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Old 2011-04-30, 18:08   Link #121
Triple_R
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I actually kind of like the no balls/no bunt strategy.

At the high school level anyway, as I have strong doubts it would work at the professional level where hitters are very good and often need to be fooled in order to get them out.


The way I see it is that it's a good strategy if both of the following applies to your high school team:

1. You have an awesome ace starting pitcher, but your relievers/closers are horrible.

2. You have defensively superb in-fielders.


I think that Episode 1 of this suggests that the starting pitcher for this team is excellent, but his relievers are not that good. So keeping the starting pitcher on the mound for an inning or two longer than normal can really help this team.

Now this team's in-fielders aren't that good defensively, but they're getting better. And they're getting better because this strategy is forcing them too, which is a nice side effect of it.

On the bunting side of things, I was never a big fan of bunting to begin with. I mean, if you have a guy on 1st or 2nd, and you have the weakest part of your rotation up to bat, then it's probably wise to bunt. But if you have a good hitter up there, let him try to get on base (or swing for the fences) himself, imo.

All of the above being said, I'll now comment on the anime as a whole, lol.



I really like the female lead Minami. Very likable character. Her appearance, aptitudes, style, and personality makes me think ""Daughter of Haruhi Suzumiya and Kyon", lol.

I love all of the interpersonal relationships and conflicts in this. Nice blend of friendship dynamics, team-based camaraderie, and even slight hints of romance simmering underneath the surface.

The drama in this also feels very realistic and heartfelt. Whenever a character in this has a serious moment, or a tense moment, it feels real and believable to me. The drama is powerful, but not overdone.

The plot pacing is superb. I have no complaints at all here.

The art style is very solid, and probably ideal for an anime that's very grounded in reality like this one is.

This anime has light touches of amusing conventional anime quirkiness, but nothing over the top. This would make a great gateway anime for a lot of people, I think.


All in all, I find this to be a very pleasant and enjoyable slice of life drama. Definitely looking forward to the second half.

8.5/10 for the first 5 episodes rated as a group.
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Old 2011-04-30, 18:39   Link #122
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
His pitch count did decrease gradually over the course of the game, to the point where in the 7th it was about half of what it was in the 1st inning. This is the fundamental flaw of the strategy of course - if the other team gets enough hits the pitcher will still throw a lot of pitches, even without walks.
Yeah, but is it because their defense actually got better, or because the college guys started thinking "Fuck it, this is pointless. Can we go home now?"? If I were them, I'd be tired of running around the bases, too.
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Old 2011-04-30, 18:42   Link #123
ipodi
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Originally Posted by Kanon View Post
Thanks for the replies. I was under the impression fielders eventually got tired in this particular scenario, since they seemed more active than in a regular match.

That makes a bit more sense to me now, although it appears it's still not a very good strategy unless you have a godly pitcher. Can they really make that work...?
At the high school level, where a player's own natural abilities can single-handedly overwhelm the opposing team (like how LeBron destroyed opposing high school teams), it is conceivable that a pitcher like Ayano can just pitch strikes and overwhelm the batters. This strategy of course cannot succeed when facing a more experienced, and stronger team, as shown in EP 5.
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Old 2011-04-30, 18:44   Link #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipodi View Post
At the high school level, where a player's own natural abilities can single-handedly overwhelm the opposing team (like how LeBron destroyed opposing high school teams), it is conceivable that a pitcher like Ayano can just pitch strikes and overwhelm the batters. This strategy of course cannot succeed when facing a more experienced, and stronger teams, as shown in EP 5.
Good points.

That's why I think this strategy can work at the high school baseball level depending on the caliber of your starting pitcher.
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Old 2011-04-30, 19:28   Link #125
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Old 2011-04-30, 19:44   Link #126
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The need for a no-ball strategy arose from the problem of Asano tiring out after pitching 100 times in a row. In professional baseball, you'll usually have a closer to take over, and the closer is really good for one or two innings. But Asano is far and away the best pitcher - the team should focus on it's strengths rather than it's weaknesses. And Asano is one hell of a beast at throwing strikes. So let's throw away the traditional model and be extremely predictable by throwing only strikes. This way, Asano doesn't have to waste 2 or 3 balls with every batter.

