Honda Shigeharu is a Major League batter on the rise. His son Gorou is a Little League pitcher who one day hopes to follow in his father's footsteps. Hoshino Momoko is Gorou's school teacher, and the first woman Shigeharu has been interested in since the death of Gorou's mother. The destines of these three individuals will become intertwined as father and son experience both heartbreak and triumph on the baseball diamond. But when an unspeakable tragedy visits the family, it will take everything they have to pick up the pieces and reclaim their dreams.
Major is the definition of the word underrated. It is very unfortunate that people often overlook this series simply because it falls under the sports category. It is SO much more than that. I have recommended this anime to people countless times and will continue doing so because not only do I love it, but I believe it has the power to inspire.
The main character of the story is named Honda Goro (changed to Honda Shigeno after a tragic event). He is gifted in pitching and is absolutely in love with baseball. He has the tendency to bring out
the best in other people simply because of his passion and attitude for the sport. People seemingly gather around him for this reason. No matter how grim a situation may look, he never gives up. The most impressive part about this anime (besides the storyline of course) is the character development. As the series progresses you will witness the characters grow physically and mentally. It is also very easy to get attached to the characters since they are all unique within their own right.
All I have to say is that the first season starts off REALLY strong. Take your time with this anime. It is really easy to get addicted with Major. A person can literally fly through the episodes because of how engaging it is.
Honestly, the real fun begins when you get past the first season.
Major, 154 episodes, 3 OVA and 1 movie long series. Normally it takes more than a month for me to watch series this long. Usually I get bored before the ending and start new random series so in the end it can easily take like a year for me to complete all of it. How long did it take from me to go trough all of Major then? 6 fucking days.
Review is to whole Major as you might have guessed. Spoiler free.
The story of Major is pretty bromaculous and manly, but all in all simple. Goro, our MC, is 4 year-old guy who likes baseball
because his father is professional baseball player. 6 fucking days later Goro is 34 years-old professional baseball player who teaches kids how to play baseball. How shit got from the start to the end is one hell of an amazing trip. Including drama, comedy, utter awesomeness, character development of one of a kind, romantic subplot, one of the most awe-inspiring shitz since GTO and yeah, some baseball too.
One of the first questions people seem to ask is "Do I need to like baseball to like Major?" Well I dunno. Do you need to like school to like Great Teacher Onizuka? Do you need to be otaku to like anime? Do you need to be retarded faggotass to like Guilty Crown? Well, those questions doesn't matter. The point is, almost everything I know about baseball is because I watched Major. Almost none plays it in my country anyway. Do I like Major then? If you still don't know then you probably got that Guilty Crown question wrong.
The characters of Major are one of the strongest part of the series. Goro is more awe-inspiring than anyone. If he loses consciousness during the game then he finishes the match unconsciously. He is awesome like that. Don't get me wrong, he isn't ultimate badass, superhero nor the typical shonen protag who wins because he is a ninja or some other shit like that. All he does is his best. It doesn't matter if he loses or wins, he just wants to see what he is capable to do. All there is for him is the moment, he doesn't plan to play baseball in the future, he plans to play the next game and whateverthefuck happens after that happens when it happens if it happens. Don't mind, don't mind. Fukkyah. Goro is now my favorite character of all time.
So in the end Goro alone makes the characters great and that's it... wait, NO. I still remember the names of almost all the million side characters. That's pretty rare for me since Japanese shit sounds like Gibberish anyway. As I said before the series includes character development one of a kind. By that I don't mean solely the MC but actually rest of the fuckhuge cast as well. Gibson is Jesus, Sato gets bitches like no other, Shimizu is the culmination of sweety. Those are just some characters from the first episodes. What makes Major so great from the character part is how every single side character is in important role and nothing would be possible if even one them was missing. Baseball is a team sports and author really gives value to that. If one the team members is delinquent who doesn't give a fuck, then he changes to a guy who shits rainbows. Developmentyeah. Sure we have other sports series e.g. Eyeshield 21, Slam Dunk, Cross Game, H2 which are about team work as well but none of those manages to come to Major's level in terms of characters by any means.
Major is objectively best animu ever and completely flawless. Well lolno. It has problems and flaws like everything has. Characters' actions aren't always exactly the most believable thing ever. Writing is sometimes simplistic. 4th season has problems with pacing, language barrier in american league is confusing, 2nd season could have more rewarding ending. One could say the series is predictable, which it obviously is if you start guessing who wins and who loses since there ain't so many results anyway. But Major isn't about the destination but how to get there. Did I predict all of it? No, not even close. The author knows his shit very well - plot twists, sports series has those as well. Is it realistic? Yes, very. All in all one of the most realistic sport series I've seen. I thought the series would be repetitive towards the end since it's just baseball but now I'm glad of being wrong. There also doesn't seem to be this thing called "just baseball" in existence.
The art is simple and beautiful, something I would call smooth and perfectly fitting to the series. Animation is obviously somewhat old and not perfect but something only faggotass would complain about. Visual effect are rather cool during action moments. These all goes for better during the show. Especially after season 3. The sounds, well voice acting is actually impressive as fuck. Goro's voice after 1st season is one of the most original and memorable ones I've heard. Tashiro sounds like he has 20 inch dick. I get chills everytime Shimizu says "Honda" (Goro's old last name) That's definitely a good thing in my eyes. And other characters (voice actors, weh) are awesome like that as well. Music is great, not just something worth of including to the series but something which I actually listened earlier today because it's good. Sound director knows his shit like all people behind the show seems to know so lets that be it.
