Every so often comes along an Anime within the sports genre which gives us more fun games to explore and exciting moments to look forward to, but how often do we get a sports Anime that goes slightly beyond the standard. One that attempts to push the envelope, one that tries to introduce a thought provoking idea, all the while presenting its sport of choice by its side and using it as an enhancement to its overall storytelling. Battery… Was ‘supposed’ to be one of those shows.
One thing that I strongly feel a need of getting out before anything else is that this may or
may not be the kind of Anime you’d expect or hope it to be. What I mean when I say that is, it’s not the standard hype-inducing kind of sports Anime that focuses most of its matter into the game being played. Battery chooses to use baseball as more of a platform, it’s a medium through which the Anime presents its story. Thus it doesn’t really focus on the game itself very much.
So what is it really about then? Well it’s actually more of a drama and focuses heavily on the interaction between its characters which also makes it rather difficult to say if it really even has much of a ‘story’ per se. It provides a general setting to which like I mentioned before; the characters are what provide most of the material. That being said, quite sadly, it doesn’t manage to carry itself all that well. The kind of situations that are presented to us and the drama that comes along with it feel… well… Pointless. It’s like a struggle that feels like it could’ve been told better but the drama just feels so empty and everything feels so bland that it’s hard to really care much about anything that goes.
It’s quite obvious that a bigger topic is trying to be discussed behind the innocent front of a baseball show but it’s just too bad that the message doesn’t properly come across unless you genuinely make an effort to really reach out for it.
Art and Animation:
The art is rather plain but it’s not dull in any way. The color pallet used adds a soothing feel to the visuals which compliments the overall look of the show quite well. As far as the animation is concerned, it’s rather ordinary. At times the quality of animation does seem to increase where needed, such as during the scenes when a baseball game is being played and there’s a need to showcase the swift movements by the players, but overall the animation stays somewhat chunky for almost the entirety of the show and never actually impresses.
Like most of its other aspects, the soundtrack also has a pleasantly soothing touch to it and as a whole, the musical score is quite nice but unfortunately there’s only a select few tracks in total and even those are hardly used. Most of the show goes by without the use of much music, which wouldn’t be a problem if the show somehow fills in by the use of natural sound effects. Unfortunately with the type of show this is, most of those scenes just feel empty without a soundtrack. There’s not much life to them.
The opening and ending sequences were both really well done. The songs along with the visuals were very nice and did a really good job of setting the tone and atmosphere for the show itself.
Like I mentioned earlier, Battery focuses more on its characters and the interactions between them. For the most part, we’re shown characters that slowly grow as events go by and their growth is presented in an ever so subtle manner that you really begin to appreciate it for what it is, until… when it’s all said and done, there’s no real sense of achievement. You feel like the characters came ways but never really found anything in the end. While there were some things to be had by the end, they all just feel so insignificant that you could hardly even care.
More than often, when it came to the characters, it just felt like the show left you in the dust. At times they even felt lifeless or as if they had no emotions whatsoever. It’s hard to really tell what’s going on in their heads or what exactly their stance is on numerous occasions. Like with other parts of this show, it was just unable to come across properly.
It was quite evident that Battery attempted to tell a deeper story than what was portrayed or perceived, but it’s exactly because of the lackluster presentation that the deeper part of the show was unable to surface properly. An attempt at making a more natural and pleasant kind of atmosphere for the show backfired and ended up making the show really bland and unengaging.
I should also mention that even though the show doesn’t focus on baseball as a game all that much, the parts where the characters are shown playing the baseball matches were possibly some of the most boring moments in the show. An entire match lasts for a few minutes and there’s absolutely no direction as to how it’s played out or what goes on in between the occasional frames with pitches and swings. There’s hardly ever even any sign of emotions by our characters during it all.
Conclusion and Verdict:
While Battery seemed to have a nice start and a fairly good idea, it was unable to carry it all the way till the end. It failed as a sports Anime and didn’t really manage to stand out much as a drama either. With a rather empty plot and difficult characters, it lacked anything for viewers to truly take away.
