With a stray pitch that completely missed the batter, Eijun Sawamura loses his final middle school baseball game. Frustrated by this defeat, Eijun and his teammates vow to reach the national tournament once they are in high school. But everything changes when a scout unexpectedly invites him to Tokyo's prestigious Seidou High School after seeing the potential in his unusual pitching style. Encouraged by his teammates, Eijun accepts the offer, ready to improve his skills and play at a much more competitive level of baseball.
However, now surrounded by a large number of skilled players, Eijun struggles to find his place on the team. He declares that he will one day become the team's ace, but that's only if fellow first year Satoru Furuya doesn't take the title first, with his breakneck fastballs that earn him a coveted spot on the starting roster. With the addition of these talented new players to an already powerful lineup, the Seidou baseball team aims to become the best in Japan, facing off against a number of formidable foes that stand in their way.
Diamond no Ace isn't completed at the time of this review, but I wanted to write a positive review on the anime so maybe more people would watch it. Diamond no Ace is one of the most enjoyable anime I've ever seen. Of course you must be wondering how watching an anime about baseball could possibly be so enjoyable. I'm not much of a baseball fan or sports fan for that matter myself, but Diamond no Ace succeeds in drawing the viewers into all the excitement of the sport with all it's dramatized action.
The story isn't anything unique or original. The plot is basically the same as any other sports anime: the main character, who starts off with almost nothing, journeys to become a great player who eventually wins the trust of his teammates and fights to win a championship. Of course along the way he must endure and go through lots of hardships, obstacles and as hard as it may be, develop friendships with his other teammates. That main character in Diamond no Ace's story would be Eijun Sawamura, a pitcher who attends Seido, an elite baseball school. Eijun is a hard-working, determined boy who used to play baseball because he wanted to have fun with his friends, but as the plot develops, he plays baseball in order to become the ace pitcher of his school's team, and become a winner. To add onto the sports aspect of the anime, the plot also takes place in school for a lot of times (some real comedy relief from the seriousness of the baseball matches). The development of friendship between teammates/friends, and rivalries between opponents were masterfully done. The suspense build-up and excitement in the baseball matches were quite shocking to me, because I didn't expect baseball to seem so epic and entertaining.
Personally I think that the biggest strength of Diamond no Ace is the variety of interesting characters and how much time is being spent developing the characters aside from the main character, Eijun Sawamura. Eijun, despite being the focal point of the plot, almost feels like a vessel through which the viewer can see and interact with the other side characters. Because the sport of baseball makes it necessary for a lot of characters, there are a lot of characters. But almost none of the side characters are shown just for a gimpse in an episode, then to be found nowhere the next episode. All the characters have some kind of development and unique trait to them that makes them all memorable. I could discuss in detail about 10 other characters in the anime, but since that'd take too long, I'll mention just one other character: Satoru Furuya, who is Eijun's rival for the "Ace Pitcher" spot on the team. He's very bad at communicating/getting along with other people, and is keeps to himself for the most part. It's revealed in his past that he never got along and was never accepted by his teammates, but on Seido, he finally does get acceptance by his teammates, leading him to show a tiny bit more emotion. His passion for baseball and determination matches that of Eijun, and so their rivalry for the ace pitcher position takes root, but they also seem to development a friendship and sort of respect/understanding for each other. Diamond no Ace's use of characters is easily a 10/10.
The music and art in the anime were definitely good. The openings for Diamond no Ace set the exciting tone to come in the anime. The other soundtracks used during the baseball matches managed to amplify the suspense in each moment. The sound of each hit was looouuuudd!! But that also added suspense. The art in the anime was very bright, colorful, and clear; the art that I like. The baseball matches were drawn to near perfection. The characters were all distinctively drawn. The voice acting was superbly done; it must have been hard for them to be yelling all the time.
My enjoyment aspect of the anime was "high". Before watching this anime, I didn't expect much, I just watched it because it was on the recommendations list for Haikyuu, one of my favorite anime. But, I was to be surprised to say the least. Diamond no Ace switched around from school-life friendships to off the field issues, to the fantastic baseball matches, never failing to keep me interested. I'd tell all sports-lovers to watch Diamond no Ace, and I'd recommend anyone else to give Diamond no Ace a shot (maybe first 10 episodes), because it's definitely an anime worth giving a chance. Hehe, thanks for reading and I hope you do give Diamond no Ace a watch!read more
This was my first venture into the sports anime genre, and DnA just sucked me into it like a black hole. I've never watched a single baseball game in my life and I've never showed any interest in the sport. I honestly thought that I wouldn't like this show, but if it's good enough to get approved for 52 episodes in its first season (and the fact that it was being produced by Madhouse), I thought I'd give it a try. I can honestly say that DnA has become one of my all-time favourite shows.
