Higher Ground by S.R.S.
Short Summary: A brief introduction to the highly talented Suguru Aizawa (Jun Fukuyama) and his younger brother Kakeru (Yuuko Sanpei). Later, the Aizawa’s childhood friend Nana “Seven” Mishima (Shizuka Itou) returns back after a few years in Los Angeles. All looks good on the outside until Suguru snaps at Kakeru for always running away to becoming his school’s manager for the soccer team. Afterwards, he leaves to secretly play ball by himself when a mysterious..alien appears and challenges Kakeru to a quick game, knowing full well his weakness in his left leg and brief flashbacks to a much earlier game. The next day, Kakeru is called up to play for the team on recommendation by his brother. Taunting him if he’s going to run away again, Kakeru finally puts on the jersey and the game starts and a very ominous statement from narrator Kakeru that it will be the “final game” he has with his brother.
Thoughts: Well, damn! This was actually a great first episode of a very well-regarded manga series. It was refreshing that it didn’t quite start off with a soccer episode (next episode is) and we already have some detail on the Aizawa’s: Suguru is the ace and already shouting off at his brother for his hinted insecurities briefly shown in that flashback during the quick match against the “alien”. There were even some genuine funny moments with Seven and the perverted Kota and some with Kakeru himself. The one big problem i had coming into this series is the choice of Kakeru’s VA: Yuuko Sanpei. Her most notable role involves a certain brown haired character who literally was one of the biggest weaknesses of a show i found quite over-rated. Yet, i found Kakeru to be a much better character than i feared and that was one of the better surprises for this good introduction episode. Blogging-wise: definitely, though if it becomes longer than two-cour it will probably be dropped (i never finish 100+ series except one) and i’m really looking forward to the soccer match next episode and how Kakeru and Suguru are going to play, either together or alone.
Chances of Blogging: 70% (one cour: yes, two-cour: maybe, any longer: dropped)
Chances of Watching: 80% (Really liking how it started + good seiyuu lineup)
No ending theme this episode.