What’s this about? Hinaoka Masaki also known as “Corgi” was born and raised near the coastal city of Ōarai. Despite having grown up near the ocean he’s never been interested in surfing until he meets an intriguing fellow teen named Akitsuki Shō riding the waves and is awestruck. After his fateful encounter with Shō, Masaki is determined to learn the joys of surfing with his old and new friends.
This seems to be the season of hot boys doing sporty things. I’ll admit for the exception of Yuri!!! On Ice and Crimson Hero, I don’t really like sports anime. I grew up surrounded in an intense soccer loving culture so any story that focuses too much on the rules of the game, and the fandom culture of sports is an immediate snooze fest for me (sorry sports fans, I like the politics about sports though).
Granted, I can make exceptions so if the story is good enough. There hasn’t been a major successful aquatic sports anime since FREE! and I wondered if Wave!! Let’s go surfing!! would fill that void. My short answer is “No,” and overall this premiere was a strong OK.
In the beginning of the episode we got a quick introduction of all the boys we are going to meet throughout the series, but our primary interest is supposed to be the happy-go-lucky kid named Hinaoka Masaski. He isn’t a bad kid, but aside from being hyper and maybe a prodigy, he isn’t that interesting at all. The only thing notable about Masaki’s is his clear “adoration” and developing friendship with Shō.
Surprisingly, the stand out character for me was Masaki’s childhood friend Nalu and the fact that he’s a Japanese-Hawaiian mix raced teen. It’s not often I get to see mixed raced folks in anime, so Nalu’s character was refreshing, but I worried the overuse of his ukelele throughout the episode was just the show’s way of saying “Hey! Look at him, he’s exotic.” I hope they tone it down in later episodes because I can see viewers becoming frustrated with his character, but otherwise he’s alright.
The rest of the episode was basically a “Learn How to Surf 101 Tutorial,” but I was confused why Masaki’s friends would teach him how to surf before teaching him how to swim. I guess since he’s the protagonist it doesn’t matter so I shouldn’t be questioning these things.
The bad CG really took me out of the surfing moments, and even Masaki’s shining moment at the end of the episode wasn’t spared. Like I said earlier, this premiere was OK, so if you like sports anime check out a couple of more episodes to see if you like it, but this show just wasn’t for me.