Hanebado! – Ep. 12

I have less to say about Hanebado! this time compared to previous episodes. That might be a good thing for me because Lord knows I’ve tried way too hard to understand what works and doesn’t work with this anime. Hell, maybe it’s a good thing for you depending on whether or not you’re tired of curmudgeons like me angrily waving their fists in the air. But honestly, how much more really needs to be said? This episode is just more of Hanebado! in all of its pretentious and half-assed glory.

You had one job, Hanebado!. Just one. Show Elena confront Uchika and make that as cathartic and poignant as possible. But no, this anime can’t even execute that to its fullest effect. Essentially, you just get repeats about what you already know about these characters. Elena thinks sports should be played for fun (and you know, she is right) and Uchika reminds us that she is a goddamn idiot in dire need of a copy of Parenting for Dummies. That’s honestly it. All the build-up last episode established goes to complete waste here. I mean, I guess you do learn something new here. You find out that Uchika doesn’t regret a single thing about how she raised Ayano. That alone is despicable but that’s also just in-character for her. But to go along with that, all Elena does is listen and then walk back into the building with Uchika. Bullshit that’s all she has to do in this scene! I swear, Elena deserves a way better script than this. A lot of these characters do in fact.

To be fair, the match between Nagisa and Ayano is fun to watch. I know I’ve said it many times before but I’ll say it again: Liden Films seriously should pat themselves in the back. For what it’s worth, this anime is one of the best looking we’ve seen in 2018. Ayano being a piece of shit is whatever to me but I’ll admit that it’s refreshing to see her struggle for once. Nagisa, meanwhile, is legitimately a joy to watch. I just dig her balance between acting cocky while also keeping her cool against Ayano.

The ending is pretty stupid if you ask me. That anyone would still cheer for Ayano astounds me and I’m not convinced Ayano really earns it since she’s just been rude up until that point. The timing is also just cheesy and too convenient. Really? Everyone starts cheering her on? What incentive do those extras have? Maybe if there was at least one moment where Ayano apologized, be it to Elena or Yu or whoever, then this scene would make more sense. Frankly, I think what the writers should’ve done is bank on Nagisa. Her talk about how she and Ayano are the only ones on the court and can vent out there works so much better than all that stinking cheering.

Well, if there’s any consolation, at least there’s one episode left. Let’s just get it over with.


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Hanebado! is officially available on Crunchyroll.

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