High school girl Minami got interested in the game of golf, and regularly plays rounds with her peers Haruka and Ayaka, who are both a bit more experienced in the game. As a newbie, Minami’s goal is simple: make par. Not for an entire round, just for one hole. Considering her average on a hole is about three over par, it’s a tall order, especially as she gets nervous over shots. But with her friends’ support and a short par 4 as the last hole, perhaps even she has a chance…
Before I get into my thoughts on this episode, let me quickly talk about golf in Japan. The sport has always been fairly popular over there, with lots of golf courses, a very active women’s tour, and even some major winners like the 2019 AIG Women’s Open winner Hinako Shibuno. However, in 2021, with Hideki Matsuyama winning the Masters and being the first male major winner from the country, the sport has seen a huge boom. With a massive list of other accomplishments by Japanese golfers in the year, golf in the country has reached new levels of prominence, and I can easily see that being reflected in anime in the near future. In addition to this series, there is already a second girls-playing-golf series announced and in the works. As someone who is a fan of the sport and has been following it quite a bit as of late, this is definitely a development I’m keenly interested in.
Anyway, as for this show, it definitely leans more into the cute-girls-doing-cute-things side of the sport, as the protagonist Minami doesn’t seem to have any professional aspirations and is just playing for the fun of it and trying to get her own scores just a bit lower. This makes for a fairly relaxed watch as we see Minami make some very relatable golf blunders as she tries to get the ball into the hole without having to count on a second hand, and goofing off with her playing partners in between. The best part of the episode comes at the end, when Minami has a chance at actually making par with one good approach shot into the green. At this point, all the animation budget that had been saved with some earlier clip shows gets put to good use with a very nice-looking sequence that really sells the feel of hitting the perfect golf shot. Overall, the episode is a pleasant showcase of the more casual side of golf with a protagonist that is easy to cheer on, and I will definitely be watching more of this series.
As a final note, episode of this series are on the shorter side at about 15 minutes each, which might make it easier to squeeze into viewing schedules.
Sorairo Utility is streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll.
3 thoughts on “First Impression: Sorairo Utility”
A quick note: The episode is listed as an “OVA” on Crunchryroll, and after looking into things, I cannot find anything indicating that more than one episode will be produced for it. So this may be the only episode we get for it. It’s a nice self-contained little story as it is, so it’s not a big deal, but of course I would love if we got more of it.
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