Softenni News

Softenni is a franchise comprised of 1 anime series
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So, a good long while back I threw around the idea of posting blogs on current anime. While we all enjoy Tom's Watch & Learn articles, it leaves something to be desired for those who want to read about brand new anime. So, I'm hoping these blogs will act as a good supplement to Tom's work.

Episode #1: Morning Training

 This is only the first episode, put your damn clothes back on!
 This is only the first episode, put your damn clothes back on!
So... Softenni. I saw this and immediately thought "so it's K-ON! but with tennis?" and that holds true to a certain extent. We have a group of girls who are members of their school's soft tennis club (which according to wikipedia differs from regular tennis in that they use a soft, rubber ball... scaredy-cats) and are aiming to be the best players around. They're cute, silly and each have their own traits and quirks. However one thing this series is going for that K-ON! didn't so much is fan service. I'm not usually one to complain about this sort of thing, but if the first episode is any indication of what's to come, then this is clearly one of those shows that puts fan service first, rather than it just being a cheeky extra. Which is a shame, because not only will lots of people turn it down because of this, but my first impression makes me think this would do better focusing on comedy more than underwear, but hey.

I don't know either...
I don't know either...
The main character is Asuna Harukaze (pink hair). She's a happy-go-lucky type who appears to live on a farm with her mother (I should probably note that farm-life seems to be a bit of a theme here, with cows both at home and at school). Asuna seems a bit clumsy, and interprets almost everything in a sexual context, constantly getting the wrong idea (for comedic effect of course). Of the four other girls from the intro, we have seen; Kotone Sawanatsu (brown hair) who seems to be the most normal, level-headed girl in the group, Chitose Akiyama (green hair) the busty girl with a huge appetite, and Kurusu Fuyukawa (blue/purple hair) the quiet girl who trains hard and has a strange hobby collecting giant masks. There's definitely a variety here. Oh, there's also the tennis club coach who the girls found snoring away drooling all over a bench in the tennis court. He'd apparently been drinking the night before with the principle and was very hungover. He's already my favourite character.

 Cotton clouds!
 Cotton clouds!
The visual style is actually really nice. Everything is very clean, bright and colourful, to the point where it almost reminds me of Kirby's Epic Yarn, particularly scenery drawn far off into the background. The tennis balls are pink, everyone has those crazy anime hair colours... it's like the artists were given a box of kids Crayola crayons and were told to go nuts, so I suppose it may not be for everyone.

Below are some more screen caps from this episode.
For even more screen caps go here.


 
So, is anyone else watching this? What do you think? Or is it just too fan servicey for it's own good?
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