Cheer Boys is a mature anime about male cheerleaders

Within anime and manga, the sports genre is usually known for certain characteristics depending on the dominant sex that makes up the cast. titles like dunk Y Hajime no Ippo, which revolve around a team of boys, are charged with energy and represent anime tropes while closely adhering to the reality of playing the sport. If the cast is an all-girl team, or even has a mixed team, the goal is often fan service. Either welcome to the ballroom joking that guys only start dancing to get closer to girls or Keijo!!!!!!!! As they are girls in bathing suits who jump into the water with their chests and butts, the focus is on their bodies and the male gaze.

However, beginning in the 2010s, the norms of sports anime changed as more “manservice” series aired. For a short while, anime with all-male casts seemed to be trying to outdo each other on this front, so 2016 is refreshingly quiet. Cheer up guys!! went largely unnoticed. At that time, the Free! franchise had reached its peak in popularity and the stage was set for titles like Yuri!!! on ice Y Completely!! leave their marks in the sports genre. Cheer up guys!!however, he went against the grain with his more mature and nuanced view of sports.

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Cheer Boys team in uniform

While its cast is absolutely one of cute anime boys, the series is not all about visual appeal. Cheer up guys!! it shows his boys in various states of undress, but it is done in a different way than it shows the manservice of his day. Whether it’s Haru examining her shoulder in the shower or the guys relaxing at a local bathhouse, the show’s “camera” never focuses on arousal. Treat the nudity of the cast as a part of their lives rather than a selling point.

It is possible to argue that Cheer up guys!! specifically calls Free! at a point. One of the best known scenes of the latter of season 1 is Rei stretching on a speedometer while the “camera” travels her body in compromising positions. episode 2 of Cheer up guys!! it opens with a similar idea, where the team is practicing in a public area and Mizoguchi is moaning. The sounds and confused faces of bystanders linger long enough to imply a sexual nature, but the next shot shows the audience that this is not what is happening. Haru is actually helping Mizoguchi stretch beyond her normal range of motion. Haru even smacks him on the back of the head and tells him to stop making those weird noises.

In addition to his innovative stance in sports anime with male actors, Cheer up guys!! it also takes a different stance on gender in general. Taking place in college instead of high school is just the beginning of its differences from your average sports anime. While most series like this have the goal of going to national competition or its equivalent, Cheer up guys!! take a mature stance from the start. Most of the original team members choose cheerleading for reasons other than wanting to win a trophy or look good. Kazu does it because he looks up to his cheering mom, Mizoguchi enjoys challenging himself with new activities, and Tono joins in to change himself as a person.

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cheer team

While winning competitions is a goal in the future, the team’s beginnings are more humble than most, beginning with two former martial artists and a dream. The Breakers aren’t Titans with a reputation to defend or Great Fallen like many anime teams; they work without support and become something worth seeing. Even their name, Breakers, comes from a significant place. Kazu says that she wants to break a lot of things, from the stereotype that cheerleading is for girls to masks and doubts from her teammates. The other guys agree and add what they want to break by joining this team.

The characters’ lives outside of cheerleading are also prominent and become a source of trouble. Cast members in sports anime largely occupy a few spaces: the court/field, or elsewhere in their school. All that matters is the sport, until exam season arrives and they have to fight to get passing grades. It’s rare that characters have problems at home or anything else that gets in the way of being an athlete.

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This is not the case in Cheer up guys!!, where you have to accommodate more situations as the team grows. Members who are further along in their education regularly miss practice because they’re looking for work, while others may have to miss because they can’t afford to cut shifts at their part-time jobs. For those who have time to devote to cheering, especially Hisashi, it seems that they are just lazy bums who don’t take the sport seriously. The reality is very different.

Cheer up guys!! it’s far from a perfect anime. It weighs too heavily on everyday life elements at times for those looking for pure sports anime, and the animation is average for 2016. However, its different perspective on sports as a genre makes it stand out. It’s calm and mature where comparable series never lose momentum. Victory is a goal, but that’s not all the characters gain from participating. Meanwhile, the story shows parts of where the cast will end up once they get their titles.

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