Ping Pong Girl has come to an end and the folks at Kinema Citrus decided to go out with a bang.
The episode is basically them training for the upcoming tournament. It technically should be a rather boring outing in Ping Pong Girl terms, but surprisingly it feels kinda okay (or maybe this uninteresting bunch have grown likable over the show’s run). The girls giving their all even though they’re soaked with sweat and don’t have much energy to go on feels nice to watch.
The first year girls who wanted to quit after the first couple of days are now also doing their best and learning from the senpai. They end their training camp by having a little tournament too at night. They’ve all improved during that time and put what they’ve learned to test in this final contest.
The ending is full of a whole lot of clichés, but whether these clichés feel cringe worthy, boring or heartwarming depends on how much you’re attached to these girls. Chances are if you’ve stuck with this show up till now, you’ll find these moments good enough.
But none of that is what sells this episode. Kinema Citrus decided to give us some good old sakuga. Despite not being another high-profile tournament or some other life or death situation, this finale had quite a lot of instances of animation. And whenever Kinema Citrus gives us animation they give us quite the treat. The last ten or so seconds where Koyori is playing some random girl (who could possibly be the girl who defeated the captain of the big team in episode one) speaks for itself about what Kinema is capable of.
The lack of enough motion has always been a problem in this show, but we can’t blame Kinema that much because most of their talent went over to Studio 3Hz when it split from them (which can be seen by how out of this world Flip Flappers tends to look). With the lack of enough talent in the animation department, Kinema had to go with this method of small bursts of sakuga in between loads of still frames. It’s a disappointment honestly, but at least they gave some animated goodness from time to time.
One thing which was pretty good here was how realistic the show tended to be with its table tennis. Of course there was some exaggeration from time to time, like the crazy yandere vs Koyori match, but as a whole, the moves used were doable in real life too. From Hokuto’s crazy spinning to Koyori’s jump smash to Kiruka’s crazy chops, everything was really possible, though their presentation was a bit over the top at times.
The comedy and cuteness were lacking here, as already mentioned in previous reviews, so let’s not talk much about that here. As far as characters go, they were pretty uninteresting, but not unlikable in any way.
In the end, did Ping Pong Girl stand out from its fellow Fall 2016 animes? Not even by a long shot. Table tennis players might find this interesting to an extent, but it didn’t get itself that big of an audience. The ending is obviously the incomplete “our journey continues” one, so there’s still the very tournament they were preparing for coming up. But we may never get to see that, unless the manga is opened. Ping Pong Girl couldn’t leave its mark anywhere so it’ll probably be forgotten come next season.
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