Is it just me or anime this year got very heavy-handed with their "message"?
What mainly made me think about this is DAYS. Fifteen episodes of trying to convince us that the protagonist inspires everyone who plays football with/against him because of his passion to belong in a team despite him not showing any interest in trying to learn how to play the game. Never mind that for the whole season all he does is to feel guilty about being a dead weight to the team, and solely focusing on training to be able to run and doesn't give a shit for even learning what direction the opposing team's goal is at, his teammates openly say they are certain this guy is going to be the next captain of the team because of reasons.
I know sports anime were always feel-good, root-for-the-underdog, zero-to-hero stories, but some of them care to flesh out the characters (Haikyuu is heavy on characterisation), and others actually deliver on the action side of things (Kuroko's Basket for one). Here, it's basically little Tsuku-chan wants to have friends, so he enters highschool football taking the position of constantly-catching-his-breath-centre-forward and everyone is motivated by his sense of guilt when the team loses any match he plays in. How about you appreciate his effort and dedication by teaching him how to shoot? All the practice he ever does is to go jogging.
But it's not just sports anime. This Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari from episode 1 sets itself up as a manic pixie dream tanuki child story. I don't know if it's going to surprise us and subvert what is clearly is spelt out in the first episode (recently orhpaned 30-year old man decides to stop running away from his past and returns to hometown to take over the family business and win the trust of the townspeople he used to underestimate), but somehow I don't think it will.
Inno, it annoys me when the plot tries so hard and achieves nothing. Not all anime have to take the viewer through an emotional psychological journey if they don't have the story to do that. There's a few light-hearted anime that almost take pride in being shallow and I'd rate them higher that those two.