Sunday, 9 August 2009

Taishou Yakyuu Musume - Episode 6

With a full team now assembled, and all of that pesky stamina training out of the way, it's time for the Ouka-kai to start playing some serious baseball. However, they'll have to find their opponents without the help of their teacher, who is leaving for a while to look after her sick grandmother.

So, letters are sent out to all of the local teams the girls can think of, and summarily rejected, leaving them opponent-less. However, this state of affairs is reversed thanks to some quick thinking by Koume, who spots an opportunity to invite a team of elementary school boys to give them some practice matches. Rather ironically (given the whole idea behind the girls team) Akiko is against playing boys younger than themselves, but Koume is quick to point out the hypocrisy of her stance and thus the games begin.... and the girls get thrashed. Again.

All is not lost though, as Noe Kawashima's note-taking throughout gives them a great basis to work to improve where they are currently lacking, and gradually the games between the two sides become tighter contests. All that remains is to get Koume and Akiko working together better, something that they rather bizarrely struggle to do despite being friends already.

Now that we have a complete team and are actually moving towards playing some proper baseball, I'm really starting to quite enjoy this series - There's nothing particularly outstanding about the story or plot progression, but as a light and easy to digest show it's fun to watch, while the actual characters featured are starting to be fleshed out at least slightly more than the blank canvases that they initially seemed to be; this is particularly true in Koume's case, where she's moved on from generic ditzy girl into a far stronger personality. Hell, it's almost enough to make me take an interest in baseball (although I can't stress that "almost" strongly enough). The period setting of the show also helps with its charm and intrigue, as its decidedly old-fashioned takes on relationships and marriage are thrown in alongside the baseball side of things just to remind you that this isn't a 21st century, and that it's odd to be watching these girls play male-dominated sports at all. All in all then, there are far worse ways to spend some time than watching this series at present.

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