|Original Manga||Masaya Tsunamoto|
|Format||Manga, Anime (TV)|
|Made By||Studio Deen|
|Episode Length||24 Minutes|
|# of Episodes||26|
Sum it up in a Sentence:
A former ace soccer player returns to Japan to turn his old club around, having previously turned an English amateur club into professional level competitors.
Years ago, East Tokyo United was a contender. They were not the greatest team in Japan, but they were on the rise, largely due to their ace player, Tatsumi Takeshi. However, without warning, Tatsumi left to travel to Europe and manage a club there. After his departure, ETU collapsed; most of the good players left and the team went through as many managers as they did practice balls. They even fell to a lower league for a while, though they have since returned to the highest level.
Not able to stand it any more, one of Tatsumi's old teammates, now one of the executives behind the team, travels off to find Tatsumi. They eventually track him down leading a tiny amateur team in England, performing a miracle known as Giant Killing, or taking down bigger, higher paid teams with a group that is weaker on paper. This is exactly the sort of thing ETU needs right now, so they beg him to return.
Tatsumi is quite eccentric. He seems lazy and capricious, though his track record shows that there is clearly method to his madness. The series that follows is the story of Tatsumi's journey as he tries to turn the ETU around and bring them back to relevance, and perhaps even glory.
Do note that this is not a shounen series with a sports backdrop. There is no powering up, no bullshit magical kicks. It's not even primarily about the players. Plenty of screentime is devoted to the management, the reporters covering the team, and even the fans and their reaction to events. Do also note that the sport is a setting more than the actual meat.
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The last line of the description reads how it does simply because editorializing that you don't need to enjoy soccer to enjoy the show is out of place in such a venue. Of course, the statement happens to be true (in that I'm not a huge fan of the sport but love the show) but that's really neither here nor there. Watching Tatsumi frustrate the hell out of everyone around him as he takes his roundabout approach to greatness (though, in his mind at the very least, the only approach that works) is fantastic to behold, and watching the team eventually realize that he deserves his job and their respect is rewarding. It's definitely a good place to start into the world of sports anime/manga, even if you're a horrible fucking nerd who hates all sports because you're terrible at them and got made fun of in high school by the jocks.
I watched the first half of this show. It aired during the World Cup, which was a great time for it to show up. Unlike the above poster, I am a soccer fan, and I can agree that it really, really does not focus on the sport (which they handle pretty badly). My problem is that the focus--the characters, with the exception of the coach Tatsumi--are so one-dimensional (I guess they become two-dimensional at the end of their respective arcs or whatever) that it's really hard to care. But if you enjoy sports anime for reasons outside of the games themselves, I'd give this a shot. Despite disliking the show, I'll say that it's decent.
Giant Killing is a fairly entertaining anime about the smuggest smug coach in the history of people being smug. I enjoyed watching the series through, but it definitely has some pacing problems. The characters have decent depth to them for the most part, and by the end I was more invested in them than in the coach.