Welcome to Anime Review #74. The anime this week is Baby Steps
Apr 6, 2014 to Sep 21, 2014 and Apr 5, 2015 to Sep 20, 2015
After having decided to play tennis at the professional level, Eiichirou Maruo now needs to convince his parents to support his decision. To do so, he makes a wager: if he cannot win the All-Japan Junior Tennis Tournament, he will give up on his dream. However, he will need to improve his skills quickly if he wants to qualify for the tournament and have any chance of defeating the best players in the country. For this reason, his new coach Ryuuhei Aoi suggests that Eiichirou travel abroad to train at the Florida Tennis Academy.
Baby Steps 2nd Season takes the action to America as Eiichirou begins his two-week training program, getting a taste of what tennis is like outside of Japan. With this exciting experience awaiting him, Eiichirou hopes that his training will get him closer to his goal of becoming a professional player.
Baby Steps seems very simplistic from the outside. From first impressions it is a general show about the protagonist Maruo and him fighting his way up the tennis ladder with a romance story thrown in. This however is simply not the case.
What I love about Baby Steps is that the characters are really what make the story and thats where part of the uniqueness of this show comes from. The way in which the story is executed by the characters is great and transforms this average story into an attractive tale.
One of the best things about this show is the relationship between Maruo and the main female protagonist, Natsu. What I like about them is that their relationship, It feels so very real and what I find about some relationships in shows is that the female character can sometimes feel a bit fake but this is not at all the case with Natsu.
Maruos development in tennis is fascinating to watch and you genuinely feel for Maruo when he succeeds and fails. The mechanics of tennis are explored in depth quite a bit and it is always interesting to learn about something you thought was pretty simple. I may not have a lot to say about this but it’s definitely on par with and if not better than the romance spectrum of the show.
The show looks very nice aesthetically and it’s style really suits it. The Opening, Ending and the general soundtrack are all really nice on the ears.
Overall these factors really come together to make the show an entertaining watch that caters to whatever you want. Good sports action or a good love story.
I know many may dismiss this show as a “love story with a bit of tennis in it” but it isn’t, while my review may give this impression do not mistake me. I believe this show is a good story of a developing athlete with a refreshing romance thrown in.
Seasons & Episodes:
2 seasons ~ 50 episodes total