Ping Pong (the Japanese film based on the manga) did not seem that unusual a premise for a Japanese film at first. Of course the Japanese are obsessed with table tennis, the inattentive racist in my bonce said. The film picked me up – the scary end of level baddie for at least the first half of the film is Chinese. Refered to as China, this demon table tennis player is seen as being a natural just because he is Chinese.

As far as I am aware table tennis is no bigger than most other sports in Japan. There might be specialist table tennis dojo’s like the one shown in the film, but it could just be a fiction to help the films air of all pervasive table tennisdom. But beyond always being rather irritated by the game when I played it, there is something great about a long table tennis rally. The reaction speeds, the sound and fury. Ping Pong sometimes fluffs its actual table tennis scenes, possibly because the actors are not professionally ping pongers. But there are fast cutting scenes, probably computer generated balls in the later scenes where the zen of the little ball is illucidated.