigued than I initially thought I would be. We’re seeing character development, which I hope doesn’t plateau, but we’re also seeing how others are reacting to the development/change Hanesaki is displaying. It’s a good mix in my opinion.

We also get Hanesaki’s commentary on why she is the way she is. It’s Kaoruko’s fault. Because blaming others is totally okay. Hanesaki lost to Kaoruko, Hanesaki’s mom left and trained Connie in Denmark. Hanesaki became a shell of her former self, but now she’s “in top form” or something… Hmm… Maybe Hanesaki is just a jerk.

Screenshot (134)
Is there some fear here?

Kaoruko’s got an ace play in her repertoire called a “cross cut,” and I seriously have no idea what that is. The shuttle moves in an odd way, and players are thrown off by it I guess. But Hanesaki still picks that shot up, with another display of odd physical movement. I doubt she should have actually been able to pick that up, but anime.

The look on Hanesaki’s face is slightly confusing, as she seems to be fearful of losing the point, but somehow still ends up getting her shot over the net. It’s odd, and I’m starting to wonder if Hanesaki’s play is seriously a real thing. Is the show making her a goddess of badminton because that’s what we’ve been told from episode one? Is she so good that she can hit anything? I’m not really buying it to be honest.

Screenshot (136)
Oh my!! The handkerchief!!

Anyway, Kaoruko loses to Hanesaki, and our main character plays on the handkerchief scene from the beginning. She bends down and hold the thing out for Kaoruko, taunting her for what she said in the stairwell.

Hanesaki: calm down. Or…show some emotion…or something else. You’re actually frightening and becoming a bland character.

I think it’s weird how the character development we saw earlier can cause a character to become more bland instead of making them grow, but in this case we’re literally given a Hanesaki that seems to be unbeatable. There’s nothing she can’t hit, there’s nothing she can’t do while she’s in this mindless state of “winning’s the only thing that matters,” and I hope that the show cuts that off quickly.

Screenshot (137)
Can we get a rounded character again? Ugh…

Overall I think this episode did things well enough, proving that Hanesaki is, or at least could be, a prodigy and building up some suspense for a potential match-up in the finals–because it seems like Hanesaki is going to make it no matter what as of right now. The drastic change that happened previously seems to be overriding anything else, though, as we’ve lost who we thought Hanesaki was: the girl who wanted to make friends and enjoy badminton with the club. Now it’s all about winning, and I’m curious to know if we’re going to get that happy go-lucky Hanesaki back at all.

 

That’s all from me on episode 7! Thanks for reading and sorry it was so late!!

Alexie 🙂

 

 

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