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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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 05:18 AM)
    Oh, awesome, dark horse is releasing volume 10 of black lagoon in April, its been nearly five years since the last complete volume…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:56 AM)
    @Aidan: I think theres something seriously wrong when theres the actually possibility of there being a good PA works anime but we all have our opinions =P
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:13 AM)
    @Raggers, I will go into detail when I review it. But I think something is seriously wrong when I get a far more satisfying ending out of shirobako than Death parade.
    Looking forward to writing a review of shirobako too.
  • Raggers
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:56 AM)
    @Aidan: it wasn’t bad though. I think it suffered from too high expectations and lack of focus (or overreaching).
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:29 AM)
    Well. Death parades ending was quite underwhelming.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:21 PM)
    Waiting between releases for this will be a good thing, its the sort of manga you pick up and put down, then go back to with breaks in between.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:13 PM)
    13 volumes into dorohedero, I’ve found it good enough to buy now that I’ve caught up with the official English releases. While the plot meaders and is kind of messy, isn’t up to much, I love how crazy the gory action is, the gritty artstyle/world and the black comedy more than well make up for it. It works best when focused on those masked gangster magician guys and also the main character, the others are only alright.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 02:19 AM)
    @Aidan: true, but I don’t think the level is anywhere close to a true shounen. And once the basic rules are established it’s strategising and straight out fighting.
    I’d be more inclined to call it seinen with shounen elements than actually shounen.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 09:59 PM)
    Good all action finale to cap off Garo there, went out with a bang, though thing is I have no idea where their going to go with this when the movie, second season comes along, this seems like a pretty good point to finish.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:35 PM)
    I think that just about all the manga serialized in ultra jump feel less seinen than those serialized in other seinen magazines.

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