Title: Hachigatsu no Cinderella Nine
Length: ? x 24 minute episodes
Genre: Sports, cute girls do cute things, comedy
Year of release: 2019
I’ve already seen Hachigatsu no Cinderella Nine (henceforth, Cinderella Nine) compared to a baseball version of Love Live. And that’s not just because the protagonist, Tsubasa, is a dead ringer for Love Live’s ultimate protagonist. Like Love Live, Cinderella Nine is already feeling like it waters down and cuteifies its base content to an almost insulting level, but has just enough loving innocence to get away with it.
But indeed, the girls are cute, so half the battle of selling Cinderella Nine is already over. And that’s not just because of all of the leg on show. Tsubasa has a gung-ho attitude, and is somewhat willing to interrupt club performances to try and get members for her baseball club. I say somewhat, because it goes with the genre to not give a girl that much agency – that was a misunderstanding, duh. Then you’ve got the quiet one, Akane, that got quite a bit of development this episode… but she somehow wears that cutesy hoodie all of the time. Yuuki has a sporting background, but in solo sports, and goofily messes up in team settings – a potential character arc? Sure. Throw in the classically melodramatic butting heads between the focal group and the student council, and you have Cinderella Nine: a cute-girls sports show making no attempt to pave new ground – other than the gimmick of baseball, which isn’t strong enough to be scoring a homerun (sorry).
The first episode has a brief low-stakes game, but Cinderella Nine doesn’t use it as a technical showpiece. The animation is simply fine, though the scene that purposefully looked awkward to demonstrate Yuuki throwing with the wrong hand was perhaps a bit too awkward. Still, some of the more personal framing connected with the pleasant lighting to create some more picturesque moments, but is not necessarily representative of the whole show. The art is consistent enough that you can get some good screenshots of those legs and those very cute girls wearing permanent blushes, so Cinderella Nine isn’t failing itself.It’s hard to get too excited about Cinderella Nine. It’s melodramatic and overexcited and doesn’t have the guts to back these up with technical prowess or love. But, for all of the greatness that it isn’t, it just isn’t bad. This anime is, without a doubt, fine. You could do better, yes, but this passable anime is too inoffensive to be deemed worse than fine.