Takumi Harada moves to a mountain town in Okayama prefecture during the spring break before he enters middle school due to his father's job transfer. Takumi is a pitcher, and after the moves he loses faith in his own talent, when suddenly his classmate Kou Nagakura appears in front of him. Kou has a strong desire to form a "battery" (a combination of a pitcher and catcher) with Takumi.
I had a very difficult time assigning a rating to this show, because I feel like a lot of the subtext went over my head. I started watching it because it looked like an interesting combination of sports anime and slice of life genres. And in a way it was... there are sports... but there is more focus on character development and maturation than on said sports. However, a lot of things are left unsaid (which is perhaps part of why I found the anime so interesting but simultaneously so frustrating). I haven't been able to find an analysis of Battery by someone who actually knows what they're doing, but I wish there were something I could read to explain to me all that I missed. Without going into spoilers, I am fairly certain that a large portion of this show is a commentary on LGBT+ struggles during adolescence (as well as adolescence in general). I wouldn't tag this as BL or shounen-ai by any means, but it isn't "baiting" either. It can be subtle, and you could feasibly miss it. That being said, there are very strong implications that certain characters are grappling with these issues as they try to figure out how to interact with peers and navigate society. These characters are also in their early teens (with the "main" characters being 13 or 14), which is something that I had to keep reminding myself of as I watched. They aren't good at expressing themselves and honestly often times are incredibly immature, but to me that was part of the point! At that age, despite anime portrayals of junior high students who seem to be functioning at young adult level, we shouldn't expect them to have themselves figured out yet. Overall, I thought this was an interesting and entertaining anime. I thought the animation and sound were decent, and the story and characters were lacking in some ways but had a lot of depth in others. If not for the subtext, however, a lot of the characters would seem flat and underdeveloped. A lot is said in silence in this show. It frustrated me that I didn't understand parts of it, it frustrated me that characters sometimes behaved inexplicably or immaturely, but in the end I felt that those emotions were part of the purpose of this storyline. This is all my opinion of course, but I do think it is worth the watch if you have the patience and perspective. If you are not interested in the context of baseball, adolescence, or LGBT+ issues, though, then you may not enjoy it nearly as much.
This anime explores a middle schooler’s growth in understanding not the definition of success, fun, teamwork, responsibility, the future, or even baseball. Rather it delves into the adage “the more things change the more they stay the same”. Baseball is more than just a sport. For Takumi & Go it’s life. Nothing else matters. Is pitching a perfect game a possibility? What’s the probability? Whatever it may be Takumi is aiming to achieve this goal and Go wants to be his catcher. Takumi’s little brother, Seiha, is an insightful child who’s always around to help out. Dreaming of being like his big brother and plahing baseball he's alway ready to go for a run and play catch. Sadly his body just won’t let him keep up but that doesn’t keep him from aiming high. This character’s purpose in the anime is vital: well developed and executed. As a character/person Takumi is unempathetic and generally un-likeable and that's intentional. With Seiha and Go as explainers Takumi's mannerisms are explored and the mixed personalities work because thier opposite yet relateable. Other baseball players are present and while many are opponents Takumi faces, some of the side charcter stories can feel a bit numbing. However they do serve a purpose. There are others who are like yet unlike Takumi & Go [individually and as a pair] There are those who will react with physical violence as soon as a teacher isn’t present There are coaches who want the best for their players and their team. Overall this is a sports anime featureing baseball where two teams who go head to head because one character from one team has it out for a guy on the other team. Storywise people are probably better off reading the manga but this 11 episode anime does a decent job of setting up and exploring some semi-original characters. Animation is well suited to the story. Sound is like-wise suited to the story. Opening and Closing musical themes are particularly enjoyable and have a lot to say about the story and its characters. Highlight of the anime: absence of fangirls. Aside from Takumi’s mother and Go’s mother there are few other woman in the series and the ones who are are there as background characters. The choice to forego the over-done screaming girly fans of sports players was a good choice that let the story focus on Takumi, Go, and baseball. If you’re looking for an anime that wraps everything up in the last few minutes look elsewhere. If you’re looking for an anime that is open to interpretation and allows for continuation, give this a try. “I decided I wouldn’t cry no more” “I dream of hearing the cheers in the stadium” “I close my eyes and dream”
Warning this Review May Contain Spoilers –Oh dear, what a train wreck this turned out to be. So the NoitamaA time slot has brought us a sports show about baseball whilst also taking in some darker issues surrounding rivalries and the main protagonist who is just completely unpleasant to anyone he even interacts with, which then leads to melodramatic issues and creating a problem where eventually the whole team ends up being unlikeable. To me, this show tried its best to be things such as Haikyuu or Free by adding all the over the top drama around a specific sport but crashed into something that was extremely boring and was nowhere near realistic. STORYI have mentioned already how they have used drama that just comes across as forced and not realistic at all. This drama doesn’t add much to the story, but it’s not like there is much of a story to give. It was all over the place and then after a while was just boring, I felt that they needed to put more effort into the characters they are creating in order to make the story interesting enough to watch – which it wasn’t. ANIMATIONThis is the only reason I gave this show a higher score, the animation is decent…I mean there isn’t much to it but at least it doesn’t reflect on how bad the story actually is and gives this show something to hold onto. The issue is that it is very basic, along with a pretty basic scenario that is all you need. SOUNDEh, it was alright. Again nothing much to say in this section either, it was passable and I don’t actually have much to complain about. Like the opening was alright, the ending was alright and the voice-acting fitted at least to the annoying characters that there was, but still just leaves me feeling kind of meh. But I feel like my overall opinion on the show has effected how the animation and sound impacted me, so slightly bias. CHARACTERSOkay, now, this here is where we get to the big rant. So I think I can safely say that the majority of characters in this show are just plain unlikeable and don’t add much to the melodramatic arcs that could have been easily avoided if they weren’t so idiotic to one another. I feel like it gives something different to have an extremely moody main character compared to the hyperactive characters you see all too often in sports shows, but when that protagonist ends up bringing the whole team down into a pit of boringness it’s just bad. There may have been a couple of characters that were quirky enough to add something to the show at least but this isn’t enough to push the bar up to make me enjoy the show. And that is why I have given this show such a low score, and I think quite a few people on this site have already stated a load of these things already. With that, this ends another one of my reviews…goodbye.-AngelBeatsYui-Ps: This Review is for the Monthly Marathon August/September 2017
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