I finally, finished “Battery”, which aired last season and is now completed with 11 episodes. I have to admit, this was the summer-season anime I had the most initial hopes in. It’s no secret I love me a good sportsanime.
The sportsanime of summer season 2016 I watched were Battery, Days and Cheer Danshi!! and out of all three Battery is still my favorite. It’s not that often I’m rating an anime or manga higher than MAL, but I don’t think Battery deserves the 6.0 it got over there, especially after considering Days got a 7.11… just… how?
I don’t think I’ll be writing a post for Days, so I’m just going to go over it real quick now: it’s just load of bullshit. I mean, seriously, why can’t Japan get soccer right? I’m a fan of more realistic sportstories and that already leaves out at least 3/4 of what’s available. The sad part is Days tries to be realistic, but utterly fails. No, you don’t get better at soccer by just running and running and running. You will be good at running a marathon, but not at soccer. Also, it’s sad attempt at building relationships within the team is very questionable. The main character is extreamly annoying and the decisions regarding his playtime on the field are more than questionable considering all he can do is… run. So, as you might’ve guessed, I dropped it.
Cheer Danshii!! I still have to finish up, I’m currently at 4/12, so I still have some way to go. It’s okay-ish so far. The animation looks too stiff and sometims awkward, but it’s watchable.
Battery is certainly on the realistic side, but I kind of expected it to take place in High School… I was shocked it’s about middle schoolers. I like it’s slower pace and emphasis on the characters rather than the sport. The main character does seem very selfish, but fixing his issues is the biggest part this series is working on during it’s run time, so it does get better. The talking baseball at the beginning of the last episode was just plain weird, though.
I think what this anime managed to accomplished was good. There are a lot of open questionmarks, though. I stand at a point where I would like to see at last twice as many episodes and see the anime look at some other problems that occured and weren’t fully adressed. Especially Takumi’s family issues, what seemed to be a huge part of the story in early episodes, was not really touched upon or solved in any sense of the way. We didn’t even get to see the mother for the past 3 episodes or so.
Takumi has a huge problem with his mom and his little brother, who’s sickly and fragile. I would’ve liked a better explanation, though. Was he ill a lot when he was small? Does he have a certain condition that makes him fragile? Whatever it is, it leads to his mother being very overprotective of Seiha and kind of taking Takumi for granted. She’s not treating them equally, but kind of expects Takumi to be an adult and care for himself, understand his brother’s situation and so on… at the age of 13. That’s impossible. No wonder he’s so cold towards her. I would’ve really liked this triangle Takumi-his mom-Seiha solved.
Then there’s Gou’s mother, who said Gou had to stop playing baseball and I expected a conflict out of that. Well, the conflict just vanished halfway though and was never talked about again.
Next point: Takumi’s granfather was apparently a very famous baseball coach and Takumi begged him to show him a breaking ball. He was refused, because he’s still too young and said he would teach him when he’s in High School. Okay, I understand we didn’t get to see more of it, because the anime only focussed on middle school, but I still expected a tiny bit more from the grandfather. For the rest of the season he was just… there. He was the one entertaining Seiha and comforting the mother when Takumi was rough again, explaining why she shouldn’t touch a pitcher’s shoulder and so on. He could’ve served a much bigger role.
Then there’s the lack of actual baseball content. Like I said, it’s mainly about Takumi and getting him to become a team player and befriend Gou. I feel like we’re now at a point where we get so see some matches, especially with the other coach saying their team will be a real contender next year and then there’s no next year. There’s just the end. I liked the end, though. It looks like Takumi’s best pitch was indeed hit, meaning he still has a lot to learn and it not unbeatable. I liked that point. It was okay to focus more on the characters and less on baseball for the time we had, but now I guess we’re just ready for some more baseball.
The art direction was very fitting, I liked the intro and outro. Quality wise it was okay, even though I did notice some serious quality drops in the later episodes. It’s not Kuroko no Basket budget-wise, that’s for sure and I didn’t expect it to be, to be honest. It was within my expectations.
This anime still feels unfinished, but the characters it adressed were good and the major relationship problems it solved were well done. I really liked the more silent and calm tone of it. Gou was a bit too grown up, but then again, these characters could’ve easily been High Schoolers anyway, so… and it was acutally adressed that Gou is an outstandingly independend and mindful person.
I gave battery a 7/10. After reading my own review… it sounds more like a 5/10 due to all the missed opportunies and the unfinished nature of this anime, but I did enjoy what I saw and especially the episodes where Takumi and Gou had their biggest differences. Battery tried to make a different kind of anime, a bit into the direction of Adachi Mitsuru, but didn’t quite get it as good. It’s a change of pace in the very hyperactive and exaggerated world of sportsanime.