Ping Pong was this year’s Flowers of Evil, a weird, stylistically experimental cartoon that immediately stood out from pretty much everything else around it, and that quickly attracted a fervent crowd of boosters and fans. It’s the shows like these that really make being an anime fan exciting: adventurous, interesting little slices of creativity that allow auteur creators to stretch their wings and express themselves in their own, unique voices.
Ping Pong isn’t just another one of director Masaki Yuasa’s artistic triumphs. It also seems to be the one that has finally made an impact on the American audience beyond the small but enthusiastic cult that constantly talks up Yuasa’s work, but that has never been big enough to get Tatami Galaxy released on home video in North America (cue bitter tears and disappointed sighs). Every time a new Ping Pong episode came out my Twitter feed would fill up with excited praise, and it was recently announced that the show had overcome the dual handicaps of being both a Yuasa show and a sports anime, and will be getting a home video release through Funimation. That unique shows like this get made in such a conservative, cautious marketplace is exciting enough; one of those shows finding an audience big enough to justify getting a release from the big name North American licensor is even better.
I’m sure Ping Pong‘s success means we’ll be getting that Tatami Galaxy BluRay aaaaaaaaany day now… right?