Posted by psgels on 12 May 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews




2011 is surprisingly short on sports series. Moshidora was pretty much the only new one we got here. But at the very least, it did come up with a really interesting premise: instead of being just another group of high schoolers, it focuses on a “what if?”-scenario: what if a high school girl got her hands on a business management guide and applied that to the management of a high school baseball team?

Throughout the series, we see a high school girl apply the basics of management to high school baseball, and succeeds at this pretty well. It takes a look at things as marketing, innovation, performance, and yet it also criticizes itself, and doesn’t take everything for granted. It’s quite an inspirational work, and the series also doesn’t forget to give some colours and development to the characters themselves. It’s a short series with only 10 episodes, but it makes optimal use of its time.

Now, this show was produced with a really small budget, though: the animation is simple and full of distorted faces. You really don’t want to watch this for the eye candy. But on the other hand, it’s not like this gets in the way of the storytelling. Instead, this series’ biggest flaw is its cheese. It really tries to pull at your heartstrings without restraint at times, but fails due to either insufficient build-up, acting, or questionable coincidences.

The baseball matches in this series also suffer from these coincidences: from start to finish, they feel completely directed and unnatural. It’s clear that the major focus of this show are management and its characters, and the baseball is just something that they happen to have as a common goal. It’s not the most believable at times, but definitely an interesting watch.

Storytelling: 7/10 – Makes good use of its time, but can’t control its own cheese.
Characters: 8/10 – They’re cheesy at times, but still remain surprisingly likable and developed for a 10-episode series.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Nothing special. Does what it needs to do to not get in the way of the other parts of the series, though.
Setting: 9/10 – An original idea surprisingly well fleshed out.

Suggestions:
Cross Game
Ookiku Furikabutte
Touch

4 Responses

  1. tomphile says:

    I don’t typically like baseball anime, though I have watched a few. Cross Game definitely beats this hands down. And just like in this review, the animation quality doesn’t kill the anime, but it definitely does hinder its appeal.

  2. ahelo says:

    I really like Moshidora. It’s very surprising how much development and characterization they’ve put in a 10 episode anime. You can definitely see why this sold so much in Japan.

    I do agree with the cheese a bit but it’s not so big that it took out the enjoyment of the series. Also the animation really is a bit bland. Then again, it also doesn’t detract from the viewing pleasure of this series.

  3. Joojoobees says:

    I’m going to pick up on the 10 episode theme. Never before has so few episodes done so much for so many .. or something like that. I was surprised to find out that Moshidora had a decent story, with some interesting characters, as I expected no more than an illustrated guide to the management concepts. The premise is unique. The character designs are one of the weaker aspects of the show, but they do a good job, considering the size of the cast, and the mostly realistic depiction of high schoolers.

    I say well done, and well worth watching!

  4. jzar says:

    I really liked the story. They made the story move along very well for so few episodes. I wish other shows would learn from this how to tell a story.

    The drawback to the short episodes was to end up being pushed and not gently led by the emotions of the story.

    Which is a shame since with a bit more time those moments where we could connect our emotions into the story would have been right on target.

    I would rate this show highly even with its small flaws. It still shines with a very interesting story.

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 11:14 PM)
    Synecdoche is incredibly rich in detail, and keen return viewers can find a lot of things they missed the first time thru. Kaufman didn’t have a single teacup in a shot that didn’t mean something. Pacing is a bit of an issue, but if you notice the passage of time you can see that was deliberate as well. The movie could’ve been livelier, but for a movie about death and decay that would’ve been a bit of a sell-out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 11:01 PM)
    @Emma: Birdman and Synecdoche have a lot of thematic elements in common, and given that Synecdoche was released in 08 makes me realize that Alejandro González borrowed quite a bit from it; although in the end they are different enough to justify Birdman’s existence. Where Synecdiche was a better written movie, I feel that Birdman was the better directed one.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:15 PM)
    And I’d go as far to say this beats out birdman for me by miles.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    The film is a solid mood piece thanks to the in tone cinematography, a great performance from Hoffman that along with his characters drama makes for an emotionally investing film. And before it gets TOO sad theres all those bits of dark humour fitted in there that work out pretty well. This is probably my favourite work by Kaufman currently.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    Well Bam, I had a go of synecdoche there. A bit of a slow burner, near the end slightly drawn out, however that last stretch was forgiven by that bonkers ending.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:23 PM)
    The voice of the main character got kind of annoying though, the dub wasn’t all that good either.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:22 PM)
    This was based on/was a homage to a series by the Gigantor creator and having grown up with gigantors 90s reboot this felt like a nice throwback, plot is fairly simple but used effectively. It’s a shame that it feels like there was more to tell but at seven episodes I suppose it avoids outstaying its welcome.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:20 PM)
    Decided to marathon Giant Robo, I think this was mentioned by someone on here before. I guess it was fairly entertaining, great action direction, looked good for its time, you don’t notice the hour long episodes go by, adequate characters, nice retro artstyle also, not sure if I got excited over this as big O and Mazinger however but still fun enough nonetheless.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:10 AM)
    Seeing Hoffman in before the devil knows your dead and his character being dependent on drugs, that was another thing that hit me a bit knowing the circumstances of his death. Watching most wanted man I could also see that he was wearing out physically.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:00 AM)
    This is not Anno bitching about otakus jacking off to his characters and turning around and selling Rei panties, this isn’t the idiots at Shaft throwing around meaningless camera angles and the oh-so-symbolic teeth brushing scenes, this is a human being looking you in the eye with fear and telling you that he’s dying; morbid, honest, moving and remarkable.

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