Original Run: July 31, 2019 - October 16, 2019 Number of Episodes: 12 Genre: Sports Based on the Series Created By: Shunsaku Yano
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Try Knights. Reader discretion is advised.***
The best rugby players know that physical ability can only get you so far. It takes a tactical mind to defeat the most formidable opponents.
For Riku Haruma (voiced by Shougo Sakamoto), it took him a long time to remember that. Riku’s small frame makes it difficult for him to challenge other players in a contest of strength. However, his brilliant mind makes him somewhat of a prodigy in the world of rugby. And his love for the sport was rekindled upon meeting Kariya Akira (voiced by KENN).
Kariya is the epitome of raw power. To him, his plan of attack is always to attack. Strategic planning and gamesmanship are irritating nuisances to him.
Still, the combined skills of Riku and Kariya promise to make them an unstoppable duo.
I know very little about rugby. Practically nothing, actually.
What I can say is, those who do play the sport are beasts, and I mean that in a positive way. Take one look at a professional rugby player and tell me they are not human tanks. Those legs of theirs, I’m willing to bet, can crush coals into diamonds. In terms of rules and how the game is played, though, I am ignorant.
But for the purposes of this review, something like that shouldn’t matter.
For sports stories, knowing the sport in question is inherently a benefit since any nuances, such as terminology or player mindset, are much easier to conceptualize. However, any sports story worth anything doesn’t require a viewer to have an in-depth knowledge of how things work. If a story can get the audience excited, then it is mission accomplished. Plus, special brownie points if a story can get a non-fan invested into what is going on.
So, what of Try Knights?
Switching gears, it is important for me to mention my general disinterest in sports anime. It’s not that I don’t like these kinds of shows. On the contrary, when a sports series delivers, it delivers with impact. These types of narratives have a quality to them that can easily access many underlying values. For example, there is the rise of the underdog, the satisfaction of triumph obtained through hard work and determination, the strength of teamwork and friendship, the love of competition, and the honorability of sportsmanship.
That said, I don’t believe there has ever been a time in my life where I have said a sports anything (anime, movie, etc.) was unlike anything I had seen before. I have enjoyed many sports anime, but never once has one blown me away. They’re very formulaic, and rarely do they deviate from a set, well-traveled path.
If there is such a sports anime you think will prove me wrong, I would love to hear it in the comments down below.
Neat-o, but what of Try Knights?
Regardless if they are substantial content-wise, sports anime need to have some tinge of excitement. Not all sports are fast-paced, but they are all competitive. If you’ve seen a game of any sport – baseball, soccer, or, hell, even chess – you know the most exciting matches are the close ones. Although complete blowouts are entertaining in their own way, nothing quite captures the thrill like a neck and neck showdown. Therefore, sports stories, since they are entertainment, need to find ways to emulate that tension.
Maybe it is through characters. Perhaps a series relies on its visuals. Often times, redemption is used to get people to sit at the edge of their seats.
That’s all well and good, but what about Try Knights.
And another thing…
Let me put it this way: With still the entire 2019 fall season yet for me to review as of the release of this post, there is a chance another series may come to claim this spot. Nevertheless, if you’re wondering what the worst anime of 2019 might be, boy, do I have a candidate.
Try Knights was trash. Wow, this was bad. I mean, my god. This was really f@#$ing bad.
Do you want some positivity concerning this show? Well, it didn’t annoy me. It wasn’t infuriating. It wasn’t insufferable. It wasn’t any of that…I think. I actually don’t know. I was too busy being in utter amazement by how much of a train wreck Try Knights was to be put off by it.
The quintessential question concerning Try Knights is, do I let myself get upset over everything it did wrong, or do I remain calm?
I’m leaning towards the latter because this show never was so atrociously stupid that I felt insulted. It was more like baby’s first attempt at sports anime. The intention was there, so congratulations. Too bad the effort simply wasn’t.
It is going to sound like a copout answer, but there is no way I can adequately explain how poor this series’ quality was. For instance, how can I convey the abysmal animation? I mean, yeah, there was the fact everyone either moved like stiff mannequins or not at all. Try Knights would do this thing where there was an extreme closeup on someone’s face (complete with speed lines, because that’s how intensity works). When this happened, characters’ mouths would be out of view, and as a result, the studio didn’t need to spend money on lip movements.
That was good because it needed to save its money for the cutting edge CGI. (SARCASM)
Oh wow, the CGI in this series. I have seen bad before, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen this. Part of me is ever so slightly tempted to recommend this show just so you can see what I am talking about. There is nothing that can prepare you for when Try Knights goes braindead.
Other than the animation, characters were in this show, too, that I can say with certainty. I’ll even go so far as to add, I think there were even enough people to fill an entire rugby team. Don’t quote me on that though since I’m only about seventy percent sure that was the case. For you see, there were the background fillers, and then there was a set of, like, seven guys who were given more “detail” to their appearance. Thus, that must mean those seven were…necessary? I can’t remember any of their names, so that’s probably not a strong start.
OH, there was a story as well. Granted, Try Knights’ story had the same depth as a paint-by-numbers coloring book for six-year-olds, but there was one nonetheless. And to tell you the truth, this series’ narrative did decide to go in a different direction. Instead of having the classic long-shot ragtag group of unlikely heroes winning the big tournament, this series went down the more enthralling route of having an above-average rugby team with already highly competent players merely have a particularly good year.
Also, and this was fun, the main team was always up against what appeared to be supervillains. The goddamn primary rival team held their meetings in the freaking Legion of Doom headquarters.
And the dialogue, I’ll tell you what. You cannot find yourself a better example of dollar store bargain bin inspirational speak even if you pooped cheap Chinese restaurant fortune cookies.
- Believe in your friends.
- Run free.
- The power is within you.
You know, that kind of nonsense.
To end this, hows about a little experiment? I challenge anyone to give this show a look. But instead of sitting through every minute of every episode, try continually pressing the skip forward button and see if you don’t fully comprehend everything that is going on in the story.
Try Knights ladies and gentlemen.
Need I say more?
Try Knights is a series you can skip.
But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? How would you advise Try Knights? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.