Anime Reviews

[Review] Big Windup Is Cute and Feels Good But Also Very Slow In Comparison to Another Baseball Anime I Know

And the review is finally out! Though if you saw my little post on my FB page and Anime Planet profile, you might already know what I thought about this show (basically that I liked it!). At this point I have watched a couple other sports anime so it’ll be hard for me to not compare it with others. Which is why this is like a review/comparison post. Don’t forget to read my first impression since I won’t be introducing our main characters too much anymore. And beware spoilers because why not get a little excited?

1350730_Latvian_ShowDetailHeaderDesktop_60aa4cbe-7078-e711-8175-020165574d09

In Big Windup we follow Mihashi, an extremely timid pitcher who was bullied in middle school for being a “sucky and selfish pitcher” (not a quote but basically what they meant). His teammates hate him and instead of confronting them and defending himself, Mihashi ends up running away and enrolling at Nishiura High School, away from all his old teammates

However, the ghost of their words still weigh on him

When he goes to check out the baseball team at Nishiura, he breaks down when they ask what position he plays. He confesses he’s a terrible pitcher and is constantly thinking everyone will hate him. What he didn’t expect, however, was for everyone to be super supportive about how he pitches. And so his high school pitching days begin!

rsz_1349277419

In comparison to other sports anime, like Haikyuu, KnB, and Daiya, Oofuri isn’t anything really special but it’s also hard to dislike it. I really enjoyed meeting all the characters, especially as the series progressed. But because the season was only 25 episodes, there’s only so much we got to see and experience (but no worries, I’m heading off towards season two once I’m done here)

Mihashi starts off the series as very timid and even afraid of his team and ends up with a bit more confidence in himself. He still stutters like crazy and he’s afraid that Abe will hate him, but in comparison I think he has gotten better. Likewise, Abe has REALLY changed. He started off as a real jerk who just wanted Mihashi to do as he was told and ended up being really cute. He started to see the faults in his methods and seeing Mihashi as a true pitcher. And BRUH the last few episodes and the skinship and the trying to be closer but Abe blows up because his temper and Mihashi’s timidness. It was adorable to watch

Unfortunately these are really the only characters I felt had any development. Tajima was still as enthusiastic and AMAZING as before (during that game I was so impressed by his focus and dedication!) and Hanai does become a bit more Captain-like. And in those 25 episodes I still couldn’t learn the rest of the team’s names or faces (I know, I’m terrible)

tumblr_mvkju7V3o61stvuwto3_400

But there are a couple things in this series that I found really interesting and different from other sports anime that really brought my enjoyment for this up

One is that Mihashi is a skilled player.Β I guess the only time I’ve seen something similar is with YOI where Yuri was actually a good skater but his perception of himself made us think otherwise. In Haikyuu we also see that Hinata has no real skill as he’s never had actual coaching. In Daiya, Eijun has to learn some new pitches, his control isn’t the best, and his only real weapon is his strange form. In Oofuri, Mihashi splits up the strike zone into 9 sections (which apparently not many people do) making his control top notch, he’s got stamina, and while his batting could use some help it didn’t look terrible. The only thing he truly lacks is confidence, which I think would especially fix his batting

The training methods are also eerily strange. Usually if you play baseball you practice things like your batting, catching, plays, and endurance/running/core type stuff. In YOI I only really remember Yuri practicing his jumps and choreography. In Haikyuu they did connecting and Kageyama did some control stuff. But in Oofuri they take it a step further. They don’t just train their bodies on the basics but they also do things like meditation to help relax them when they’re in a pinch, they help each other through skinship (the whole cold hand, hot hand), and they do some memory/eye and hand coordination type stuff

It’s something that sounds like it wouldn’t make sense to do but when you think about it, it does make sense. Playing sports, especially in sports anime where each team is aiming for some championship, can be stressful and especially in game. But Nishiura is training themselves to help take that pressure away, so that they can be level headed even when bases are loaded and the cleanup is next to bat or when they’re 2 points behind in the 8th inning