The story (10/10) is pretty straightforward: we follow Sawamura's journey as a pitcher as he grows and develops his skills in order to become the ace of Seidou's (famous) high school baseball team. But the show provides us more than just following Sawamura's journey; we basically get an overall glimpse of how high school baseball in Japan. The show definitely takes its time to progress, and we don't really see Sawamura beginning to grow until we're about 12 or so episodes in. But, in the episodes before that we see exactly why it took him a while and how hard he's worked up till then; we also get to see a pretty touching relationship develop between him and his future mentor.
Though I initially did get the feel that Sawamura is the absolute MC, as the story progressed and more characters were introduced, there was a slight focus shift where Sawamura was undoubtedly still the MC, but the other Seidou team members were also just as important.
One thing that the story always provides and excels at is: SUSPENSE. DnA knows hows to build up suspense leading up to the final scene in every episode, especially in the later episodes when they're in the Koshien qualifying matches.
The art (8/10) to be honest, didn't really sit well with me in the first episode (and only the first episode; I know, shame on me for judging a show based only one episode). But now, I don't even remember the reason I didn't like it. I re-watched episode 1 and I can only conclude that maybe it was because I wasn't expecting the show to be great and the relatively slow start of that episode that caused me not to like the art immediately. Overall, no complaints; the only reason it didn't get a higher score was because I've been spoilt with unique and or eye-popping art styles lately (Haikyuu! being the best) and can't help but compare them.
The baseball-playing scenes are very well-done especially some of the pitches which are animated showing clear movement of the ball (slow-mo shots of how the ball moves, or a clear arrow-like streak of light to see the course of the ball). Especially Sawamura's unique pitching form is well done. I never tire of seeing it. In later episodes, we also get to see how genius of a catcher Miyuki is with a few amazing saves.
Because comedy is a big part of this show, sometimes we'll see chibi forms pop out now and then, or sudden solid-colored background changes (with sfx and the like) when the mood switches suddenly from serious to funny.
Overall, the animation gives off a very shounen-like vibe: we get to see red-colored and blue-colored demon eyes for when they're fired up, players aura engulfing their bodies like a flame when they're pumped up, etc.
And now onto the TWO PARTS that truly make DnA the great show that it is, the show's soundtrack (and sound effects) and its impressive cast of characters.
The SOUND (10/10) of this show is just... flawless (swoon). Madhouse somehow just knows how to perfectly fit the background music to whichever scene comes up which in turn really made me feel the intensity/emotion every scene: whoever came up with the score deserves an award (if he's not already gotten one).
And the sound effects give me the chills every time: the ball hitting the mitt with a resounding BAM! (or when Furuya throws it's more like thunder splitting open a tree), the sound of the metal bat hitting the ball (or when Raiichi hits it, more like canon fire) vs the sound of Haruichi's wooden bat hitting the ball, etc.
The voice actors did (and still do) an amazing job; their voices fit the characters perfectly. If you check out their impressive resumes, it's definitely no wonder.
As for the OPs and ED's:
Both OP's so far are by the same artist, and they're really good (and revved me right up); though I'm enjoying the 2nd OP more; I can't help but shout "Fight!" as well every time I hear it, putting me in Seidou-cheering mood.
The ED's have also been good, though not as good as the OP's. The 4th ED, which is sung collectively by 3 of the 4 main cast members, is a really nice tune.
The CHARACTERS (10/10) are all loveable and memorable. Though we have the main cast consisting of 4 people, the supporting cast is nothing to sneeze at.
Sawamura is the loud, cheerful, wears his heart on his sleeve kind of guy. So what kind of quirk does he have that makes him the MC? He's a southpaw (left-handed) pitcher and has a peculiar pitch (both of which make him a unique type of player). But, even though he's unique he isn't the type of MC that's super-talented right from the start, he doesn't suddenly "power up" in the middle of a game, is unstoppable and wins all the matches; on the contrary, he gets into Seidou and quickly realises it's not as easy as he thought to become the ace because there are other people there who are more skilled than him. He falters during important moments, and even if he doesn't get back up immediately, he does eventually pick himself up and learns to move on. In other words, he accepts that he has a lot of faults, and this is what makes him so likeable and seem more human. Though a bit of an idiot (well, a big idiot), he works hard, values friendship, supports the team and always puts 120% in everything that he does. And the best part for me, he's unpredictable. Just when you think he's turning the corner and well on his way to becoming the ace, he messes up a play or does something really silly. I'm always on edge with him.
Miyuki, the genius catcher, is personality-wise, almost the exact opposite of Sawamura, except for the cheerful part. He's as crafty and intelligent as they come and though on the outside he's always smiling, he has a bit of a dark side. He's like the evil genius.
Furuya is our MC's rival for the ace spot. At first glance, he looks like the cool and collected type of person, also; but after a while I found him to be an adorable idiot as well: not being able to catch a simple throw and his insta-snooze reaction amongst others.
Last but not least of our main cast quartet, is Haruichi. Character-design wise, he's the cutest one. And though he might be cute, he's one amazing baseball player: not only is he a batting prodigy, but an exceptional fielder as well. At the same time, he's so humble and shy. Cuteness overload!
