I’ll just kick in the door immediately with this review: having only 13 episodes hurts. Ookiku Furikabutte was a show that set itself apart with its gruelingly long baseball matches. Take that away, and you take one of the essential parts of the series away. Nevertheless, don’t write this sequel off, because it also has a lot of points at which it actually surpassed the first season.
For those uninitiated, Ookiku Furikabutte is a baseball show. We often see series that focus on a bunch of teenagers that try to make it to Koushien, but they all have something that sets them apart. Ookiku Furikabutte has the incredible detail it puts into all of its matches. Every single detail is paid attention to, matches are complex and realistic.
A-1 did an even better job at the animation here. The animation is just consistently smooth and detailed with very few (if any) hiccups. Movements, especially during the baseball match are all very finely detailed. You especially have to love some of the far-away shots: in this series, those aren’t cheap excuses to draw less detailed, they are opportunities for animators to animate even more fluidly than they’re already doing. This has been by far the most detailed portrayal of baseball I have ever seen in anime. Screw the length of this show, it’s an excellent adaptation in which the creators succeed wonderfully in bringing the manga to life.
Compared to the first season, the biggest disadvantage of the second season is that the enemy teams just aren’t as colourful: due to the shorter length, they receive way too little attention in favour of the lead characters. These guys however, do get pushed into the right direction. The sequel successfully manages to iron out the few bugs it still had in the characters, and added quite a bit of interesting stuff to the most important ones.
It doesw have the worst match of the series: the first big match of the second season failed to live up to expectations, even when considering the shorter length of the series. However, the second match totally makes up for it. It had to be cut incredibly short (I doubt that the creators themselves even knew about this limited airtime when they first planned out the series), but still retained the essence of the match to make it just better and better with every episode.
|Storytelling:||8/10 – Excellent attention to detail in its baseball, only held back due to a warped pacing and short length.|
|Characters:||8/10 – Very good characters, though the enemy teams could have used more details and colours.|
|Production-Values:||9/10 – Consistently excellent animation. A-1 really put their best into these visuals.|
|Setting:||9/10 – The best portrayal of baseball I have seen in anime so far|