BIRDIE WING ––Golf Girls’ Story is a thrilling sports anime built around one of the most prestigious sports played around the world. Finding itself particularly underrepresented in the world of anime and manga, golf is the realm within which the BIRDIE WING narrative tees itself up, exploring a passion and love for the sport from two completely different perspectives.
Driven primarily by its cast of interesting characters, BIRDIE WING brings together golf, femininity, privilege and the rule of money all into a single brilliant show. With season two of BIRDIE WING ––Golf Girls’ Story set to premiere in April, here’s why you should definitely make this hole-in-one show your next binge.
Plot and Background
BIRDIE WING follows a teenager named Eve Aleon, who has gained notoriety in the underground golf gambling circuit for her demolition of various opponents. Dubbed “Rainbow Bullet” by proponents of underground golf, Eve earns a living through beating some of the toughest opponents with her skill, aiming to be the best using only three golf clubs. After thoroughly demoralizing a promising young talent, Eve is beaten by Aoi Amawashi, a Japanese golfing prodigy who arrives in the European country of Nafrece to participate in a golf tournament. Despite her best efforts, Eve is no match for the talent, who crushes her opponents with a smile that has earned Aoi the epithet “Innocent Tyrant”. After their match, Eve and Aoi become interested in each other as their vastly different approaches to the game clash in a manner that only serves to sharpen the skills of both geniuses.
BIRDIE WING –– Golf Girls’ Story is an original anime project that run for 13 episodes from April 2022 to June 2022 and produced by TV Tokyo, with animation production from staff at Bandai Namco Studios. The anime was announced in October 2021, with the second season first announced in June 2022 and originally set for a January 2023 premiere; however, BIRDIE WING season 2 will be arriving this April instead. The first season was streamed by Crunchyroll as it aired in Japan. The cast of BIRDIE WING includes Akari Kitō (Nezuko Kamado, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba), who plays Eve Aleon; and Asami Seto as Aoi Amawashi. The series director is Takayuki Inagaki, known for his work on the Sunabouzu (Desert Punk) anime released in 2004. Series composition is by Yousuke Kuroda, with storyboarding by Takayuki Inagaki and art design by Toshiyuki Sakae. The series’ opening theme is “Venus Line”, performed by Kohmi Hirose; while the ending theme is “Yodaka” by Tsukuyomi.
Strong-willed, stubborn and self-assured, the series protagonist of BIRDIE WING is the standard ambitious sports anime protagonist with an immense drive to succeed; however, she has not lived a life of privilege that allows her to play golf like most other people do. To Eve, golf is not just a sport, but a way of life, and her play style reflects the life-or-death nature of the kind of life she has had to live to survive. Her growth and development in an unforgiving environment have turned her into a ruthless golfing machine with an aggressive and unconventional approach. Despite all of this, Eve is a golfer who only values a game that is played fair, and her passion for the game makes her gain an immense interest in Aoi, who is a level above upon her introduction.
The rival introduced to Eve in the first two episodes of the series, the Japanese golfing prodigy that is Aoi Amawashi is the genetic project of two Japanese golfing legends. In addition to her all-star DNA, Aoi has immense talent for the game and an environment that has grown her into an indomitable golfing champion. However, Aoi’s greatest weapon is not her parents or her development, but her innocent enjoyment of the game on all levels and her inability to feel pressure from playing the sport. Her environment and upbringing are the polar opposite of Eve’s; however, the clash of their opposite play styles is what leads them both to far greater heights than they ever thought were possible.
Aoi’s caddy and best friend, Amane is incredibly knowledgeable about various things and uses this to Aoi’s advantage while out on the fairway. Her characterization leaves her relegated to side-character status as her entire role in the story is dependent on and related to Aoi and her development.
One of Eve’s acquaintances from the underground golfing world, Rose is something akin to a manager who sends Eve out on various jobs. She interferes in Eve’s golfing in various ways in order to strengthen her hold over her all while contributing to the development of Eve as an immensely capable golfer, which would in turn make her a far more lucrative asset.
Light and Dark
The major theme that underpins the commencement of the main story and the development of the main characters is that of contrast, particularly that of Eve and Aoi, but also on the level of the sport of golf itself, which is depicted in its auspicious official capacity, as well as an underground activity associated with gambling. This is the BIRDIE WING series’ main thematic component as the idea of contrast permeates the story much akin to the presentation of such a concept in Shonen media. Eve’s association with the gritty, grimy underground and Aoi’s association with prim and proper nurturing are aspects that are expressed through their characterization, appearance, play style and even their relationships with other characters, and it is for this reason that Eve represents a “from the concrete” perspective of development that contrasts the nursery-grown approach to Aoi’s character.
The Gamble and Chance
As someone who comes from a rough upbringing, not to mention her participation in golf games that people bet on for entertainment, Eve’s character is also highly influenced by the abstraction of gambling – the “all-or-nothing” approach to her style golf is influenced by her environment, and the life that she has had to live to survive. Eve’s spontaneity also aligns with this particular element, and she is prone to pushing for the things she wants because of it. There is also the sheer coincidence of the meeting between Eve and Aoi that kick-starts the main events of the series in the first place, which introduces colour back into the world that Eve had long since seen as gray and dull.
All-in-all, BIRDIE WING is a fun and exciting sports anime that jumps right to the action and drama, with great characters and lovely animation to accompany character designs that don’t always scream golf, but are interesting nonetheless.
The competitive nature of the main characters, as well as the unexpectedly high energy level of the series makes the BIRDIE WING experience a far cry from the experience of watching real-life golf, but like with various sports anime, the golf is the conduit through which a story about youth, competition and desire is told; and this one is definitely worth the watch.