Sunday, 12 July 2009

Taishou Yakyuu Musume - Episode 2

After the opening episode of Taishou Yakyuu Musume left us with half a baseball team, Akiko is still left five players short for the first step of her goal to assemble a girl's team, although on the positive side the existing members do manage to rope in their English teacher (who I'm assuming is American from the bad Japanese accent and knowledge of the sport) as a coach of sorts.

Finding new members isn't their only concern though - After having the baseball equipment donated to them altered for their use the girls finally have an opportunity to practice, but it's fair to say that their baseball skills are rather lacking at this juncture as you might expect.

Still, come the end of the episode Akiko has rustled up her full complement of nine players, with a couple of potentially impressive performers thrown into that mix too. Firstly we have Tomoe, an expert swordswoman who will hopefully prove equally adept with a baseball bat, and who herself brings along her twin sister Shizuka and a couple of "underlings" to make up some numbers in the team. This leaves the final place to be taken up by the quiet and sullen Tama Ishigaki, who has quite a knack for fielding thanks to playing baseball with the boys at her last school.

With a full team now in place, episode three will be free to take on the real work in building up to playing an actual game of baseball, but to be honest we're still left a little lacking in the characterisation department. Although Tomoe, Shizuka and Tama all get a better introduction this episode than the other girls who joined the team did last time out, their respective characters are still rather cliched and vague overall, leaving me hoping for something a little above and beyond simply pigeon-holing them into some of those typical anime character stereotypes and leaving it at that. Considering this is a series about girls playing baseball in 1920s Japan, a time when such an activity would be frowned upon by most, I would expect most of these girls to have real character and interesting facets to draw from to take up such a task, so just assembling them as a bunch of cute girls with little else would almost seem counter-intuitive to me. We shall see what transpires over the coming episodes however, and if nothing else the novelty of that 1920s setting is serving to keep my interest piqued at present.

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