[Review] ALL OUT!! – episode 1

Gion is a small but tough-talking and violent high school freshman who is captivated by rugby after watching a game with fellow freshman Iwashimizu. However, tall and gentle Iwashimizu has played rugby before and wants no part of it, a decision Gion decides he cannot accept.

This anime has built up a bit of a reputation for manservice based on its trailers, which seem to have been based on the butt-filled opening credits. The actual anime itself is a very typical shonen sports story, playing off a similar odd couple dynamic as Eyeshield 21, only with the violent guy lacking all knowledge of the sport and the gentle guy having all the natural talent and experience.

Gion is given some nice development even within the episode, going from successfully tackling bigger people out of anger to being inspired and motivated by his failure to tackle someone stronger than he is. His brashness begins to be tempered by respect, and he could be in for a “with great power comes great responsibility” arc; the prospect of injury is raised prominently in this episode, and he has some pretty personal reasons for lashing out the way he does. Strengthening that response with proper technique without also harnessing his temper could be disastrous for him and his teammates.

Iwashimizu is also potentially an interesting character, and I hope that he doesn’t end up completely dropping the non-rugby interests he mentions this episode. Single-minded sports stars are ten a penny in shonen anime, and Gion looks to be headed down that road. It would be nice for him to have a rival who does better while maintaining multiple hobbies.

Butts are never a selling point for me, so I’m actually more enthusiastic about ALL OUT!! now that image has been shattered. I will definitely be watching more.

Read the ANN Preview Guide review.

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