Friday, December 30, 2016

Currently rewatching: Big Windup!

Yuri on Ice left me with a craving for more sports anime, so I snagged a copy of the newly released (in the U.S., at least) Big Windup! 2. Since I figured it might pick up where Big Windup! left off, I've been rewatching that. I've somehow managed to get through 2/3 of it in only 24 hours, despite having also gone on a "big city" used book shopping trip.

Some things:
  • I had forgotten that Tajima likes to loudly talk about his masturbation habits. The dude has no shame.
  • I had also forgotten that Abe was kind of a jerk at the beginning of the series. I'm glad that Coach Momoe put a stop to his "use Mihashi like a puppet" mindset, although one thing that Yuri on Ice got me to thinking about was the healthiness of Abe and Mihashi's relationship. Is it okay that, even 17 episodes in, Mihashi is still convinced the only reason he's doing well as a pitcher is because he has Abe giving him signs? And Abe telling Mihashi not to worry, that he'd make sure never to get sick or injured so that he could catch for him the whole three years, had me fretting a little. I don't recall anything happening to Abe in Big Windup, but I wonder if Big Windup 2 will shake things up a bit and force Mihashi to have to work with another catcher, even if only for a little bit.
  • Yuri on Ice is a series about men's figure skating, and it still manages to have a larger and more varied female cast than this series. So far we have the mothers, Coach Momoe, the cute team manager whose name I can never remember, and Ruri, Mihashi's cousin. The mothers are all varying degrees of excited and motherly. Ruri only just appeared on the scene. The team manager kind of depresses me - she apparently became the team manager because she used to really love softball, but the series never even shows her getting involved in the team's mental training exercises. By comparison, Mihashi's one friend, who became head of the team's cheering squad, was immediately asked to join the team's meditation practice. Then there's Coach Momoe. She seems awesome, but I have all kinds of questions about her that I doubt the series will ever answer. For example, if she's pouring all her part-time job money into the team, how does she pay her own bills? What inspired her decision to start Nishiura's baseball team? Will we ever see flashbacks to her days playing baseball? 
  • I can't remember how any of the games turned out! The game with Tosei is freaking me out. Does Nishiura win? I can't remember! So much tension.
  • I still love it when the catchers try to analyze their pitchers' emotional states and mentally debate how to handle them.
  • I had thought that Yuri's anxiety and Viktor trying to deal with it was something new to me in anime, but actually it's here in Big Windup too. Mihashi is painfully anxious and prone to self-doubt. Unfortunately, like I noted earlier, his way of dealing with it maybe isn't healthy - Abe becomes his security blanket. Crossing my fingers that there's a sign, later in the series, that he can still function without Abe, the way Yuri showed that he could function without Viktor.

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