The strategy seems bad, yes - the high school lost 32-2. But do you think the team could have won if they kept their original strategy? I doubt it - they might lose by less, but they would still lose. And I'd wager they'd lose 99 out of 100 times by relying solely upon Asano to dominate the game.

You can't beat a superior, stronger, and better team by following the same strategy as them. You need to focus upon your own strengths to neutralize your own weaknesses - and this requires a radical change in preconceived tactics. Sure, coach Makoto's strategy backfires horribly. But the objective of this exhibition game was not to win. It was to experiment with something never, ever seen before in the history of high school baseball. And there was a glimmer of success - two runs in the final inning. Those two runs give me hope.

Honestly, I've never seen a team so happy to lose. If any strategy can do that, then maybe it's worth something after all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Yeah, but is it because their defense actually got better, or because the college guys started thinking "Fuck it, this is pointless. Can we go home now?"? If I were them, I'd be tired of running around the bases, too.
I'd be happy to play batting practice against any team. You can tell the college pitcher was at least seriously contemplating endgame strategy even though he had a shutout going. Giving 100% of your effort, 100% of the time. I doubt a Nationals team has the luxury of getting bored against any opponent.

I'm surprised no one has commented on the sexist implications of Moshidora - women can't grow up to be professional baseball players. No, women are subjugated to the role of managers, doing all the paperwork and picking up the man's baseballs. Sheesh. No wonder Minami is so sad whenever someone talks about her past baseball experiences.
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Old 2011-04-30, 22:51   Link #127
AnimeFan188
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Anyone else think that Minami looks like Kyonko from one of those gender-bender
Suzumiya Haruhi fanfics?

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Old 2011-05-01, 02:44   Link #128
asaqe
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I think she resembles more like Nagisa Aoi from Strawberry Panic
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Old 2011-05-01, 03:32   Link #129
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watching the anime until episode 4 but still not really understand ..
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Old 2011-05-01, 06:16   Link #130
Tri-ring
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For the no ball tactics to work, the catcher must be more wise with all the opponent batter's statistics in his head and be able to control where the ball heads towards to coincide with the fielder's position related if there are any base runners.

For example if there is a base runner on first then the space between first baseman and second would become wider or second and short stop depending on formation.
If the batter was a lefty and likes to pull the ball then the catcher needs to lead the pitcher so the batter hits the ball near the left line for the first baseman to be able to respond more easily.
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Old 2011-05-01, 06:53   Link #131
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Originally Posted by Deconstructor View Post
I'm surprised no one has commented on the sexist implications of Moshidora - women can't grow up to be professional baseball players. No, women are subjugated to the role of managers, doing all the paperwork and picking up the man's baseballs. Sheesh. No wonder Minami is so sad whenever someone talks about her past baseball experiences.
Nature is 'sexist' in and of itself. It's a fact that men and women are fundamentally different, no matter how much equality you want to give them. You see it in most sports: men are usually more muscular and better built for putting their bodies to extremes than women. I'm not saying women can't do that, but usually not on the same level as men, and that is what we've seen in this show. There are simply things women can't do as good as men (and vice versa), and I think people need to be more aware of that, rather than play the 'sexism' card. Minami could still become a pro, just not in a mixed team, due to those biological differences. She'd probably do well in an all-female team, but that's not what she was aiming for her entire childhood. Having your dream shattered like that makes quite an impact and I must give credit to her for actually trying to not let her apparent dislike for baseball hold her back as a manager.

And consider this: despite the fact that her current job as manager seems to be an ungrateful one, without her the team is worthless. Minami is trying very hard to be the driving force behind the team's (inevitable) success, even if she only sees it as a temporary job right now. And her own success has gotten through to the other clubs, who can now perform better than before as well.

I'll leave the technical jargon to the 'experts' here, so I'll just focus on the anime itself. I expect this show to take a darker tone near the end. I'm almost certain that Yuki will die (probably right before or after her team's first true big win), leaving Minami to become the true manager of the team (which would also mean she'd have to figure stuff out by herself, rather than have Yuki as back-up consultant).