I wouldn’t really stop anyone from watching the show, but chances are; even if you aren’t turned off by the blandness of the show, you’ll probably just end up bored halfway through anyways.
Baseball is a great sport. It's the kind of sport that can be modified to fit the capabilities of whatever type of player is playing, something humans of all shapes and sizes can enjoy. However, when comparing it to other sports on TV, in most cases, the action is severely lacking. Summer 2016's 'Battery' takes boring to a whole new level.
Our protagonist, a cocky, arrogant brat who was already good at baseball before the show begins moves into a new town and joins the baseball team. He's a dick to everyone there, even his partner and brother. People don't
like him at first and go as far as whipping him but they all eventually grow to because he's good at baseball and had already created enough needless drama. They play a good school. The end.
I told you it contains spoilers right? Jeez, you shouldn't have started reading if you didn't want the whole plot explained, iiiidiot.
In all seriousness, Battery has no development whatsoever, and ends exactly where it started. Not ideal, especially for sport anime, but it has been proven to work before. In Battery's case, it does not. The only thing happening between point A and point B is a bit of baseball and drama created between Harada and friends. But that's how it's supposed to be. Boring as it is, Battery is down-to-earth unlike many other anime, and is a refreshing change needed every once and a while. While some people may disagree with me here, I think Battery was a very levelheaded show that was nice to just sit down and watch. For most people. though, it probably won't be your cup of tea.
The thing that pushed Battery into the realistic zone was this. The animation isn't very good and, actually, the art isn't either. That said, it fits the style of anime and achieves exactly what it could within it's limits. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Seeing as there is barely any sound in Battery anyways, I had to dig deep just to hear it play... and was it worth it? Well... not really. Though they may be pleasant to listen to, the OST, OP and ED are just there because it would be weird if they weren't. The sound affects don't help that much, contributing virtually nothing aloft the norm. The voice acting then becomes the major factor in sound, which usually backfires if you rely solely on seiyuu to get into their roles. Battery didn't have this quandary. The voice acting is great for the main characters and the protagonist's family, and while lackluster side characters drag it down quite a bit, the vocalization is still amiable.
Just like the voice actors and animation, the characters just feel like an excuse to drive the plot in a way to create as much drama as possible without straying from it's element of realism. Takumi Harada, our protagonist, is quite the querulous guy. He has an obsession towards baseball and is just a total jerk to anyone and everyone, even his own teammates, only agreeing with them when things go his way. There really is not much more to say that hasn't already been summed up.
+Realistic art style
+Decent voice acting for the main characters
-No plot or character development
-Baseball is not a good TV sport
-Art and Sound are only sufficient not good
-Main character is annoying
-Side characters are boring
-Other main characters will argue with Takumi, but he eventually wins even if he's wrong
Battery is a good anime to kick back, relax, and just enjoy. But that's not the anime most people are looking for, especially in the sports genre. Even if you DID want an anime to kick back and relax to though, there are much better choices than this. Another one bites the dust.
(To make this short, the opening is the only thing that saved this show).
At first, I thought Battery would be another sport anime, following the same path as, almost, every sport story out there, but, all in all, you would still enjoy it.
I was wrong.
While it's nice seeing something different, and exploring a different side of the sport genre, it doesn't mean that it would be a masterpiece, that just because it's different and refreshing it would automatically mean that it will be amazing.
Battery wanted to add all these drama to middle schooler baseball players, it wanted to make it complex: not just kids playing
sport for fun and just wanting to win, but it wanted to show the drama 'behind the scenes' of a team, and what it takes to form an actual relationship with your teammates. Even though that was the purpose of it all, it, in lack of better words, sucked at it.
From the start to the very end, everything was too dramatic, too out of their middle schooler sense: non of the character grew throughout the serie, actually, they were all really plain and with annoying traits, while it was understanding that some of them were stubborn (since they are still 'kids'), it got to a level where their behavior didn't justify their actions. Conflicts, as little as they were, didn't reach a conclusion even when the last episode ended, the relationship between the characters (mostly Takumi and Gou, aka our MC) stayed the same, even when 'time already had passed by', where they didn't learn from their past mistakes.
