This review is for both Season 1 and Season 2. I think this anime is great, and I'm super sad that they didn't come up with a third season.
Unlike many sports anime, it is very realistic, especially the older ones. The characters don't have any ridiculous, out of this world techniques. The techniques they use here are techniques that exist in real life. The strategies are strategies used in baseball and that is what I like about this anime. It felt real, like these kids could have been your next door neighbor, or your school mates, or even your good friends.
At first each character design look almost the same, but each character's personality is what defined each of them. Each of them is unique in their own way. From the shy, cry baby pitcher, Mihashi, to the hot headed, impatient, loud catcher, Abe. From the cheery, shameless, third baseman, Tajima who is not scared to shout that he forgot to masturbate, to the responsible, mature, a little bit angsty captain, Hanai. Then there's the sweet, quiet Oki, the clueless and a little bit dumb Mizutani, the more mature Suyama and Nishihiro, the gentle Sakaeguchi and finally, the cheeky Izumi. I absolutely love seeing these boys interact with each other, support each other and work hard.
Because it is a manga adaptation, of course there were things missing from the anime that was in the manga. I wish that they did adapt more of the member's interaction with each other, because that interaction is what make Oofuri really special. Yes, the games and learning the strategies that they used was fun and the pace of the game is similar to that of a real baseball game, so you feel that you're actually watching them play in reality. But, watching them act like highschoolers, talking about girls and sex is what I feel is the true gem of this series.
Definitely a must watch. I got hooked and even read the manga. I would recommend doing both!
The story of Big Windup is for the most part entertaining. I was glad that they made the whole game that they were playing entertaining, and not just the 9th inning. However there were times when the story seemed to get repetitive, and the story itself moved at an incredibly slow pace. Despite the plot being entertaining, I found it to be nothing special. There was little in the way of depth to the story either. Despite this there where times when I laughed, and times where I really felt the moment that was being presented to me. Overall, the story is entertaining, but it is a bit thin and it moves at a snails pace.
The animation was mediocre at best. There were several instances when they used still frames of the characters. Also there was one moment that took me off guard where all they show is a still frame of the crowd cheering the team on. The style bothered me a little bit with the shape of the mouths, and it looked freaky to me. Mihashi looked especially freaky and it was almost like they werent humans.
There are really only two characters that really make them important. Mihashi to me was a complete wuss, completely insecure, and he trusts Abe too much. He really seems to be a flat, one dimensional character. Abe was entirely too mean. This left me with the impression that he was just a jerk to Mihashi and he has anger issues. He also seemed flat to me. The only member of the coaching staff that gets any amount of time is the head coach, who i found to be very wise. I felt like they should have spent more time on the rest of Mihashi's team. However Big Windup has a remerkable cast of minor players, which is far more expansive and interesting than the main characters.
The story was ok, but nothing that made it stand out. The animation is lacklusterm and looked kind of freaky. The characters where for the most part, flat and one dimensional. Big Windup is not a good anime, but it is not a horrible one either. Its a mediocre anime, and with mediocre animes, there are much better ones out there.
My first review...let's do something simple.
Anywho, let's begin my rant.
This video explains everything you should expect:
Be honest, no realistic (lack of magic and what not) sports anime is going to have a great plot. Rather than a good plot, you get good back-stories which still don't make a big punch in wowing you. Big Windup has few back-stories that are good but they're still not enough to make up for the lack of a good plot.
It's slick, that's for sure. Not the best but pretty fluent. Not much to say about in this section aside from my opinion.
The music isn't anything to wow about or make your blood rush. The sound effects are predictable as well, like you've heard them already. Sadly this section is not about voice acting so I can't say anything.
Sure some are brought up more than others but what anime doesn't do that. Aside from that the way they react with one another is great! There is also a wide verity of characters so it's always interesting.
This is personally my #5 on my top animes (behind Fullmetal Alchemist, Sergeant Frog, Soul Eater and Death Note). I never though a sports anime (and baseball on the most part) would entertain me so much. The manga was awarded a few awards so you know it's worth watching. Aside from that, it's a great series that's worth watching.
Big Windup! is not an anime I expected to love. Mostly I started watching it because I thought the animation looked very good -- and it is -- and I liked the character designs. I'm not a huge fan of sports anime, but that's mostly because I'd never really seen one before this -- the genre had never interested me. I can say now, having watched Big Windup!, that the sports genre of anime is one I'll be looking into quite a bit more.
This is a very good show. It's all about a young man and pitcher named Ren Mihashi, who loves Baseball but hates himself. He's recently moved and is going to a new school, and is determined not to join the Baseball team and stink up the field like he did at his old school. Of course, he almost accidentally gets roped into playing, and quickly finds himself on the mound again, worried about whether or not he'll have what it takes to be this team's Ace Pitcher.
Mihashi himself can be a little grating at times, but I think there are elements of him that we can all recognize -- especially the crippling doubt and insecurities that plagued many of us during our youth. Mihashi represents this to the extreme, and for that reason he is often a tad annoying -- but interestingly, he's also always endearing. We root for Mihashi because he sets himself up to fail, and yet is so much better than he gives himself credit for. He also has a wonderful love of the game that's almost infectious to us viewers as well.
