Cheer Boys: A Mature Anime about Male Cheerleaders

cheer boys

In manga and anime, sports are known for specific characteristics that depend on which sex dominates the cast. Titles like Slam DunkAnd Hajime no IppoThe anime-style shows, which are centered around a boy team, are full of energy. They perform anime tropes and adhere to the realities of the sport. Fan service is usually the goal, even if the cast includes a girls team or a mixed team. Whether it’s Welcoming to the BallroomJokingly, boys dance to be close to girls. Keijo!!!!!!!!It’s about girls in bathing costumes kicking each other into water with their chests, butts, and their bodies. The male gaze is focused on the female body.

Starting in the 2010s, however, the norms of sports anime were flipped as more “manservice” series aired. For a while, anime with all-male castings seemed to be trying hard to beat each other in this area, so 2016’s refreshingly tranquil. Cheer Boys!!It was largely ignored. The Free!The popularity of franchises had peaked and it was now possible to get titles like Yuri!!! Yuri!And All Out!!To make their mark on the sport genre. Cheer Boys!!However, he went against the grain and chose to look at sports with a more mature, nuanced approach.

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While its cast is absolutely one of pretty anime boys, the series doesn’t rely on eye candy. Cheer Boys!! does show its boys in various states of undress, but it’s done in a different way than the manservice shows of its time. Whether it be Haru examining his shoulder in the shower or the boys unwinding at a local bath house, the show’s “camera” never focuses on titillation. It handles the cast’s nudity as just another part of their lives rather than a selling point.

It could be argued that Cheer Boys!!Particularly calls out Free!At one point. One of the latter’s best-known scenes from Season 1 is of Rei stretching in a speedo while the “camera” pans over his body in compromising positions. Episode 2 Cheer Boys!!Opening with a similar idea. Mizoguchi moans and the team are practicing in a public place. The sounds and confused faces of passersby linger long enough to imply a sexual nature, but the next shot shows the audience that this isn’t what’s happening. Haru is actually helping Mizoguchi to move beyond his normal range. Haru even taps his back and tells him not to make such strange noises.

Its trendsetting stance on sports animation with male casts is not the only thing it does. Cheer Boys!!The genre is also viewed differently by the author. It takes place in college, not high school. This is only the beginning of its differences with other sports anime. It is common for similar series to aim at the national competition or an equivalent. Cheer Boys!!It adopts a mature approach from the beginning. Many of the original cheerleaders chose cheerleading because they wanted to look cool and win a trophy. Kazu cheers for his cheerleader mom. Mizoguchi loves to challenge himself and Tono joins the team in an effort to grow as a person.

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Although winning competitions is an ultimate goal, the team’s humble beginnings are more impressive than others. It started with two former martial arts artists and a dream. The Breakers don’t have a great reputation or are fallen greats like other anime teams. They work hard and make it worth the effort. Breakers is their name. Kazu says he wants to break a lot of things, from the stereotype that cheerleading is for girls to his teammates’ masks and doubts. The boys are in agreement and join this team to share what they want.

The characters’ lives outside of cheerleading are also prominent and become the source of problems. Sports anime cast members occupy only a handful of spaces. It doesn’t matter what sport they are playing — that is until the exam season arrives and they must work hard to pass. It is very rare for characters to experience problems at home, or other issues that could hinder their ability to be an athlete.

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In fact, it is the opposite. Cheer Boys!!, There are many situations that need to be addressed as the team grows. Members who are further along in their education regularly miss practice because they’re job hunting, while others may have to skip because they can’t afford to cut back on shifts at their part-time jobs. For those with the time to dedicate to cheer, especially Hisashi, it looks like they are simply slackers who don’t take the sport seriously. However, the reality is quite different.

Cheer Boys!!It is far from perfect anime. It is not a perfect anime. The animation is average for 2016, and it relies on too many slice-of-life elements. It stands out because of its unique perspective on sports. It is calm and mature, whereas similar series never lose momentum. Victory is an end goal but it’s not all the characters get from participating. The story shows a glimpse of the future for the cast after they have earned their degrees.

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