It also falls into the same abyss as most shows: a lot of characters, too little development. Not to mention that, whenever they play, it's not exciting because there's no attachment to any of the players, there's no interest in the game since the show didn't prepare you for it, it doesn't make you feel hopeful for the MCs team, it doesn't make you anxious because you want them to win. Of course, the main idea wasn't the team playing baseball.
You could say that Battery was aiming for something refreshing, but they missed the mark by quite a lot; while it's nice not wanting to fall into the same old clichés as most sport anime, Battery didn't know how to play its cards to make it into an interesting and memorable show.
Baseball seems to be one of those sports where you either enjoy it like the most exciting thing in the world or finds it as boring as watching paint dry. I’ll be honest here, Battery can give off a similar feel. And it’s not just about what the show is but rather what the storytelling can really tell about itself.
First of all, the show focuses on a guy named Takumi Harada. He’s a 6th grader with a prestigious talent in pitching and had to transfer to a new school in the countryside because of his brother’s sickness. No problem right? In fact, Takumi sees this
more as an opportunity to make his skills even more well-known to the new community. Reality kicks in hard and he realizes that his new teammates doesn’t really acknowledge his new talent. However, there is one guy named Go Nagakura who does admire him and wants to form a partnership as a way to demonstrate both of their talents. The show tells of their story in this small town and I have to be honest, it’s not the usual type of sports series you’ll expect.
Based off of the novel by Atsuko Asano, Battery embraces its cast of characters rather than the storytelling. Expecting a lot of baseball games or a tournament to chronicle their journey? Look elsewhere. With that being said, Battery shines the most when it focuses on characterization. First, there’s Takumi, the protagonist although some may see more as a form of anti-hero. After all, the guy is narcissistic and often focuses on himself rather than on others. The first few episodes establishes him as someone who wants to show off his talent without working cooperatively with his teammates. He cares more about baseball than anything else, even more at times than his own family as evidenced by some of the conversations with his mother. As such, Takumi doesn’t earn the respect of most of the team and pays hard for it later. It’s mostly his attitude that causes his teammates and even his coach to dislike him. Because in Takumi’s mind, baseball is a lot about winning than having fun.
On the other hand, Go Nagakura is an interesting anti-thesis of Takumi. Unlike him, he wants to cooperate with others as a catcher. In addition, Go is mostly obedient towards others and doesn’t act like a brat. While Takumi isn’t necessarily childish, his antics of showing off doesn’t please his teammates. He has the sort of ego that can really influence a game outcome as baseball isn’t a game about just one person. It’s about the whole team and literally impossible for a single person to carry it.
You can expect by now that character relationships is a main dynamic in the show. Takumi’s relationships with the majority of the characters has a rocky start. These include Go, his family (mother and grandfather), and even to his extend his own brother. Although there are times when Takumi shows a softer side, the majority of the show depicts him as a narcissist. Because of that, Takumi’s position on the team lands him enemies such as vice president Eiji Nobunishi. It’s also worth remembering that Takumi is the new kid in town so he hardly has any friends so it’s easy for others to gang up and bully him. The only savior that comes to help him is Go but their relationship isn’t exactly the best of friends either. It gets more complex than that actually as Eiji is jealous of Takumi for his accomplishments. And you know these days, youths like him would like to use fists to do their talking. So in essence, Takumi’s personality become his own weakness while his strength lies in his raw talent. However, is it really his strength? Even the school boards seems to side with the other teammates than himself and Go can’t stand his personality either. The relationship between him and Go gets fairly complex as it often shifts trust and distrust. In retrospect, you should expect a lot of character drama from Battery. And it doesn’t subside either when rivals enter the story from another school later on.
So yes, the main course of Battery is pretty much a drama. It’s more of a character drama as by the pacing, there isn’t much baseball games going around. In fact, an actual exhibition match takes place around mid-season, after almost 6 episodes. As a 1-cour show (the standard Noitamina 11/22 length), there’s definitely some concern about the pacing. Furthermore, I think the show puts an overwhelming amount of time into Takumi’s personality. It’s like the show continuously builds up about his skills more and more, to a point where viewers will find it about as irritating as his teammates. To me, that can be quite nerve wrecking.
