Studio: TMS Entertainment
Sports anime featuring all-girl teams are pretty few and far between but Cinderella Nine (known as Hachigatsu no Cinderella Nine in Japanese) is one of these few airing in the current anime season. The series is apparently based on a gacha game, though there are no hints of this in the episode. The anime looks to follow the formation of an all girl’s baseball team at a high school, something which it is quick to tell us early on is something you don’t see too often.
The series is bright and colourful, which matches the light atmosphere – the first episode at least comes across as pretty slice-of-life in style, dealing with typical high school issues. From the beginning, we are introduced to Tsubasa, the plucky girl who is trying to form the baseball club despite the disapproval of the school council. She comes across a lot like the main protagonist of another all-female anime based on a gacha game – Honoka from Love Live! She’s helped by her friend and together they try to recruit members for the new team.
The majority of the episode actually focuses more on the two prospective members, tall first year Nozomi and shy Ukita, which is perhaps for the best as Tsubasa and her friend don’t come across as particularly interesting. A few other girls are highlighted throughout the episode, who presumably from the opening, will also join the baseball team eventually but they’re seen so briefly that we gain very little sense of their characters. Indeed, there look to be nine girls eventually in the team, and unfortunately so far, very few of them seem to stand out too much which bodes ill for the rest of the series.
The episode deals with Nozoki and Ukita’s first experience of the baseball club and their respective fears which are holding them back – one because of her past experience in team sports, and the other who is too hard on herself and expects to fail automatically. It’s sweet to see the two start to grow past these fears and eventually join the team. Unfortunately, when we actually get to see them play a game, it’s shown in a montage scene, so we miss most of the action! Hopefully, this isn’t the case in future episodes as the characters themselves so far don’t seem strong enough to hold the storyline themselves.
The first episode isn’t bad, and the characters come off as cute and fairly likable, but there’s not a lot else it’s got going for it so far. It’s not bad but it’s not good either – perhaps something that would work for a casual watch, but there’s little so far to keep viewers coming back. So many sports animes out there are full of excitement, interesting characters, and fast-paced storylines – Cinderella Nine suffers from taking things at a slower pace.
Cinderella Nine Episode 1
Cute girls form a baseball team, but sadly the results are less than riveting. More for fans of slice of life series, than sports anime fans.