Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Big Windup Part 2|
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Anime & Manga, Animation
Spring training is over, and it?s time for the real fun to start. Mihashi?s confidence got a huge boost from beating his old school, and now he?s more determined than ever to become his team?s ace. With Abe calling the pit... more »
Big Windup!'s Conclusion Arrives
ONENEO | Buffalo, NY | 09/16/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Much to the dismay of many critics, I likened The Big Windup to one of the better Shonen (fighting-based) anime series out there only rather than an ongoing tournament, the sport of baseball acts as the catalyst to tie together all of the teenage (and older) characters.
I'm sticking by that claim because quite frankly, the show retains all of the best aspects of a shonen piece with a healthy dose of believability.
Previously released only as an online video-stream, Big Windup! was a Geneon property picked up by Funimation that's finally come to dvd format for those of us who prefer to enjoy our anime on the 42 inch plasma with surround sound (rather than in our media players through two tinny speakers that came with the computer monitor).
Coming at a total runtime of 315 minutes, Big Windup! Part 2 (Oofuri) consists of episodes 14-26 spread across 2 discs packaged within a standard-size dvd case. The show wears an appropriate, if not slightly conservative TV 14 rating (no violence, nudity or foul language).
Extras are limited here to textless songs and a nice assortment of Funimation trailers on the second disc.
As is standard fair with sub & dub anime, the language options consist of the original Japanese dialog track (in stereo) and an English language dub presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround with the option of English subtitles available under either choice.
The story picks up with young student Ren Mihashi's baseball endeavors coupled to his life as a regular high school student.
Whereas the first edition established Ren's desire to play ball even if bot hhe and his team's skill left a bit to be desired, this installment starts out right at the end of spring training. Mihashi has discovered some newfound confidence thanks to beating his old school in the big game (again in the first release). With Abe calling the pitches, the once insecure Ren has a few tricks up his sleeve. However, the big summer tournament is just beginning and as fate would have it, the Nishiura Nine find themselves going up against the defending champs in the very first round.
Being the second and final installment of the show, this set does represent the conclusion of the franchise and is done well accordingly (although you will get the impression that the tale could have gone longer if there had been demand for a continuation).
The story's an even-flowing, fun romp through the rigors of both school life and after school sports activity. It's bright, clean and pleasant in its delivery that uses elements of team-building and personal growth as the backbone to a lot of baseball-game onscreen action sequences.
If this sounds a little odd, don't let the sports-themed arc to trip you up from enjoying a tasty little tale that works for the same reason shonen (fighting-themed anime) is so popular: the viewer ends up caring more about the characters than the specific forms of competition that are used to advance the plot. As it stands however, the baseball animation, scoring-system, and physics are exponentially more realistic (and relatable) than mystical fighting tournaments with monsters and magic spells.
The music is nothing overly dramatic or spectacular but it's catchy and rhythmic in all of the right places. Interestingly, when available as a video stream the only language option was the English dub. Funimation has wisely included the superior Japanese vocal track on this dvd set. Not to suggest that the English dub isn't worthy; the dramatic attempts just simply feel a bit less forced in the chipper and lively Japanese form.
In all, Big Windup! Part 2 continues to make use of some of the livelier aspects of popular shonen anime with a nice likeable cast of characters and some sports elements that nearly anyone can sit down and enjoy.
An Absolute Must Watch!!
songie | 08/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I LOVED LOVED LOVED this anime. I'm so completely and desperately in love with each of the characters - of course, particularly Mihashi & Abe-kun. Deliciously suspenseful, packed with action, and yet not lacking the sentimentals - I can watch the episodes over and over and over again. In fact, I HAVE watched the episodes so repeatedly that I've decided to buy the DVD set, lol. There are only 26 episodes in total to this anime series, split into 2 DVD sets. I'm extremely disappointed in the shortness of the series, but hope [with all of my being] that with enough fans and supporters, they will make a second season!! I STRONGLY recommend the Japanese audio/English subs, as the voice acting of the characters is crucial to their distinctive qualities.
From the mass of anime titles available, I definitely think that Big Windup (or 'Ookiku Furikabutte') is one worth owning. Though an underrated series, not as well known as my other favorite animes (e.g. Death Note, Cowboy Bebop, FMA, Ouran HS Host Club..), it is just as addicting and wonderfully satisfying to watch!! In addition to the great story and inspiring character interactions, the artwork is actually extremely good and wonderfully pleasing to the eyes - an attribute that is often overlooked in anime these days."
It's only beginning
DC_Fan_52 | Texas | 12/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Picking up where the last set of episodes stopped, Nishiura High enters the summer tournament against last years champions Tosei Highschool. Everything that you learned from watching the practice game in the previous half-season gets applied and turned up a notch. Even the coaches start to throw down from the dugouts. The tension will keep you glued to your seat for the whole DVD set.
Since the game takes up most of the season, there's very little personal time with the players, instead you see their technical side on the field with bits of their personalities shining through. Because of this, Mihashi has very little time to be whimpy while he's up on the mound. He's still a little awkward and excitable, but you're not going to want to punch him every episode. And if you were a little creeped out by the shounen-ai stuff of the past, it's played down for this part of the season.
Puzzlingly, this season ends with an episode that's only tangentially related to the main characters. It's still about baseball, but focusing on Abe's ex-pitcher Haruna. You'll think this is a strange way to end the series, but I'll remind you that "it's only beginning." Indeed, the Second Season of Big Windup is about to start in Japan in 2010, so we might get it at the end of 2010.
One watching and I know six of the players names: Abe, Mihashi, Hanai, Tajima, Okki, and Sakaguchi. Okki is the kid with the weird looking face, and Sakaguchi has the voice of Al from Fullmetal Alchemist.
And a "Squeeze Play" is when you bunt with a runner on third. While the opposition get the batter Out at first base, the player on third runs home. You're going to hear that a lot without any explanation for newbies."