Big Windup! 2

Alt title: Ookiku Furikabutte: Natsu no Taikai-hen

TV (13 eps)
4.037 out of 5 from 2,184 votes
Rank #831

Fresh off their upset victory over top-seeded Tousei, Nishiura High School looks to continue its stunning run in the Summer Tournament. Things seem to be clicking on all cylinders, as timid pitcher Ren Mihashi is slowly gaining confidence with each successful performance, while the rest of the lineup’s dedication to practice is starting to pay off at the plate. Under the steady guidance of first-year coach Maria Momoe, the group is beginning to garner attention as a dark horse contender. But with formidable opponents on the horizon, including some who stretch the rules of fair play, the team will have to work harder than ever to extend their streak and keep their championship hopes alive!

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The boys of summer are back (STOP WITH THE CLICHE LINES!!!) and this time they've manage to…..time travel? Story - 8/10 So somehow between the first game that ended season one and the second game that starts season two there was, a game. Yeah I was a bit confused at the start of this season, it's suppose to be right after the first win, they talk about it constantly, but they are saying this is their third game of the series. They also say after this game there will only be 16 teams left, despite the tournament starting with somewhere around 180+ teams, with 1/3rd of the teams getting a bye the first round that would still leave 30ish teams in that round if this was in fact their third game, so time and math be damned for this season of Big Windup! This time around in the series they get through a few games, but unlike the first series even when we're in a game the main focus is really on the players, their emotions and their interactions. There's baseball jargon here and there, but it takes a back seat with the idea you learned all you need to know the first season. Animation - 8/10 This gets the same score as I did the first season because nothing has changed. I guess the only thing that got better was that some of the other characters got Mihashi like freakout faces and we can never have too many of those. Sound - 6/10 As this version, at the time, wasn’t dubbed for English viewing I watched it in Japanese with English subtitles. For the most part the voices fit very well, if you've seen the English version it seems as if our dubbers made sure to get people that matched the Japanese cast. But the reason I say "for the most part" is Abe. While I know there are difference in voices throughout the world, no 16 year old sounds like a 45 year old coal miner, well none except Abe. His voice just doesn't fit, no matter how you look at it, it's wasn't a youngster with a deep voice like Hanai (in both versions) it's just bad casting. One aspect of the show that became an upgrade was music. While the opening and closing songs kinda stank, the in series music was great. They did a good job finding new tunes to set the mood for some very poignant scenes and it added that little extra kick. Characters - 9/10 Because the first series focused so much on two games we never really got a good sense of the characters outside of Mihashi and Abe, they made sure to right that wrong here. While the focus is still on Mihashi and Abe; Hanai, Izumi, Tajima, Sakaeguchi and even Nishihiro, the benchwarmer from season one, really grow. Outside of the team they added many new characters, including family members of the boys, rivals from past foes and most importantly the boys and coaches from Bijou. While in the first season the Nishiura team had rivals, with this new team they actually have villains to play against. It makes for a fun dynamic and helps the writers find reason to use the detailed baseball information. Overall - 9/10 Yet again Big Windup Season Two proved to be a great Anime you'll watch over and over again. My only deduction is because it ends pretty much without an ending. They keep the story open for a third season we never got and it's a bit frustrating since the characters are really starting to grow and you just know they have another 2 years of baseball left to play.

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