Twelve Moments in Anime 2010 No. 9 – ETU! *clap clap clap* ETU!
Writing about Giant Killing was one of the more fun experiences I’ve had as a blogger. On a purely objective level, it’s not an amazing show; the production values are average at best, the characters are solid but easily identifiable sports archetypes, the pace is unbearably slow at times and there’s too much damn recapping. But it does two things well that add a lot to my enjoyment of the series: Tap into the excitement and suspense that makes sports great, and create a fleshed out universe in which ETU can exist.
See, a lot of Giant Killing takes place on the field, but it’s not all about the games — its sole concern isn’t simply that the ragtag group of ETU players get better and overcome adversity, slay the giants they face. The show also explores everything that comprises the organization: The players, coaches, fans, general managers, owners, PR, staff and so on and so forth. ETU is presented as a living, breathing entity, and thus the viewers see that organization as sports fans see their favorite teams.
And I think that adds a lot to how people watch the series. We are privy to everything in ETU, and we’re just as much a part of it as anyone else in the show. Every week I would see people in blogs, forums or on Twitter on the edge of their seat because they desperately wanted ETU to score a goal or get a stop or whatever. ETU’s victories were our victories not simply because we identified with the players, but also because ETU became our team. People were even semi-seriously wondering if ETU jerseys were available! (For the record, I would buy the hell out of a Prince jersey.)
More than any one moment in the series (though there are plenty of awesome moments, because that’s the way sports narratives are built), I’ll remember freaking out every week on Twitter and blogs with my fellow ETU fans, waiting for the one episode where those giants would finally be killed.