Scorching Ping Pong Girls – Mid Season Review
Note: Due to injury, Linny will be taking a diminished roll through the Mid Season reviews. She will return for the full reviews at the end of the season.
Scorching Ping Pong Girls:
Original Air Dates: October 3rd, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: Kamiya, Agari is Suzumegahara Middle School’s top table tennis player. But her ace status is challenged when Koyori Tsumujikaze transfers in. Koyori has a natural talent and only gets better as she plays. On the eve of the top nation wide table tennis middle school team getting trounced at the national championships, the Suzumegahara Middle School finds it’s on a path to enter the nationals and rise up as new contenders!
Mid Season (6 episodes) Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Despite Ping Pong Girls’ exceedingly moe atmosphere, the show can actually get incredibly intense. Matches are animated with such flair, and accompanied by a catchy musical track that Ping Pong Girls can feel legit intense when depicting match ups. But the show isn’t solely focused on Ping Pong, and spends a fair bit of time building up the relationships between its leads and supporting characters.
Initially the show is entirely invested in Koyori and Agari’s budding rivalry. The show isn’t affraid to get a bit intense with that either, as Agari treats Koyori more like an enemy than anything else. But as that plotline gets resolved, although a more friendly rivalry remains, the show repositions its attention to supporting characters, even going so far as to introduce a new member of the cast, Kiruka, the captain of the school’s Ping Pong team, previously waylade by an injury.
There’s some real heart as we spend a bit more time with Kiruka, Hokuto, Hanabi, etc. exploring their quirky personalities. In particular, episode 6 focuses squarely on a heartwarming tale about Hokuto’s and Hanabi’s friendship. It’s this refocus that allows the characters to feel a bit more real, and relatable, rather than remaining a vessel for say, our requisite boob humor as in the case of Munemune-Senpai.
One concerning aspect remains with Ping Pong Girls however, and that’s length. Ping Pong is currently set as a one-cour series, yet the manga is ongoing. It’s likely at this point we won’t see the girls compete in more than one tournament, as they are still practicing for participation. We’re already half way done with the show, so it seems like it’ll be tight even in squeezing in one full length tournament arc.
One last note is for viewers sensitive to fan service. Ping Pong Girls generally avoids some of the more overt and pandering levels, but continually utilizies Munemune’s rather large bust size as a frequent source of humor, if not every episode than every other. Outside of that however Ping Pong Girls offers some heartwarming character building and friendships, coupled with intense Table Tennis Matches that can often feel like a visual feast.
Scorching Ping Pong Girls is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com