Rugby is all about tackling the other players to get the ball and run to the goal with it. Because there’s so much physical contact involved, those of taller stature have an obvious advantage. This is a bit of a predicament for the hot-blooded rugby newbie Kenji Gion, who wants to forget about practicing and just start tackling the crap out of his teammates in this season’s anime ALL OUT!!.

ALL OUT!! Brings Rugby to a New Audience: Anime Fangirls

Kenji Gion is short. Very short. And he hates being short. Despite this, he is determined to take down anyone in his path. However, when he joins the rugby club, he is faced with reality: that reality being that he can’t tackle down his upperclassman Takuya Sekizan, who is far taller and more muscular than he is. He tries and tries to tackle him, but finds that his blunt force isn’t working at all. And, to make things worse, for reasons Gion can’t comprehend, Sekizan orders him to begin doing “turtle” crawls for hours on end every single day.

It’s only after a few days does Gion realize what this training is for: to sharpen his posture and train his muscles. Given this time to train, Gion also has the chance to realize that just slamming himself against his opponent won’t do anything. At the same time, he also knows that just getting stronger won’t let him take down an opponent of Sekizan’s stature.

That’s when he gets an idea: use his short height to his advantage and tackle the area below Sekizan’s knees, not the chest, as they are more vulnerable. This is a play that only Gion has the ability of pulling off on his team. Like his timid friend Sumiaki, who blossoms on the rugby field due to his height, Gion succeeds due to his short stature.

Gion teaches us that despite what you lack, you can not only make use of what you have, but also polish it and make it something amazing. By practicing, Gion is able to refine what merits he has and become a better player.

And his awareness of his own talents and strengths comes in handy time after time. When his team is given an exercise in which they must duck under ropes in order to make passes, Gion doesn’t even have to crouch–he can just walk right under them, showing up the teammates who laughed at him before for his stature. He even uses the skills he polished to interfere with a star player’s pass during a match with a rival school.

As a newbie, Gion doesn’t have a perfect grasp on his talents yet. However, by accepting his height for what it is and taking advantage of that, I’m sure our protagonist will surprise even more players on the rugby field as he creates his own style of play.

The ALL OUT!! anime began airing in Japan on October 7. Crunchyroll is streaming the show subtitled outside of Japan, and FUNimation is simulcasting the show with an English dub.

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