Ren Mihashi is a timid pitcher with problems; he has no self esteem or confidence, due to the relentless bullying of his once teammates, and is reluctant to play baseball again. However, at Ren's new school, Nishiura Prefectural High, he finds himself picking up the mitt once more. Along with the help of alumni-turned-coach Maria Momoe, tough but supportive Takaya Abe, and the rest of his teammates, Ren will regain his confidence and show the game of baseball who's the boss yet again!
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!
I normally don't care or have any interest in Sports-related Anime, but this show was really, really good, since it was about so much more than just what happens on the baseball diamond, though there's plenty of that, too. This isn't the first show to make me re-consider Sports anime, though. That would be Suzuka, which blew my socks off as a coming-of-age, slice-of-life High School romance cleverly disguised as a sports anime. Suzuka impressed me so much, I was willing to give Big Windup! a chance. I think the fact that one of my most favorite male voice actors, Greg Ayres, voiced the main supporting character, Abe, is what kept me coming back for more, time and again. Abe is such a cool guy and such a loyal friend to Ren. I also agree with other reviewers that Taijima is a great supporting character and comic relief...I've never heard so many masturbation jokes stuffed into one show! ;-D I really love these characters and how they grow during the show. If FUNimation gets to dub the next season, I really hope there's a little more romantic action with the female characters we've met so far...Ren's sister (voiced by Monica Rial) and also the shy female team manager. The show is very engaging and emotionally satisfying...though not unlike a real baseball game, some of the fictional games stretch on rather long...it all focuses mainly on the first game of the new season, when our heroes get stacked up against last year's championship winners...a team of seasoned upperclassman squaring off against a bunch of enthusiastic but totally noob freshmen...definitely a "root for the underdog" kind of story...
-Story-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.-Animation-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.-Characters-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.-Overall-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.
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