SPORTS! Gotta love them. I used to be a person who loved sports until I got glasses. Now I’m scared of ’em (Not really). Today we’re gonna be chatting about Diamond no Ace, a baseball Anime. Often times, whenever I watch sports Anime, I wonder how they’re able to turn a sport which could be boring at times into something very interesting and entertaining in an animated form. A quick disclaimer before we begin today’s blog, this Anime by no stretch of the imagination is considered “short” in terms of length, this Anime packs a total of 75 episodes; which means you cannot bang this one out in just one sitting.
As is the case with many sports shows, Diamond no Ace has an impressively large cast of characters. Despite there being multiple characters, such as Furuya Satoru and Miyuki Kazuya, I think that Eijun is the MAIN protagonist. He is strong-willed, boisterous, and at times obnoxious in his often overenthusiastic approach to things. He is extremely motivated towards reaching his goal of becoming the ace pitcher for the team as well as winning the summer tournament and attending Nationals. While Eijun has a few skills to start out with, his knowledge of pitching and of the sport is mediocre and so his learning as a first-year double as character progression for him and explanatory insight into the strategy of the game for the viewer.
As for the characters, not part of the main team, or the other teams which you see throughout the Anime. They do not stand out as much and aren’t memorable. However, they can be identified easily enough by means of their noteworthy player(s). These characters are usually interesting enough. Overall, the method used here is both sufficient and necessary and certain viewers may gravitate in interest towards one or another.
I found the art style to be very rock solid, everything about it was really well done and was very pleasing to the eye. The character designs are pretty subdued as the show comes off as fairly realistic in its approach and so the players look normal while each appearing different enough to be distinguishable from one another. One of my biggest ‘issues’ with the show the excessive use of the ‘white background’ effect. You notice this most during intense or dramatic moments. Although I understand the use of having that white background, it’s to add a dramatic effect and to make the character’s reaction or realization the point of interest; however, once you see it once and many more times after that it kind of gets annoying. Despite that, however, everything else was on point.
The show starts a little slow, which could annoy a lot of people, that is for certain. Often times a slower start to an Anime tends to turn people away because it doesn’t develop or pace fast enough to catch the viewer’s attention. However, I think that comes with the territory of being a 75 episode Anime. What is great about longer Anime, is that a slower build up storyline-wise makes the Anime that much better and more interesting to watch during the latter half of the Anime.
At times the baseball games would start off with the first at-bat and play out for a good while from there however there were plenty of instances where the show would launch into a prospective game after a couple of innings. I think this allowed the games to focus around the compelling parts of the game while avoiding perhaps some of the more typical moments. It also allowed for the show to set up certain situations without having to spend time prefacing itself. The end of the games was also sometimes subject to this approach in that, after resolving the key dilemma of the game, it would end as expected and it would skip ahead to the celebration or the aftermath.
Last but not least, sound. The music was decent, however, it also didn’t blow me away either. As the show progresses into the latter half of the episodes I found that there were maybe 2 to 3 recognizable songs that would play repeatedly in accordance with the big action scenes or dramatic moments. They worked well, however, I felt the show was somewhat lacking diversity in this area and I would have liked a few more songs of note to have appeared in this same manner and with similar levels of execution.
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