Anime, as a medium, encompasses a large number of genres and subgenres. Two of the most popular genres in the anime industry are the mecha and sports genres. While both genres are full of fantastic titles, these two genres rarely intersect and mostly stick to their own strengths. However, Basque! stands out because it tries to combine these two genres, in an extremely fascinating way.
Premiere in 2009, Basque! was created by Shoji Kawamori and Thomas Romain. Kawamori, a legendary mecha designer, previously worked on fans’ favorite series Eureka Seven. Additionally, Romain has worked on several legendary projects, including designing the world for Carol & Tuesday and Macros Delta. The script was written by prolific anime director Tatsuo Satō, who previously wrote for Argevollen and directed Martian Successor Nadesicot. The series was animated by studio Satelight, most famous for their work on the Symphogear and Macros franchises.
Basque! is set in a futuristic, alternate Earth called Earthdash. Although this is a futuristic place, society has a huge problem with income inequality. The population is divided into two opposing groups; the rich live on the moon in a majestic city called Mooneyes. Those who are not rich remain on Earth in dingy, dilapidated settlements. In this world, one sport dominates all the others, Big Foot Basketball, also known as BFB. This game works similarly to basketball, but instead of players running around the court with their bodies, each player drives a personalized mech called Big Foot.
The series follows Dan JD, a young man who hates the Big Foots because one knocked out his sister and he thinks they’ve made basketball boring. Dan hopes he can earn enough money to get his sister to the moon to have the surgery she needs. When he acquires a Big Foot, he decides to cause chaos at a Big Foot Basketball game, hoping to destroy the sport. Dan easily dominates the pro players, but his antics cause the stadium to collapse. Dan spends a year in prison and is told that he has to pay to rebuild the stadium.
However, when Dan is released, he discovers that his actions at the game have inspired a whole new generation of Big Foot Basketball players and that his flamboyant style of mecha control has become the dominant style. In fact, Dan has become very famous, and a new sport initially called Big Foot Streetball, but later renamed Basquash, is the most popular sport. So, desperate to pay for his sister’s surgery and pay off his debt, Dan becomes a Basquash player. As he competes, however, he finds himself in the midst of something much bigger.
One of the best aspects of Basque! is his visuals. It has a unique aesthetic that is more American than other anime of the era. In fact, the aesthetic perfectly captures the look and feel of the extreme sports subculture of the late 2000s. The environments are fantastic too, capturing the feel of a downtrodden semi-futuristic dystopia, while still looking original and distinguished from the rest. And, unlike many other dystopian environments, this one feels very lived in, making the world alive.
But the real highlight is the basketball series. These sequences perfectly combine the mech and sport elements in one package. While some shows would have simply made the robots play like tall people who only look like robots, the animators and writers worked to make the sport feel different from real-world basketball and really considered how the mechs would change the way the game played. was played would change.
So the mechs are slow and have a sense of weight, but they also use them to do things unattainable in mainstream sports, such as wall runs, huge jumps, and hard tackles. On the other hand, it also takes into account robot damage and the sheer difficulty of getting a mech up after it falls, leading to some unique set pieces throughout the games. This means that many Basquash scenes feel like sports anime. Focusing on how the character’s skills and styles collide in the heat of battle, with each player trying to find a way to gain an advantage.Basque! is a fantastic fusion of mecha anime and sports anime that is stunningly unique. It can handle mech basketball perfectly, leading to plenty of thrilling and thrilling scenes. These sequences are combined with some excellent visuals and clever world building, which means that: Basque! is an anime that everyone should watch, if only because it shows what a dedicated team with room to be creative can do.
Basque! is now streaming on HIDIVE.