Days is adapted from the ongoing shounen manga created by Tsuyoshi Yasuda. Days is based around the clumsy, novice Tsukushi Tsukamoto who through perserverance and GUTS rises to become a regular player for the prestigious Seiseki High School soccer team.

Based on that description pretty much every reader of this blog[1] is wondering “why the hell was he watching that?”

For the first few episodes I was wondering the same thing. 🙂

Partly it’s because Days is such a simple pleasure. Like Flying Witch and My Hero Academia, Days is a show that wears its heart on its sleeve, and is simply about trying hard, getting better, and making friends along the way. It doesn’t ever try to be anything else, and that was part of the appeal.

Tsukushi is the perfect everyman for that sort of show. He tries so hard, and just never gives up, that you just want someone to give the poor lad a hug occasionally.

The combination of Tsukushi and the other oddballs[2] who make up the Seiseki soccer team ends up producing a highly enjoyable show, albeit with some predictable problems once it gets heavily into the Tournament Arc.

Specifically: quarter opponent of the week. Yes, I know a soccer match can run for an hour or so, but there’s very little reason for any one match to occupy three or more episodes of a weekly show. This aspect is particularly noticeable in the 2nd cour which finishes at the semi-finals of the current tournament, with the finals punted to the OAVs[3]. Should a season 2 emerge, that would cover the next tournament[4].

On the other hand Tsukushi does get a fair bit of character development over the course of the series, including being forced to work out for himself what his role in the team should be, as well as a few levels in badass[5].

Also worth mentioning is the Cute Sports Club Manager Chikako Ubukata avoiding many of the clichés associated with her role. As far as I can tell she’s not there for decoration, romance[7], or fanservice. Instead she has brains[6], the willpower to use them, and actually manages the nutters running loose in the Seiseki soccer team. Ubukata is a great character, and well worth watching.

Given that Ubukata is often the only speaking female character to appear, this is something of a relief. Sometimes Days is so testosterone driven you just have to laugh at it, but sometimes that’s part of the fun.

Overall, Days is a generally pleasant way to pass a half hour of a Sunday. Worth a look, and if you enjoy it keep going.

[1] Both of you. 🙂

[2] Including the captain Mizuki who is an outright Cloudcuckoolander. A monster of a soccer player, but a very strange lad indeed. Most of the rest are nuts in some way or other.

[3] Two OAVs are scheduled, I’m actually wondering if that will be enough to cover that match.

[4] Much like Hibike! Euphonium, the current tournament is the qualifying tournament for the Nationals, only with more matches and less social commentary.

[5] Which, let’s face it, Tsukushi really needed but which don’t actually change how adorkable he is.

[6] Ubukata is, arguably, a better soccer tactician than the coach by the end of the 2nd cour. Which amused me greatly.

[7] Despite the amusing eyecatches for the various characters that include such vitally important information as their preferences in girlfriends…