20110323065817

A female coach and character in general that I like?! So in Haikyuu we have our managers who, while really cute, I feel don’t really do much for the team (aside from their usual background duties). In Kuroko we have the coach lady but I didn’t really like her and while she was knowledgeable, there was something about her involvement that was still distant. In Daiya as well, we only had the female managers and then Eijun’s friend who came to watch games. In Oofuri we actually have a proper coach that I was impressed with (and kind of weirded out by at first). It’s really obvious she loves the team and seeing her practice with them, helping them out with plays, and even predicting the enemy strategies…! I was impressed and I know a lot of people in the series (other coaches and captains) were as well

And speaking of females, I also really enjoyed the role of parents in this show!Β I don’t think I’ve seen any sports anime that has parents go to their kids games and that’s always bugged me. Here the moms actually show up! Well in Daiya Wakana and Eijun’s grandpa show up but they’re not parents sooo. But here the moms show up and actually help the club with financials and transportation. And since Nishiura isn’t a big name school or even known for their team, this support is major!

But even though this show had a lot of interesting things going for it, there was one thing that really brought down the score for me (or really, that made me wonder what score I should give it). The pacing

In KnB we have so much action in there and pretty colors to keep us engaged. In Haikyuu it’s also colorful but there’s also suspense and feels in every match that’s played. You really get attached to the characters and their enthusiasm. And in Daiya, OH MY, all the tension and aggression and manliness (in comparison) gets you pumped and OSHI! But Oofuri doesn’t have any of this

Oofuri is very calm and in the 25 episodes we only get to witness 2 matches. We don’t feel for many of our casts and we’re left hanging with other interesting characters (from other teams). Our pitcher isn’t overflowing with energy and loud. He’s really quiet and he stutters. The whole sport is more realistic in a sense. They pitch like you’d expect normal high schoolers to pitch and hit. No fancy gimmicks

In the end I rated this series a 7/10 because it’s better than average but I’m hoping I’ll be able to rate it an 8 after season 2!

As to who I recommend this to, I’d say someone who knows their baseball as this show doesn’t do the whole 101 episode. And someone who doesn’t mind a slow paced show. I really did like it and will be continuing but I can see how this wouldn’t be appealing to others, especially if you’re not a big fan of the genre to begin with

WELP, that’s all for now. Hopefully I can get season 2 out in a week or so!


Enjoy my content? Want to support me? Feel free to follow me on social media (FB,Β Twitter,Β Instagram), like this post, share it, and/or leave some comments so I know I’m not just screaming into the void! You can also support me byΒ buying me a coffeeΒ ^^

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “[Review] Big Windup Is Cute and Feels Good But Also Very Slow In Comparison to Another Baseball Anime I Know

  1. eyy, haha, you did end up writing a comparison post! xD
    My biggest takeaway from OoFuri, when compared to, say, Daiya, is how… weak (for lack of a better word) the Nishiura Baseball team is. For one they’re all first years (so no help from strong and experienced senpais); their ace is very insecure; and the clean-up can’t hit it out of the park (Tajima is a genius though, no doubt). Daiya has Seidou competing for Koshien qualifiers within the first couple of episodes whereas Nishiura could barely make it past a regional prelimary match.

    But I don’t take that as a knock to OoFuri though as it offers something that not a lot of sports anime do, and you allude to this as well — realism. I mean, it says something that the craziest pitch thrown in the entire show was a sinker (lol) but it does kinda put into perspective where Nishiura is at as a baseball team and likewise what OoFuri is as a baseball anime. Daiya has a super varsity setup with super talented players, and OoFuri has just, a bunch of quirky high schoolers playing baseball. Both have their charms though (OoFuri parents are amazing yep xD) and that’s what’s most important.

