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.