Touch: Sebangou no Nai Ace (1986)

Categorization

Sports drama. First in a series of three feature-length films retelling the story of the Touch TV series (1985-1987).

Subject

Twin brothers are just starting senior high school. One of them, Tatsuya, hides his great athletic talents and slacks off to give his slightly younger brother some glory. It works pretty poorly, because they both want a girl they grew up with.

Commentary

The TV series reportedly commanded a steady 30% audience share at the height of its popularity, which is what drew me to this summary. The first film is surprisingly understated, apart from its excessive use of (dated) music. It doesn't feel like a rush through the first third of a 101-episode series. Instead it's remarkably calm, with minimal dialogue. The characters' feelings are clearly more important than the sporting events, but these feelings are only shown, not discussed. A high level of emotional intelligence carries the whole thing. The TV animation and character design is poor.

References here: Blue Blazes (2014).

Japanese production animation moving picture

Sequel:

Touch 2: Sayonara no Okurimono (1986)

Extent

Seen in 2013.

Commentary

More typical sports anime plotting. Apparently the plot diverges heavily from the manga and TV series.

Japanese production animation moving picture

Sequel:

Touch 3: Kimi ga Toorisugita Ato ni (1987)

Extent

Seen in 2013.

Commentary

Contrived. No closure.

Japanese production animation moving picture