Ashita no Anime

Anime of Tomorrow

Ro-Kyu-Bu! (review)

Final impression – So average it hurts (5/10)

Summer 2011

When the boys’ high school basketball team gets suspended because of their coach’s misconduct with a minor, rising star player Subaru doesn’t know what to do with himself.  At his aunt’s urging, he is invited to coach an elementary school girls’ basketball team.  He’s reluctant to do so at first because he’d rather be a player than a coach.  But the girls have a desire to improve, which motivates a part of him that he didn’t even know was there.  Their energy inspires him, which he’s going to need, because if their team doesn’t improve before their next match with the boys, the girls’ basketball club is going get canceled.

There’s not a whole lot of overlap between sports and loli anime, so Ro-Kyu-Bu! wins points for being unique at least.  It isn’t a very interesting anime, but given its wacky premise, it could have been much worse.  This is helped by the fact that it deviates greatly from the more boring tropes found in sports anime such as superpowers or long, drawn out commentary analyzing a particular character’s stats.  Additionally, it stays away from the “it’s a trap” tropes found in loli anime (for the most part, at least).  Ro-Kyu-Bu! also isn’t afraid of portraying a more realistic view of life’s challenges.  Sometimes, no matter how much we cheer for the underdogs, they don’t always win.  With all the praise I’m lavishing on this anime, when it comes down to drawing a conclusion, it’s only mediocre.  Just because something deviates from stereotypes doesn’t suddenly make it good.

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