‘Rising Impact’ Anime Recap (Episodes 1-12): Did Gawain And Lancelot Qualify For The Camelot Cup?

Netflix has amassed quite a brilliant collection of anime adaptations over the last couple of years, but aside from “Haikyu!!” the proverbial cabinet of significant sports-related anime ventures remains empty. That changes with the recently released anime adaptation of Nakaba Suzuki’s golf-centered sports manga, Rising Impact, which offers a new, interesting outlook on what is otherwise known as a rich man’s game. Despite being filled with trope-y, Shounen-esque characterization and plot points, Rising Impact excels in making even uninterested viewers feel invested in golf in the most anime-esque way possible. It is certain that after completing the first season consisting of twelve episodes, viewers, especially those unfamiliar with golf, will appreciate the perfect amalgamation of brain and brawn exemplified by the sport when it is not being used as a medium of gatekeeping by the extremely affluent section of society. 


Spoilers Ahead

Encountering a Dream: How Did Gawain Become Interested in Golf?

While hiking through the mountainous wilderness of Fukushima, accomplished professional golfer Kiria Nishino meets Gawain Nanaumi, a chirpy, mischievous yet noble-hearted third grader whose exceptional agility and strength surprise her immensely. Gawain’s natural ability to hit the ball prompts Kiria to introduce him to golf, and the young kid is at once enchanted by the prospect of making the ball soar through the air with a mean swing of the golf club. Kiria is shocked to see Gawain’s powerful strokes reaching the farthest distances of top professional players, and she recognizes his raw talent in the sport. Kiria stays the night at Gawain’s place, where she meets his grandfather, who is the sole guardian of the kid.


Kiria expresses her fascination with Gawain’s potential, which she believes can be fully explored if Gawain comes to Tokyo with her. Similarly, Gawain is jubilant about being the best at something; the details and particularities of the sport don’t matter to him just yet. However, at the same time, Kiria knows that it wouldn’t be right to ask Gawain to pursue his dreams and leave his dear grandpa alone in the process. Kiria returns to Tokyo the next day, promising to teach Gawain more about golf after he comes of age. However, Gawain’s grandpa sees his dedication and passion for golf and decides to send Gawain to Tokyo to be trained under Kiria. He sends a lump sum amount from his savings to ensure his grandson’s future turns out bright. After reaching Tokyo, Gawain finds it difficult to locate Kiria’s house and comes across Lancelot Norman, a genius golf prodigy, expert in the skill of putting. 

The Importance of Each Stroke: Why Did Gawain Lose to Lancelot?

Gawain follows Lancelot and spends some time in a golf training club as Lancelot sharpens his exceptional putting skill, and upon learning that Gawain has been searching for Kiria’s addresses, Lancelot takes him there. Gawain meets Kiria and her sister Kurumi, and upon learning about his grandpa’s wish, Kiria is surprised, to say the least. She questions Gawain about whether he regrets leaving everything behind to follow this dream of his, as being a pro is a monumental task, even for someone as talented as Gawain. The kid retorts that he is willing to take the risk, which signifies that he is adamant on becoming a professional golfer after all. Later, Gawain saves a local junior golf club member, Takeo Mukaida, from getting bullied and easily defeats his bullies in a golf ball driving competition. However, soon enough, Gawain learns that there is another important aspect of golf known as putting, which tests one’s precision and observation skills, as Lancelot, the captain of the golf club, easily beats him in a putting contest. Although Lancelot is surprised to see Gawain’s enhanced driving (golf) skills, he states that in order to become a pro golfer, Gawain needs to be skilled in every aspect of the sport. Additionally, Lancelot is so proficient in putting that he has a supernatural skill of seeing the best possible route to the hole, which is later dubbed as the ‘Shining Road’ skill, and upon reaching the green, Lancelot succeeds in putting the ball in the hole with one strike every single time. 


Twin Peaks of Talent: What Was Lancelot’s Behind Taking Part in Tournaments?

Having tasted bitter defeat, Gawain goes back to Kiria and asks her to teach him to putt. Kiria realizes that she should have taught him the basics earlier, and she takes the time to delineate every aspect of golf to him in detail. Gawain’s putting and other necessary skills required for golfing improve a lot, and as the kid gets restless to get back at Lancelot, she decides to enlist Gawain in a junior competition that will commence soon, where Lancelot will participate as well. On the other hand, Lancelot’s elder sister, Kajury, another gifted golfer and Kiria’s friend, is seen hospitalized due to the deteriorating condition of her eyes. So far, Lancelot has won every tournament he has taken part in, and he plans to use the prize money from the tournaments to fund the expensive eye surgery for his sister. Eventually, the junior tournament begins, where Gawain and Lancelot will once again face each other. 

First Tournament: Did Gawain Win Against Lancelot This Time?

