Political kickbacks, explosive assassinations, sultry femme fatales, amnesiac prodigies – just another average day in the world of Birdie Wing -Golf Girls Story-. It says a lot that even a slower episode of this series is a pleasure to watch. On the scale of the show so far, this is a relatively tame episode, mostly laying the groundwork for next week’s deadly showdown. Scaled to your average anime, though, it’s still Bird wingthat is, an unbalanced riff on sports stories, unresponsive to rigid standards of good taste or plausibility.
The golf mafia angle is soaking up the spotlight fully this week. Eve, having been snatched from virtual reality just as she was about to exchange her vows with Aoi, does her best to deal with the impending demolition of her home, an unintended consequence of the underground game she has. won for Catherine. It’s a legitimately compelling twist on dramatic irony. Eve, essentially, made a deal with the devil in order to play against Aoi, and now she’s reaping the foul rewards. Does she become more involved in employing the golf mafia to keep her friends and orphans safe, or does she seek revenge and fight back in a different way? It’s a solid conflict and it’s easy to imagine the risks and rewards on either side, which makes Eve’s future all the more uncertain.
The inter-mafia politics isn’t all that remarkable compared to any other crime story, but it’s delightfully enhanced by the fact that it all takes place in an anime with the subtitle “Golf Girls’ Story.” There is a dubious legal casino development… that depends on golf. There’s the murder of an important member of the city council… because of golf. At one point, a henchman explicitly says he wants to resolve this conflict with golf because it started with golf. It’s insane logic that only exists to justify more and wilder clashes between bunkers, and it’s spectacular. You should take this as a lesson in the importance of having some kind of purpose or structure in mind when writing. Bird wingdespite its chaotic feel, is built around building those golf matches with higher, more dramatic stakes, and that’s why it works so well.
Bird wing also works well because he knows not to waste a good character when he has one. That’s right, Vipere is back, and she’s still the adorable freaky loser I fell for. The funniest thing about the whole episode is to see, in real time, the slow development of her realization that Nicolas let her live on purpose. Without Eve’s input, there would be nothing in his skull but golf, poisonous perfume, and Hot Topic coupons. His lasciviously crass appearances to Nicolas’ henchman, combined with the transparency of his motives and the immediacy of their effectiveness, also make this a laugh-worthy moment. And of course, I can forget all the effort she puts into this classic practice montage – effort that is immediately undermined by Eve’s memories of her hardcore golf training camp. Vipere can’t win, and that’s why she’s the best.
In the absence of a big dumb golf game or a big gay moment between Eve and Aoi, it’s actually a good week to think about how flippantly funny Bird wing may be. Some of them are understated – the way Rose polishes her golf clubs like they’re guns, the turtles crawling around her desk, the revelation that her base of operations is the rear -boutique of a golf clothing store. Christine has been nude for most of her appearances this week, which probably wasn’t done just for the absurd angle, but it’s fun nonetheless. And then we have that big scene of Lily tearfully piling up her gunpla, ready to make the ultimate sacrifice if it means she, Klein, and the adorable orphans can keep their shop a little longer.
Bird wing furthermore shows no fear of veering into over-the-top melodrama to inform its characters and conflicts. Did Klein and Lily really need to have backgrounds as underage prostitutes to make them likable? No, the stakes were already quite clear and adequate, but on some level, I have to respect the show’s commitment not to take half measures. Eve, as another example, not only has no family, but has no childhood memories and no connection to her past other than a first name and an uncanny gift for golf. Rather than fueling speculation, this only further convinces me that she and Aoi have a past connection, likely as long-lost sisters. Eve’s mentor, Leo, will likely show up at some point to elucidate all of this, but rather than being disappointed in how strongly the anime seems to herald these twists, I can’t wait to see how it will improve them. .
And what a cliffhanger to leave us hanging! As Eve imagines Aoi’s sweet face amid the billions and billions of stars in the Milky Way, she leans in for a fight to the death with Rose. A fight to the death through golf. If it turns out that all of Rose’s devious and devious machinations were done just to set up this one-on-one match with Eve, I think that’s the dumbest, meanest, best outcome. possible. So much horror, manipulation and bloodshed in the name of figuring out who can hit a small ball into a very remote and very small hole in a minimum of shots. It is, undeniably, golf.
Cumulative score: -8
Birdie Wing -Golf Girls Story- is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Steve is a world-renowned golf expert and commentator, but if you just want to read his thoughts on anime and good brows, then there’s always Twitter. Otherwise, catch him discussing junk and treasure in This Week in Anime.