Animated by Zero-G, the show is pretty good at conveying its realism. The setting is atmospheric especially with its countryside feel. However, I do have to say that some of the characters are misrepresented by their designs. They look older than middle schoolers. Still, the show’s visual quality is acceptable although not overly impressive either.
It’s interesting to note that soundtrack plays a minor factor because of the lack of OST during the majority of the show. That type of quietness further enhances the realism feel though. The OP and ED theme songs are smooth with a harmonious rhythm. However, it’s the character voice mannerism that really stands out. Takumi’s voice really makes him sound like a brat, the type you can’t stand if you’re near him. His personality is portrayed pretty well if you just hear him talk for even less than 30 seconds. Other characters are less noticeable with their voices except for their more dramatic moments.
Battery is the type of show that will test your patience. My initial expectation of the show is more of a mixture between baseball games and realistic drama. However, it’s easily recognizable that the show is more about character drama than a baseball tournament. There are actually games being played but that isn’t the main emphasis. This isn’t Ace of Diamond.
After air conditioning and how it feels to take my socks off after a long day of work, anime and baseball (In no particular order) are my two favorite things in the entire world. That being said, when I first caught wind of Battery (No, that isn't a pitch-velocity pun), I was ecstatic. The fact that a baseball anime that emphasized emotion and relationships instead of action and energy was going to come to life was like a dream come true for me. However, after completing Battery, I think it's safe to say that it wasn't a baseball anime at all. Instead, it's a melodramatic,
character-driven drama series that uses baseball as a metaphor for growing up and accepting change. What is going to make this review different from the widespread critical reception is that I'm actually okay with this. And while much of Battery's execution in terms of its dramatic elements does wind up falling short, it still possesses a plethora of subtle beauty that many people seem to be overlooking when it comes to analyzing it.
In the beginning of the series, we're introduced to Takumi Harada -- an angsty and conceited middle-school pitcher. Takumi places himself on a pedestal much higher than that of the average middle-school baseball player and essentially sees everyone that tries to interfere with his way of doing things as nothing more than an utter nuisance. That being said, when he finally encounters Gou Nagakura (The backup catcher for Takumi's new team) the path of narcissism he's been heading down since birth begins to deviate, albeit ever so slightly. Gou, who essentially demands that Takumi throw to him, expectedly struggles to catch his pitches at first. However, being powered by determination and excitement at the budding pitcher, Gou adapts and is soon able to catch for Takumi. Boom, battery formed. Now there's the whole issue of having the rest of the team accept them as well -- something easier said than done considering Takumi's attitude toward the rest of the team.
From this point on, Battery begins to use Takumi's attitude as a roadblock for character progression. That being said, the protagonist converts into the antagonist seeing as he's the only thing halting progression for the story. Everyone is waiting for Takumi to change and, unfortunately, he never really does. This is where the series essentially starts hurling it's problems at you like an Aroldis Chapman fastball.
With Takumi never changing his outlook toward baseball and his teammates, is there really any point to Battery at all? No, not really. The themes begin to become diluted and the characters, even Gou and Takumi, begin to distance themselves from one another. And, after a few out-of-place time skips, the series comes to an unsatisfactory close with nearly everything the same exact way it was when it all began. So what was the point?
Here's the thing -- maybe the general idea that the director, Tomomi Mochizuki (Ranma 1/2, Pupa), was trying to get across is that maybe, sometimes, there doesn't need to be a lesson learned or a character changed. We've seen countless examples in films where, once the story wraps up, everything stays the same way it was to begin with. Sometimes, what writers and directors want us to see is limited purely to how different people in a given environment interact with each other which, in all honesty, is something Battery does very well. The only problem with this is that a large portion of the anime community isn't accustomed to slow, seemingly meaningless tales like this. Many anime viewers want things like instant satisfaction, character progression, and closure. But that sad truth is that many writers don't believe cinematic aspects like this are needed to convey what they truly want to. This is where the whole analytical part of reviewing this series gets tricky.
