Ah, crap. Even I could see that this episode was rushed. The thing that set Ookiku Furikabutte apart from all of the other baseball series is that it takes every pitch seriously: it spends time at animating even the most unimportant pitches, treating them like they have the potential to change the entire game. In this episode, you could clearly see the creators rushing through these unimportant pitches. This really sucks. Even though there hasn’t been an official announcement yet, it really looks like the creators are planning to end this match at episode thirteen. There can only be one reason why they would suddenly decide on that.
I knew it was too good to be true, for A-1 to keep such an incredible animation-quality throughout this entire second season, while also animating Working and Senkou no Night Raid alongside it, added to Kuroshitsuji II, Occult Academy and Sora no Oto. They like,tripled their capacity in 2010 or something? The worst thing here is that trying to cram a new season into thirteen episodes just doesn’t work for this series. The reason why the first season was so awesome was exactly because of that gruelingly long match that took up eleven episodes. With this, they took away one of the best parts of this series.
And that really is a shame because this episode really was excellent as usual. Take a look at the point where Abe grabbed Mihashi’s arm tightly and let go of it again: it actually changed colour like you’d expect with a real arm. This episode was full of these tiny details that by far would have surpassed the first season if it actually would have gotten 26 episodes to fully drag out this series.
You can see the lack of time the most at the opposing team. Really, we only got to see a lot of the pitcher and catcher. Who are the other guys? To be honest, I have no idea. They lack the individuality of the team of the first season.
I know that there is still an option for a third season, but seriously: don’t hope for it. There have been plenty of series (and sequels) who suffered the fate of never being completed, even the very popular series couldn’t escape it. It’s the one thing I hate the most about anime: the tendency to not just fully animate something but rather just animate the beginning and then see whether or not the sponsors still feel like it.
Rating: ** (Excellent)