“The hero comes. The hero comes. The hero comes. Chant these words in your mind, and I’ll surely come to you…” This mantra is what Makoto Tsukimoto repeats as a source of motivation when he fights through the stress of not only grueling ping pong matches, but also in situations of his life. Makoto doesn’t fight alone; he and his friend, Yukata Hoshino, nicknamed Smile and Peco respectively, are two boys who have grown up playing ping pong together nearly every day. Peco, brimming with confidence, aims to be the best table tennis player in the world; Smile, on the other hand, shows little ambition. Nevertheless, the two have always stuck together, with a bond built upon their mutual love for this sport. Every year, students from all across Japan gather for the inter-high table tennis competition to achieve national and international stardom. Through intense training and competition, only the very best persevere. From the avant-garde director of Tatami Galaxy, Masaaki Yuasa, Ping Pong The Animation serves a tale of ambition with its fair share of bumps along the way. Whatever the odds, Peco and Smile will face them together. – My Anime List
Based on 22 review scores:
My only warning is that this show is best appreciated when you’re awake, engaged, and have all the attention you can give, since it’s an expert in the department of showing rather than telling but doesn’t always even draw that much attention to what it does show. I’m happy to say that Masaaki Yuasa has done it again!
“The best anime this season” said the guy who didn’t even like sport anime…
If you really want to see sports anime and coming of age done right, check out Ping Pong. Yes, it’s got a unique art style, but it creates one of the most “real” casts of characters I’ve seen in ages. We have 3D characters that develop over time. It doesn’t have the flash and dash of Kuroko no Basket or Free, but it doesn’t need it, you’ll be cheering along just as hard by the end of it. This would be one of my candidates for “anime of the year 2014” for sure. I give Ping Pong an A+ 5/5. Join me next time when I review bubble gum.
A work of undeniable power, Ping Pong is one of the best series of the last decade.
Ping Pong is easily one of All the Anime best licenses and definitely one of my favourite anime. The unique and stunning visuals combined with the subtle but pleasing audio brilliantly set up the realistic feel of the story. It’s hard to think that all this is contained with an 11 episode series but it is arguably some of the best 11 episodes you’ll ever see.
In the end, the series itself came completely out of left field for me but lifted itself to be one of the most exciting things I’ve ever happened to watch. I don’t care what you think of numerical scores, Ping Pong get’s a 10/10, why not. It has more heart and passion than anything else out there.
Ping Pong proves that the anime medium is not limited in any way shape or form. Any story on any subject matter can be told in this wonderful story-telling medium and the fact that an emotionally powerful story can be told about two teens playing Ping Pong is a testament to Tatsunoko Productions and the anime platform as a whole. Ping Pong may not be for everyone but it is highly stylized thought provoking anime at its finest. If you don’t mind a weird looking anime about table tennis, Ping Pong may just blow your mind with the punch it is packing.
Anime News Network
Overall, Ping Pong is a triumph of artistry and treasure of storytelling. It’s one of the shows I’d recommend to really demonstrate what anime is capable of, and yet it’s light and engaging enough to be enjoyed by almost anyone. Highly recommended for all fans of anime as an art form, or just fans of good stories told well.
Ping Pong is a powerful story that deserves a chance. If you do not like the animation style just give the story a chance. It won’t take long before you don’t care how it looks and just want to see how things turn out. I promise that this story will make you rethink your own ambitions or lack there of.
Anime UK News
Ping Pong is a series that stands out from the crowd. It certainly deserves to be watched simply because it does something different.
No question to it, Ping Pong is one of a kind. It’s incredibly under-budgeted but makes excellent use of what it does have – a talented, imaginative and risk-taking team.
It would be a shame to miss out on an anime as well done as this just because of artistic reasons. The music was excellent too, specially the ending song. I assure you that you will be surprised after finishing this chef-d’oeuvre.
My Anime List
Ping Pong is not a light watch. This is something that can be enjoyed by anyone who wants a good story. You don’t have to like or even understand table tennis, it’s first and foremost a tale about growing up. It’s undoubtedly a memorable experience and something very much worth your time if you keep an open mind.
I’ll give this show a solid 8/10. I think I liked this anime the more I thought about it, and I have to give it major props for its unique art style.
Ping Pong The Animation is a very unique anime thanks to its characters and visuals. It takes a more realistic approach to the subject of sports instead of exaggerating it into some kind of magical godly battle (read: Kuroko no Basuke). For the sports anime enthusiasts, this may strike you as unique and fresh, but I also highly recommend this even if you don’t usually watch sports anime.This anime brings in many themes related to talent and hard work, and many will find the story relatable.
So I’ll always prefer the movie, but the series is pretty fine in its own right. If you like your horizons broad when it comes to the anime that you watch, this different style of storytelling and animation will certainly hold the attention, while the story is great in its own right. Actually you should watch both. Those who watch the series first, can watch the movie afterwards, and then tell me how wrong I am, and why the series is actually better.
Each of these eleven episodes are superb as we watch Peco, Smile, Kong and Ryuchi grow as individuals within the ups and downs of their own story arcs, providing a wealth of character development and a depth to the story that I’ve never seen before in an Sports anime. With only Eleven episodes, it’s a nicely paced slice of life/coming of age series that I feel will be even better with multiple viewings. Add the fact that it comes with an excellent English dub and it’s highly recommended.
This isn’t to say that the show is completely terrible. Despite its flaws and problematic implications, it’s still a series I can recommend, if only for its different, more mature take on the sports genre. Watch the series for its funky art style, its dark portrayal of the psychological toll of sports competitions, and its compelling characters.
J And J Productions
On paper, Ping Pong: The Animation should have been amazing. The characters had potential for compelling drama and the use of symbolism is occasionally effective. Unfortunately, due to the previously mentioned poor execution, a lack of narrative cohesion, and historically awful presentation, the series’ ideas are ultimately undermined. With that said, Ping Pong is not a bad anime by any means, just a disappointing one in my eyes.
Ultimately, Ping Pong is a show that is incredibly lively thanks to its diverse cast, their realistic struggles and the excellently executed flashy animation style. From what I’ve seen this show is probably the easiest to pick up and enjoy from Masaaki’s works – there’s no “weird shit” going on here, but it is no less satisfying and meaningful. The character stories it tells resonate greatly, the pace is fast, and the story is totally complete. What’s not to like?