Sakamoto Days Anime Reveals PV, Studio, Staff

After a veritable cesspool of various leaks and rumors milling about, the Sakamoto Days anime has officially appeared with a teaser trailer, studio, and even some staff members. At a glance, I think the best description of all this news is “a need for proof”. As I’ll discuss a little more down the road, this trailer lacks a lot of the impact that is required for a Sakamoto Days anime, placing it at a distinct disadvantage in terms of fan response and hype building- the main goal of a “teaser trailer” like this one.

Anyways, who’s behind this Sakamoto Days anime? That would be none other than TMS Entertainment- perhaps best known as of late for their middle-of-the-road anime original High Card. Though in reality, their most popular series is Detective Conan– something that they certainly show out for in the various movies being produced, but still remains leagues beneath the scale of Sakamoto Days. Either way, the truth of the matter is that TMS Entertainment is below “standard” for a literally action-packed anime that hinges on choreography in junction with impact. And sure, we did get that impact in this PV, but it’s very clearly lacking the choreography to tie that together. Of course, that reveal may come with a proper trailer, but for starting off on the right foot it’s not quite made the landing.

In reality, of course, TMS is only a part of the equation as to how this Sakamoto Days anime will go. Alongside that is also the importance of staff (as well as schedule, producers, broadcast station, etc. etc.), which brings us to who’s directing this anime. Could it be a miracle and Sunghoo Park has appeared to deliver? Of course not, no. Even still though, I’m rather disappointed in who they’ve brought on for the Sakamoto Days anime: Masaki Watanabe. It’s an interesting pick for director in general, as Watanabe hasn’t ever worked on a production with TMS Entertainment (in any capacity). Considering their tenure in industry totalling about 20 years now, it’s the kind of (lack of) connection that raises eyebrows- much more than You Moriyama stepping away from directing action-choreographed series like Megalo Box, and stepping into character design as a first timer in the role. No seriously, You Moriyama was the director for both seasons of Megalo Box, which includes some well choreographed boxing sequences like this one– but I’ll get to that later. Watanabe is just overall, not a good pick. Out of their depth and distanced from creativity, it’s been over 2 years since they’ve done a storyboard, and that was back on Tiger & Bunny 2– a CGI laden affair. Their last directorial work also came within that time frame in the form of a year-long 4 episode ONA for Battle Spirits…. You can see where the concern comes from.

Though in reality, Moriyama is equally out of practice, having last boarded for Megalo Box season 1, and has most recently done concept art for WIT’s Bubble. At the very least though, Moriyama does have experience and connections with TMS, so it’s not that they’re completely in the dark after a 2 year (though really 3 year) production drought. Megalo Box season 2 being their last “major” project leading up to the Sakamoto Days anime is better than Watanabe’s past though- miles better, really. Anyways, as I mentioned above, Moriyama was able to extract a good deal of solid work out of TMS for Megalo Box. Of course, TMS is far from a “great” studio, but Moriyama was at the very least able to prove that talent exists somewhere. It’s just that now, Moriyama has been relieved of that role, having it transferred to Watanabe.

Finally then, it’s time to get back on track to the Sakamoto Days anime. Bringing in two high level staff members that are just exiting a dry spell- with one having no experience with TMS or action anime in general- is really not a good idea, and that’s strongly reflected in this PV. It’s dry. It’s got the “wow factor” at face value with big, heavy punches and an admittedly fun soundtrack, but that’s a fraction of what Sakamoto Days requires. It needs choreography, it needs style, and it needs palpable humor- none of which are present in this teaser. The PV does check a few boxes… but it leaves far more of them unchecked. If you’re a manga fan, just see for yourself how much of the manga’s greatness its keeping away from the teaser.

At the end of the day, this trailer for the Sakamoto Days anime is really just a trailer. It’s no real secret that the anime industry is horrendous when handed content to make promotional material with. Sometimes that means you’ll find great anime lurking behind poor PR showings, but similarly it also makes discerning quality a challenge when it doesn’t lean to an extreme. This PV, for that matter, doesn’t lean much of either way. What it shows is good- for any run of the mill anime. The mistake being made is that this is the Sakamoto Days anime. When you pile on an “okay” trailer, a concerning studio, and a pair of out-of-practice staff that are in roles they probably shouldn’t be, it’s hard to not be concerned about how this is going to go. You very much can’t say it’s going to be bad, but I think that any reasonable fan will be approaching this adaptation with more than just a healthy amount of caution and concern- at least until we get another trailer.

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