Hanebado! was undoubtedly one of the standout sports anime of 2018. Unfortunately, its source manga of the same name by Kosuke Hanade is almost at its end. In fact, the mangaka himself revealed that the series is heading towards its climax in an interview with Comic Natalie.

In the interview, he stated that the climax was “coming soon”. He also talked about the change of art styles in his manga, going from the simple eye candy illustrations and into the more intense ones, like the cover art for Good! Afternoon magazine’s March issue for 2018 seen above. He says that he felt the gravure-like style had little output and thus felt insufficient for him. So he tried making the series feel more like other sports manga by ramping up the intensity. Here is a comparison between Ayano in the first volume to how Ayano looked as the series progressed:

Well, this is good’ol “Has Mommy issues so she’ll kill you on court and eat your liver” Ayano, but you can feel the difference with that art shift. Yeah, that’s the manga’s crazy MC right there…

The art shift had some mixed reactions, as expected, with some liking it. Here’s how Crunchyroll, which officially streams the anime in English, describes the story:

Despite her great potential, Ayano Hanesaki would rather avoid badminton than play it. But, when she meets Nagisa Aragaki, a third year who spends every waking moment perfecting her game, she’s inspired. Encouraged by their coach, Tachibana Kentarou, Ayano and Nagisa will hit the court and rally against opponents and rivals with amazing skills!

source: Comic Natalie