Love All Play: The Spring 2022 Preview Guide

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Do you love the whole game? Community Score: 2.0

What’s this?

Ryō Mizushima joined his high school badminton team full of motivation, but without a proper coach, he ended up in obscurity. However, he finally made it to the prefectural tournament thanks to his physical strength. He now joins the prestigious Yokohama-Minato High School badminton team under the guidance of legendary coach Ebihara and surrounded by talented teammates. He strives to become an elite athlete and lead his high school team to the inter-school tournament.

i love all play is based on asami kōsekiThe badminton novel and airs on Crunchyroll Saturdays.

How was the first episode?

James Beckett


By the looks of its premiere, i love all play is a decent-looking series that shows a team of cute guys playing badminton. Little did he know that badminton was such a well-established sporting institution that it would require multiple anime adaptations, but in between, Hanebad!, and that Salaryman’s Club show from earlier this year, I guess fans everywhere must be simmering with steering wheel fever? That’s pretty cool, as far as I’m concerned, because I think every sport deserves its day in the anime adaptation spotlight, no matter how niche they might seem to an insider like me.

my main problem with i love all play is that aside from depicting a unique sport that I’m sure will be interesting to veteran players or interested newcomers, the show doesn’t really have much else to offer people in the audience who want a good story to go with all the rackets. and the volleys. Our main character Ryo is defined by his meekness and general lack of ambition, and this entire first episode focuses on the “drama” of him trying to decide whether or not to join the main badminton team at the posh Yokohama High School. Minato. . There is a minor, barely addressed conflict involving Ryo leaving his original badminton partner behind, but it doesn’t go anywhere interesting, and the rest of the drama feels forced.

When Ryo’s father becomes almost comically angry at the prospect of his son attending a prestigious high school because of his athletic abilities, my first thought was, “Gee, did a flyer kill his parents in a dark alley or something?” ?” I wasn’t so wrong, the guy apparently lost a track scholarship due to injury, but it’s never a good sign when your jokey head ends up being more convincing than what’s happening on screen. I liked how Ryo’s sister stood up to her parents, since I’m always on board with sibling dynamics, but it also serves to emphasize how wet Ryo is.

I get how that’s the point of his character arc, but still, while there’s nothing about Ryo’s introduction here that’s horrible, it’s pretty boring to me. I was especially irritated by the vulgar soundtrack, which kept insisting that Ryo was going through some really intense drama, but come on. It’s a badminton anime. We all know he’s going to play badminton. Let’s get on with it. If any of you Sports Boy Anime fans keep up with this one, let me know if he develops some of that missing spark in the next few weeks. Otherwise I will continue with [insert clever badminton related pun here].

Nicholas Dupree


There’s something… strange about this premiere, though not in a particularly intriguing way. Has she ever sat down to type something on her computer, not paying much attention, and suddenly realized that his fingers are just outside the home row keys and that he has been typing gibberish in the form of regular words? That is the feeling I had when I saw this premiere. It has the shape and moves expected of your average high school sporting extravaganza, but somewhere in its construction things didn’t quite fit together, and the result is an uncomfortably stiff and empty start to what appears to be a badminton extravaganza. perfectly mediocre. .

Part of the problem is that throughout this entire premiere, there’s maybe a combined 45 seconds of badminton action if you don’t count the opening animation. That’s just not going to cut it if you want the audience to engage with your particular sport, and what we get instead is a flat, inert little drama about our nondescript main guy who is hesitant about taking a sports recommendation to a big school and Elegant. And the few moments of sports action that we do have are just… not right. Despite all its flaws, last season salaried club was able to capture the impact, speed and high-octane energy of top-level badminton matches. Here, things are stiff and slow by comparison, and it makes it that much harder to believe how our wet noodle protagonist loves badminton so much.

Although those sequences are likely the product of a struggling production overall. Even with the lack of big set pieces, the rest of this episode struggles with just about any movement, including talking characters. There’s a stiffness to everyone’s body language and faces that prevents them from feeling expressive, and an oddly slow pace to the editing that makes any conversation feel more disjointed than it should. Altogether, it’s a character drama where none of the dialogue feels right, and the result is oddly alienating for such a mundane show. Even if these characters weren’t already boring, that would basically kill any dramatic potential on its own.

As always, my benchmark for a sports show is whether I’d rather watch another episode or just watch the real-life sport being shown for the same amount of time. I am by no means a badminton expert, but I would certainly rather watch a match than sit through another episode of i love all play going through the motions.

Rebecca Silverman


Some early episodes launch you right into the action. This is not one of them. However, that’s not inherently a bad thing: i love all play he chooses to start by establishing his protagonist and his situation, and since that’s a big factor in how he fits in (or doesn’t) with the badminton team he’ll be a part of in high school, it feels like the right approach. Ryo only started playing the sport in high school, and that’s only because his best friend was cheated on by the cute girls’ team, so it really feels like a shock that an elite high school would seek him out for a sports advice. If he accepts, he’ll be able to skip the entrance exam, which, as all seasoned anime viewers know, is a lot of stress he takes off his plate.

What I like about this episode is that the recommendation doesn’t immediately solve all of Ryo’s problems. If anything, create more of them, because not only do you risk alienating your friends who didn’t get offers, but his parents, instead of being happy for him, angrily tell you that you don’t take the recommendation. This feels like the most surprising element of the episode, and even if his dad has decent reasons for his veto (mom seems to agree with dad, and that almost makes me angrier), he’s still actively squashing his son’s good news. It is the older sister, Rika, who wins the family MVP award as the only person who is thinking about what Ryo might want and supporting his choices.

That feels like a foreshadowing, because Ryo’s first meeting with his new high school team (as a special invite for five lucky high school students before signing up) sounds like it might be a rough one. There are really no surprises with the teammates in terms of character; Ryo’s idol Kenta appears to be a raging asshole, there’s a Kageyama lookalike, jumping twins, and a kind team captain to round out the whole thing. The badminton angle is at least a slightly less common sport to use (although last season it had ryman’s club, which is why it’s apparently gaining popularity), but otherwise this episode seems to be setting up an old regular sports show. That said, the very introductory nature of the episode means it’ll take another episode or two to determine how much you’ll enjoy it, because this is a very basic setup. But he looks pretty good (even if he has a fixation on close-ups of faces) and Ryo feels like a character who won’t be hard to follow. Long story short, there’s nothing overtly wrong with this episode, even if there’s nothing overtly right either, and if you’re yearning for some kids playing sports in shorts, this might fit the bill.