    “As to who I recommend this to, I’d say someone who knows their baseball […]”
    I was actually the opposite. I knew nothing about baseball when I started watching OoFuri but it did make me appreciate the sport more because of how nitty-gritty with the details it got. I agree that it’s slow though (two games in 25 episodes!) If anything, I’d say it’s worth the payoff for the second seaon.

    And I guess to cap-off this already long enough comment, other slow baseball anime that I’d recommend would be Taisho Baseball Girls (interesting premise actually) and Moshidora (very slow, but manager-centric, which is an interesting take on the genre); that is of course if you haven’t already watched these titles just yet πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did though I also have another comparison one in store xD once I finish up another series hehe

      Oh yeah! from the very start you know that daiya is about more elite players, what with seidou scouting Eijun and then them being a powerhouse. And then you have Oofuri that only just got a baseball team together that year. It was nice to see how both felt so realistic in their own way (though even for a team of inexperienced first years I think Nishiura did really well!!)

      Lol! omg I noticed that! when they were mentioning how impressive they were I was just thinking oh they need to play against seidou and they’ll see difficult x”D i guess in a way, Oofuri made daiya feel exaggerated though i still think these two are the more realistic of the few shows I’ve seen so far πŸ™‚

      yeah, i was thinking i couldn’t give this series an 8 with what s1 presented (and i think I changed the rating for it like 2 times) but after s2 I’m just like GIVE IT ALL THE POINTS, I just really enjoyed it (and am now reading the manga #dead)

      I get that. I guess I’m just slow then lolol because even while watching daiya I had to look up a couple things and I felt like they did go over some stuff in more detail. and other minor stuff I already knew because I played softball (ha, all the embarrassing memories are popping up now). so when watching this, I was able to pick up on stuff bc of daiya. though there were quite a few things in this series as a whole that made me think ‘you can do that?!’ which is always awesome I think

      ohhhh anime recs! i actually haven’t seen either of those and here’s why: the girls. idk why but if the cast is mainly girls, chances are i won’t watch it BUT you are recommending and you really liked Oofuri and you said there’s interesting stuff going on so now i do wanna watch! i guess i just feel like in girl dominant series they’re more male oriented? and i just don’t want to see that lol who knows, maybe i’m just watching the wrong ones!

      btw thank you for such a lovely comment, it seriously made my day!! T^T

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oooh, another comparison with Big Windup! or two completely different shows altogether? xD

        In a way it works kinda like an excuse in that, they’re all so young and inexperienced so of course they’d lose here and there. If anything it ensures that the Nishiura peeps will be growing alongside each other for a whole three years. Not gonna lie though, in comparison the whole graduation/succession arc that Daiya had has got to be one of my favorite developments in all sports anime (Chris-senpaaaaaaaaaai!!)

        Yeah, I mean, Furuya I think clocks in at around 140 kph iirc with his fastball which is insane! (bet Tajima could hit it though, loljk) But yeah, even looking at the body types it’s actually quite funny to think that some of these guys across both series are the same age, haha! But yes, I too believe that compared to stuff like Prince of Tennis and KuroBasu, OoFuri and Daiya are the more realistic anime of the bunch.

        S2 was amazing in that, things sped up immensely compared to S1’s pacing xD The matches were awesome too. But really, that major development towards the end with Abe *I’ll just leave it vague here lest your readers get spoiled* Oh man, that was 20+ episodes in the making and it was well worth it in my opinion (I tried to follow up with the manga but the last time I checked they were still in this really long training camp arc, lol, and we find out that manager-chan has a thing or Abe xD)

        Nah, I wouldn’t say that. Stuff like “double plays” when a runner can run confused the heck out of me at first too. I think it’s because for me, growing up, baseball wasn’t really a thing. It was always just baseball and volleyball. So really I was just nerding-out (…which is weird to say for a sports anime) to all these mechanics to a game that was just so alien to me :))

        Ah, I get that. It’s actually funny you bring “male-oriented” up because the thing about Taisho Baseball Girls in particular is that although it does closely border the “cute girls doing x” territory of shows, it’s actually a plot point too, with the premise being more or less “girls wanting to prove to boys that they can play baseball too”. Moshidora has less girls (*checks* yeah, MAL’s picture of it kinda makes it seem like it’s all about the girls huh? xD) but yeah, it’s really just a drama disguised as a baseball anime. Not really a “sports” anime in that regard, but the part where you said you like managers/coaches actually helping the the team made me think of it.

