As I mentioned in my Haikyu! post, I’m not really into sports anime. But I’m willing to give it a chance. In fact, I’ve had a lot of fun with Haikyu!, trying to figure out how all of the pieces fit together, but that was something that was definitely required to understand the dealings behind the scenes. I didn’t understand the gravity of the game that the characters were playing. One of them had a bruise on his face and a friendly commenter explained that to me, thankfully. And the lingo? Forget about it.

With the other sports-focused anime of the season, Teekyu, that’s not the case, and I’m here to tell the tale about how I got through an episode of the eighth season despite never having watched the show before.

Let’s be honest. In fact, Teekyu really isn’t even focused on sports. It’s supposed to follow four girls who happen to be a part of Kameido High School’s Tennis Club, but the episodes I started watching for the eighth season as part of the fall anime viewing schedule didn’t really talk about much tennis at all.

I started on episode 85, without any prior knowledge of the series. I was geared up to see a bunch of tennis lingo and games being played (which I’d be able to understand this time around since I actually get tennis thanks to Mario games) but that wasn’t what I was met with at all.

Instead, a group of colorful and loud characters open up in the series discussing some sort of newspaper club. They’re boisterous, energetic, and speaking as quickly as you’d expect the cast from the American Speed Racer to do. Only it’s not supposed to be a joke anime, it’s supposed to be a show about tennis–or so I thought.

In the span of two minutes, including a quick opening song, the girls talk about ideas for an article for a paper, sushi, what to do with a giant frog, and having to eat some panties. This last girl then expresses how much she won for writing an article about eating panties in an offensive manner that the show blurs out. There’s a lot of breast-grabbing and the characters find themselves in what looks like Hell negotiating with a demon. Uh…tennis?

It just didn’t make any sense. So I thought I was missing something. Surely I had to be, with all of that kind of craziness going on. Just to be safe, I went back and watched a few episodes of the earlier bits of the series, back when it seemed like tennis was a real thing they talked about from time to time. It still made little sense, but one thing was a constant: I was having way too much fun with this show.

From discussions about the characters ignoring their own club and spending time with others to running gags that last for several episodes, I knew I was in for something good. Now I’m working my way through the entire series since there’s really no excuse not to: each episode is only two minutes long, and even less if you subtract the opening songs, which are extremely catchy.

I won’t even try and summarize Teekyu, because I don’t honestly think there’s a way to do it. It’s madcap insanity, one joke to another in rapid succession at lightspeed. If you don’t speak Japanese and blink, you’ll miss the jokes flashing onscreen so quickly you barely have time to read what’s going on–much less match those words to what the characters are actually doing. It’s certainly not a series I’d recommend for anime newbies, but for anyone else, especially anyone into Excel Saga or other rapid-pace joke after joke anime, it’s a smash hit. Or a smash ace. You’ll love (that’s tennis lingo) this show.

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