We won’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of this season’s female soccer-themed anime, Sayonara Watashi no Cramer (Farewell, My Dear Cramer). For some reason, it just flew under everyone’s radar. There are even some who think it’s quite underwhelming or straight up unworthy of one’s time. We do kind of agree if we looked at it from a sports anime point of view, however, we rather look at it through a slice of life lens. We see it as a slice of life anime that focuses on the relationship between characters. Here are the ones we love.
5. Nozomi Onda and Goro Fukatsu’s Trust
Goro Fukatsu’s character doesn’t really start off on the right foot. We see him as a lazy, can’t-be-bothered adviser of the Warabis. Even though he’s always present during their matches and training, he doesn’t offer much help in terms of coaching, tactics, or even cheers. He even goes as far as to discourage them after a devastating loss. But as the story unfolds, we get to see the reason behind his actions, and these Warabis are to thank for that. One Warabi, however, stands out amongst the others.
Nozomi Onda, the one who just can’t find any motivation without facing off an amazing player, shows innate understanding of Goro’s line of thought. She wholeheartedly believes how much Goro likes soccer despite what he’s showing. Goro, of course, also shows care for Onda, especially when she injured her foot during horseplay. By that we mean he gives her another minute in the field to prove her worth, then she will be removed to ensure that she won’t hurt herself further. Perhaps the highlight of these two’s trust with each other is when Onda asks for Goro’s opinion as to how they can shut down Urawa Hosei, which the latter willingly obliged.
4. Sumire Suou and Mao Tsukuda’s Rivalry
Sumire Suou or just Suou first met Tsukuda during the Warabi’s practice match with Kunogi High. Given that Kunogi is the best in the district, they’ve easily wiped the field with the Warabis. That doesn’t mean that the Warabis didn’t put on any fight, though. In fact, Onda and Suou managed to make a good stand towards the end.
With Kunogi’s might, Tsukuda was gloating in front of Suou. Despite Suou’s poker face, she doesn’t back down from a fight. She rather shows her refutations through actions, so she makes sure to beat Tsukuda during their last duel. That’s only the start of it. Every time they meet, they somehow always get themselves in a discord with each other. Suou always came on top, though. Despite how much they seem to hate each other on the surface, they don’t seem to hold any sort of grudge.
3. Midori Sohizaki and Chika Kirishima’s Bond
Midori and Chika’s relationship is nowhere similar to Suou and Tsukuda. Unlike the latter, Midori and Chika went to the same middle school. They were rather close, too, and it’s revealed that Chika often praises Midori for her talent. Their relationship, however, turned sour when Midori decided to build the Warabis with Suou instead of joining Chika in Urawa Hosei. Chika held a grudge against Midori, while Midori aimed to make Chika acknowledge her efforts in helping build the Warabis.
These two’s relationship is more complicated than the typical friendship. They’ve experienced the joy of friendship, betrayal, and, probably, reconciliation. This, perhaps, is the prime example of what being young is all about.
2. Sumire Suou and Midori Sohizaki’s Camaraderie
The reason why Midori chose not to join Chika in Urawa Hosei was because of Suou. Just like Chika, Midori and Suou had known each other from middle school. They were, however, rivals and not teammates. After seeing how lonely Suou played in her former team, she extended an invitation towards her to build a team of their own.
Midori’s blind faith in Suou is the primary foundation of their bond. But since they have such a strong foundation, their relationship is the strongest within the series. They look out for and support each other while also not being afraid to criticise each other.
1. Nozomi Onda, Sumire Suou, Midori Sohizaki, and Aya Shiratori’s Quartet of Mishaps
Unlike the other entries in this list, these four rowdy girls’ relationship isn’t that heartwarming. The moment these four huddle, they are either bickering, planning something weird, or a mixture of both. Such a relationship, however, can’t be omitted in a list like this. After all, a high school sports drama can’t go without the camaraderie amongst the team members. Plus, it’s quite interesting and funny to see how their bickering turns into something dear and special.
A high school sports anime almost always also means school drama. After all, this is the period in time wherein their hormones are at an all-time high. Most sports series make sure to focus on the sports aspect, thus, the genre. Sayonara Watashi no Cramer (Farewell, My Dear Cramer), however, seems to pay more attention to building its characters’ relationships amongst each other. Others, perhaps a lot, may find this off-putting, but we believe that seeing these connections fleshed out is more than enough reason for us to continue watching this series until the end.