Wow I can’t believed I actually like this show. I mean I was very off put by the first episode calling it dull and a bit of a Cross Game copycat with less interesting characters. The special thing of this series is of course, that damn “Management” book. It managed to put the baseball team into Nationals. Now if you’ve watched truckloads of anime, you’ll realize how much a big of a deal Koshien is to these high school players. It’s like some dream for them to be there. The catch of this series is of course how this Management book put the baseball team there.
I could care less about this Management book, but then when Minami used it, it felt like it gave this Management book a bit of a heart. I mean she completely colored it out with stuff like marketing turning into a very moving interview of each players and all. You can’t help yourself but be moved by it especially when you saw how they started improving and winning games. I did think that the “No-bunt-no-ball strategy” was dumb and will never work in real baseball, it worked well with what the series is trying to convey. Use this damn Management book!
For the characters themselves, while I don’t find them particularly interesting except for Minami, they are well developed considering this is only ten episodes. Also consider that this is only one novel so developments that were shown here where particularly outstanding like the coach, Asano, Yunosuke and co. Even the green haired side character turned to be useful.
A particular scene from episode 9, explained more in episode 10, was probably the most moving scene I’ve seen in a while. Minami shouting, “Gambatte” to the players even though she’s supposed to hate baseball and think it’s all useless. . . that was just godly. Actually the entirety of episode 10 gave me goosebumps. Even the OP and ED theme songs were used properly and I really liked that.
Aesthetics wise, while I finally appreciated it by the end, it was pretty dull. I like water color effects, but not one introduced here in Moshidora. It felt a bit too simplistic, not as horrible as Kaichou wa Maid Sama, but definitely nowhere neare Kimi ni Todoke’s. Considering this is Production IG we are talking about, it’s one of their poorer productions. Nothing against the directing itself though since the pacing felt perfect and everything (The OP and the introduction used in episode 9 and 10 felt a bit insulting though. . . I mean something worth crying about is already happening and you still put that introduction. . . I never liked that introduction anyway or the narrator).
Now I totally get why it sold over a million copies. It’s one of those series that spreads fast because it actually has a good title. It’s promotion came from word-of-mouth which really meant that it was widely appreciated. I rarely get goosebumps from an anime and this is one of a few that did.
Story: 47/50 (I just considered the slow first few episodes a bit but it’s one of those series that the total is more than it’s sum.)
Production: 16/20 (While I consider the directing almost perfect, the animation is nothing to talk about really. It works fine though since it’s never intrusive.)
Characters: 17/20 (While the characters are not to my liking except for Minami and a few others, great character development was really shown even with its short 10-episode run)
Overall Feel: 10/10 (Rarely does Anime give me goosebumps. A certain scene in episode 9 really won me over.)
Verdict: 90/100 (Just. . . EVERYONE WATCH THIS!)