Moshidora 9 – out of the ball park

May 6, 2011

The most emotionally intense episode also featured some interesting visual experiments.

Moshidora (What if a female manager of a high school baseball team read Drucker’s Management?) episode 9 was excellent. This was clearly the climax episode, with a lot of serious stuff going down. Further the episode had excellent pacing, with the first half ratcheting up the tension, until I was unsure I would even be able to articulate my reaction. The second half adds to the drama, and shows the return of kuro-Minami. I’m looking forward to the final episode, to see how loose strings are tied off, but I can already say that I loved this show, and would watch it again some day.

A whole lotta crying going on.

The first half of the episode was very tense and emotional. At first I wasn’t sure what I could really say that didn’t trample on the emotional content. Impressively, the show made good use of the anxiety and emotional agitation. Having wound up the audience, the story unleashed the perfect device to advance the plot into the final inning: kuro-Minami.

Kuro-Minami

In commenting on episode 1, I said that Minami had a touch of bi-polar disorder. For most of the series she has shown her upbeat, genki side. She has been the “can do” girl, shiro-Minami, able to get the team believing that they can go to Koshien Stadium, and compete in the national tournament despite the odds. Nevertheless, there were hints from the beginning that she had darker emotions that had swallowed her in the past. In this episode, kuro-Minami comes back. She gets into a fight with her team mates and threatens everything that they have worked so hard to achieve.

Flying tackle!

Now that the story has reached its climax, Production I.G. is applying their animation talents in interesting ways. This includes more altered perspective shots, an unexpected action sequence with Ayano, and also some tight shots of Minami that cut off her face, showing only her clenched fists, as she sits lost in her inner turmoil.

From the perspective of a satisfying story, I already feel that Moshidora has succeeded. This episode really hit it out of the ballpark, and all that is left is for the batter to tag the bases. While looking forward to seeing exactly how things will end, I know I will confidently recommend this show to others, and will seek it out sometime in the future for a re-watch.

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