When it comes to enjoyment Major broke all my expectations by being more awesome than I could have Imagined. After getting older and seeing lot of series it comes harder to enjoy something because quality and logic comes more important due education and other useless shit. Major does great job on fitting the quality standards. It quite literally reminded me what enjoying something means. As it being a baseball series I thought I would end up watching baseball games, but the series isn't like that. I was there on the field experiencing it all. I learnt a lot, but baseball isn't the thing I learned the most. The series grasp the viewers by being dramatic, thrilling and fun to watch all at the same time, atmosphere being godly. Did I laugh? Yeah, it's funnier than gintama. Did I cry? Yeah, a lot. Not so much because of the drama but because it's so awe-inspiring. The series was partly so exciting that I had problems on changing to new episodes fast enough. I also got heart attacks everytime the romance side developed to some direction. In the end Major is one of the most enjoyable series I've seen. To make it clear, I'm not saying the series is great because I enjoyed it so much. I'm saying the series is so great that it's extremely hard for not to enjoy it.
Eyeshield 21 (manga)
Slam Dunk (manga)
Cross Game (anime)
Before you read this review, I would like to say that before watching Major I have never watched or played in a baseball game before. (My country has no baseball love >_>) Despite that, I knew some of the basics from a few video games I've tried a little of before. I cannot vouch for those who are already familiar with baseball as I will be reviewing from the point of view of a newbie.
This is actually pretty typical. Boy strives to become the best in something, which in this case is baseball. Honda Goro tries to take after his father as a pitcher who
plays in the pro league in Japan. That's basically all you're gonna get. They play baseball to try to get to the next "level", fighting stronger opponents as they go on.
However there are various plot advances as well as drama thrown into the mix, so don't go in thinking this is just a tournament-after-tournament anime.
Art is very solid and pleasing although the animation does get a little sloppy at certain times. However, it is well done during important parts, especially during games. I won't go so far as to say this is any ground-breaking animation, but it serves its purpose. After all, this is a baseball anime, not something that has flashy explosions.
I absolutely loved the soundtrack. Very few songs used in the background actually are able to make me find myself humming them unconsciously later onward. There are quite a few notable pieces used throughout the series and they all carry out their duty in helping to further emote scenes.
This is where the series shines for me. I enjoyed the character development that Major had. As baseball is a team sport, there is also a lot of focus on developing relationships within the team, and how problems arise and are solved amongst one another. The characters are all very likable (well, with a few exceptions), and its fun to watch them interact with one another.
The show also focuses quite moderately on family relationships. There are a few issues which come up within Goro's family and it shows how he as a child, handles them. I found certain scenes to be quite touching also.
Uh, I enjoyed this. A lot. It's my favorite sports anime. Although it isn't without its flaws, I found it a great watch. If you enjoy seeing a character "grow", then you will like this. Not too sure about those who are familiar with baseball though, as it helped as a device to pique my interest.
Amongst all the seasons, I found this one to be the strongest. (Though this is not to say the other seasons are vastly inferior.) You should give at least this first season a try, even if you don't like baseball, as the character relations are great to watch no matter what sport they are playing.
I started watching Major with the expectation that it would be your stereotypical sports anime. And if you boil it down to its bones, it sort of is. But it's the meat of the story, the actual conflicts and the actual relationships and the actual characters makes this a really entertaining series to watch.
Story: The story focuses on Honda Goro, who is in kindergarten when the show starts. The first quarter or so of the series focuses on Goro in kindergarten and just establishing his personality, life and family and friends. The rest of the series jumps ahead to when
Goro starts little league and... let the baseball begin!
Art: It's clean and crisp and pretty simple. I certainly didn't have any complaints. The style doesn't have as much depth as the more mature series out there, but I think it's appropriate for the subject matter and the ages of the characters. In other words, it suits the story. =)
Sound: The OP/ED are fine... whereas I don't love them (and I so rarely do), they don't bother me in anyway either, which is pretty good, imo. ;) I did like the voice acting. I thought they did a good job with their characters and their emotions without going overboard and overacting the way some shows do. There is a little Engrish, but... I figure if you watch enough anime, you just get used to it -- it's intended for a Japanese audience after all.
Character: Goro's great. I found myself rooting for him and cheering him on; he's just really charismatic. He's enthusiastic and single-minded and I can't help but appreciate that type of personality, especially in a sports anime. His father is loveable and one of my favorite anime dads. Even his kindergarten teacher is cute and likeable. And during the course of the show, you get to see a bunch of teammates and opponents that have their own brand of flavor and charm that adds nicely to the mix.
Enjoyment: This probably sounds so cliche and fake, but seriously... I laughed, I cried, I groaned and I cheered. For real. And maybe that says something more about me than the show, but it was an unexpected emotional roller coaster in a way. I mean, I really thought it was just going to be another generic shounen and it would just kill some time, but it ended up being compelling and I really felt sucked in and interested. So much so that I'm currently still watching it in its fourth season (btw, girls, Goro grows up to be kind of a hottie and so does Toshi ;D).
Just for reference: S1 focuses on elementary school level little league; S2 Goro's in his last year of middle school and his first year of high school; S3 is the rest of high school; and S4 is Goro post-high school.
Baseball is a much loved sport in both the USA and Japan, and to a lesser degree in other countries. But Japan knows how to glorify this fascinating sport with a whole bunch of incredibly cool baseball anime, and even a few manga. Let's take a look at baseball anime through history!
If you ask the general public to name anyone associated with anime, they’re almost certain to name a certain director – Miyazaki Hayao. But for anime fans themselves, the director is a crucial component of anime success that’s too often overlooked.