Major Season 1

TV (26 eps)
2004 - 2005
Fall 2004
4.407 out of 5 from 4,664 votes
Rank #238

Goro Honda is a little boy who is obsessed with baseball. As a child, he watches his father, a professional baseball player, be removed from the Blue Oceans’ main team due to a shoulder injury that left him unable to pitch again. However, since his son looks up to him more than anyone else in the world of baseball, Goro's father decides that he can't quit just yet (as pitching is not the only way to be able to play baseball!). With his father's shining example, Goro decides to never give up as well, working his way into the Japanese Little League as a force to be reckoned with!

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Reviews

VivisQueen
8.5

StoryI can't claim to know much about sports anime in general since the Major series is my only experience but, in my opinion, not only is this an excellent sports anime, but it's an excellent anime full stop. Major's plot throughout is not just satisfying, but thrilling; it goes beyond setting some guy against a bunch of better guys with Rocky-style training montages in between, and instead adds layers of deep characterisation and heart-wrenching back story. The idea is essentially about Goro Honda trying desperately to follow in his father's footsteps, but it is the intense positivity and gusto with which the plot pushes forward that makes this anime stand out from the rest. The greatness of Major is that it teaches us not just how to overcome obstacles in the way of our ambitions, but to leap over personal hurdles too; often, lessons learned during baseball matches or training can be transplanted onto life problems and vice versa. Naturally, there is not one problem Goro overcomes that doesn't allow him to grow as a person as well. As for the sport itself, I have never had any interest in baseball whatsoever, let alone Little League baseball. I've always considered it a glorified version of rounders and it would be an exaggeration to say Major has suddenly made me want to pick up a bat (although I confess I have since traded in my girly throwing style for a manly over-the-head one). However, when watching the series, you suddenly find yourself paying attention to the rules, the abilities of certain players, the order of the batters, you watch the umpire like a hawk as he hesitatingly decides whether it's an out or a safe, and you cheer or rant despite yourself depending on the result. You also enjoy the fact that you know about these things, and for 24 minutes you care about nothing else but the game. Of course there are times when the series flashes its artistic licence, but on the whole Major feels very well researched; it is real enough to make you believe whilst adding that little bit extra to hold your attention. On top of all this, given the nature of the anime, one would assume that it lacked rewatchability. That assumption would be wrong, for Major carries intricacies of ‘lessons' and characterisation that can be picked up again and again.AnimationMajor's animation isn't outstanding because it isn't meant to be eye candy, but when compared to its more recent counterpart, it seems to have remained quite undated because of this. It has enough detail to make each character look unique, and it's well-funded enough to ensure movement is smooth and well timed. The most effort has obviously gone towards game sequences because they have to look stylish and exciting, however, even I wasn't prepared for the realism of movement when it came to fielding, batting, and especially pitching. There's no leaping fifteen feet in the air or flying silly distances, and if Goro is wounded he will limp. I could easily imagine animators watching countless videos of real-life games, capturing all the different movements. It made for edge-of-the-seat action.SoundThe high score is due to the voice acting, which is well-paced, believable and always fitting to the character. My favourite has to be Goro's father because he conveys passion for the sport and tenderness for his son so well. As for the soundtrack, the opening theme pretty much carries it. It's catchy and launches the victorious energy of the series very well. The rest of the soundtrack is just background noise to enhance the mood, whether comic, tragic, thoughtful, or tense; I personally like the tense moments in the games, when an electric guitar rocks it out arena style.CharactersThis is really the part that pushes the series to excellence because, without it, none of the other goodies on offer would be half as entertaining. Goro is not just an ace baseball player but also a shining example of a human being. Yes, he's a precocious brat, but more importantly, he is a flawed being always striving to improve himself and those around him whilst never losing sight of what he wants. As far as personality goes, Goro is the most charismatic character I have yet come across in anime, with an ability to hold people's attention and win them over despite their reservations. When his words don't sway them, his actions do. As a viewer, it is difficult not to be buoyed and swept along by him. The relationships Goro forms are dynamic and believable, notably those he shares with his father and his nursery school teacher, Momoko Hoshino. To watch him interact with them is charming; for example, the way he hero-worships his dad, the way his dad does everything to never see his son cry, but also the way Momoko becomes the one to engage with Goro's vulnerable side and later becomes the firm voice which tells him those necessary home truths. Other notable characters include Kaoru Shimizu, who is prevented from being just the token girl by having her own strong personality, Sato Toshiya, the shy geek inspired by Goro to change the course of his life forever, Komori the victim who finds strength through following the ace, and the entire Mifune team, who would otherwise never have gained such a taste for adventure. Goro is the pillar upon which everything leans but we get to watch so many others change and grow as well.OverallWith great characterisation, gripping conflict, and a pace that's like a steam train without breaks, this series is a must-see. Major should appeal to a broad range of people because it has all the elements necessary to make an enjoyable tale; it's just that it uses the medium of baseball to portray these elements. I suppose if you're a fangirl who's only into dashing romances, flighty bishounen, cute outfits and has a taste for pink hair, then don't bother, but anybody else has no excuse not to watch this series.