During the tournament, the competition gets tense among the top three contestants: Lancelot, Gawain, and the champion of the elementary level girls’ division, Yumiko Koizumi. Gawain and Lancelot show great sportsman spirit to assist Yumiko during the rounds, which shows the strength of their character as well. Eventually, as the weather begins to change, Gawain is unable to cope due to his lack of experience, and Lancelot, who had prepared himself for every possible outcome irrespective of the conditions, eventually wins the tournament. There is a skill gap between Gawain, who has learned golf over the past week, and Lancelot, but it is noticeable how much Gawain has improved in the past few days. The legendary golf coach, Merlin Albright, who was following the tournament closely in secret, offers Gawain and Lancelot the opportunity to join his Camelot Academy, a prestigious institution where the most skilled golf prodigies are trained. 


Camelot Academy: Did Gawain Manage to Get a Chance to Play on the Course?

While Lancelot chooses not to join Camelot Academy to tend to his sister and win the domestic tournaments, Kiria takes Gawain to Camelot Academy and has to leave him there until the next time he visits a month later. Aria Sayfort, a golfing legend, is the chief overseer of the primary division of the Japan division of Camelot Academy, and she introduces Gawain to the rest of his batchmates. Yumiko has been a student at the academy since the previous year, and Gawain meets other talented golfers like Riser, Liebel, Wanglian, and Platalissa. Riser, unaware of Gawain’s talent, challenges him to a driving contest and gets humbled after seeing his superior skills. Later, Gawain forms a bond with the best student of the batch, Liebel, who helps Gawain improve his form and inspires him with his training regimen. Liebel recognizes Gawain’s talent from the very beginning after witnessing the kid’s immense strength as they rescue Yumiko from falling. Later, Gawain learns that he needs to spend six months in basic training as the newest student in his batch before he is allowed to play on the course. Gawain gets impatient as he aims to become a pro golfer quickly so that he can return to his grandpa, who is waiting for him at home. Liebel decides to help Gawain by requesting Aria’s permission to excuse Gawain’s six months of training, and Aria agrees to it only with one condition: Liebel has to take on Gawain in a competition. If Gawain wins, Aria will excuse his basic training.

Uncrowned Prince: Why Did Liebel Purposefully Lose in Every Competition?

Despite being the most skilled and talented student in his batch, Liebel has never won a single competition, and Aria suspects that his attitude of deliberately losing matches might have something to do with his past. As Liebel carries on this trait of his while competing with Gawain, the latter eventually realizes what’s going on and angrily berates Liebel. It is revealed that during his younger days, Liebel was able to play golf in the first place thanks to his grandmother, who sold her necklace to help Liebel buy his kit. Once, during his grandmother’s birthday, Liebel competed in a tournament as he wished to make her happy by presenting his medal to her as her birthday present. However, Liebel didn’t win and lied about winning to his grandmother by presenting a fake medal—only to see her happy. This incident resulted in Liebel suffering from imposter syndrome, and he has been purposely losing ever since. Aria and Gawain help him get over it, and Liebel wins the competition by defeating Gawain. However, Aria mentions that improvement during training might allow Gawain some relaxation from the six-month-long regimen, and he can join the course earlier than the specified time period. 

An Explosive Situation: What Is the Camelot Cup?

The month of June comes close, and with it, the most prestigious tournament for young golfers around the world—the Camelot Cup—comes ever closer. The Japan, USA, and UK divisions of Camelot Academy are going to take part in the tournament, with seven members of each academy participating in both team games and individual events. The solo winner of the Camelot Cup will win the Ring Twelve, the mythical set of golf clubs that every golfer aspires to gain. However, the primary division students need to compete with the arrogant, highly skilled students of the secondary division to get a spot among the seven allotted ones. Soon enough, the leader of the secondary division, Todoin, and the rest of the students—Kuromine, Hershey, Arai, and Kanazono—make it clear that they are not willing to let any weak link gain the spot to ensure the past year’s humiliation at the Camelot Cup doesn’t get repeated. Dorfa, the coach of the secondary team, recognizes Gawain’s ability as the mythical skill of ‘Rising Impact,’ which allows a player to hit the ball perfectly with the sweet spot of the club, and along with ‘Shining Road’, its place as the topmost skillset of the sport.

The Tryouts Begin: How Did Gawain Fare In The Selection Competition?

Gawain is put in a team with Wanglian and Todoin, both of whom display enhanced skill and superior environment observation to bypass some of the toughest holes imaginable. Gawain compensates for his lack of experience with luck, perseverance, and mad skills as a driver and completes the holes: ‘Spiral’ and ‘Witch’s Lair’ (with a chip in). On the other hand, Kiria, Kurumi, and Lancelot decide to meet Gawain during the specified visiting period as they arrive at Camelot Academy.


Stubbornness and Pride: Who Are the Qualified Members From the Japan Division of Camelot Academy?

