But seriously…what’s up with the doofy hairstyle?
Baby Steps Episode 1 Recap – “Tennis and Notes”
Note: Since I have not read the manga that this is being created from I won’t be aware of any changes done for the anime adaptation.
Maruo Eiichiro is a straight A, high achiever high school student, who decides one day on a whim to try out a free tennis trial. It’s there that he becomes fast friends with Natsu Takasaki, who is secretly decided to become a pro tennis player in the future. Being at a disadvantage with strength and endurance, he utilizes his smarts to predict his opponents moves.
As an introductory episode it did it’s job capably enough, giving us some time to meet Eiichiro and his oddly doofy hairstyle. The meat of the episode is Eiichiro and Takasaki’s characterisation, so the tennis is shoved to the side for now. That’s fine though, as we know there will be plenty of that in the future.
Plot wise, Eiichiro attends his first trial, finds out it’s much harder then he expected and then proceeds to pass out. The coach then decides to invite him back for another free trial, and we are introduced to our possible nemesis in love/affection for Natsu. And boy, does he look like a Tsundere or Kuudere. Both Eiichiro and Nastu seem like they are going to be interesting and quirky characters, and neither of them is particularly off-putting at this juncture.
The comedy is nothing new, ie. Eiichiro is awkward, Natsu is clumsy and a bit ditsy, but it’s not offensive nor is it not funny. The only exception to that is the bratty kid character Yuuki Tajima, a middle schooler who has a face and personality that you just want to punch.
On a side note, the school atmosphere seems absolutely surreal from a Western perspective. Everybody worships the ground that Eiichiro walks upon, and continuously heap the praise on him for being the smartest in the class. Even though this is a common thing in anime, it never becomes believable to me.
Aside from that though, a good first episode that kept for interested for at least 2 more. This right now, is middle interest level for me.