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Number of Episodes

5

 

Language Options English/Japanese/English Subtitles

 

Released by

Bandai Entertainment

 

Extras

- Credits

- Trailers

 

 

Related Links:

Review: Great Teacher Onizuka Volume 1 (DVD)

Review: The Big O II Volume 2 (DVD)

 

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Hoop Days Zone 2 (DVD)

 

FAST BREAK!

 

Down to the final seconds, it’s a razor-thin margin between Mizuho and Narita High. Can Mizuho recover from a foul charged against them? A strange new girl shadows the team, and she and Taku appear to know each other. Mutsumi gets angsty over this and lets it get to her game. A new student manager is appointed to the boys team, and she’s someone no one expected. Coach Shimojo pulls Mutsumi from the game and orders Mai to take her place. The senior members of last year’s team confront Taku and pummel him. Aikawa runs into Mutsumi and takes her back to his place to talk. The girls team make it into the tournament finals, will they pull it together for a win?

 

There aren’t a lot of sports anime or manga series being imported to North America; so it’s nice for a change of pace and get a chance to examine a new genre.

 

hoop days          hoop days

 

Episode 06: The Many Thoughts

Late in a tie game, Ishii draws a foul and Narita High’s going to the free throw line. They sink the go-ahead basket, but it’s going to be a test to see if Mizuho High’s boys can come together for the last 13 seconds. Off the rebound for the missed foul shot, the boys make a quick break out and Aikawa tries for 3, but it bounces out. Thankfully Ishii’s there to net the rebound and put back. And so with that rebound, Mizuho wins its’ first game,  which leads to the obligatory celebration party.

 

As the party winds down, the guys reminisce about their start with the varsity team – they all ended up shagging balls and learning the basics instead of getting any court time; but the time that the spent together lead to a deep bond amongst the four original members. The coach was the reason for most of them to attend Mizuho High, and when he begins berating the members, Taku strikes the arrogant man. The incident led to the suspension of the men’s basketball program for one year – hence, the only remaining members were the four.

 

Episode 07: An Air of Disturbance

A person from Taku’s past makes an appearance, Anzaki. This female basketball talent has taken an interest in Taku and seems to be hovering near him; she 

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questions whether the leg injury of his has actually healed. And the attention isn’t only female; while Taku and Aikawa go for some lunch, they run into the seniors that left the basketball program – they still harbor some severe resentment for not being able to play in that season’s tournament and aren’t happy that he’s able to play now. Coach Shimojo makes a big decision – she’s named Taku the team captain, and told him with the absence of a true coach, he’s going to run the practices for the five-some.

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The continuing questions about Taku’s leg forces Miura to reveal how the injury happened back in middle school and most believe that it could become a serious problem later in the season. Coach Shimojo approaches the boys with a new manager, the girl Anzaki who comes in like a whirlwind: she sends off the rest of the team to practice, while she intends to do strength training with Taku. He won’t have it, and when she presses, he becomes annoyed and leaves practice – now in the locker-room, the seniors that he brushed off earlier are waiting for him.

 

Episode 08: Cold Rain

Taku’s “meeting” with the seniors goes about as well as one would expect – they pummel the crap out of him. But Taku doesn’t fight back for 2 reasons: he believes that it’s his fault that they can’t play and he doesn’t want to get the team suspended for fighting again. Aikawa sees the seniors come to the court, so he senses something wrong and heads to the locker-room (with a fake stomach ailment) where he finds a bruised and battered Taku. The two talk, and Taku reveals that he left practice to go see a doctor about his knee – he intends to rehabilitate it so he can last a season. Anzaki goes along with him to the doctor, and walks him home after his session. Mutsumi worries about Taku after seeing him leave practice in a huff, so she goes to his house after practice to check on him – and she sees Anzaki there. Misunderstanding the situation, she leaves the scene in tears.

 

The next day is the beginning of the single-elimination tournament, but Mutsumi just hasn’t brought her A game to play. She’s still grinding her gears over Taku and she is trying to do everything on the court but accomplishing nothing. After some absolutely brutal play, Coach Shimojo is forced to pull her in favor of Mai who will now run the team. In the locker room, the Coach is furious and blows up on Mutsumi saying that she won’t be starting her next game. Mutsumi leaves the room and is caught in a mental funk and comes across Aikawa while walking in the rain.

 

Episode 09: Because You’re There

Aikawa brings Mutsumi back to his little apartment and helps talk her out of her funk. She’s shouldering a lot of responsibility and doesn’t know how to deal with all of her feelings and duties. Aikawa tells her about his transfer over to Mizuho High, and talks about what he thinks Taku feels and what he’s going through. Learning some details that she didn’t know, Mutsumi calms down and heads home, but along the way she runs into a distressed Mai who is still freaking out about having to lead the team for another game. Mutsumi calms down her friend and tries to pump her up for the game. Game day – Mai is struggling against their opponents and is not able to get their offense moving against their strong defense. Mutsumi tells Mai to use the jump-shot that she’s been practicing from Aikawa, and with it she’s able to break the game open and lead the team to victory. The coach is happy to see that Mutsumi has cleared her head, and tells her that she will be starting the next game (the Finals).

 

Back at the school, the boys team continues to practice and Anzaki has a good idea for their next day – the team will go watch the girls team in the finals. Anzaki approaches Taku, and suggests that he should go talk to Mutsumi – but he doesn’t take well to advice from her. When he spends some time with Aikawa, and he suggests the same thing he finds some time to talk to her before her game and lends her his wristband.

 

Episode 10: The Suppressed Passion

Mutsumi goes on a romp – she leads by example and the girls team destroys their opponents in the final. The boys team is happy for them, but are quickly back to work. Ishii and Aikawa approach the Coach about having a friendly game against another team – the boys are having a hard time gauging their teamwork and development without any opponents. The Coach says that she’ll look for some suitable opponents, but some may have appeared on their own. Members of the senior class look longingly at the progress of the team, but the center, who loves the game the most, is the most angry about not being able to play in the year-end tourney. Some of the seniors begin practicing towards playing the team, but the center refuses.

 

Taku is finally able to practice and play once again, his doctor finally gives him clearance to resume full-speed practices, but the person most happy seems to be Anzaki. Apparently her playing career was stopped by a serious injury and as a result, she cannot resume. When she approaches the senior center, he still refuses to join in on the practice despite how he looks at the court longingly. Anzaki reveals her disgust at his for not doing what he loves, especially when she cannot do it and would give anything to be able to play once again. The center understands, and joins in on the practice. We’re nearing the big game – Senior team versus the Boys Team.

 

Hoop Days is a very bright and visually appealing anime; it suffers from being a little too melodramatic in places, but otherwise isn’t too bad of a show to watch.

 

- Tazman

(October 9, 2005)

 

"When a man loves a woman..."

"So, which one are you: the man or the woman?"

"Made the kid question his sexuality, well done!"

- Milhouse, Lenny, and Carl (The Simpsons)

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