Ok guys, so I wasn’t expecting to get through this one so quickly but once I picked up season 2 it was so hard to stop!! Beware the spoilers for season 1 and maybe for season 2? I’ll try not to get into much detail but it’s so hard to when I’m so excited!
So in season 2 we pick up directly after season 1. Nishiura has just finished their first big game against a top school and they’ve WON. However, instead of riding on their high of winning, they keep working hard, never underestimating the next team they play but also trying out new game plans. Unknown to them, their next big competitor, Bijoudai Sayama, is studying them and are ready to do whatever it takes to win! Will Nishiura win the next game and become one of the Top 16 schools?
First I just want to say I don’t understand why this was split up into two seasons! I mean, what if someone wasn’t convinced about season 1 and they dropped it? They’d be missing out on all the new content and development in season 2! Plus, it just feels like it flows so naturally into season 2
Anywho, if it wasn’t clear from the first part of this post, I REALLY enjoyed season 2! In season 1 we pretty much met a bunch of first years who end up attending Nishiura High School, a school without a baseball team. I believe they spent part of the summer getting things up and running (like the fields) and by the time classes start, they’re ready to start playing as a team. But they’re a small team consisting of just one pitcher, a catcher, and just enough members to play bases and outfield. And just like all first years in every sports anime, the kids in Big Windup have a lot of growing and experience to gain
And the one who needs it the most is Mihashi Ren, our pitcher and ace of the team (though I’d also argue that Abe Takaya, their catcher has his own growing to do, not so much as a catcher but as a person)
I really liked Mihashi’s development in this season but also we get to see that there’s more troubling stuff happening in his relationship with Abe. With every game they win, with every kind word he gets from his teammates, and from the crazy things he imagines, Mihashi is changing. In the first season he’s really afraid of upsetting his teammates, of being the one at fault for any losses they may take (damn those kids who did this to my child), and of (in general) being hated. In season 2 these fears are still present but they’re also evolving. He’ll still feel responsible about losing but it’s no longer a fear that haunts him and he’s starting to see that his teammates truly care about him. He’s becoming louder during games, acting like a true ace, and (near the end) he’s Thinking
Ha, that last one sounds a bit harsh but in season 1 Mihashi was completely dependent on his team. He saw himself as useless and unworthy. In season 2 he’s starting to see some of his worth and even thinking about what plays are better for the team. I still love to see him stutter and be cute and shy but seeing this development makes me so excited about seeing this new and improved Mihashi!
But Abe’s development isn’t left in the dust either. In season 1 we saw that he really just wanted a puppet pitcher who did whatever he wanted without question. We see why he thinks like this and he just so happened to be paired up with someone who obeyed him. It’s something that ends up hurting the team in the long run but also the dynamic of their battery. There’s even a part where Mihashi meets Abe’s father and he admits he’s afraid of Abe (and of course my heart shattered but it makes sense)
Because of Mihashi’s experiences in middle school I feel like he fears the catcher the most. A catcher and pitcher should be a team and Mihashi does what he believes is necessary to have Abe catch his pitches and send him signs (which his MS catcher stopped doing). So I feel like the whole fear thing is linked to Abe as his teammate more so than Abe as his kind of friend (are they even friends?!). And it’s very apparent to the viewer how much lack of communication is happening between these two. I feel like in season 1 Abe grew to respect Mihashi and he even wanted his trust in return, but Mihashi finds it hard to understand things unless they’re direct (and Abe is anything but direct about his feelings). So while Abe thinks they’re moving forward as a team, Mihashi is still thinking Abe thinks little of him
Aside from these two, we also get more screen time for Tajima (who I absolutely LOVE at this point, he’s so amazing ok) and Hanai. I love them both but I’m definitely here for the Abe and Mihashi story 😉 Oh and the Tajima and Mihashi brOTP is so cute and sweet and makes me smile like crazy
But I guess the thing that really brought out a lot of the development in this season was the game against Bijoudai Sayama, who I rather dislike at this point. I had my suspicions during the series but then we got that OVA and yup, I dislike them.
However, they did help Nishiura realize where their weaknesses lied so they had their use! And they brought up something I had been wondering from the start. As a team of first years with little experience, I was surprised they kept winning and that they even beat a previous champion! As a whole I don’t think Nishiura is a bad team but it did surprise me that they made it so far into the tournament
The season did end at a pretty good place and I’m thinking of learning some black magic so that there will be a season 3, but for now I must dive into the manga if I want more! I ended up rating this series, as a whole, a 9/10 because I just really enjoyed it. It does have a slow start but in the end I just came to love all the characters (that I could remember, some still escape me)
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