What’s it about? Tsuji Hideto is a bitter high school student who started to doubt his skills after his best friend moved away. It doesn’t help that the once famous Kakegawa High School soccer team is now weak, and there isn’t much hope they’ll be able to play in the national championships again. Before these melodramatic teens decide to get more angsty, world-renowned captain and former student named Kamiya Atsushi is asked to return and restore his old high school team to its former glory.
This is a good time to be a sports anime fan, since every season there seems to be at least one new spin-off to a popular 1990s manga being announced. I’m actually surprised that new anime adaptations aren’t in the works since a majority of these older series are finished, which gives animation companies plenty of source material to work with for years to come. Sure, they might be extremely outdated, but I can’t deny there is a certain charm to older sports series that just isn’t there in these spin-off shows.
Either way, I think it must be challenging for spin-offs to try to create a new story while also trying to pay homage to their predecessors. In the end, you can’t please everyone, only hope the new story being told will be receptive to both old and new fans. The original Shoot! won the 1994 Kodansha award and much like MAJOR is remembered fondly, so how does Shoot! Goal to the Future hold up?
Yeah…..this wasn’t a good premiere. The only nice thing I can say about the first episode is that the flashback sequences to the original Shoot! was actually nice and I would honestly prefer to watch that series rather than whatever this one is trying to do. I barely know these characters and already Hideto’s future teammate, Kazama Jou, wants to punch Hideto in the face for saying he isn’t interested in soccer. Hideto might as well have insulted Jou’s mother while he was at it, considering how all Jou did was scream and punch walls throughout the entire episode. Seriously, there’s so much over the top anger and angst with these characters that I found myself thinking they can easily fit in any of the telenovelas I watched growing up.
Hideto himself is an unlikable protagonist, which is a shame because I can honestly see how his character could’ve been interesting if only he was written better. I noticed in a lot of these spin-off/sequel shows the main protagonists tend to be jaded and angry compared to their pluckier older counterparts. I can definitely understand the appeal of following these bitter protagonists’ journey of self-discovery (especially if they aren’t prodigies) and that works well for characters like Daigo in MAJOR 2nd, since there was more to him than just his love of baseball. Unfortunately, I don’t see any of these characters having any depth to them aside from intense love of soccer and being mad at anyone insulting the game.
In terms of the animation production, the only noteworthy name is the series writer, Hirota Mitsutaka who wrote a couple of episodes for Rent-A-Girlfriend and Hunter x Hunter (2011). You know, sometimes the most experienced writer can’t adapt a source material that just isn’t good and I’m crossing my fingers they knock it out of the park with the upcoming Bibliophile Princess adaptation.
Anyways, I really didn’t like this one folks and I give it a hard pass.