Sports anime holds a special place in our hearts. The blood-pumping, adrenaline-inducing matches just hit the right spots. It gives us the image of our high school days as we casually and competitively played with our peers. There’s no other joy like winning a neck-to-neck match, and even if we do lose, we are comforted by the fact that we have good friends around us. When we picked up Sayonara Watashi no Cramer (Farewell, My Dear Cramer), we weren't sure what to expect from it. On one hand, it’s a soccer series, so there’s this expectation of seeing the usual passionate matches. On the other hand, the series is the brainchild of the acclaimed creator of Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April), and that gives a different kind of strong emotion. True enough, Farewell, My Dear Cramer turned out to be not our typical sports series. Here are the reasons.
Focus on Character Development
Most sports anime focuses on the characters’ goals. That often means going to nationals, becoming a pro, or something similar. That being said, the characters also develop along those lines. They both grow as athletes while building their teamwork and camaraderie. We’re not saying that Farewell, My Dear Cramer does not feature cool matches or that its characters aren’t growing as athletes. It’s just that the sports scenes in this series are, for the lack of a better term, softer. It feels like the series isn’t focusing on how the players will develop some kind of new move or how they will one-up their opponents, rather, it’s more focused on developing the characters’ relationship with each other. Even the matches rarely have highlight-worthy moves, which other sports series are packed with.
Few Distinct Characters
Since Farewell, My Dear Cramer is a soccer series, there are, logically, a lot of characters. The good thing, however, is that there are only a few distinct characters at the moment. That means we only have to focus on a handful of people at present. This is a huge plus given that Farewell, My Dear Cramer’s cast have different personalities.
First and foremost, we have the series protagonist, Nozomi Onda, whose passion for playing only comes when facing strong opponents. We also have Midori Soshizaki, a headstrong soccer player, and the quiet Sumire Suo. The most intriguing among them, however, is Aya Shiratori. Aya acts like a princess inside the field, but her skills, surprisingly, don’t back up her divaness. Despite the randomness of this group, they still somehow get along in the field.
Your Lie in April Meets Soccer
Watching this series is interestingly calming. Yes, even when they are doing their best in the field. There are multiple factors contributing to this. For one, the art style isn’t like the typical sports anime with a bright, contrasting palette. Instead, the series uses a more dull palette that is more typical of slice of life series. We should have expected this, since, as we’ve stated before, the series is from the same creator of Your Lie in April. Another factor is that the series doesn’t use flashy effects as the characters move or even when executing techniques. All in all, the series doesn’t give off much of a fiery sports feeling, but it’s not really a downfall. We actually see it as something new and interesting.
Picking up Farewell, My Dear Cramer, we initially didn't know what to expect. Despite our initial doubts, Farewell, My Dear Cramer turned out to be something we are really enjoying. It isn’t the typical sports series, which may turn away sports anime fans, but it’s not that it sucks. The keypoint here is to align your expectations with the series. If you’re looking for hardcore soccer anime, then the series probably won’t be to your satisfaction, but if you’re looking for a nice series to watch, then join us as we painstakingly wait for Farewell, My Dear Cramer’s next episode.