Badminton is somewhat of an obscure sport often relegated to backyard get-togethers. With a relative lack in popularity, it seemed like an odd choice for a manga and an anime, but once you learn all about badminton, you come to understand just how exciting it can be. Today we will be looking at the game of badminton, covering everything from the basics of playing the game to the more advanced techniques players use. We will also be looking at how Hanebado! incorporates the topics we talk about into it's story.
How It’s Played
At its core, badminton is a relatively simple game to understand and is fairly similar to tennis. Players face off either alone or with a partner with the goal of having the shuttlecock hit the ground on their opponent's side of the court. Each player is only allowed one hit to try to get shuttle over the net. Each series of hits known as a rally starts with the server hitting the shuttle diagonally across the court. Players can opt to hit it high making it easy for their opponent to return but harder for them to hit it with accuracy and power, or a riskier smash, that makes it harder for the opponent to return but also harder to control. Hanebado! shows off the rules of the game in early episodes without directly stating the rules giving you a basic understanding of what is going on.
Types of Players
Control, offensive, and defensive are the three main types of players commonly seen in badminton. Offensive players like Nagisa Aragaki are aggressive and are willing to use their full power even it if may result in a fault, like in Nagisa's match with Tachibana as she regains her love for badminton and starts putting everything into her smashes again. Ayano Hanesaki is the perfect example of a control type character with her incredible accuracy and shot placement, Ayano is able to participate in long rallies and hit the shuttle wherever she needs to. Defensive players rely on their returns and forcing their opponents into making mistakes. Riko Izumi falls into this category with her ability to go toe to toe with Nagisa and uses her defensive tactics and shot placement to deal with Nagisa's power.
Badminton has many advanced techniques like the smash that make the game a bit more complex. Outside of a smash, the two most used shots seen in Hanebado! have been the clear shot and the drop shot. A clear shot can be used to hit send the shuttle towards the back of your opponent's backcourt forcing them to chase after it and return it giving you more time to set up for a counter. The drop shot is the opposite of the clear shot, forcing the opponent to come closer the net to return a shuttle that passes just slightly above the net. Both of these shots have been seen in almost every match from the practice matches to the tournament matches in episode one.
While this article is not nearly long enough to give you every bit of information on how badminton works both in the real world and the world of Hanebado!, hopefully you have a better understanding of the game and what they are doing in the anime. If you are a fan of Hanebado! a better understanding of badminton and how it is played, it is sure to make you enjoy the anime even more. What are your thoughts on badminton? Are you enjoying Hanebado!? Let us know in the comments below.