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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  • ratsgnoF
    (Tuesday, Jun 30. 2015 07:27 AM)
    @Emma I agree. When you look back, teenagers are retarded and do a lot of stupid stuff.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Jun 30. 2015 01:51 AM)
    @ak184: Sporadically mildly entertaining with an enjoyable final stretch. Though at times I found myself falling in and out with the series.
    @Aidan: I would be more than happy to read your yahari review.
    @RatsgnoF: Looking back at being a teenager, I can’t say that moment of a persons life isn’t free of melodrama.
  • ak184
    (Monday, Jun 29. 2015 11:53 PM)
    Out of curiosity, for those who were watching it, what did you all thought of jojo stardust crusaders? Now that it has recently ended
  • ratsgnoF
    (Monday, Jun 29. 2015 05:35 PM)
    IMO I think that emphasizes how important their relationships are with each other. It shows how the characters have developed and change. They’re very vocal about how they feel and what they want. To the point where it would seem melodramatic.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 29. 2015 03:17 PM)
    @Emma, I never disliked the movie. And I do think it did that archer vs Shirou fight much better. But the problem with it is that it basically removes coherency from the story. People would just be downright confused watching it if they have no knowledge. The movie is pretty much fan service.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 29. 2015 03:13 PM)
    I was actually thinking of writing up a Yahari review. Overall I enjoyed it but I felt that it got far too melodramatic at points over relatively little. It just felt like the characters where making mountains out of molehills.
  • ratsgnoF
    (Monday, Jun 29. 2015 07:59 AM)
    That exactly why it’s so good. It’s not very cliche like most animes. The characters themselves have very interesting personalities. Personalities that are actually unique. Not those personalities that every main lead has. Very cliched anime is bad. I can literally predict what happens next watching it the first time. Seeing those 3 interact and struggle is very enjoyable It’s kinda down to earth in a way.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Jun 29. 2015 07:02 AM)
    I think, watching Yahari, that its time I stopped bashing the “Too many teenagers thing in anime”, better to make the teenage characters we get actually interesting people.
  • ratsgnoF
    (Monday, Jun 29. 2015 06:57 AM)
    If they do plan a season 3, it probably won’t be out for about a year or two. The last 2 episodes were adapted from volume 11 which was released 5 days ago.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Jun 29. 2015 06:48 AM)
    That final episode of Yahari’s second season pretty much left me saying “Season 3 where and now”
    And “You can’t end this here”.

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