The prologue about Drucker's book annoys me, though. Couldn't care less about the OP and ED, either. Other than that, this is an entertaining show (for me, at least).
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Old 2011-05-01, 07:51   Link #132
wontaek
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Originally Posted by Tri-ring View Post
For the no ball tactics to work, the catcher must be more wise with all the opponent batter's statistics in his head and be able to control where the ball heads towards to coincide with the fielder's position related if there are any base runners.

For example if there is a base runner on first then the space between first baseman and second would become wider or second and short stop depending on formation.
If the batter was a lefty and likes to pull the ball then the catcher needs to lead the pitcher so the batter hits the ball near the left line for the first baseman to be able to respond more easily.
A very good point. I thought no ball tactics would require smarter catcher more than good pitcher.

As defense of the anime, I would like to point out, that contrary to so many other baseball stories out there, this one realistically exposes the fundamental problem of the strategy from the beginning : Batters getting hit which increases pitch count. If the series wants to aim at more realism, they would likely get the coach to slightly modify the strategy a little to let the pitcher throw at most 1 ball per batter, thus allowing the battery to play more diverse mind game with the batter without significantly increasing the pitch count.

I noticed that they stopped 1 ep per day pace for today. Don't know whether the lull will be just 1-2 day for 5 ep per week, or we have to wait until late May for the next batch. For various reasons, it would be nice if the series hits 13+ episode mark before the end of 1st week of June. This is one of the shows I wish for its success in variety of ways, and hitting that episode mark by the time I mentioned will maximize its chance of success in certain events that will help it get some free publicity.
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Old 2011-05-01, 07:52   Link #133
Triple_R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnimeFan188 View Post
Anyone else think that Minami looks like Kyonko from one of those gender-bender
Suzumiya Haruhi fanfics?

Yeah, I see that too.

There's also a few scenes where her hair is down, and in those scenes, she looks a lot like Haruhi, imo.

This is a big part of the reason why she makes me think of the hypothetical daughter of Haruhi Suzumiya and Kyon.


On the sexism debate: I don't think that this anime is sexist so much as it's aiming for stark realism.

With this in mind, I wouldn't be surprised if Lord of Fire is right in his speculations about Yuki.
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Old 2011-05-01, 08:20   Link #134
Tri-ring
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A very good point. I thought no ball tactics would require smarter catcher more than good pitcher.
In defense of the pitcher, the pitcher needs skill to place the ball in demand of the catcher.
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Old 2011-05-01, 11:21   Link #135
ipodi
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Originally Posted by wontaek View Post
I noticed that they stopped 1 ep per day pace for today. Don't know whether the lull will be just 1-2 day for 5 ep per week, or we have to wait until late May for the next batch. For various reasons, it would be nice if the series hits 13+ episode mark before the end of 1st week of June. This is one of the shows I wish for its success in variety of ways, and hitting that episode mark by the time I mentioned will maximize its chance of success in certain events that will help it get some free publicity.
The series is aired only on weekdays, and it is only 10 EP long. Therefore, this series will end by this Friday.
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Old 2011-05-01, 13:13   Link #136
Deconstructor
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Originally Posted by Lord of Fire View Post
There are simply things women can't do as good as men (and vice versa), and I think people need to be more aware of that, rather than play the 'sexism' card. Minami could still become a pro, just not in a mixed team, due to those biological differences. She'd probably do well in an all-female team, but that's not what she was aiming for her entire childhood. Having your dream shattered like that makes quite an impact and I must give credit to her for actually trying to not let her apparent dislike for baseball hold her back as a manager.
Fair enough. Just noticing all the girls in the anime are managers, and all the guys are players (with one exception). Yuki is very much the personification of a fragile woman, but like Minami, she's not letting her natural problems stop her from supporting the baseball team. Feminists will have to be pleased at the emotional strength our female characters are displaying. As for the harsh reality of "girls can not be the best baseball players in the world?" I don't think most guys can be the best baseball players either.

Quote:
And consider this: despite the fact that her current job as manager seems to be an ungrateful one, without her the team is worthless. Minami is trying very hard to be the driving force behind the team's (inevitable) success, even if she only sees it as a temporary job right now. And her own success has gotten through to the other clubs, who can now perform better than before as well.
Ungrateful? The team seems very thankful to Minami for revamping their practices and inspiring the players to give 100% of their effort. Really, the entire school knows about Minami because the baseball team started believing not just in Minami, but in their own abilities as well. Other clubs looked and wondered if Minami could do the same for them. Maybe everyone is just using Minami to get better. Still, they all seem to have new appreciation for management in general.

