Two childhood friends were both about to walk away from the sport that they loved, when they joined the same high school. It was a chance encounter that may just rekindle their love for baseball.
What did you watch?
Having played a lot of sport in my life, I’m a bit of a sucker for a good sports story. That said, it wasn’t until fairly recently that I decided to try a sports anime. Since then, I try to have one on the go as often as possible and when I saw the promotional art for Tamayomi, I knew that this was the one to jump into next. Not are all sports anime created equal and I’ll tell you why in a moment. There will be spoilers going forward so prepare yourself.
Yomi Takeda had just arrived at her new school for her first day of high school. She chose this one because of the uniform and was excited to make new friends. After talking with a rather enthusiastic girl in her class who had a minor obsession with baseball, she agreed to go with Yoshino and her sister, Ibuki to throw a ball around. On the way there, she saw an old friend. Tamaki and Yomi hadn’t seen each other since they were little girls and had no idea that they were both attending the same school. Of course, Tamaki had to come with them.
As children, Yomi had been throwing a pretty wicked curveball with a training ball and Tamaki had challenged her to learn to do it with a baseball. To her surprise, Yomi had perfected it, and it was terrifying. It was also enough for the four friends to restart the school baseball team which had been disbanded in the prior year for bad behaviour. However, they needed nine for a baseball team, but that wasn’t about to stop them from dreaming about Nationals.
What did you think?
I think the promotional image was pretty misleading. When I chose this one, I was expecting a pretty serious sports anime about girls playing baseball. However, what I got was a slice of life anime about girls making friends and believing in one another to the backdrop of a baseball team. Admittedly, it did improve and the season finished with a serious game of baseball that lasted three episodes and had a very satisfactory conclusion. It didn’t really do anything new or revolutionary, but it managed to close out the season on a high. So much so, that I think I probably ended up rating it higher than it deserved.
What was your favourite moment?
That is without a doubt the last three episodes and primarily the faceoffs between Yomi and Nakata Nao, the ace hitter from Ryoyukan. I feel like this should have been a much larger part of the series as a whole and in my episode reviews, I mention a couple of times that the series would have been much stronger had the match been the main focus and all the important developments were handle with flashbacks as the players prepare to play. I did enjoy Yomi’s relaxed attitude to the games. It’s always nice seeing people just enjoying playing.
What was your least favourite moment?
There were a number of odd moments that seemed to focus on the way that the girls were playing. In their first match at Nationals, they played against a team that had always kept its games down to as short a length of time as possible. Seems like a fairly productive thing to do, but the real reason was that they didn’t like playing against other people and just wanted to get home so they could practice together. That just seems too stupid to me, especially that Yoshino was able to work that out. I also feel like I should briefly mention the CGI moments in the games because they were terrible. The standard animation wasn’t that much better, but it did have some moments that really shone.
Who was your favourite character?
It has to be Nakata Nao. I know, I know. Picking from the other team is terrible, but she was the one player that really took the game seriously and didn’t underestimate her opponents. She would have a promising future for sure and it would be amazing to see her and Yomi on the same team. After You, I did have a soft spot for Shiragaki Oomura. She was the kendo champion that had never played baseball before, so she was basically this series’ strong girl with a sword, even if she did trade it in for a baseball bat.
Who was your least favourite character?
One of the big problems with this series was how indistinguishable most of the girls were. I know this is anime, but they almost all looked the same with some minor changes to hairstyles and colours. It makes it pretty hard to pick out some of the less interesting characters. I think, if I’m completely honest I found Tamaki to be a little annoying because of how she kept questioning Yomi’s staying power, but that Yomi got kind of annoying at times too. Mostly, when she didn’t get to pitch.
Would you like some more?
Call me crazy, but I think I actually would. I’m not going to go out of my way to watch it, but if they made more I would probably end up slipping back into it. It certainly wasn’t spectacular, but that final game really put a shine on it. Otherwise, it was pretty forgettable. Still, the game was exciting and I liked how it played out with it looking increasingly likely that they would lose on several occasions.
What have you learnt?
I think this series got it’s pacing wrong. It’s fine to have slower moments to develop characters and relationships, but if they had sandwiched them with a bit of action, it would have made the whole thing that much easier to swallow. We basically got nine episodes of slow with some moments of baseball thrown in and then three episodes that were all baseball, and they were the better episodes. You can definitely have both and most likely need both, but finding a balance would have made this a much stronger series.
Other Posts in the Series
- Season One
- Episode 1 – A Fated Reunion
- Episode 2 – Let’s Play Ball Together
- Episode 3 – Take Me With You
- Episode 4 – Pitch of Promise
- Episode 5 – Losing Streak
- Episode 6 – With Hearts Full of Hope
- Episode 7 – Night Sky After Rain
- Episode 8 – From Zero
- Episode 9 – Change the Tide
- Episode 10 – Show ‘Em What We’ve Got
- Episode 11 – This is Nationals Level
- Episode 12 – Pitch Without Regret