Lancelot meets with Gawain as his team attempts to take on the final hole, and Todoin unleashes a special maneuver that he was preserving for the Camelot Cup. On the other hand, in one of the rounds of the all-girl try-outs, Hershey and Kuromine, another putting genius, beat Yumiko and Platalissa by showing their superior skills in putting. Lancelot is impressed by the students of Camelot Academy, and knowing his reputation as the most proficient junior golfer ever, the students seem a bit wary of him. In the end, Liebel emerges as the one with the best scores, beating Todoin’s record. Kuromine is in the third position, followed by Yumiko, Wanglian, and Platalissa. The seventh rank is shared jointly by Kanazono, Riser, and Gawain, and a separate eliminator competition is to be held to decide who among them is headed for the UK for the 11th Camelot Cup. It is also revealed that Kanazono cheated on his way to sabotage Hershey and Arai’s game. Later, Gawain has a chat with Kiria as he expresses his gratitude towards her for providing him with a sense of purpose with golfing and has a tearful conversation with his grandpa over the phone for the first time since leaving Fukushima. Meanwhile, Kuromine challenges Lancelot to a putting contest, where she is severely beaten, which puts a severe dent in her pride. The episode ends as Kiria, Kurumi, and Lancelot return to Tokyo, wishing Gawain the best for the eliminator round.

Playoffs: Did Gawain manage to secure the seventh spot?

The eliminator round is set on a particularly tricky hole, one of Camelot’s toughest, and Kanazono tries to sabotage Riser and Gawain’s game by any means possible. However, his own lack of skill and cowardice become apparent soon enough, and he literally flees after getting exposed by Aria Sayfort. At the end, during the final tussle on the green, Gawain makes an exceptional display of putting to beat Riser and secure his spot among the seven members of Japan’s division of Camelot Academy who will face other divisions in the Camelot Cup in the UK. 


A Venerable Visitor: What Did Hitomi Katase Advise Gawain?

Gawain and his friends train fiercely as the day of departure nears, and at Albright’s request, one of his old friends, a mild-mannered, humble legendary pro golfer, Hitomi Katase, arrives in the academy to train the young golfers. With years of experience as a champion golfer, Hitomi quickly recognizes the shortcomings of each of the players, and as Dorfa asks him to prove his worth as a coach, he invites the students to practice golf with an umbrella. While none of the players even manage to provide loft to the ball, Gawain hits it clear, thanks to his expertise in Rising Impact, which Hitomi quickly recognizes, but still mentions that his approach was the worst among them all. Later in a single-round game, Hitomi clarifies the prime mistake of Gawain as the childish attempt to always try to go the farthest by hitting, whereas a pro golfer should try to make his game more versatile and cerebral and ensure to enjoy the game more than anything else. On the other hand, Kanazono’s cheating is discovered by Arai and Hershey, and it is revealed that their bullying attitude towards him resulted in such consequences. As Todoin reprimands all of them, the secondary division goes through a falling out. Meanwhile, Kajury’s eye operation turns out to be successful, and finally relieved after his sister’s recovery, Lancelot shares his wish to join the Camelot Academy. 

To the Battlefield: Did Gawain and Lancelot Qualify for the Camelot Cup?

As a new student, Lancelot surprises everyone with his proposal: he wants to get a spot in the Camelot Cup and requests that the qualified members trade him one. Hershey jokingly remarks that he needs to take on all the students in a competition to do that, and confident in his abilities, Lancelot agrees. Kuromine, who had tasted defeat in the previous putting contest with him, decides to wager her spot in another putting contest, and Lancelot agrees to leave the school if he loses. Kuromine has trained herself to inhuman levels to take her putting game to the next level, hitting continuous strikes tirelessly every day since her defeat. In a tricky step green, Kuromine and Lancelot begin their putting contest in a tiebreaker scenario, and finally, after five hundred shots completed throughout the day and night, Kuromine falters and loses to Lancelot. She accepts his genius and talent as superior to hers, but Lancelot emphasizes that, without toiling hard, talent is really of no use. He has trained rigorously since the age of six, which is why he has managed to excel to such a degree. As promised, Kuromine keeps her word and gives her position to Lancelot. 


The day of departure arrives, and all the qualified members take their leave after bidding well to their batchmates, families, and relatives. Gawain’s grandpa has arrived with Kiria and Kurumi as well, to wish his grandson the best for his upcoming journey, and it is implied that there is a connection between Gawain and the UK, which will be explored in the next season of the series. The team reaches their dormitory in the countryside of England, and Gawain meets a bunch of USA Camelot team members practicing in the open. He tries to befriend them, but gets made fun of due to his age. As Gawain protests, the captain of the USA team expresses his disdain for the Japanese team, demeaning them and considering them to be unworthy of even taking part in the Camelot Cup. Furious, Gawain challenges him to a game, and the first season comes to an end at this exact point. 

Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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