On a lot of the reviews I've read for Battery, the writer says something along the lines of, "If you want to watch a baseball anime, go watch X or Y." This misinterpretation of the general concept is just one of the driving forces that wound up culminating in Battery's under-6.00 score on Myanimelist. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of missteps in how the series played out (Nearly all of which coming in the latter half) but there's something most people are missing when it comes to giving a numeric score to this series.
Battery is well animated, well written, and beautifully scored and composed thanks to Akira Senju with OP/ED performances from anderlust. Side note: I firmly believe the Battery OP is by far the best of Summer 2016. The story, however, deviates from standards in its inconsistency and failure to follow accepted anime norms.
The X-Factor that comes into play when grading any particular series is the 'Enjoyment' element of the subject. The unfortunate truth for Battery is that it just doesn't particularly cater to the average anime fan. With this in mind, much of the subtle and silent beauty the series possesses winds up being overlooked due to its slow pace and static characters.
Battery is not for everyone. If you go into it expecting another shounen/action/sports series, you've come to the wrong place. Battery is an extremely slow, yet stunningly gorgeous and realistic coming-of-age story that reminds us of how things don't always get better in the end. And while we don't wind up ever finding out what the future has in store for Takumi and Gou, we have solace in experiencing the budding of their relationship and their struggles in just a small excerpt of their lives. Enjoyment for this show really boils down to how much you can empathize and relate (Or in many cases even hate) the character interactions displayed in front of you. If you're looking for a teen melodrama and want a break from the average subject matter, try this one out. It has problems, yes, but I'd say its smooth and enjoyable ride.
Do you remember anything about your teenage years? Surely it was a bleak age where nothing exciting happened, everyone you knew was dull and thick as two short planks, and mood swings caused you to fall out with everyone over trifling matters. Wait, hang on a minute. You're telling me you actually enjoyed school and had some good friends? You're telling me that you had hobbies and enjoyed your free time? That puberty wasn't actually all that bad?
Battery, airing on the mainstream-oriented Noitamina block, advertises itself as a thoughtful reflection on youth and adolescence, but in reality it's the most mindless slice-of-life ever conceived. Takumi,
a thick kid whose only merit is the ability to throw fastballs, meets Gou, an equally thick kid who is impressed by Takumi's 'throwing' and wants to be his 'catcher'. Unfortunately Takumi, in a rare moment of original thought, decides that shaving his hair isn't worth the effort for his backwater school's baseball club, which causes the hyper-cuck Gou to take offence. And thus they fall out and never actually play any baseball.
That hasn't sold it for you? But this show has so many great characters other than the exciting, dramatic duo of Gou and Takumi. Gou's three thick friends are just barely sentient enough to breathe and whine about Takumi being mean or Gou sulking because he has no talent. Gou's (thick) mother wants him to study because she's over-optimistic about his ability to accomplish anything. Takumi's (thick) teammates are so downtrodden they've become borderline psychopathic, to the point where in one episode they hold him down in a dark room and strike him with a belt. Yes that's an event that actually happens in this anime. Takumi's Mom is a bitch, so it's no wonder his father never appears.
If you want to get transported to a bleak hellscape where nobody accomplishes anything, everyone has an IQ below 80 and everything is decaying, stagnating and dying, Battery is quite a brilliant show. I think you'll really enjoy it. I actually bought in to Battery's pretense of realism and was rewarded with a whimper of an ending and a desire for a continuation where the town these characters live in gets nuked. Nagasaki 2.0!!
Noitamina is a joke, but if the best way to get people into anime is to bore them senseless, then I think it's succeeding.
I've been waiting for Battery to come out for a long time, and when it started I was really excited, but as it kept going I was so disappointed i wanted to give it a score lower than 1. Battery was the most boring sports anime, when you press play in 2 minutes it will literally make you avert your eyes from screen, take your phone in your hands and do everything else but watch the actual thing.