SnowLullaby
9

This is absolutely a pleasure to watch. I wouldn't say this is a baseball anime. This is an anime about a boy who plays baseball and his story as he is growing up. Baseball in this anime is simply a medium to tell Goro's story as he trains hard, learn new things and make friends. You definitely won't learn much about baseball in this anime because it doesn't talk about the strategies used in the sports at all. Like I said, this anime uses baseball as a medium to tell Goro's story. If you want a baseball anime that also talks about the strategy, may I recommend Ookiku Furikabutte?  Regardless, this anime is a masterpiece. Granted it has it's own flaws, such as Goro being OP as hell. I never played Baseball as kid, so I wouldn't know how fast would a 9 year old pitch would be, but it does seem like Goro is a little bit too overpowered and definitely has plot armor around him, BUT, only when it comes to baseball. Within the first few episode, this anime throws you a flipping curveball (no pun intended). Well, Goro wasn't protected by plot armor then. It really is a great depiction of how life can throw you something so unexpected. That's what I like about this anime. Yes, the baseball bit seem a bit unrealistic to me, but the character in this anime is well explored. The characters grow and show feelings that are simply appropriate to that time and place. They are kids, they act like kids. I love love love the character development and the character depiction in this anime. This is what makes the anime for me. I can't wait to finish all 6 seasons and all the OVAs of this anime. I really look forward to watching Goro grow up. It's that feeling when you watch the Hogwarts trio grow up through the movies, except this is in anime form. As an elder sister, I really see Goro as a cute, cheeky little brother. I kinda wish my brother was just as cute (oops).  Overall, this anime needs to get more hyped in the anime world. It's so sad that many people miss out on this little gem, because it's such a pleasure to watch. If you enjoy watching sports anime, this is definitely one you should watch. 

Inu230
6

“Hello brand new days.” Goro is a five year old with a baseball player for a father. He spends his days enthralled with the sport, cheering his father from the stands, making friends by spreading the love for the game, and training to follow his father into the big leagues. “Welcome hard days.” A tragedy early in the anime is downplayed and the pain is pushed aside. Viewed from the mind of a young child this can be a sensitive subject and the anime is supposed to be about a sport, not the loss of life, so in a way it may be the right course. Yet the inattention to the impact of losing a parent and a spouse and the almost immediate precuring of another {spoiler}-figure may be hard to watch for some viewers. There is no mention of how this new person may or may not simply be a replacement or any solid proof that this person would make a good match for the widow. They could be a person of significance to Goro as a parent-figure without marrying the widow. Another tragedy strikes soon after and rather than showing the day to day pain of this viewers get a time skip. Goro is now a fourth grader looking to join Little League. After even more time has passed the pain of Goro’s past hits full force but it isn’t long before he overcomes his sadness and moves forward. The presence of an overbearing parent bent on fulfilling their unattainable dream through abusing their child into thinking they want something they don’t brings the entertainment value of this anime further down. The high relevance for helicopter parenting when it comes to competition - especially sports - is something pretty much everyone can connect and hopefully disagree with. Excessive strain is never a positive. When it comes from a parent a child just wants to please but never seems able to it is so much worse. The expectations simply cannot be met or exceeded and the child-parent relationship is one that makes viewers gringe. If you’re a viewer who’s had first hand experience with this it’ll likely bring up memories you’d rather you didn’t have. --- With that being said in regards to a story about baseball it had some value and there was some entertainment. From lame puns delivered by comic relief characters to physical comedy, and team building from rocky relationships. There are battle matches for procuring a practice field, ones for testing each teams abilities, and games to move up in the ranks. In between those are several practices and training off the field (playing catch, going to the batting cages, studying other players, and even a trip overseas to watch the pros). The looming threat of physical injuries from sprains to breaks to concussions and death are all present and dealt with semi-realistically. The difficulties with being physically frail and playing a sport are also a running element though it’s treatment is more believable. Viewers less than versed in baseball terms can learn quite a few from watching this as more than one character acts as the newb. As they’re instructed the viewer also learns. -- Goro takes center stage as the pitcher and is the powerhouse of the team  he has to learn to rely on others to make his dream come true and he struggles with being mocked for his size/age for the first part of the anime. Like a number of other animes and main characters what Goro most needs to learn is how to play well with others, he can’t always be the spotlight. -- If you’re looking for a semi-realistic take on Japanese baseball (with some American influence), time skips that may upset you, some English with occasional Japanese subtitles ;} and a main character who may just be a magnet for tragedy then give this a watch.

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