Three episode review: All out!

In
which I base my opinion on the first three episodes of a series and
give watching advice.

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What it’s about:

Kenji Gion is short and aggressive, Sumiaki Iwashimizu is enormous
but has the heart of a small and rather frightened bunny. They are
asked to join the school’s rugby club.

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Please look at that height difference.

Look at it!

First impression:

DAAAYum. The OP leaves very little to the imagination about this show
and its protagonists. There are butts, tight shirts and Sekizan, who
could be an extra on JoJo if he wore outfits just a tad bit more
flashy.
It’s all very… bara, but that’s mostly Sumiaki and Sekizan,
really, and whoever is ‘the hot one’ on the opposing team, no doubt.
The show has some rather nice body diversity, which I’m fairly
certain is the point.

The setup of the show is pretty classic, with
first years in high school figuring out which club to join. Gion has
a Massive Napoleon complex and will fight anyone that calls him
small, Iwashimizu has All Kinds of complexes and would really rather
be in book club. Since this is a rugby show, you know where they’ll
end up. It’s all pretty standard stuff but I’m liking the dynamic
between the two, and the way the captain and vice-captain are set up
in the first episode. You already get a bit of the feel for their
motivations.

Second impression:

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All Out is very… tropey. It does the ‘wax on wax off’ thing, only it’s ‘the turtle’. It  has
fated rivals and Sumiaki manages to find his courage somewhere around
episode three. This is also the point where they break out the
lasers, by the way.
Having said that, it doesn’t really bother me
that much? The show is entertaining and varied enough to keep me
interested, so far.
I’m hoping it’ll get a bit deeper as it goes on.

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The thing it DOES
do, which is interesting, is how it applies drawing style. Yuri On
Ice has something similar, where they have cutesy cartoony funny bits
and then beautifully rendered drama. On top of that, it’s not just diverse with bodies, it’s REALLY diverse with the faces. And for someone
who watches a lot of anime pretty boys, this is a breath of fresh
air. Some of these faces have a style that reminds me of
french/belgian comics, even. It’s cool.

Hottest dude?

I know what you’re
thinking, and I realize that this is his official role but
Sekizan is Entirely
Too Intense for my tastes.
Like, dude. Chill.

I can’t even handle baby Sekizan. Dear lord.

I’m actually rather
fond of vice-captain Mutsumi, who at least seems pleasant, but my
vote goes to this guy:

His name is
Oharanu Etsugo and he appears to be made entirely out
of salt (I just noticed he’s voiced by Ono Kensho… that
explains so much).

Extra notes

  • Holy crap does
    this show like its muscle shots.
    Like, there are a LOT of random
    shots with tight t-shirts and tight pants and bulging biceps and
    thighs and is that really the rugby uniform because apparently I’ve
    been watching the wrong sports
    .
  • I love Umeno
    the manager? It’s sad that there is only a single girl, but she has
    floofy hair and kind of a big sister personality and she’s cool. For someone so tiny she
    must really be fierce to handle that team.
  • Gion is such
    an angry child, and not in a good way. He’s almost legitimately
    annoying with the constant temper tantrums. I really need him to get
    some kind of character development, stat.

All out?

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I’ll be honest with
you. It’s not as good as Yuri or Haikyuu. I like the body diversity,
I like the humour, but I’m not, you know, obsessed. I’ll keep watching
because it’s entertaining, and I like where they’re going with the
art style and the, uh, general esthetic (the muscles, I mean the
muscles).
It’s a 25 episode anime, so I’m really hoping it finds its
groove soon and really starts working on the good stuff, the
development and the storytelling arcs. So far the draw is mostly
visual.

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