Posted by psgels on 24 June 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Ookiku Furikabutte




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

Suggestions:
Touch
One Outs
Princess Nine

4 Responses

  1. i-k says:

    I was really saddened when I found out it was only a 13 episode series, but still, it was great to have it back~. The shorter episode count probably helped the budget, there were a lot of excellently animated parts.

  2. Matt says:

    I want more episodes dangit… i need another season..

    i give this sucker a 95/100, i thought the opposing team got enough coverage, especially regarding the strategy used and the catchers fear of hurting someone. I think the pace was fine for a 13 episode season, but should have gotten a longer season to make it really work, but i never thought they pushed the series fast. they made it work really well.

  3. Joojoobees says:

    I do like the baseball in this series, and I think some of the off field characters are interesting as well. The one thing that bugs me is Mihoshi. I keep wishing Abe would hit him upside the head. But, if I weren’t annoyed by Mihoshi, I would say this was a flawless series. Incredibly enjoyable.

  4. bunnyl0ve says:

    One of my favorite series. I can see it being flushed out nicely if it had some of PoT’s lengthy run. I really hope they continue to animate it… the volumes take awhile to come out though :'(

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  • Emma
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 01:14 PM)
    Additionally Hammill’s joker got both sides of the character down perfectly.
    My favourite depiction of the joker though is definately in Grant Morrison’s arkham asylum graphic novel.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 12:56 PM)
    @bam, Ledger was the best possible live action joker. But Hamell is the real joker to me. When you read jokers lines in the comics, you hear Hammill. Still that fellow in batman arkham origins didn’t do too bad a job.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 12:19 PM)
    @Bam: I remember loving the hell out of that old animated Batman movie from the 90s, mask of Phantasm, that mystery of Batwoman one was worthwhile also.
    Here is the new Jared Leto joker: http://static1.squarespace.com/static/51b3dc8ee4b051b96ceb10de/t/54870f57e4b074be5ade38ad/1418137431644/jared-leto-as-the-joker-in-suicide-squad-fan-art
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 12:06 PM)
    Also it was neat for FF9 to include summons as a plot element. They always existed outside of the story, as most of that series’ battle mechanics seem to happen in a bubble separate from the actual stories.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 12:03 PM)
    *@Emma lol
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 12:03 PM)
    @Joker: he definitely had the quintessential Joker laugh. Ledger was good, but also a lot grirrier due to the film’s tone. That whole animated series is one of main reasons why Batman is still so popular even with the 90s kids who cared very little about comics at that point.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 11:02 AM)
    @Bam: I feel the same way about Mark Hammill voicing the joker.
    As for FF9, I really liked that games take on the Alexander summon.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 09:45 AM)
    @K-off: That’s pretty cool. Conroy is easily the best portrayal of the Dark Knight- as somebody who got the Batman/Bruce Wayne dichotomy down like no other. The trick to get their attention is to be real with them, since they’ve heard every possibly fan praise a million times. I still remember how Maynard’s eyes lit up when my friend screamed “Hey Maynard! You’re a Tool!” at a Napa wine-tasting function he was hosting. You can always bank on weird.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 07:17 AM)
    Very exciting, got to chat with Kevin Conroy in Vegas. I dropped 40$ to get a signature, but I met him afterwards outside the convention hall and talked some generic “fan-to-celebrity” talk, telling him how much I respected his work. I ain’t complaining though.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 12:43 AM)
    I enjoyed Vivi’s storyline tho. I think even tho he was bland and quiet he still had the most emotional developments as a character, which tied in to identity and what it means to be alive. I also liked the “I want to be your Canary” play within the game, it was like a fleshed-out version of the Opera House scene from FF6.

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