The other characters are interesting in their own right. My personal favorite is Tajima, the rambuctious cleanup hitter whose confidence and optimism are just as infectious as Mihashi's love of Baseball; I often found myself grinning along with Tajima, just because his personality is so outlandishly positive. By far the most important character besides Mihashi, though, is the catcher, Abe. Believe me, if you didn't know how important the catcher was to the team's success, and to the pitcher in particular, you will after watching this series. Abe is intelligent but hot tempered, is extremely good at what he does, and wants to help Mihashi even when he wants to kill him, too. He and Mihashi's interactions make up the bulk of the emotional core of the series, as they attempt to help each other be the best they can be.
The other characters are just as interesting, but rarely get fleshed out any more. Because make no mistake -- this is a series about Baseball. A full two thirds of the series is spent on two games that are played out in their entirety. The games are always interesting and constantly captivating, but can be frustrating if you're not a fan of the sport or were expecting a more plot-or-character-driven show. This is a show driven by Baseball -- by the game itself, and by a love for the game. If you don't like Baseball -- well, give the series a few episodes to change your mind, but otherwise I'd steer clear.
The English voice cast is quite good, especially the main characters on Nishiura High's team. They do a good job of keeping the show interesting even when they're talking a bunch of Baseball technicalities the layperson probably doesn't know anything about, and actually help maintain interest in these situations. Also helping maintain interest is the stunning animation and sound. The crack of a metal bat on a ball, the look of the field as rain begins to pelt down, the music (especially the second opening theme, "Seishun Line") -- all are fantastic.
The series isn't perfect, of course. Sometimes it becomes too bogged down in Baseball minutia to be of great interest, and the second game especially goes on a little too long. But when it shines, it shines as brightly as any series I've seen, and the loveable characters keep you coming back for more. According to Wikipedia. there's a sequel series that aired in Japan this year; I can't wait to watch it, and see all these great characters back in action again. This is a great series if you love Baseball, and if you don't, it might just change your mind.
Yes I know... A perfect 10...
It's just how I feel after watching something so pure and heart-warming.
All I have to say is that I finally found my "go-to" anime. This show is such a breath of fresh air compared to all others. For once the sports part of the anime is realistic. No one is a genius or is the son of a great player (that we know of). Correction Tajima is referred as a genius multiple times but I guess his humble attitude makes me forget that part.
Story: Typical story about a high school baseball team trying to aim for Nationals. The show has potential to last for a while, and its not like Major where the protagonist changes to a different school after 1 tournament appearence. There is room for the characters to grow and develop instead of being static throughout the whole series. The main difference with this show compared to other sports shows is that this show focuses on baseball. That might sound weird, but a lot of shows tend to get side tracked when it comes to sports, like with too much drama/romance/comedy or inadequate explanation of the sport. I love how oofuri shows not only the growth and progress of the 10 players but everyone around them as well. This is probably one of the few shows that SO FAR doesn't emphasize on a tragic past. Sure some of the characters are more mysterious than others but the light-heartedness of the show doesn't dwell too much of the negative and doesn't emphasiz the tragic hero phenomenon.
Animation: Unique... First time I've come across this style. It did bother me for the first episode but then I grew to appreciate the uniquness and beatuy of it. I do have to say that the anime is easier for me watch than reading the manga. Some panels are too broken up for me to handle.
Sound: Great soundtrack!! Both the OP's and ED's in this first season fit the anime PERFECTLY. I absolutely love the artists so I might be a bit biased, but if you pay attention to the lyrics then you'll understand what i'm talking about. The background noise is balanced with the dialogue, it doesn't overpower the words and it also doesn't sound like white noise in the background. Basically I can't complain.
Characters: Wow, what can I say about the characters... Okay for the negatives: the protagonist cries a bit more than I would like, but then again it fits his image. It is an anime so of course the crying would be a little exaggerated. Mihashi is probably the ideal protagonist. He is humble yet fits the role of the pitcher perfectly with his tenacious personality, I like how Higuchi-sensei portrayed his growth from a spineless coward to a reliable teammate. I'm excited to see how much stronger he gets!
The other characters are just a delight. I love how the coach is a woman who knows what she's talking about and thinks of eveeerryyything related to sports. (Meditation, homework, life)... She's really refreshing to watch. I like how Tajima provides comic-relief and his baseball talents don't undermine Mihashi. Abe is so funny, especially his relationship with Mihashi is really comical to watch. Hope they can get along better in the future.
I see no reason why anyone shouldn't enjoy this show! Remember this show has a LOOOTTT of dialogue in it especially related to baseball. Literally every thought, motive, plan is mentioned. It literally is a normal baseball show with no superpowers, action (non-baseball related), or good vs. evil. It's a slow-paced, slice-of-life show that has well developed characters, and an unconditional love for the sport.