And then we have the other Seidou members, who all play an important role in the show. All have distinctive and quirky personalties and you will grow attached to at least one after watching DnA.
As far as enjoyment (10/10) goes, I am thoroughly enjoying watching every second of DnA. Whenever I watch it, i can always expect a good dose of humour interlaced with the appropriate amount of emotional moments and also a killer cliff-hanger. I wait eagerly for Saturdays to roll around and every time I finish watching the latest episode, I want to jump out the window because it's going to take another week before I can watch the show again.
Overall (9.6/10) I would recommend anyone to start watching DnA immediately, even if you've never seen a baseball match before, even if you know absolutely nothing about the game (but after watching the show, I got so curious I even googled basic baseball rules, pitch types and the structure of Japanese high school baseball tournaments). And I envy you if you haven't watched it yet, because you'll be able to marathon the show, so you don't have to get as frustrated as me with those cliffhangers. :)read more
It's hard to talk about what's actually great about this anime, it's the type of anime that you'd just get excited by watching, even if you sometimes don't know why exactly is it so exciting.
The story isn't so interesting, it won't draw your attention when you read the synopses, especially since the show took a kinda different way than the first two episodes.
It starts with the main character "Sawamura Eijun" who loves Baseball, and plays it everyday with his friends, who are not so good at it, one day he gets a chance to go to "Seido" a school with a strong Baseball team, even though he turns down the offer, because he doesn't want to leave his friends who got stuck playing Baseball with him for too long, but he ends up going anyway, after he tries to play a little challenge against a Seido player, which gets him so excited.
After that, the plot focuses on all of the players, and we never see Sawamura's friends again (not until episode 27 at least).
I'm actually okay with that, because all of the characters are interesting, and the rivalry among the team's players is what makes this show so unique, it kinda reminded me of Slam Dunk.
The art of this show is so amazing, it deserves a prize! you can actually check out the opening theme, the art of the show is as good as that, and its level doesn't drop at any point, it's always beautiful.
The way the characters look when they are serious gets me excited even more than I already am!
The first opening is very good, I listened to it in every episode, I also liked the second opening, The endings are beautiful too.
The background music is awesome, I sometimes think that the music is what makes me get too excited in this show!
Let's see, there are already more than twenty characters, and every one of them is interesting in their own way, I like how the attention is not only focused on the main character Sawamura, but every other player in the team gets to have their role in the show, even though some characters didn't have their time to shine, not yet at least.
I was planning to ignore all other points and only talk about how enjoyable this anime is, if you give it a try, you may end up watching it through the latest episode in one set, it doesn't contain any fillers, and never waste the time of the episode, almost every episode contains some action, or drama.
Also, the funny moments are funny, they never ruin the atmosphere, they actually make it more interesting.
And what makes it more enjoyable, is the details about the training, and how every character has a specialty, and even though they support each other, they're rivals as well.
If you want something enjoyable and easy to watch, that's Diamond no Ace.read more
I have never written a review before, nor had I planned to. And I really dont care how un-review-like this review may be. I had to do it. I had to make an exception, just for this series, because I don not think that this series has got the credit or acknowledgement that is deserves. I will not go into detail about the story, the characters, sound or any of that (HOWEVER, I love the opening, story, characters and art.. such beautiful art...)
All I will say is this: This show is amazing.
Its hilarious. Its intense. Its my favourite anime EVER. (and that's saying something)
I have not seen any other sports anime (apart from YowaPedal which is also currently airing), so I have nothing to compare this to. I have not read the manga either; I was going to, but this show is so damn god I cant bring myself to spoil the next part of the story.
I have seen a lot of anime, but never have I responded to any like this. After watching the latest episode (13) I downloaded the series and have since watched all the episodes up until then again. I seriously cannot get enough of this show!
I feel so inspired by the main protagonist, Eijun Sawamura; he knows he is not the best, and very far from it. He does not know his potential and does not understand his true talent- which really stands out in this story. Us as viewers know he has it, and he has to become aware of it himself. He has an unwavering dream of becoming the best, the ace of the team, and is simply inspiring. I find it hard to describe, but if you watch the show, you are sure to understand. Though some may seem bothered by his personality, I love it. He is comical when he needs to be, but also serious and has unmatched trust and devotion to his teammates. Each character is individual and different, and it is hard not to like any of them.
As far as the story goes, many people have dropped it because of the slow start- it currently has an unknown number of episodes and the manga is still ongoing, so it is likely to be a longer running anime. However, after episode 10, things start getting more intense, and episode 13 was absolutely perfect.
If you have spare time on your hands, go watch this. if you don't, go watch it anyway. If you think you don't like baseball (like me), watch it. I don't care. I think I'm becoming a baseball fan just because of this anime. I LIVE for my Sundays now, as soon as the latest episode is released, I drop everything to watch it
I went into this anime not expecting much (not being a fan of baseball), and came out with it being my favourite anime of all time. This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if even one person gets as much enjoyment and excitement out of this anime as I did, then my job is as good as done. So why are you still here? Go watch it!read more
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