Sunday, 26 July 2009

Taishou Yakyuu Musume - Episode 4

After that crushing defeat in their practice game last episode, it's hardly surprising that the mood amongst the girls on the baseball team isn't at its best - However, a few long faces are nothing compared to some of the more deep-seated cracks that have already begun to appear ion the midst of the team.

For starters, they've lose one team member already to the pressure of being in two school clubs at once, while another is staying well away from practice after feeling responsible for that aforementioned defeat after making a mistake in that game. Most importantly though, Akiko hasn't been seen at school since the game, and although a visit to see her reassures Koume that there's nothing wrong, it starts to become clear that there's more to her "fever" than meets the eye.

This catalogue of setbacks looks all set to destroy the team before it's barely begun, but ironically enough it's the visit of Akiko's supposed husband-to-be to Koume's home that turns things around, and for the remainder of the episode we see a side to Koume that hadn't really emerged before now... Gone is the cheerful yet clumsy demeanour that we've been used to, replaced with a steely determination and persuasive language. Come the end of the episode, all is well once again and the team are ready to continue - Well, almost ready, but that's a story for episode five....

After complaining somewhat that the stars of Taishou Yakyuu Musume have been getting short shrift in the character development department thus far, this episode was (for me) a much needed journey into those territories - As I've already mentioned, Koume really gets to shine this time around in ways I wouldn't have expected prior to this instalment, while Akiko also gets fleshed out a little more alongside glimpses into the relationship between some of the other girls. These developments are definitely a step along the way to making this series both more interesting and more easy to invest your emotions in, supplementing the interesting angle of the whole "girls baseball team" story to (hopefully) build towards a more well-rounded series.

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