OK, as you know, sports anime are my second least-liked genre (Giant Fighting Robots still have a commanding lead). It’s just the arc traveled in these shows is always the same: a person either a) loved the game and left it for a variety of reasons or b) want to make a name for themseves IN the sport. Through a series of events and happenstance, they are able to c) forge a comeback or d) establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with. And unless it is an unusual sport not normally covered in anime (tank battles, sumo wrestling, cornholing, whatever), I’ll take a pass. The object of our scrutiny for this one is sometimes not even considered a sport, golf, but I ended up on the green with “Birdie Wing: Golf Girls’ Story.”
We find ourselves in the fictional country of Nafrece. Since the currency is ‘eurus’, we can assume we are in Europe. Since there is a strong mafia influence, we will go with either Italy or France (although nothing tips to either country). Since we are situated on the coast, I am going with France, just because Eve (blondie up there) is a blondie, OK? Now, Eve is one hell of a golfer and does a lot of street hustle (or greens hustle) for money, to help out a friend and some orphan kids. She does NOT want to get involved with the mafia, as, well, once you’re in, you’re only getting out feet first.
While humiliating some girl golfer, there for a tournament, Eve runs into Aoi Amawashi (the one right beneath her), a true golf prodigy. Oh, PS, they are both U-15s. They play one hole to see what the course is like and what they are like and they are both evenly matched. However, whereas Aoi uses finesse and grace for her game, Eve is pure brute strength. However, both are intrigued with each other and the series (well, TWO series; I’ll explain later) follows their rivalry arc.
Now, I say two series, in that the show breaks things into two parts: Eve’s life in Nafrece and Eve’s life in Japan. However, do not fool yourself into thinking this is a golf show. When you get into it, you realize this has as much to do with golf as much as Godzilla has to do with golf. Sure, it’s golf in that the characters use a stick to hit a ball into a hole, but that’s it.
Eve has her Rainbow Bullets, what she calls a series of her six shots that she uses to crush her opponents (she later gets her seventh shot to complete the rainbow set), but this is guerilla golf, where the mafia has people bet on who is going to win and they make some enormous eurus off of it. Besides, drug dealing and prostitution has its drawbacks and think of the overhead!
If that concept wasn’t ridiculous enough, one mafia head has a transformable golf course in the super sub-basement of her building, which can be altered to almost any style she wants. That is one of the funniest transformation sequences I have ever seen, as super-sized boxcars transport around a series of terrains, obstacles and foliage to give the feeling of an outside hole. (Now, for me, I did not see any mention made of wind considerations; that is part and parcel of the game. You drive into a 30 mph headwind and see how many yards you don’t get, right?)
The first half of the series ends with a true sudden death playoff game for freedom, money and a chance out. The second half of the series is another true sudden death playoff game for another sense of freedom. Freedom comes in all forms and shapes, OK?
Now, one thing that is brought forth is that this is a yuri series. No, it’s not. It’s not, it’s not, it’s not. OK, it’s an all-girls golf team and so what? Aoi has a kind of affection for Eve, but only that she is a true rival to her own skills and so what? OK, Eve sleeps in the nude and so what? Why is it that if two women are friends, there has to be some canoodling? This detracts from the story and is not really there, so look elsewhere for your yuri fix (May I suggest “Simoun”?)
Although the golf play is kept to a minimum (you do NOT want to see a full 18 holes played), the Bullet Ball shots get a bit tiresome, as heavy kinetic forces threaten to tear the ball into tiny bits, as it streaks through the sky like an SST, imparting a contrail of colors and sparkles. I don’t ever remember Tiger Woods being able to do THAT.
All in all, it’s not a bad series, as long as you allow the fantasy aspect of it to do its own thing. Remember, this is actually less a series about golf and more the power of friendship, camaraderie and the love of the game. Oh, and crushing your opponents like an aluminum can. Now, they did something odd in that they ended the first season (or, perhaps, the first half of the first season) in the middle of a tournament, as our team must do battle against other top flight schools and top flight athletes, so we are all left hanging until they decide to resume.
Binging? Well, yes, but…I would not do a straight plow, but watch the first eight (the Nafrece Arc), take a break and watch the last five (the Japan Arc). Oh, and there is a tag end after the credits. It does give a kind of heads up for the next episode, but some extra information can be appended to it, answering some of your questions. And some of the end credits follow on with the story, so it’s not always watching our cast swinging a club.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Aoi is cute, but a lot of them are harsh)
Plot 8 (A different sports story)
Pacing 7 (Can get a bit draggy)
Effectiveness 7 (Well, is it golf?)
Conclusion 6 (It reaches a coupler point, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Bingeability 9 (Split it like I mentioned)
Overall 8 (Less about golf, more about relationships)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. I only need three clubs.