Moshidora 2 – the creation of a customer
April 27, 2011
This is getting to be really fun. It is great to have episode two of Moshidora (What if a female manager of a high school baseball team read Drucker’s Management?) mere hours after I finished my post on the first episode. Also this episode both met and subverted my expectations for it. To explain the latter is to discuss the way two concepts were used, marketing and communication.
As I expected, much of this episode was driven by Minami’s realization that she needed a better understanding of what people hoped to get out of the team. It certainly stands to reason that players (and staff) who see the team as providing them value are more committed to working hard for the team. This is a surprising, but plausible use of marketing. Minami’s dedication is again apparent, but she cleverly uses her friend, Yuuki, who is well liked by the team members, to get people to open up. What I didn’t expect is that the show made use of the market research in a subtle way. This is what I mean when I said above that my expectations were subverted. I expected direct causality between Minami’s research, and renewed interest by the team members. What happened instead was quite clever, and amps up my anticipation for the rest of this series.
Hanners, in commenting upon this episode, expressed disappointment in how the problem was resolved. “It’s a shame really that having posited this need to ‘interpret’, this episode left Minami unable to do anything but look on…” But I disagree. Asano’s real problem with the coach was only discovered because of Minami’s research. She then had a talk with the coach about that problem, which directly caused him to do some independent research, which informed his ultimate actions. Translating is not the same as conveying. I squirmed as well, when the coach didn’t clarify his thinking immediately, but Minami probably would not have been believed if she tried to speak for the coach. In the end, the coach’s words were his own, and his defense of Asano sounded sincere. They also seemed to have the best effect possible.
I didn’t expect the problem to be resolved in such a roundabout way. I probably would have been satisfied with a ham-fisted “now that I read this book, I can magically cure everyone’s personal (and inter-personal) problems” approach to telling its story. What happened instead was more subtle, and makes me wonder if this show might just be even better than I had hoped.