A new season of anime is upon us and with each new season comes new plots, new characters, and of course, new expectations. Seeing the lineup, there’s a lot of juicy-looking series coming our way. The one that piqued my interest this time around is the series Cheer Boys!!

First off, I’d like to state here that I know nothing of this series other than what I’ve seen in the trailer. I’m unfamiliar with the source material–and if there’s been any buzz, it hasn’t been picked up by my radar. My opinions at this point are purely logistical.

From what can be gathered from the trailer, Cheer Boys!! is about a group of university students who join the school’s all-male cheerleading club–as well as the hurdles and campus drama that follows.

For those who might be wondering, yes, all-male cheerleading does exist, and that is my first indicator that Cheer Boys!! is going to be packing some quality. Most anime that focus on obscure or minority activities/sports tend to be very informative and interesting–with a lot of work is put into making something that is relatively unknown look exciting and appealing to the audience.

Another point is one of the lines in the trailer where one character remarks to another that cheerleading is the only sport in the world where someone can be a hero just by cheering on someone else. This really hits home for me. A story that focuses on the support characters… It’s like a war movie about a medic or a video game where you play a merchant selling gear to heroes who go off to storm the castle. For me, such a story can be much more interesting and compelling than the typical narrative. Here are a group of guys who go to sport events to cheer on their team. They’ll never touch a ball or get a goal. They have no direct impact on the outcome of a game, but their support can mean the difference between victory and defeat. They’re unsung heroes: And that’s the sort of story I absolutely love.

Finally, the fact that it’s a group of boys partaking of an activity that is generally thought to be a¬†women’s sport opens up a lot of opportunities for interesting plot points. Hopefully it won’t be just parade of one-note gender flip gags, but looking at the creative team behind the series, I’m pretty sure it won’t be.

Each season of anime brings about a wide variety of stories and genres–and I’m as much a fan of fantasy, suspense, mecha, mystery, etc. as the next anime fan. Recently, however, I’ve found that it’s generally the reality-based campus stories that stick in my mind and that I find myself revisiting. All this makes me feel rather secure in offering Cheer Boys!! as my pick for the upcoming season.

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