Recommended : 100% YES
When I read that it was a anime about male cheerleaders I didn’t have a clue what the hell I’d be getting into.
It turned out to be one of my all time favourite shows.
I want to begin by simply saying this. The one thing this anime did perfectly was show cheer leading in a positive light. Too often, or at least I find here in the UK were cheerleaders aren’t even that much a “thing”, people have a seriously negative look on cheer leading. They don’t look at just how much work a cheerleader would have to put in, they don’t look at the time they probably took to perfect a routine or even realise that they themselves probably wouldn’t be able to do have the stunts that a cheerleader can. People just think they are airheads.
Cheer Danshi showed that cheerleaders can be anyone. They can have many different reasons for wanting to become one and most importantly they work their butts off.
This is important for me because it was one of the reasons it made the whole thing feel so much more light hearted and sweet.
It didn’t make it look like anyone found anything easy and with the hard work they had to put in they were also made to look inside themselves for real answers to why they couldn’t do something, why they were failing and why they were even there to begin with.
That was really the beauty of the anime.
Cheer leading and the team itself was so important to it but the show was about the characters and it had a cast of 16 and managed to make you care about all of them. It was proven perfectly in the final episode where the coach made them all read each others reflection books and even though some were very similar and looked at together it didn’t take away from a personal experience these characters went through that the audience went through with them.
What the series really became about was overcoming the pain and suffering in your own life no matter how big or small to be able to put your best into life. Whether you have a bad experience in your past, something painful going on in your life or not even sure what the problem truly is till someone else spells it out to you the show saw these 16 people working together as a team to break through their weaknesses and come together to make other people happy.
It was a very positive series.
Why do I recommend it?
I thought the story would be weak and sure it isn’t the most dramatic, twisty or explosive story but its engaging, personal and feel good.
The anime makes you care about 16 characters. It makes you part of their life and part of their team and asks you to cheer them on. There is a core of main characters but I find the proof that all 16 were well rounded is that my favourite group were the Nabeshima brothers and Gin and his two friends. All five of them were hardly front and centre of any story but threaded through others you got to know them well. I feel you could watch it and fall in love with all of the characters easily because even though some, like Andou, have a over the top personality at times they still very much resonate.
What made it worth watching was at the end. It didn’t matter in episode 12 were they came in the Finals, I thought it would but the episode ploughed ahead with telling us what the coach had told them they had to work on and how they had broken that barrier. The most important I think being Hisashi. There was a feeling of him having to change who he was, soften his approach, because he was too determined, too focused and too harsh.Whilst I still think it was a slight problem I do feel like his final lesson wasn’t really about changing himself but remembering that everyone was different. He can be the way he is but has to remember that he can’t project his own thinking on someone else forcefully. I always felt he just needed to tone down the anger a notch and it was a point proved when he helped Ton. His way of speaking and acting just meshed badly with Andou’s more hyperactive personality but what Hisashi said was always true and his one and only problem was being unable to get across his point without getting extremely angry, which was also understandable.
It might not be dramatic and you might worry it won’t grip you but the characters are its strong point and you will want to return to watch it as much as you can. It’ll make you happy, it’ll make you cry and when you finish the series you’ll want to go back and do it all again. Its a sweet show with a wonderful finish. I couldn’t recommend it any higher.