Monday, April 25, 2011

Review: Moshidora

I've really made it no secret that I love baseball and anime. 2 things result when the two mix: this blog, and Moshidora. I was rather eager when I saw Moshidora on the chart, and I wanted to check it out. Originally scheduled to start March 31, which, coincidentally, was Major League Baseball's Opening Day, Moshidora was heavily delayed by the earthquake in Japan. Scheduled to air daily, Moshidora is easily my highlight of the season so far. After all, this show had me at "baseball".

More innings after the jump!

This is the story of a high school baseball manager who buys Peter Drucker's Management, and takes her team to the summer nationals. Such a simple concept, yet the possibilities are endless. As mention above, Minami Kawashima is the interim manager of her high school's baseball team while her friend Yuki is in the hospital, and, ironically, Minami hates baseball. At least, that's what she claims. After all, she's managing a team. In any case, antics abound as the star pitcher never comes to practice, which isn't good since Minami is trying figure out what the players want from the team, as its "customers". The team is filled with its fair share of oddballs, including the coach and the manager.

Aside from the obvious baseball theme, I really enjoyed the mere concept of using a business book to manage a baseball team. It's very unique and unorthodox, and injects a nice twist on an otherwise ho-hum anime. Minami is extremely quirky, and shows it when she's learning the ropes of the clubhouse. Additionally, I have never seen a book that's traditionally used to start a business be used to manage a baseball team. I can think of several Major League clubs that could benefit from that approach.

From the first frame, I noticed that most of the characters have the exact same eye color, which is a tad lazy. That said, I could find few things wrong with this show. If it weren't for the Drucker inclusion, this would likely just be another baseball anime, telling the story of a team trying to get to Koshien. Even with the Drucker link, the show is inconsistently paced, rushing through the fall tournaments, then plodding along with practice.

This is a show that is aimed squarely at baseball fans like myself. Moshidora takes the baseball-Drucker mashup and runs with it. The animation is downright beautiful, with incredible detail being put into even the idle cicadas. The dialogue is well-written, and some baseball terminology is used, while twisting it to fit with Drucker's business lingo. However, it takes a baseball fan to be able to tolerate Moshidora's inconsistent pacing. The show tries to use an inconsistent pace to reflect the 'baseball' side of the show, to varying results. A decent effort, despite its shortcomings.


Animation Quality: 3.5/5
Comedy/Sports/Drama: 3/5
Plot Advancement: 3.5/5
Writing Quality/Dialogue: 4.5/5
Characters: 2.5/5

Overall: 3.5/5

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