Ookiku Furikabutte/ Big Windup

I immediately had to run over and post this. I don’t know how long it’s been there but Hulu.com has 4 dubbed episodes of this amazing anime. This will have to tide me over until Funimation starts selling the DVDs.

You can find it here http://www.hulu.com/big-windup

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Moving quicker than the eye can see (or Ookiku Furikabutte Eps. 9 & 10)

Episode 9 was quite interesting. We really only see Mihashi a few times in this ep and of course he barely talks. This episode is totally Abe centered. This is all about Abe in junior high and his relationship to his pitcher then. As we see its a completely different person than Mihashi in terms of characteristics and feelings about baseball as a sport vs. means to an end. Abe describes his former pitcher as a “terrible pitcher” (according to the fansub) and we get to understand what Abe considers to be a terrible pitcher.

Episode 10 comes back to the present with the Manager deciding to name another pitcher and catcher for the team. If you’ve seen previous eps then you can imagine how Mihashi takes the news of another pitcher. “Abe-kun” has to employ some psychology to figure this one out. The anime is possibly moving away from being so Mihashi centered as other players are given defining characteristics and given more face time. Mihashi also appears to have one other person besides Abe that he is relating to, although to me it appears rather jarring and I don’t know that this relationship was addressed in previous eps. This could just be though that there was a long gap between my viewing of eps. 1-8 vs. eps. 9 & 10 so that I’ve forgotten many of the minor events in eps. 1-8.

Now the reason for the title of this post? Unfortunately I don’t have the ep so I don’t have screen captures to show you but there is a cute mistake in episode 10. The manager announces that they need to choose a captain for the team. As one, team members turn to look at one person. Mihashi and Abe are standing in front of him but on opposite sides. In the very next scene Abe and Mihashi have shifted. Abe is next to the Captain, Mihashi behind him and the other player who had been in the previous scene has completely disappeared! As I said…”moving quicker than the eye can see”.

Blushing and baseball

So, what do you think about “Ookiku Furikabutte” a.k.a.
おおきく振りかぶって ?

*silence*

Yeah, that’s what I thought. I actually tried to search online for some reviews of this anime but the pickings were slim. Is it because it is a sports anime? I admit that because of this I was somewhat resistant to starting up on it. As it is I don’t have access to eps (and don’t understand Japanese anyway) and so I’m pretty behind on eps. I have had the opportunity to see Eps 1-8 however and I must admit this is one sports anime I enjoy –> Not that I have extensive knowledge of other examples of the genre. I only know of “Eyeshield21” which I believe is about soccer. There is also “Major” which is another baseball anime but after seeing that there were 50 eps(or more) I ran screaming for the hills.

Needless to say I did not have high expectations and the only reason I watched was because in the anime magazine along with a blurb about the show was a picture of the pitcher (main character) and catcher apparently holding hands and a blush on the pitcher’s face. I was intrigued. Could it be that the Japanese anime industry had tapped into my secret wish to see a baseball shonen-ai anime (secret to me anyway since the thought had never crossed my mind, haha)?

The anime follows the story of pitcher Ren Mihashi. Mihashi had a tumultuous baseball career in Junior High, costing his team several wins. He begins to suffer self esteem issue culminating in the now High School age Ren Mihashi angsting after practically being forced onto the team. Due to his troubles in junior high with his pitching and with his teammates, Mihashi’s self esteem is trashed and he has zero confidence in his abilities as a pitcher and teammate. It will be up to his teammates, manager and particularly his catcher, Abe, to make Mihashi believe in himself and in the idea that his teammate’s believe in him too.

I’m not into playing sports but for some reason I feel empathy with Mihashi. You can see that he desperately wants to do well and is also desperately flabbergasted when he accomplishes his goals. I think many people can comprehend him, in how he strives and strives for something and when he achieves it it’s almost like “Huh? How did I get to this point?”

For those into sports this may be worth checking out. For those not into sports, it is simply a story about a boy trying to achieve his dream, build his self esteem and not let down his teammates and new friends.

Oh, and he blushes a lot too. As in constantly.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Check out Mihashi’s body language in the lower left pic as he huddles in the corner. This pic is pretty indicative of the state of his self esteem.

Oh and this is neither here nor there but I really like the OP and can’t help singing along to the karaoke subs.

Ookiku Furikabutte OP (karaoke)

Someone has uploaded a clean opening to Youtube (below). The song is “Dramatic” by Base Ball Bear.

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