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Posts Tagged ‘taisho baseball girls’

Recently, I became acquainted with the taste of my own words. Humble pie. Crow. Mmm, good.

I thought that Taisho Baseball Girls would NEVER EVER be distributed. But as it turns out, a company called Sentai Filmworks has indeed distributed it for the North American market. Sure, that means they’re using subs instead of dubs, but I can officially buy it if I want to. Looking at their site, I find that they’ve jumped on the latest releases (things like High School of the Dead), and are releasing them within a year or so of their Japanese finale.

Wow. That’s a revolution in the anime` business model, one that if not sane, is getting darn close to it. Now we don’t have to wait years to see if there will be a NA release, and we don’t have to pay big bucks for it, either. I guess the big question now is — how good is their translation? The Amazon review doesn’t really go there, and I’d hate to spend $$$ only to find out that Saizen and twrev-Doremi did it better, you know?

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Taishou Yakyuu Musume (Taisho Baseball Girls) official site (in Japanese) has all the ingredients that make a great show: pastlove (it is set in the 1920s), girls striving for their best in a suffragette sort of way, not a feminist sort of way (think Little Women), and it’s a coming-of-age thing. The plot? In an age of modernization, a guy tells his fiance` that she has no business doing anything but staying at home and raising children. To show him what she’s really made of, she vows to best him in baseball. She has two problems, though. One, she knows nothing about the game. Two, she needs eight other players.

The usual short guide follows, with outstanding episodes starred.

* Ep 1 — In a word, charming. If the series sticks with this humorous and tender approach throughout it will be something fantastic. Here’s hoping.

Ep 2 — It’s still cool, but it loses some of the historical sheen here. Some funny parts this time. The ending theme song rocks. Intro a lot of new characters.

* Ep 3 — A good one. They fill in the positions and have their first practice game against the boy’s middle school. The outcome? It’s not what you might expect, if you’re used to Western animated series. It’s emotionally consistent and funny.

* Ep 4 — Another good one. Character development with Akiko, and Koume grows a bit (though some of this borders on the unrealistic). More humorous bits than last time.

* Ep 5 — Good, but a bit lower-key than last time. Intro the ninth player.

* Ep 6 — Yes. There are some funny parts here and there are parts where the show could have gone in a pervy direction, but it didn’t. Restraint and class? Wow, that’s almost unheard of in a girls’ series, so mad kudos to the writers. Koume`’s life gets very complicated at the end. They find their first opponents and completely suck, but there’s a lot of learning and growing with many of the characters.

* Ep 7 — Another fantastic episode. Very funny and more character distinction. The only drawback is that it is a bit episodic, as there’s no mention of Koume’s husband, Saburo, which you’d think she’d be still freaking out over.

Ep 8 — Not as polished and taut as 7, but there is quite a bit of character development. Saburo shows up and he inadvertently declares his feelings towards her; she is oblivious. There’s some humor as the role that Koume` ends up doing in a movie is totally misunderstood, and the ending bit with Kogishina is charming. More about the magical ball, too. Lower-key.

* Ep 9 — A solid episode with a lot going on. I fear what will happen in the next episode as it looks like it will take the admiration that Koucho has for Tomoe in a hentai direction.

Ep 10 — It’s semi-cute overall, but there is one scene that implies Koucho is a lez. The end of the series though seems to imply that is some kind of immaturity. Is this some kind of cultural thing?

* Ep 11 — A return to form. This has a splash of humor, but it’s mostly serious and tense as the game starts.

* Ep 12 — A beautiful ending, shot-through with failure and success. It’s one of those rare stories where the good guys don’t totally destroy, but they prove themselves worthy opponents, which is no small feat. It’s human and it’s real. The ending bit is totally charming and captures what the series is all about.

There’s really only one fly in the ointment here, and that’s the major subject matter of episode 10. It’s one of those things that seems grafted-on for some sort of shock value, or perhaps to lampoon the silliness of it all. Then again, maybe it’s some cultural thing. I don’t know, but the series would have been excellent without it.

Anyhow, as it stands, this is a very good series with quite a few standout episodes. The profanities are rare and there’s no other objectionable content. Themes are mutual sacrifice, the value of hard work, commitment, and teamwork. There’s no real theology here but there’s nothing blasphemous either.

It’s worth watching and worth keeping, because I doubt it will ever be translated and dubbed. I can’t imagine how they’d do a sequel either, so this is probably it. Grab the fansubbed versions while you can, courtesy of Saizen and Tw-rev/Doremi. Get the first episode by Saizen for lots of cool historical notes!

For your downloading pleasure:
Saizen and Tw-rev/Doremi

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I looove this series! The ending theme is one of the best I’ve heard in anime`, so I decided to make it available for everyone. The heavy lifting of course, was done by the excellent fansub groups Twrev (Twilight Revolution — no site guys?) and Doremi. Here’s the ending theme in full English-subbed glory. The song is “Yume Miru Kokoro,” by Kanae Ito. Mmm! Tasty modern rock!

Sorry I can’t embed it, but it’s only 20 Mb or so in MKV…here.

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We’re halfway through summer, so let’s see how the summer anime` season is turning out.

Blue Flowers (Aoi Hana) — Dropped. Yup, it’s shoujo-ai.
GA Art Design Con — Dropped. Boring and no characterization.
Kanamemo — Dropped. It’s loli. Sick stuff.
Sora no Manimani — Eeh. I’m barely holding on. It’s pretty shallow and spazzy, which is a shame. The characters could lead to some deep and interesting stories.
Taisho Baseball Girls — Fantastic. This is everything that K-On! could have been.
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 — Spellbinding. If you watch only one series this summer, watch this one!

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Now this is a spectacular use of torrents. Someone put together all the previews of the summer 2009 anime shows in one torrent file. Go check it out here.

Here is the OO breakdown.

Yes


GA Art Design Con — Looks cute and funny
Kanamemo — Looks cute and funny, a la K-On!

Maybe


Blue Flowers (Aoi Hana) — Not sure if this is going to be shoujo-ai or not, but I hope not.
Sora no Manimani — HS astronomy anime`. Better than Toradora? One can only hope.
Taisho Baseball Girls — Same deal as Blue Flowers.
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 — Hard to tell what’s going on here, but it could be really emotional.

No


Bakemonogatari
Canaan
Judden-Chan — The torrent thankfully put this in a separate ecchi (i.e. hentai) folder, so you know what you’re in for.
Needless — The title says it all, actually.
Princess Lover — Yup, it’s panty-shot time.
Sea Story — A shame really, because the atmosphere had a lot of promise. Instead we get mermaids on land wearing next to nothing, bending over. Whatever.
Spicey Wolf — More of the same Spice & Wolf moral relativism, I’m sure.
Umineko
Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou (Modern Magic)

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