Tribe Nine is a series that I don’t regret spending time with, if only because of my insatiable desire to devour everything Kazutaka Kodaka lays his hands on. I just kind of can’t help myself: every since I played Danganronpa in grad school, I’ve been very into everything he makes. Tribe Nine is the fast food of anime. It is is the 7-11 pizza slice of the animation world. Will it do in a pinch? Yeah, of course, but is it exactly what I wanted?
No, not at all.
Read the rest of Tribe Nine Season Premiere – Episode 12/Season Finale on the Anime News Network
That said, things did get good when I started to cheer for the bad guys, which I don’t think was the intent. Oh, and it got good when the Adachi Tribe crew showed up, thereby jossing my idea that they’d all absolutely died. (I think I posited that at some point: I am steadily losing touch with what ideas I’ve made up in my head and what ideas I’ve actually put into a review.)
Read the rest of Tribe Nine Season Premiere – Episode 11 on the Anime News Network
Watching Tribe Nine is like paying Funimation to give you whiplash: they take $7.99 a month and in return, I get a plot that I fully expect to hurt me, but also, a plot that fully knows I’m on the hook just enough to like the pain. I thank Funimation for the food, even if this food has given me indigestion for weeks on end. At least it’s back to being this side of corny to be entertaining. That’s not to say that this episode is perfect, but hey: it’s leagues above what we’ve been served up for the past month.
Read the rest of Tribe Nine Season Premiere – Episode 10 on the Anime News Network
It feels bad to so strongly dislike both this episode and this series as a whole because it could just… lean into being an over-the-top story about SFF baseball and give us all the drama in the world. Instead, it’s a kind of tepid take on a game where the rules are there’s very few rules. As a result, Tribe Nine is… unfun: stale, mediocre, and mild. That said, I did laugh when a character died, which… feels indicative of where my head’s at.
Read the rest of Tribe Nine Season Premiere – Episode 9 on the Anime News Network
I cannot, for the life of me, explain why it is that this show keeps me tangled in its web. I think a lot of Tribe Nine’s ongoing appeal for me is because I genuinely want it to pull some sort of Akudama Drive-level twist in its finale. Or at the very least evoke Danganronpa V3, which it’s trying very hard to be without any of the philosophical posturing that made that game such a fabulous sendoff.
Read the rest of Tribe Nine Season Premiere – Episode 8 on the Anime News Network
Ultimately, the experience of watching Tribe Nine is one of intense whiplash. Some episodes, the hype is real, but there are also times when I have to bride myself with snacks to focus on the screen. Episodes 6 and 7 are a mix: the action has this certain flow state that’s really fun to sink into once it’s gets going, but when it slows down—or when we’re spending time with the cast, really—all you’re left with are outlandish character costumes and a pretty baller soundtrack. And thank the baseball gods for the music, because at times it’s all that’s keeping me here.
Read the rest of Tribe Nine Season Premiere – Episodes 6-7 on the Anime News Network
Tribe Nine is still a perfectly fine way to spend thirty of your finite minutes on Earth; in fact, you’re guaranteed to have a good time. But you’re also guaranteed to get whiplash as the show carries you to high heights, only to plunge you into the depths of mediocrity, all in the same episode. Heck, sometimes in a series of five minutes, which is a feat if there ever was one.
Read the rest of Tribe Nine Season Premiere – Episode 5 on the Anime News Network
Subtle isn’t in Tribe Nine’s worldbuilding, nor its general vocabulary. This show only knows how to show its hand, and while I respect that, it makes episode 4 thudding and honestly, kind of boring. By mid-episode, it’s time for more murderball, more XB antics and, well, it’s more of the same with biker gang Adachi Tribe (they ride the bikes while playing, btw, for extra coolness) I have no attachment to.
Read the rest of Tribe Nine Season Premiere – Episode 4 on the Anime News Network
At the end of the day, Tribe Nine is here to have fun: it’s a show wholly focused on a dark, comedic extreme taken to the nth degree, but it’s also a show about genuinely having fun for real, and taking the act of fun and play seriously. The comedy is entirely subjective, though it’s just the thing to make me guffaw multiple times an episode. Come for the XB, stay for the XB, but leave your expectations at the door: this is a show best enjoyed when you come along for the wild ride and let yourself get swept up in the nonsensical plot.
Read the rest of Tribe Nine Season Premiere – Episodes 1-3 on the Anime News Network