Quote:
I'll leave the technical jargon to the 'experts' here, so I'll just focus on the anime itself. I expect this show to take a darker tone near the end. I'm almost certain that Yuki will die (probably right before or after her team's first true big win), leaving Minami to become the true manager of the team (which would also mean she'd have to figure stuff out by herself, rather than have Yuki as back-up consultant).
W-Why?! Minami's team losing in Nationals (or getting knocked out before) is pretty sad in itself, but now Yuki has to die as well? This must be the impact of Madoka episode 3 on anime viewers... someone must die.
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Old 2011-05-01, 22:50   Link #137
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I really like the female lead Minami. Very likable character. Her appearance, aptitudes, style, and personality makes me think ""Daughter of Haruhi Suzumiya and Kyon", lol.
And I was thinking that Hirano Aya would be suitable for the role as Minami while watching Ep 5. Somewhat in the same line of thought here.

Started this because of Hikasa Yoko. So far, it's a simple story and that it does not go too much into the jargon keeps me going. Even though the anime, on its own, skims on the background and a few other stuff, a decent story is enough for me to keep watching.
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Old 2011-05-02, 14:03   Link #138
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Originally Posted by Lord of Fire View Post
Nature is 'sexist' in and of itself. It's a fact that men and women are fundamentally different, no matter how much equality you want to give them. You see it in most sports: men are usually more muscular and better built for putting their bodies to extremes than women. I'm not saying women can't do that, but usually not on the same level as men, and that is what we've seen in this show. There are simply things women can't do as good as men (and vice versa), and I think people need to be more aware of that, rather than play the 'sexism' card. Minami could still become a pro, just not in a mixed team, due to those biological differences. She'd probably do well in an all-female team, but that's not what she was aiming for her entire childhood.
This is all true, though I have to wonder why exactly females are at a disadvantage in baseball. Sure, there's some sports that men would obviously dominate (Football, for instance, is something women should stay far away from; not that it's exactly a healthy sport for men, either...), but shouldn't baseball be a sport that's fairly even for both genders? Sharp reflexes, a good running speed, decent stamina, strength enough to send the ball flying far (Something that even kids are capable of, never mind grown women)... I think those are the traits most important for most positions in baseball, and the gender gap for those traits seems to be narrow enough that women could hold their own in the sport. Shouldn't men and women be pretty close to equally adept for most positions except perhaps pitcher, since baseball isn't a sport that requires strength and a muscular build? I might be missing something, but it kind of confused me for Moshidora to portray Minami's dream of becoming a professional baseball player to be completely outside the realm of possibility, as though she wanted to grow up to become a boxer and take on Evander Holyfield or something.

Anyway, nice little show here. I like the opening and ending songs.
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Old 2011-05-02, 14:59   Link #139
Guardian Enzo
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If you think kids can hit the ball as hard and far as adults - especially against a 90 MPH fastball - you need to study baseball a little more.

In 130+ years there's never been a female good enough to play in the major leagues. It isn't because of sexism - it's because of physical reality. It's a fact of nature that men, as a rule, can run faster, jump higher, and hit a baseball harder than women. Are there exceptionally talented women who are better at baseball than most men? Of course. But you have to understand that professionals are the top .01% of all men.

Another fact is that girls are not allowed to play competitive HS baseball in boys competition in Japan. You could argue the merits of that, but it is a fact. Some schools have girls teams, just as there are professional women's leagues here and there. It's silly to portray this series as sexist when it's just depicting things as they actually are. The subject of female baseball players having to give up the game has come up in numerous series, such as Cross Game and Major. It's just a fact of life. It doesn't reflect any sexist value judgements on anything else - just baseball.
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Old 2011-05-02, 15:57   Link #140
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Shouldn't men and women be pretty close to equally adept for most positions except perhaps pitcher, since baseball isn't a sport that requires strength and a muscular build?
To hit a ball that will fly 400 ft. requires lots of physical strength.
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