Okay, I’ve been busy with real life so I haven’t had time to review or watch anime. But these past three months I’ve done my best to catch up on what’s hip and cool with all you youngsters. One particular title I felt required a comment is Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm.
The discovery of anti-gravity particles and its utilization to create “Anti-gravity Boots” spawns a new sport in a not so distant alternate future called the “Flying Circus”. It is essentially drone racing meets roller derby… in the sky. Nothing wrong with that.
For the most part, the anime is fine and healthy. It avoids romantic subplots and other unnecessary annoyances, much to the chagrin of the ten-year-old girl in my head, and takes the sport to levels of seriousness where I actually felt like rooting for teams in this fictional sport. The rules are incredulously simple: earn points by either touching buoys or your opponent’s back, and whoever has the most in five minutes wins. Yet these simple rules and augmented Newtonian Laws spawn incredibly complex strategies, aerial maneuvers and techniques, and breed competitiveness to new heights. In this respect, Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm is a carbon clone of Prince of Stride: Alternative. Another anime that aired this season. I could actually copy and paste this post for Prince of Stride, and no one would be the wiser.
Unfortunately, here’s the spoiler, in the final episode during the last battle the opponent, Inui Saki, cheats. She removes the limiters in her shoes allowing her to fly in ways no one thought possible up to that point. However, instead of disqualifying her, everyone comes to the same conclusion: the only way for our ditzy genius protagonist, Kurashina Asuka, to win would be for her to cheat as well. So they remove the limiters in her shoes and she ends up winning thanks to this game-breaking strategy called ignoring the rules.
Why? Up until this point, Flying Circus was a sport anyone could pick up, and hopefully “git gud” at with practice and hard work. Yet the ramifications of allowing this heresy to continue now limits the game to whoever can cheat better than the rest.
It’s like baseball, where you have no chance of competing in the majors unless you dope up on steroids like the best of them. It’s not right, and I personally believe Asuka should have been able to win without resorting to this kind of crap. This also introduces other unsightly elements, because as was clearly stated in the anime, the limiters exist for the sake of preserving the safety of the users. It is evidently life-threatening, yet not illegal during actual matches. Furthermore, there was no reason for anyone to remove them because no human could control it. Yet lo and behold, here’s two people who can. Then there’s the issue of equipment modding; because regulations don’t exist to prevent this, wouldn’t it be feasible for someone to just program shoes to do all hard maneuvers for you?
And where does that leave us regular folks, who actually want to enjoy a honest game once and for all? For those of us who believe everyone has the opportunity to succeed, and it’s just a matter of effort and training? It’s too much.
Seriously, fuck this shit.