Posted by: coolerbecky | October 1, 2006

Hoop Days

hoop-daysHoop Days chronicles the adventures of the five members of the Mizuho Senior High School’s Boys’ Basketball Team as they compete with other teams for the number one spot in the Inter-High Basketball Tournament.

The Mizuho team is led by Kazuhiko, the talented (if short) basketball player who got the team suspended for over a year after he punched the team’s former coach for discrimination.

Unlike other television series about sport shows, Hoop Days does not focus solely on trying to push forward moralistic ideals of teamwork. I was impressed by the diversity of characters in this series. Rival teams are not the stereotypical cheats that we are so often presented with but rather are shown to be working just as hard as the Mizuho team.

The Mizuho team is not without its enemies and share of problems. Not only is the team out of practice from being suspended, but it is also struggling to overcome the stigma of Kazuhiko’s violent actions. The team’s former coach seeks to have the team suspended and banned from the Inter-High Tournament. Even Mizuho’s own vice principal and teaching staff seek to have the team shut down in order to focus on the more popular Girls’ Basketball Team.

Hoop Days presents us with a darker view of Japanese education – the hypocrisy of teachers and the problem of school violence. It is a powerful examination of the struggles that a young Japanese student has to face in order to embrace a hobby which he loves.

A must-see for older audiences, but definitely not for children.

This review is taken from Insights and is a part of Cooler Becky’s published portfolio. The original review can be accessed at http://insights.uca.org.au/reviews/dvd/h/hoop-days.htm.

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