Tribe Nine (Review)

Title: Tribe Nine | Official Trailer

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbGirtRtDdw&ab_channel=Funimation

By: Beata Garrett  | @zhongxia246

Tribe Nine is set in Neo-Tokyo, where the government decided that the only way to stop its warring gangs was by promoting XB, also known as Extreme Baseball. 

All disputes are settled through the game that is a fun twist on regular baseball with most of the same rules with the main differences including entire cities functioning as fields and catchers having to get batters out by physically fighting them. 

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Source: Episode 2, Tribe Nine

Other rules depend on the referee of the match and can offer advantages or disadvantages depending on which tribe hosts the game. For example, the Adachi Tribe in Episode 4, an opposing tribe to our main characters (Kamiya, Haru, and Taiga) in the Minato Tribe, rides on motorcycles. This gives them a tactical advantage in catching balls and their knowledge of the abandoned mall and underground passages on their home turf also helps them confuse opponents. 

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Source: Episode 1, Tribe Nine

I was all-in to this ridiculous anime but faltered a bit at Episode 4. During the episode, the Minato Tribe, where our heroes reside, loses Kamiya who was, to this point, the true star of the show. The Minato Tribe had ridden on the coattails of Kamiya for a while to rise as the best XB tribe in the present ranks, so the reveal of his death in Episode 4 was jarring and a bad sign for Tribe Nine. None of the other characters, including sharp-eyed Haru or fisherman Taiga, held the same charisma as him to carry the team. 

It makes me nervous about how the anime will proceed, but there’s still enough entertainment in the sport itself and the antagonist, Otori, to hold my attention. 

With Kamiya gone, Otori is the strongest character in the show. Sprung from Neo-Tokyo royalty, Otori boasts a cool, if edgy, design and the show hints at a few familial issues in Episode 2 that should be interesting to see develop in coming episodes. Otori’s father, Tenshin, plans on conquering all of Neo-Tokyo and crushing the other tribes in XB, but Otori has no personal interest in the sport itself. 

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Source: Episode 2, Tribe Nine

Going back to Episode 3, Otori forces the Minato Tribe to disband when they lose and Kamiya’s death appears to be the nail in the coffin until a mysterious blue-haired stranger named Kazuki appears. He claims that Kamiya sent him to help them and quickly proves his usefulness by helping them defeat Adachi Tribe.

We’ll see where Tribe Nine goes next, but hopefully it continues to lean into its zaniness and shed more light on its charismatic antagonist to make up for Kamiya’s absence. I remain optimistic that the show will regain its footing and has a few good swings left in it. 

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