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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » I'll/Ckbc
I'll/Ckbc
Media Blasters // Unrated // August 17, 2004
List Price: $19.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted November 14, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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The Show:

Many anime shows start off as popular manga (comic books.)  With the high cost of producing an animated show, the producers like to have a built in audience before committing a large amount of cash to a project.  While this philosophy has worked very well in the past, sometimes manga just aren't readily adapted to the small screen and the series lacks the appeal of the original.  Case in point: I'll/ CKBC.  This started out as a good selling manga, but when it was turned into a two episode OVA, the series fell flat.

This is the story of two basketball players, both who want to take their game to the "next level." Akane Tachibana and Hitonari Hiiragi are both good players who end up on the same public high school team, the Crazy Kouzu Basketball Club. (The CKBC from the title.)  Tachibana is really striving to become a better player.  He practices at all hours and really pushes himself.  Hiiragi is different though.  His father is a coach at a prestigious high school and his brother is a star player.  Hiiragi loves basketball, but he doesn't want to walk in the shadow of his brother, so he moves out of his house and attends a local public school.

The two players become friends and rivals at the same time.  But when Hiiragi is scouted by a presigious basketball camp, and then gets an offer to attend a good school, he's willing to turn his back on Kouzu in order to perfect his game.  Akane and the rest of the club feel betrayed, so they challenge the basketball camp to a game to see who's really the best.

Note: After the credits of the final episode there is a short epilog.

This show really doesn't work very well at all.  They tried to cram way too much information into an hour, and the result is a muddled mess.  They don't give enough time to developing the main characters personalities, to say nothing of the other team members and coaches.   I never thought I really knew any of the characters or what drives them.  Consequently, I didn't really care who won the big basketball game that takes up most of the second episode.

The story is told with frequent flash backs which only serve to confuse the viewer, and a lot of things are never fleshed out.  At one point Akane and Hitonari are fighting in the gym like mortal enemies, and the next scene their hanging out at Hitonari's apartment like the best of friends.  I was never sure if they were friends who had a falling out or what.

There's a lot of hokey dialog in this show too.  Things like  "They can do their best because they love basketball." or the coach's peptalk before the big game: "All we've got going for us is guts."   I'll chose talent and training over guts any day.

In the end, this show just doesn't take the time to explore any of the characters, or even introduce many of them.  Trying to fit the entire background story into the first 30 minute episode just caused confusion and apathy.  If you've read the manga, which I haven't, you might understand the story a little better, but it never grabbed me.

The DVD:


Audio:

This disc has the original Japanese track and an English dub both in stereo.  There wasn't a lot of directionality to the mix, but being a dialog based show, I wasn't expecting many stereo effects.  Both tracks sounded adequate, with the background music being clear and clean.

Video:

The video looked good too.  The image had a good amount of definition and detail, and the colors were accurately reproduced.  There was some minor digital defects, some shimmering lines in the background and a little aliasing, but nothing major.  An adequate looking transfer.

Extras:

There are two extras on this disc.  First is a series of interviews with the Japanese voice actors.  This 10 minute discussion is in Japanese with optional English subtitles.  The problem with this is that the questions are written on the screen in Japanese, and not translated, so you really don't know what the question is.

There is also a three minute promo reel of the main characters recording their lines.

Final Thoughts:

This show really doesn't work very well.  They try to put too much story into a very short show, and the result is a mess.  The main characters aren't fleshed out, and the secondary players are hardly more than a backdrop.  The program had trouble holding my interest for an hour, and I really can't see any appeal.  It's best if you just skip this one.
 

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