This was another sports show that I gave up on, but some other sports anime fan felt that I didn’t give this an honest run. Since we now have “Ace of the Diamond: Second Season”, I should check it out, as ‘it has gotten better.’
The reasons I left the show were (a) the minute dissection of everything to the point of it being mono-minded, (b) the butt-head nature of all the people involved and (c) the real lack of character growth. My feeling was that any problems that bedeviled the first season would still be part of the second. Not that the second season started out that well. It opened with THREE recap episodes. Crfap, I might as well watch the end of the first season. One recap show, OK, but three? Not a smart call in my book.
So, the team has gone its separate ways, as the third years have graduated, but the Saito baseball team, still smarting from its playoff loss, dedicates itself to the Fall Tournament….with the same cast of nitwits and ninny hammers, plus more. The biggest addition is a new coach, who spends the show tugging at his cheesy chin beard. An arrogant, conceited, self-serving butt-head, I was hoping that four or five members of the team would jump him, hold him down and shave that sucker beard off! You look like an idiot!
We have learned nothing from last season and it almost seems that people are retrograding, so the team has some serious issues at stake if they want to take it all. Plus, a new crop of insufferable opponents whose affectations and reactions to things are so condescending, it make you want to pull a Campy Campaneris (fling your bat at them, as they deserve it. October 8, 1972). Things are again bisected and trisected and quadrisected to the point that you have no idea what is really going on anymore and potentially, don’t care. The original idea of the story is the personal, emotional and athletic growth of Eijun Sawamura (him on the left) and his struggles to become the “Ace of the Diamond”.
However, he is still treated with a huge amount of disrespect and condemnation by his own team mates. If they only had a tenth of his zeal, they might understand things better. The other story involves Kazuya Miyuki (the other guy up there), a marvelous catcher who is now the team captain, a position he feels uncomfortable in and doesn’t know if he has what it takes to lead these guys. But as Yogi Berra said “It’s déjà vu all over again”, and it really is.
With some potential newish problems on the horizon, it’s back to seeing how well the team can do against itself, against its rivals and against a new regime that may undo all that has gone before. And? It’s that the original struggles are still there, the original problems are still unresolved and the original intent is still intact. It’s not the sport itself, but the approach to it and I, again, have failed. I just cannot stick this show out. Maybe others like it for the interactions between everyone, or perhaps the very thing I detest, they dote on, and that is the moment by moment thoughts that occur within all the players during a game. But that wears thin after a while. You can only be plagued with doubt (or as they say, ‘the yips’) for so long until you either man up or stand down. I’m sending this one back to the minors.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (Good artwork, but nothing memorable)
Plot 7 (Fading away)
Pacing 6 (Moves along in spurts)
Effectiveness 6 (Still too micromanaged)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler’, but hasn’t ended. It may never end.)
Fan Service 0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)
Overall 5 (Caught in a rundown)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Let’s win for the coach.