Ping Pong the Animation is very easy to ignore – ping pong isn´t exactly the embodiment of excitement, and when the boys on the poster aren´t your standard rainbow-haired-coloured pretty boys to attract the respective demographic, you´re almost guaranteed to fly over peoples heads. Admittedly, I was one of them, and while somewhere deep within me I knew Ping Pong the Animation was going to be something amazing what with Masaaki Yuasa directing the series, I just didn´t think I was in the right mindset to fully enjoy the show – But with summer rolling around and my brain slowly turning into mush due to the Spanish summer heat, I decided to marathon the entire show, what I didn´t expect, however, was the massive feels trip and character exploration I was about to sign up to.
Ping Pong brought Smile and Peco together, and these childhood friend couldn´t be more differnet if they tried – one being quiet and bored with the other being loud and energetic, both of them have recognized talent that could take them far, far away, but a certain club teacher notices that Smile might be a little different.
For people who want to watch something different from the usual anime kawaii desu pantyshot hijinks and are searching for some character exploration, symbology, sheer fun or all three, Ping Pong the Animation is the show for you. But as with all things Masaaki Yuasa, there is a lot of dialogue, a lot of things that will definitely fly over your head, deep messages you might not get – Ping Pong is not the anime you want to watch on a restless 2 A.M summer night, because you might get a headache.
In all seriousness, Ping Pong the Animation has something for everyone who likes a challenge, for me personally, it was the character exploration and about how realistic they were in one way or another, about how Smile and Peco might be the most relatable characters I have seen in a while and about how the changed in 11 minuscule episodes while other anime can only dream of reaching a fraction of what Ping Pong achieved – yup, this show is damn good.
On the technical sides of things, again, Ping Pong the Animation looks very Yuasa a.k.a not polished, not anime, not straight. But I doubt this will actually bother you if you go in knowing that the actual gameplay isn´t as worked as the peak matches of Kuroko no Basket. It´s different. Different is good.
To summarize, please watch Ping Pong the Animation, it´s a good piece of fiction.