        You’re very welcome πŸ™‚ And besides, your post was very engaging, so I couldn’t help but drop a comment xD thanks for writing about OoFuri. It brought back a lot of fun memories. Looking forward to when you write about S2!

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s still in the works but I was thinking Big Windup and some other baseball series, but really it depends on what i come up with once I finish watching the shows I want to include xD

          and lolol tajima DID say he could hit any ball throughout the course of the game. if anything he kind of reminds me of raichi except not so demonic while batting and he can’t hit home runs…so maybe like haruichi since they’re both tiny? but the energy from raichi xD right?! all the guys from daiya look crazy huge compared to the guys in oofuri, which i think is something they start to touch on later in the series (i know in the manga they did, can’t remember if they touched on it in the anime)

          I guess s1 was all about the foundation because s2 did feel like it picked up the pace and it did it so well! I was just super invested and my enjoyment levels went up like 100%! and gahhhh don’t even get me started with that! I was like /clenches fist/ should i be upset there’s a girl who likes him or proud of it?! LOL Orz but I really liked that ending hehe

          ohhh drama disguised as a sports? would you say it resembles free then? i always felt like free never really fit in with the sports series I watched after it (which is basically everything)

          hehe, well the wait won’t be too long since the post is scheduled for a few hours from now and i did go to your blog to see if and what you had to say about oofuri :> i can’t believe it’s a 6 year old post?! how did i not watch this series sooner?! Orz

          Liked by 1 person

          • Looking forward to it then πŸ˜€

            yeah, definitely a mix of raichi and harucchi (heck even throw in kuramochi in there because of his base-stealing skills!) oh yeah, lol, I vaguely remember an arc where they decided they need to bulk up or something xD

            yep yep, definitely felt like a real baseball season because it picked up right after that crazy long game with tosei like it was yesterday’s news, lol, I thought it was cute :3 especially how she had to psyche herself out of it because she knew Abe had no time for that xD

            Hmm, can’t say, I haven’t seen Free yet, haha. If I had to compare it to something.. Cross Game maybe? (if you’ve seen that, lol)

            I’ll be checking it out soon then xD yeah, funny (also kinda sad :)) to think that oofuri is a 10+ year old anime at this point. but, I guess you can now atest to the fact that this series aged well over the years, haha!

            Liked by 1 person

            • oh snap, i forgot about that but yes, some kuramochi in there too! he’s just too awesome Orz

              i haven’t watched cross game xD and also wowwowowow i feel like this is something i need to document, someone who hasn’t watched free?! i thought just about everyone had xD

              and it has! i know when i picked up my dvd i was like ugh this looks so bad but once i started watching it on youtube i was sitting there like huh this doesn’t look that bad! if someone had told me this was only like a year or two old i’d believe it. it just looks really decent and it’s still interesting to watch πŸ˜€

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A “Month” (Dec+Jan) In Review: What Crimson Did, What to Expect, and Sharing is Caring~ – Crimson Blogs

  3. WOWOWOW, I missed this post and I don’t know how???? I’m ashamed I’m a dunce :CC

    I love the coach and the parents so much, I’m so glad you talked about them because they’re such a good highlight to this manga.
    A funny tidbit, Oofuri has been serializing for way longer than Daiya, but it’s also not a shounen. It’s serialized in a seinen magazine and the author is female too πŸ˜‰

    I understand the comparison but when seen as different demographics and genres, we can see why Oofuri is calmer~ Plus there’s also the fact the manga went on hiatus because of the mangaka’s health 😦

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s