Anime Review: "Farewell, My Dear Cramer"

TL;DR - Fantastic manga, with great story, fun characters, and typical sports plot is horridly undermined by flat art, and really bad animation quality making for an ultimately disappointing adapation. Recommendation: Skip the anime, BUY the manga. 

Full Review:

There are basically three ways you can get a bad anime.

1) The source material isn't any good to begin with, so you get a bad series when it's adapted. These are rare, but when they happen, the can produce some serious stinkers.

2) The source material is a masterpiece, but when they adapt it, they cut out far too many elements, making an original story, butchering what made the original great, and thus utterly gutting the series. This is the kind of anime that truly disappoints people the most - see "The Promised Neverland" season 2. 

3) The source material is great, and they remain faithful to it, but something went wrong on the way from the manga to the screen and as a result the art and animation turns out terribly. It could be that the adapation's budget was too low, the production was too rushed, or the studio didn't put their best people on the job. Regardless, these cases are pretty sad for fans of the original material.

"Farewell, My Dear Cramer" (Sayonara Watashi no Cramer) belongs in the third category.

At the time of writing this, only three episodes have aired, so this review might be a little premature. When I heard that the creator of Your Lie in April had made a soccer manga, I was initially worried about the subject matter; but, there's no need for any trigger warnings when watching this. It's just a generally good, wholesome series about high school girls trying (or not really caring) about putting women's soccer back in the public eye in Japan, after excitement surrounding the women's side of the sport has died down in recent years.

After the first episode of this, I was intrigued enough to pick up the manga, and I blazed through the whole thing and sincerely enjoyed it. I found the story to be simple, but entertaining (typical for a sports series). The character design is cute, fun, and some times funky. The characters themselves were varied and unique. Each has their own backstory and struggles.

To be blunt, my major complaint abou tthis series is that the animation quality is terrible. Although the art itself isn't that bad (it comes off flat at times), it's animation is done horribly. There are motion manga out there with better movement than this (looking at you Gokushufudou), which is really a shame. If they had put the same effort into animating this that they had done with YLIA, than I think we'd have been looking at one of the most popular series of the season, but as it is here, the animation quality is so awful that it does a huge disservice to the character design and action and pretty much ruins it.

My advice: unless the animation quality goes up drastically in the future (if it does I may come back and revise this review), I can't recommend this anime unless you're already a huge fan of the manga. If you're not familiar with the series, I'd just recommend going and picking up the source material, rather than bothering with this poorly animated adaptation.

Overall Score: 4/10

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