Buzzer Beater

Genre: Action
Format: 13 Episodes
Allegiance: Tokyo Movie Shinsha/WOWOW
Director: Miya Shigeyuki
Vintage: 2005
Intelligence Agency Report by: Lady Sage
In the year 20XX, basketball has become the most popular sport in the galaxy. However, the creators of the game – humans – have been relegated only to planetary leagues, as they lack the strength or height of many other races from different planets. Into this world steps Hideyoshi, a street boy with an incredible talent for the sport, who is scouted for the newest all-Earth basketball team.

Field Agent Report by: Lady Sage
Overall 5.75
(not an average)

’m not a fan of watching sports on TV. I’ve found that the thrill of the game, while certainly present in person, has never transferred very well to the screen. However, sports anime can often create excitement and tension by creating characters that you can root for, and maybe an underdog team. Buzzer Beater tries to do those things… and fails.

The foundation is a typical underdog story: a team of clearly inferior physical ability trying to make it purely on heart and determination. Frankly, I have some objections to this sort of plot in any case, andBuzzer Beater is one of the worst executions of it I’ve seen. Much of the time is devoted to gathering the team together, without getting to the actual point of the series. Although I certainly cannot speak for the accuracy of the games, they are fairly slow-paced and not very interesting.

So how about those sympathetic characters who are the hallmark of good sports anime? Also absent! Hideyoshi is the typical brash, overconfident protagonist that was always the best before, but gets knocked down a peg once he enters the big leagues. All the other characters are similarly dull and stereotypical. Furthermore, the cast is fairly large, but very few besides Hideyoshi and Cha-che receive any attention at all.

The two most original areas of Buzzer Beater are the art and music. The music is easily the highlight of the series, with a great jazzy opening theme and a lovely folksy ending. Most of the BGM is made up variations on the opening, but are still quite pleasing to the ears. The art, however, is proof that originality is not always a good thing. The character designs are ugly without exception, with oddly protruding lips and overly-defined muscles.

Buzzer Beater lacks any of the qualities that can make a series worthwhile. It even lacks good sporting action, and therefore alienates any remaining potential audience.