Sat 1 Aug 2009
The ever popular anime which I fag about twice a week on this blog called Saki is not only action packed and wildly entertaining, it is also enlightening and recently opened up my mind. At first the premise seemed utterly ridiculous: Gonzo CG mahjong? Crazy over the top fight scenes? Girls and mahjong? It didn’t seem like it would work at all. But Saki did just about everything right (maybe cut the yuri and Nodoka’s boobs by like 40% but I’m still a happy camper), and showed all of us that you really can make anime about anything as long as you can make it entertain. So then I thought about another hobby that I enjoy: golf.
A few months ago, my fellow Dasaku tenant Cokematic wrote about why there are no hockey anime, and one of his most convincing points (besides the Kukudo rabbits) is that Japanese people simply don’t play or care that much about hockey. However, this is not true for golf. Ever since Jumbo Ozaki completely dominated the Japan Golf Tour in the 70′s, 80′s, and 90′s, a slew of Japanese professional golfers have risen to prominence. In 1980, Jumbo’s heated rival (don’t you see the ingredients for epic anime already?) Isao Aoki had an epic duel with Jack Nicklaus (the most legendary golfer of all time until Tiger retires) at the U.S. Open, regarded by many as the most prestigious tournament in the world. I would imagine this battle involving golf energy levels, crazy pans and cuts of the two competitors, and the heart of the golfballs.
At this year’s British Open, a slew of Japanese players were in contention early on. Of these including teenage sensation Ryo Ishikawa, who was paired with Tiger Woods and shot a better score than Tiger in the first round. Another incident that comes to mind was at the 2005 U.S. Open (yes, it “comes to mind” I think I might watch too many sports) when, during Tiger Woods’s press conference, he fielded a question for a Japanese female reporter, who used super engrish. Lulz proceeded, but Tiger was a good sport and answered her questions in good will. It shows that not only do Japanese people play golf, and are good at it, they care and read about it in newspapers. By the way, Japanese golfer Shigeki Maruyama finished 4th in that tournament.
Besides that, golf is great drama, but it still has that lulz factor that Saki flexes so well (I assure you, “lulz” is not a phrase I ever use on this blog. It’s repeated appearance in this post is coincidental). Just the same way that mahjong is full of strategy and cunning, but it’s just flipping tiles around, golf is full of finesse and athleticism, but it’s just hitting a ball into a hole. Saki’s formula for over the top effects and crazy mind games, if animators choose that path, will work. Gonzo would have to do it, though. They need to crank out some good anime fast if they wanna stay alive. *crosses fingers for Strike Witches 2*
Third, the “mystique” of golf fits the shonen/sports anime genre pretty well. Prince of Tennis has the Cyclone Smash, Hikaru no Go has the Hand of God, golf has the cut stinger tomahawk gigaspin brEaAKAAAA. I hope you mangaka and plot writers are taking notes. There are also hilarious things like this. Notice the dramatic music. Yeah.
Furthermore, there are multiple ways a potential golf anime could be done. Usually anime are adapted from manga and I do believe a few are out there. You could make it like Saki and have cute girls, short skirts, EYELIGHTNING, awesome magical fight scenes, yuri, and awesome CG golf balls. You could also go for a more serious (but still awesome) conventional sports anime route, where a disowned struggling pro teaches a misfit delinquent the game and they both learn emotionally touching lessons about life, growing up, and the conflicts that surround them all. *wipes tears from eyes* Of course, then there are rivals and he beats them using random bullshit magical shots that involve blue fire and hurricane-force winds. Heck, you can even make a Pangya anime, the girls are even already there for you and the plot involves pirates. Golf and pirates? What more do you need.
(Even better they can make an anime about playing Pangya and it would be full of kids on their laptops tapping the arrow keys to get perfect aim and hitting pangyas with spacebar smashing and epic calculations and measuring pixels and whatever other bullshit people invented nowadays to shoot -40 in that damn game. xD )
Finally, the most attractive possibility in a golf anime? Terrible double entendres. Besides the concept of using a putter to stroke the ball into the hole, lines I have heard in golf broadcasting include “finally, he’s in the hole”, “Sean O’Hair is currently locked in a heated four person stroke match”, “Tom Watson is in the fairway, laying 4″, “That ball came out of the rough really chunky”. The possibilities are endless.