Moshidora reaches its half-way stage as the high school baseball team at its centre embarks upon their brave new journey of trying to innovate in the world of baseball at this level via their "no-bunt, no-ball" strategy. Uh-oh, is this the point where my complete lack of baseball knowledge starts to give me a headache?
Certainly, it takes a while for the show to really explain this strategy in its entirety, although effectively it concerns the pitcher focusing only on delivering strikes, while the fielders are expected to work harder and stand closer to the base to deal with the inevitable hits that are going to come from such a strategy. With a college side featuring several national-level players as their first opponent of this strategy, it's going to be a tough test, while Yuki is undergoing a stressful experience of her own as she goes into surgery that same day.
With this major experiment in place, needless to say the match itself is the main focus of this episode (with Drucker's Management taking a back seat), and perhaps equally inevitably this new strategy initially seems to be a disaster with our team getting the proverbial pants thrashed off them by their opponents. However, as the coach tells his players before the game, he doesn't expect instant results and that he should be the only one to blame if things don't work out, and with a determination to stick to their plan this new strategy eventually bears fruit - it might be too little too late to win the game by a long shot, but it proves that the team are making progress and that there is still hope for their new tactics.
After all of the management-centric discussions of this week's instalments of Moshidora so far, it was actually a nice change of pace to focus on an actual game for once, and I'm always grateful to sports anime that doesn't certainly turn a losing team into serial winners instantly after one quick change or alteration - these things are much more believable when any such changes take time. Although I did feel a little thrown under the bus by how slowly the series explained its new strategy I managed to make it through somehow (and let's face it, I do live in a country where baseball effectively doesn't exist, so I'm not exactly the target market here), and my interest remains piqued as to where this series is going to head next week in the dual names of baseball and business management.