Cheer Boys!! is the story of a group of college students who form their own all-male cheerleading squad. As a team whose primary goal is to offer moral support and raise peoples’ spirits, it turns out these guys needed someone to do that for them.

Note: This article contains spoilers for Cheer Boys!!

The main character of Cheer Boys!! is Haruki Bandou, a shy boy who was born into a family of judo athletes. After an injury that ends his career in judo, Haruki is invited by his more outgoing and positive-thinking friend, Kazuma Hashimoto, to form an all-male cheerleading group. Slowly, the two gather other members until they have the minimum seven people needed to perform a cheerleading set together. It is at this point that they put on their first full performance.

Up until this point, the series has been your fairly standard underdog team-building story. Slowly the members overcome odds, get to know each other, and train towards a common goal. However, it is when they first come together as a full cheerleading team, the Breakers, and set about overcoming their first major hurdle that I realized something I had been overlooking–or perhaps that the series had been slyly hiding in plain sight.

The cheerleading set that they plan on performing is the same one that Kazuma’s mother did when she first met his father. While this gives the routine extra sentimental value, it also involves some difficult tricks that a group of novices like the Breakers have to work extra hard to be able to pull off.

As the performance day approaches, nerves grind and worry begins to give way to panic. The members are headed towards a full meltdown when Haruki brings the team together by venting his frustrations with himself and then starting to cheer, “Let’s go, Breakers!” It was in this moment that I realized what this troop of cheerleaders had been looking for all along was not just to cheer other people, but themselves as well.

It was a strange feeling, considering how obvious it was. I had been so focused on the “male cheerleaders” aspect of the show that I had completely forgotten the core of it all. These boys have found their calling in cheering others, yet they too are human and are subject to doubts and frustrations. Seeing them break out of their shells with a chanted chorus of “Let’s go, Breakers!”–cheering for themselves–gives what they have been doing a whole new dimension. And it made their actual performance all the more poignant.

Let’s go, Breakers!

Cheer Boys!! can be viewed with English subtitles on FUNimation and AnimeLab (AU/ZN).

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