Cinderella Nine

Cinderella Nine

Cinderella Nine anime series cover art
Cinderella Nine

Overview

Cinderella Nine (Hachigatsu no Cinderella Nine / 八月のシンデレラナイン) is one of the few anime which was adapted from a game. And when I say game I don’t mean a visual novel, I mean a mobile game.

I didn’t actually know this anime was a mobile game adaptation until right before writing this review. So, of course, I went to check it out. While I did see one screenshot which made it look like an anime version of Backyard Baseball, the gameplay footage I watched was extremely disappointing.

But this isn’t a review of the game. This is a review of the anime, which I was surprised to find is animated by TMS Entertainment. I won’t say that their anime are always extremely well animated, including Megalo Box, but none of the other anime I can think of that are by them had animation that was noticeably bad.

Fortunately for Cinderella Nine, I don’t think animation quality is the most important thing when it comes to most anime. Unfortunately, however, it also doesn’t exactly deliver in any of the other major departments either.

The plot is one we’ve seen before, the characters are all just tropes, the soundtrack was alright, the art was fairly basic, and the OP/ED weren’t anything special. Honestly the best part about this series as a whole is the logo, which I actually love.

Clean design aside, the logo also sports (pun intended) a sunflower which is a reference to the main cast’s home baseball field being surrounded by them. Perhaps sunflowers were chosen to be a major symbol in this anime due to the connection between sunflower seeds and baseball.

The Love Live! of Baseball

As you may have been able to tell from the cover art, this is an anime about high school girls playing baseball. And yes, these girls play hard-ball baseball, not softball. I’m not sure if that fact is really all that important, but it’s brought up multiple times just to make sure we know.

I’ve never been the biggest fan of sports anime. Perhaps it’s because I don’t really care about sports, and perhaps it’s also because I’ve only watched bad sports anime. The best one I’ve seen is Megalo Box, but others I would classify as sports anime are Anima Yell!, Two Car, Hanebado!, and Harukana Receive.

I think most of the sports anime I’ve watched tend to lean more into the slice of life rather than sports genre. And that’s also one of my major issues with Cinderella Nine. The series doesn’t really feel like it’s about the sport being played, it’s about the relationships between all the characters.

Yuuki Nozaki on the pitcher's mound from the anime series Cinderella Nine
Yuuki Nozaki on the pitcher’s mound

This is one of those anime which I like to call a Love Live! clone, and they’re always worse than Love Live! Sure, Cinderella Nine is about baseball, not being in an idol group, but the basic plot is the same, and if the plot is the same then Love Live! will always be better because it actually has good characters.

That basic plot goes something like this: some girl wants to start a club that doesn’t exist at her school for some reason, everyone tells her it won’t work except her best friend(s), and the student council president specifically is against it because of her “dark” past.

But then they prove everyone wrong and achieve moderate success. Also the student council president joins in.

Characters

This character section is going to be pretty brief because there isn’t much to say about each character. Remember, they’re all basically just one-dimensional tropes, so don’t expect to be wowed by any character development or originality.

Tsubasa Arihara is the protagonist of the series. You can tell this because she has red/brown hair, a heart of gold, and dreams that can’t be stopped no matter what anyone says. You know, the standard female lead in anime.

Tsubasa Arihara holding a baseball from the anime series Cinderella Nine
Tsubasa Arihara holding a baseball

Then we have Ryou Shinonome, Tsubasa’s old baseball rival who’s originally mad Tsubasa thinks baseball is for fun. And also from Tsubasa’s past is her best friend, Tomoe Kawakita. There’s not really anything more to say about her.

Next up we have the main pitcher for the team, and my personal favorite of the girls, Maiko Kurashiki. The relief pitcher for the team is Yuuki Nozoki. And the catcher is Waka Suzuki, whose brother plays baseball at his university.

Rounding out the team we have Kana Tsukumo, a member of the student council; Aoi Asada, a rock-paper-scissors pro; Akane Ukita, a girl who wears a hoodie with cat ears; Ayaka Nakano the sole member of the school’s newspaper; and Yoshimi Iwaki, the team cheerleader.

There are probably other characters who are technically on the team, but I don’t remember them so they don’t count as far as this review is concerned.

Conclusion

In the end I have to give Cinderella Nine a 4/10. It was a bad anime, but I don’t really think anyone who watched it could realistically go into it expecting it to be good. If you’re a die hard Love Live! fan then maybe you’ll enjoy this, but I think more than anything you’ll be disappointed.

What I really want from a sports anime is just a season that’s one giant tournament arc. Set up a bracket and have each episode be a single match between two of the teams. There doesn’t need to be any one main team, instead each viewer can pick whichever team they want to root for.

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