It’s good to see that Biscuit was able to get a gig after Gundam: Iron-blooded Orphans.
ALL OUT!!, yet another show this season that loves unnecessary punctuation, is about sixteen year old Gion, a new high school student who is short, easy to angry, and not particularly bright. In the course of the first episode, Gion gets into a couple of physical altercations, discovers the existence of rugby, and in short order decides that playing rugby is his dream. Also along for the ride is the timid Iwashimizu, a former rugby player who backed off the sport when something went wrong. But if anyone’s concerned about getting stuck watching moping, it turns out that Gion’s stupidity and hard-headedness are all that the other boy needed to get over said trauma, setting us up for some hardcore ganbatte’ing and burning spirit for the next twenty-four episodes.
I’ll admit that this was one of the few shows I had hopes for going in, as while I didn’t necessarily expect it to break new ground, I at least expected that Madhouse would be bringing some finesse to the table. Alas, that isn’t much the case, and the end result is something that feels as if couldn’t have been more generic if it had tried. There are no hooks whatsoever in this episode – Gion starting off as genuinely having no idea what rugby is means that we even lack the hero’s sheer conviction that buoys some of the less unique entries in the packed genre.
Speaking of Gion… I can’t help but think that part of the issue where he’s concerned is actually down to the fact that his voice actor (Shouya Chiba) is a relative novice (this is only his third role, and his last lead role was in 2011 when he was a kid). His performance is given to woodenness, with only two varieties on display – whiny and loud. I’m not given to slagging rookies, but I’m convinced a more experienced VA could’ve lent better depth to what is a pretty basic role. Probably wouldn’t’ve wholly salvaged the character, but would’ve been less off-putting.
I also found the visuals a letdown. It wasn’t simply in that the animation was worryingly limited, but it looks a bit washed-out, as if it’s several years old. And where are all the BUTTS we were promised? Actually, I kid on that last one – to be honest, I’m a bit relieved, as I’m equal opportunity uneasy on shows that want us to ogle underage butts. But if you were banking on that as a draw for you, well, I guess just loop that OP for twenty-two minutes every week instead.
Of course, it doesn’t help that poor ALL OUT!! has to share a season with the likes of Yuri!! on Ice and Haikyuu. Airing last spring or something wouldn’t’ve helped this opening episode much, but it would’ve helped some. As it is, I sandwiched it between the two, and even before hitting Haikyuu it looked pretty weak. I’m not going to give up the ghost quite yet, but this is definitely the sort of show that’ll hit the chopping block fast as the season moves forward if it doesn’t find a decent angle ASAP.