Ookiku Furikabutte

When one steps in a baseball field, one must mind his senses, concentrate on his thoughts, express his love for baseball and aim for the goal.

Ookiku Furikabutte or simply OoFuri yields a wide range of baseball fundamentals. But then again, it does not confine itself with only baseball. It also extends to everyone’s mentality and bond in and out of the field. Training is not only for the body but also for the mind and strengthening one’s mind makes a brave heart.

Honestly, the number of sports anime that I have gained interest with can only be counted with one hand. From Tennis no Ouji-sama to Major. Many of them steps into the exaggerating parts of the field. Though Major is also a baseball-based anime, OoFuri is a whole lot different from it.

OoFuri manages to catch different range of viewers, from those who like baseball to those who aren’t familiar with it. I say that I am on the latter part. OoFuri doesn’t give you out of place situations. Starting with the basics to signs, runnings to goals, positions to roles and many more. It keeps you interested in baseball and makes you want to learn it.

Higuchi Asa, the creator and artist of the manga is truly an amazing author. I have read in different forums that she took Sports Psychology which is truly presented in OoFuri. The character’s perspectives on a certain time of the game makes the scenes more tense and subjective. It brings you not only outside of your screens, but inside the game.

The story follows a boy named Ren Mihashi who has a weak personality and low self confidence. Bullied by his fellow middleschool teammates, he decides to transfer to Nishiura high and unexpectedly gets to join the new baseball club and being its only pitcher. Though he says he doesn’t have talent in pitching, Abe Takaya, a teammate and catcher of his, says that Mihashi does have what it takes to be a great pitcher, with good control and average velocity. He decides to help Mihashi to overcome his weaknesses and agrees takes him as a partner. The two indeed were on the same wavelength, making it easier for them to trust each other.

The narration of the story speaks mostly of Abe Takaya’s thoughts. It certainly is deep in thought and is perceptive. The usage of the mind before acting is his strongest points however there were times that his emotions gets above him. His thoughts majorly focuses on Mihashi’s distinctive traits thus making him more aware of his position as a catcher and his attitude towards him. However, Abe fails to express his feelings in a calm way. Mihashi on the other hand, is likely to be scared of Abe but still follows his signs and advices for he respects Abe’s way of thinking and their partnership.

OoFuri’s supporting cast gets a big clap from me. Though some were near from being absent, their acts and cheers gives the story the true definition of what it means to be a team. The team’s coach and supervisor were perfect examples of a dignified leader and a great supporter. Taking the role of the motherly and fatherly figure, they back up the members’ faults and winnings thus making the members feel confident under their wings.

The art of OoFuri is interesting when we talk about sports anime. It differs from them by means of its weak colored art. It makes it more calmer to watch than any other series which has a strong vibe in it. The backgrounds are not noteworthy but it creates a lot of atmosphere and uniforms with the characters.

The music themes such as its OP and ED gives a warm feeling onto the storyline. It doesn’t respond to the baseball theme but it does relate on different elements of the story. The background music’s impact has a weak score. Though it stimulates different themes, it wasn’t impressive.

One of OoFuri’s distinguishable features is its character design. Unlike other sports animes, strong-willed impressions are absent in OoFuri. Very simple and manga-ish due to its sketchy techniques used. For one, Mihashi’s design was perfect for his fidgety and scaredy cat attitude. The expressions such as the kappa-like mouth and cat-like eyes were really noticeable, giving it a humorous grade in it.

Sports animes tends to avoid the focus on the main protagonist, it also concerns on the team as well. OoFuri of course, is the same with the most of them. A team cannot win with one position lacking nor without cooperation within them. The bond of the players of the Nishiura team is more likely of a family than a competitive one.

The character and story development revolves around strong determinations, goals and planning out the how-to’s which has a great impression. Unlike most of the sports animes I have seen, OoFuri has a run-of-the-mill level of development. Fast paced developments are good, but OoFuri doesn’t swing that way. It leans more on the detailed progression of certain characters and the story itself.

Ookiku Furikabutte is a one of a kind baseball-themed anime that gives you a heartwarming feel in it. After weeks of anime marathon hiatus, OoFuri is a fresh and enjoying start. If you’re into sports, you surely don’t want to miss this! Now get your ass up and go for the big windup!


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Filed under Anime, Anime, Manga, Manga, Reviews

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