GME! Anime Fun Time Episode #12 – Ping Pong: The Animation

pingpong Tom and I are joined by guest host Casey from Anitwitter to talk about the 2014 TV anime, Ping Pong: The Animation, adapted from the manga by Taiyō Matsumoto. Ping Pong: The Animation is visually dense and rich with characterization. It’s a very uplifting, life-affirming series, although you wouldn’t judge that from some of the advertising. CLICK HERE or on the image above to download our review of the show.

Final Thoughts:

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joe

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The visual make-up of the show can be difficult to describe, so here are a series of images to give you an idea of what to expect.

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3 Responses

  1. I got a laugh out of the fact that a few people requested someone from AWO be on to talk about this, as I was the only member of AWO willing to watch through the series. Everyone else dropped it by about episode…3. As for my thoughts, I wrote a short review in Otaku USA, but my general sentiments are effectively all covered in this recording.

    The reason you point out “nobody cares about Ping Pong” as demonstrated by the lack of social media enthusiasm towards the announcement of this review (and the lack of comments for days until now) is for the same reason I point out “only reviewers and critics care about Ping Pong.” Those reasons are of course, everything you said in the episode: it’s a story primarily told visually rather than through dialogue, and it’s an often nuanced visual storytelling such that you simply can’t multitask while watching it. That alone is a deal-breaker. Contrary to what people claim to want, “show, don’t tell” appears to be anathema these days.

    What’s more, like much of Yuasa’s general body of work it doesn’t look conventionally pleasing enough to inspire fanmade erotica, it doesn’t look endearingly ugly enough to inspire fanmade erotica, it’s superficially about sports, it’s superficially about a sport most people aren’t interested in, and several animation enthusiasts turn their nose at the off-model characters and what they perceive to be rotoscoped animation (it’s actually not). Many of the characters aren’t likeable at first, or seem uninteresting because–as noted–the series is about how and why people change. Again, that’s mostly told through visuals and not the preferred method of dialogue sequences that amount to “I used to think this way because this happened, but now that has happened resulting in me thinking another way.”

    As such, much of the reception to Ping Pong as it was airing was total indifference with a very tiny contingent saying “well, this is one of the best shows of the year.” Reception to Masaaki Yuasa seems to be more favorable among people who don’t typically watch anime at all, though the challenge is to get such minded folks to even consider looking at this. The best bet is to find people who liked the live-action movie.

  2. Your discussion here made me really nostalgic for the series, and Paul’s insights particularly brought back details I hadn’t realised had affected me so much. It really is a stunning anime.

  3. What really impresses me about Ping Pong (and Yuasa’s work in general) is the fact it’s both stylized and well-written. It’s extremely hard to find an anime with both qualities.

    The Christmas/karaoke montage from episode 6 stands out as one of my favorite scenes in the entire series.

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