Rising Impact Season 1 Review – Nabs some pars but not many hole-in-ones

Season 1

Episode Guide

Episode 1: Encountering a Dream
Episode 2: The Importance of Each Stroke
Episode 3: The Twin Peaks of Talent
Episode 4: First Tournament
Episode 5: Camelot Academy
Episode 6: Uncrowned Prince 
Episode 7: An Explosive Situation
Episode 8: The Tryouts Begin
Episode 9: Stubbornness and Pride 
Episode 10: Playoffs
Episode 11: A Venerable Visitor
Episode 12: To the Battlefield 


Before humans were graced with splendid electronics and addicting social media platforms, many individuals participated in outdoor activities. Whether folks drew imaginary figures on the sidewalk with chalk or indulged in a competitive sport like basketball, humanity found ways to entertain themselves outdoors. 

On that note, many sports anime have been released over the years, some are iconic enough to move the soul. From the legendary Tomorrow’s Joe (Ashita no Joe) to strange posterior-themed works like Hip Whip Girl: Keijo, not all sports anime land home runs. Although Rising Impact has the opportunity to become a memorable golf anime in the future, the first season doesn’t do it many favors, to some degree. 

Rising Impact is a new golf anime on Netflix written by Nakaba Suzuki and animated by Lay-duce Studios. The story follows Gawain, a village boy who loves playing baseball with his buddies and lives with his grandfather. Gawain has a knack and love for sending objects soaring through the skies at far distances. Eventually, this child meets a professional golfer named Kiria, who encourages Gawain to pursue golf.

After Gawain’s grandfather notices his passion for golf, he allows Gawain to travel to Tokyo and reside at Kiria’s place. Gawain hopes to learn everything he can about golf to become one of the best players in his universe.

First and foremost, Rising Impact Season 1 delivers decent commentary on golf. Fans will walk away learning about the sport’s various rules, the types of clubs players use, and the strategies players use to get their golf balls in the hole. 

Moreover, Season 1 features our cast competing on different golf courses. This gives golf enthusiasts an authentic portrayal of the sport’s landscape and provides fanatics with semi-memorable experiences as Gawain’s journey unfolds. Additionally, the story offers casual and occasionally tense scenarios worth observing.

Some notable scenarios include Kiria purchasing Gawain golf clubs to Gawain and his ally Liebel saving their female friend Yumiko from severely injuring herself. Next to those, the series tackles common ideas like sportsmanship, hard work, and determination to a fine degree. Gawain’s golf game with one of his rival-turned-allies Riser is a nice example. Both males try their hardest to outperform the other. 

Also, the story offers decent world-building. The story informs audiences about Tokyo and other golf academy locales and competitions our characters will engage in. The tale does a fine job of building up anticipation for its current and future tournaments. It ensures the current games our characters compete in deliver subtle tension to help audiences invest in each character’s developments before, during, or after them.

Although everything seems dandy with Rising Impact’s tale, the story falls flat in some areas. First, not all fans will adore this tale’s take on golf. Unlike most sports anime that offer a strong coat of realism, see Slam Dunk, Suzuki gives some of his characters supernatural abilities, much like other sports Shonen works like Kuroko’s Basketball. From Gawain’s Rising Impact shot to his rival Lancelot’s Shining Road, some fans will either love or despise this decision. 

Additionally, it makes the results for certain golf games feel predictable and boring to sit through since most of the supernaturally gifted talents are placed against ones who don’t have abilities that are on “par” with theirs. Although the story alludes to this supernatural aspect early on and pits the slightly superhuman characters against each other, many would’ve loved it if the story went all-out with the notion, giving everyone a fair chance.

Abandoning the notion entirely would’ve been another option too. That aside, the story’s pacing can be problematic too. Sometimes it was difficult to digest the interesting lore Suzuki had his cast utter from their mouths. Gradually introducing those critical aspects about golf, the academy, and each competition’s origins over time would’ve been beneficial to help audiences keep track of everything. 

Next, the humor can be hit or miss. Much like Suzuki’s mildly popular manga, The Seven Deadly Sins, Rising Impact offers suggestive gags and jokes that’ll turn a few folks away. This is due to those involving young characters like Gawain and Kiria’s sister, Kurumi. The jokes aren’t too dark or harmful, but many won’t find Kurumi’s strong attachment to Lancelot and the running relationship gag between Kiria and Gawain all that enjoyable. 

Fortunately, the tale’s humor offers tidbits of funny facial comedy and banter to dilute those slightly uncomfortable segments when they pop up. Lastly, Season 1’s plot contains several missed opportunities, unrealistic triumphs, and questionable moments. Gawain’s reunion with a certain character is a great example of the former and his slight victory over a specific course’s obstacle comes to mind for the latter. 

Next to the story, the characters have their highs and lows. Gawain is an enjoyable protagonist. He’s an upbeat, determined fellow whose drive for golf will make some folks interested in playing a round or two themselves. His devotion to improving his skills is admirable. The way he comforts people during their hardest moments will make audiences root for him. 

However, Gawain’s luck will persuade others to think otherwise. While Gawain utilizes some strategies from his experiences with Lancelot and Kiria to overcome obstacles, most triumphs feel contrived and uneventful. Although Gawain’s kind-hearted spirit will appease anime fans, some won’t admire how he earns the victories he obtains.

 Rising Impact’s minor characters and semi-antagonists are fine. Some have satisfying personalities and moments that’ll make someone smile or laugh. Also, some receive decent depth, obstacles, and attention to entice audiences to remember and care for them. Lancelot may be the best of the bunch. He establishes a compelling rivalry with Gawain and his ploy involving his bedridden sister Kajury will resonate with audiences.

All in all, it’s best to expect the bare minimum from this narrative’s cast. Season 1’s visual and animation quality is splendid though. Unlike recent The Seven Deadly Sins seasons, Rising Impact looks great from beginning to end. Seeing players hit the ball with precise accuracy or immense force will amaze audiences. 

Golf enthusiasts will cherish Season 1’s different course layouts too. Although the games set in these fields aren’t all great, the courses ooze challenge and creativity. From Witch’s Cauldron to the Fortress course, fans may be enticed to visit a golf course nearby, to see if their neighborhood’s courses spawn pleasing difficulties too.

In addition to having sharp character models and eye-candy moments during the supernatural scenes, Season 1 is visually appealing. The soundtrack isn’t as stellar as the visuals and animation. The background music is basic but it gets the job done. The voice acting is enjoyable, but some may not like it. Some characters go on long rants, so it may be best for a few folks to tune out during those scenarios. 

Much like some anime on Netflix, Rising Impact Season 1 is a satisfactory-level release. It gives fans a sports show centered around golf. It does its best to make the sport sound and look neat to fanatics and uninterested parties. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t deliver enough outstanding content to earn itself a birdie. Hopefully, Rising Impact Season 2 will turn things around!

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  • Verdict - 6.5/10

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