Eve is an amateur golfer who hustles wannabes out of their money, and Aoi is the heir to a golfing dynasty and the most talked about up-and-coming golf star from Japan. When circumstances cause the pair to meet on the golf course, they soon find a friendly rivalry that will drive both of them to raise their game in ways they never would’ve expected in the sports anime, Birdie Wing: Golf Girl’s Story from BN Pictures.
One should never assume they know where an anime is going to take them. You think you have a run-of-the-mill sports story about aspiring athletes, then suddenly you are watching matches played against mobsters with lives on the line, globe-hopping trips that lead to shocking parental reveals, and the most eye-catching golf shots ever as balls are launched down fairways chased by explosions of rainbow colors. All this and more can be found on the links of Birdie Wing: Golf Girl’s Story‘s 24-episode narrative. The only sure thing every step of the way is that it’s a blast to watch.
As the show’s plot weaves its way through its frequently off-the-rails story, it finds its grounding in the overarching narrative that pits Eve and Aoi against each other. No matter how ridiculous a plot becomes, the show is always able to steer clear of going too far astray thanks to the strength of character these two bring. The complementary nature of Eve’s outgoing and reckless strength and Aoi’s quiet, skillful determination provide the series with two character-driven poles to keep its barrings on. And while the leading duo is the center of attention in Birdie Wing: Golf Girl’s Story, the show makes it a point to surround them with an eclectic cast that manages to compliment the personality they bring, making them shine even brighter. But while the rest of the cast serves largely to support Eve and Aoi, they manage to provide enough variety and uniqueness that they are never completely lost in the stars’ shadow.
While there is a lot that goes on off the greens, the heart of this series always shines the brightest when the girls are swinging their clubs. The amount of excitement and energy the series manages to bring to golf was a huge surprise to me. While I’ve always understood how people could enjoy playing golf, I’ve never grasped how watching it could be fun. If real golf was like this, I’d tune in every week! Come-from-behind wins against nearly impossible odds, drives that are highlighted by explosions of color and visible rainbows trailing after shots, bringing the sport to a level of fun and excitement I never thought even fiction could grant it.
But while these moments fill the golfing sequence with fun, there is little tension to be found within the show’s many trips down the fairway. There is almost never any doubt about who will come out on top of any given match, even when it feels like the show is desperately trying to convince you there is. This predictability doesn’t do as much damage as it might’ve. Since the golfing sequences are so much fun, they still manage to entertain regardless.
The numerous storylines that come to swirl around Eve and Aoi’s pursuit of golf are too numerous to list and would look bizarre if I did so. Despite how seemingly random some of these plot points feel when they happen, many come back around as the season progresses to build up the story in surprising ways. And while some of the reveals reach near soup opera levels of drama, the show has so much fun at its own expense that all you want to do is laugh at it and move along.
The only other area where Birdie Wing: Golf Girl’s Story will disappoint some is in how fast it moves. Even the biggest events in the series are compressed down to an episode or two, making the largest tournaments and plot beats feel occasionally rushed. While this up-tempo approach works for the free-wheeling fun the series delivers, I do wish I could’ve seen a bit more from some of the sequences that dot the narrative. Some more unique golf situations, or more time to fully appreciate how good a given opponent actually is, rather than mostly being informed of their skill by where they stand on the scoreboard may have helped the show create a bit more of the tension its athletic moments lack.
Birdie Wing: Golf Girl’s Story delivers a tale filled with friendly rivalry, globe-hopping sports journies, family drama, and golf duels against mafia dons in underground, self-transforming golf courses. It’s overwhelming fun, with just enough heart to make you care about the protagonists. A joy to experience, and an anime I would recommend to anyone in need of a good laugh and some time away from our often, all-too dreary world.
Birdie Wing: Golf Girl’s Story is streaming now on Crunchyroll.
Birdie Wing: Golf Girl's Story
Birdie Wing: Golf Girl’s Story delivers a tale filled with friendly rivalry, globe-hopping sports journies, family drama, and golf duels against mafia dons in underground, self-transforming golf courses. It’s overwhelming fun, with just enough heart to make you care about the protagonists.