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.
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.
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.
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
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.