The anime will center on para-athletes who all meet an outcast sports scientist named Ren Narita. The anime will have four stories about four different sports: wheelchair basketball, track and high jump, goalball, and paralympic swimming.
Breakers is a sports show that knows what it’s about. It also knows what its audience is about, and that’s an audience that knows next to nothing about para-athletes and the pro games they play. It’s because of this the series is deliberately short and sweet, spanning just four short arcs over the course of 16 ten-minute episodes. The show doesn’t waste much time with its premise: your main character, a sports scientist and part-time stalker, scouts para-athletes and trains them to be the best at their chosen sports. His sales pitch, usually punctuated with a decree to “break the doors open to your potential,” is what gives meaning to the series’ name. This makes his students more than just para-athletes; with this speech and the show's title, they become almost superhero-like as well, going beyond their disabilities to smash world sporting records. Pretty empowering stuff, no? For all the love Breakers shows to its featured para-athletes (all of whom are based on real para-athletes), it’s also hyper-aware of the millions of para-newbies watching at home. So besides its short runtime and length, Breakers is also careful not to overwhelm its audience with information overload. That's thanks to the edu-tainment tone it adopts throughout its run – sort of like those “eat your veggies” PSAs they used to show the kids – which helps enhance the freshness and originality of its material. It’s sports science broken down in just the right ways for the animated medium. Foregoing the character development – one of the make-or-break factors of your typical sports anime – in favor of a focus on the science behind each sport seems to be a conscious decision made by the production team. The characters aren't fully fleshed-out and seem at first defined by their disabilities. But Breakers makes sure to show us what these kids are really made of by having them make the breakthrough on their own, with only minimal support from the sports scientist. It's not easy work. Where mastering a sport is the main challenge for other sports series, the conflict in Breakers comes from its para-athletes re-learning how to move. It makes sure you're a part of the journey, too. While the characters try their hand at their new sports, you'll be seeing sports you know broken down so succinctly, that it's almost like you're learning these games for the first time. Once you realize how vital certain movements are for specific sports, you'll gain a whole new appreciation for para-athletes who have to re-learn so many things before they can start playing for real. Tokyo Olympics promotional material or no, Breakers earns its medals by making itself as engaging and informative as any standalone sports anime out there.
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