Shakunetsu Kabaddi is the story of Tatsuya Yoigoshi who has decided that he hates sports after his well-known fame in football (or soccer). However, he is pursued relentlessly by sports clubs who want him to join to give them the edge and win matches. But Yoigoshi stays firm and says no until he is dragged to a Kabaddi match by Souma Azemichi who easily overpowers him. As he is exposed to this new world that is similar to martial arts, he is inevitably drawn into the game and joins them. Will Yoigoshi learn to love this new sport? With only three episodes out, let’s take a look at our first impressions of this new sports anime.
The New World of Kabaddi
Kabaddi is a South Indian sport in the state of Tamil Nadu. As a sport that isn’t Japanese, it was of course doubtful whether the anime would do justice to the sport and capture its true essence. However, as we at Honey’s Anime watched the first three episodes of Burning Kabaddi, we’re convinced that the author Hajime Musashino has taken great care to ensure that the sport is reflected in its purest form without shying away. The anime shows the unfavorable opinion of people who do not know the true joy of this sport. Even the anime’s protagonist, Tatsuya Yoigoshi, finds the chant of “Kabaddi” during the game unsettling but it is portrayed in a way that is inoffensive.
The Power of a Team Against One
What’s a sports anime without the power of friendshi- no wait, team? Burning Kabaddi does a refreshing take on this common theme as we get to watch the protagonist Yoigoshi grow with his teammates. As he identifies his weakness of doing everything by himself, we can see the trajectory that the story is taking but that is not a bad thing because this anime has so many other plus points that keep it engaging. One of the best moments so far is when Yoigoshi and Azemichi use the crowds at subway stations to learn how to work together while still getting better at evading people.
The Characters are Adorable, Funny, AND Scary
The characters of Shakunetsu Kabaddi have unique yet typical anime personalities. But they’re extremely good-looking too! The protagonist, Yoigoshi, is an overachiever who strives to do everything by himself while Azemichi is the complete opposite. They fight against each other a lot but rely on each other at the end of the day. The vice-captain, Iura, is extremely good-looking yet evil and calculating, making him one hell of a character. The other teammates, Date and Misumi, have a very unique bond that makes their walls unbreakable during the game. The anime incorporates simple bonding that the teammates develop outside the court. When the soccer team makes fun of the Kabaddi team with their weird chant, Yoigoshi stands up to them and proves how strong the people in the Kabaddi team are. Another memorable moment was the time Yoigoshi vows to kill his teammate, Azemichi just because he has a beautiful girlfriend. These characters are exactly what the anime needs to make it a joyride. We have yet to meet the captain of the Kabaddi team but if the opening is any indication, we’re extremely excited for it. All the characters have become endearing in just three episodes and we’re excited to see where this journey will take us!
The Animation is a Little Crude…
While this anime has so many plus points, it does have its cons such as the animation quality. TMS Entertainment did a fairly decent job but we cannot help but feel that it could be so much better. However, the game progression itself is very well done because of how fast-paced and quick Kabaddi is in reality. But the characters feel a little rough around the edges in terms of animation. While the animation just feels a little sharp and crude, we’re deciding to stick with it because of the wonderful story and anime is definitely more than its animation.
Shakunetsu Kabaddi certainly seems promising so far despite its tiny flaws. We’re excited to keep watching this anime and we hope it becomes one of the hidden gems of this season! What did you think of Shakunetsu Kabaddi? Did you love it or do you think we missed something? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!