The main character is annoying shitty brat who is full of himself and thinks no one is better than him. He has bad attitude towards his
family members, teammates, friends, and his partner. Just watching him makes you want to slap him and bring him down to earth.
This "sports anime" was everything but the actual sport. In every episode you will get the least baseball, and in some episodes there is no baseball at all. It is more about character interaction and development (which didn't happen) , teammates, friendship, family, drama, and everything else other than about the actual sport. It was supposed to be more complex, it was supposed to be "more than just a sport" , they wanted to show more realistic thing and what happens "behind the scenes" . But that doesnt' mean that they succeeded in trying to make that happen, and it doesn't mean that everyone will like that kind of thing.
I thought it'd be sports anime like every other sports anime, it wasn't, then I thought maybe this kind of different thing would be interesting and kind of a nice change, it wasn't.
All in all, this anime takes boring to a whole different level. I give it a score 3.
This anime is not about baseball, is about the development of the kids through sport.
Main Character(Takumi Harada) - He is our typical main sport character, awesome abilities, prodigy etc... But his personality sucks I don't get it why people get to like him, he bad mouth them, he doesn't even respect his mother or apologieses to anyone.
Main Character(Go) - Basically, he thinks Takumi is an awesome pitcher and decides to be his catcher and get with him to the Koshien, has a lot of self esteem issues buf kind of overcome them, I
don't know how or if he talks about it because the anime just don't show this part, really, it just rushes to the end.
Main character brother(Seiha) - All I have to tell abouth this kid is that he is weird, is like the author made him to express ALL characters feelings and make the story and interactions understandable is like he has some 6th sense or something.
13 yeard old prodigy boy go to school with bad baseball team and make everybody want to play. Boy is a mannerless kid but well, he can play. Suffers bullyng because of envious senpai, senpai quits the club, the incident increases their will to play. Boy finds a rival.
The art is great, also the sound but is a pointless anime, it is not about anything, is not about baseball and I think it should be about the kids development but we don't have a conclusion to this either.
Good point: Anime is pretty realistic, Takumi is a prodigy but he doesn't throw weird with strange powers balls, just fast balls that kids his age shouldn't be able to.
I'll give it a 5/10 bacause even with all the bad things I kind of enjoyed it but I would like at least an special episode to give me more explanation.
Hope this review is helpful and I tried to not give much spoiler but I think in such small anime is kind of difficult...
The story follow the rules of a sport anime : a meeting (happen half of the time at least), a MC wanting to be the strongest, bullying, fight between MCs (one being less good than the other or at least thinking so), a reconciliation, rivals and everything. I don't think this a spoil because it really is "cliché" and you expect it.
With only 11 episodes, everything is rushed and you can't really appreciate the story. There is no real good thing to allow this anime to stand above the others. Every other sport anime is better at being a sport anime than this one
in my opinion and in this point of view, it is a bad one.
What I think is different from the others is the realism (?) of certain situations. Everything is not easy, like when bad thing happens you get the result of it. Everything does not happen like you want it to.
The art is good. But not original at all. It does look like any other sport anime.
The MC is not likeable at all, too cold and stubborn to the point of being arrogant. His only quality is being stubborn enough to keep himself from following bad advices from people. And having a really lovable brother (the dose of positiveness of the anime).
The second MC (Gou) is the opposite, being the perfect wife and having a strong spirit. He just does not stand out that much sadly.
The others are pretty average.
Wait, we had to put sound in the anime? Sorry, forgot!
The opening and ending were nice but that's all.
Like I said, don't expect music during sad moments, happy moments, during match or even at all because there will be none. I just noticed one near the end but just because it surprised me (not impressive though).
All in all, I didn't hate it. There was some nice moments. And a lot of BL subtext if you want to see it (even if you don't).
And I did like the jokes.
I won't suggest to anyone to watch this anime for itself but if you don't have anything better to do, and you want to see BL subtext (don't expect too much though) then you can try.
It seems the ending announce more but I'm not sure there will be since I mainly saw bad reviews. But then, I don't know how it was received in Japan.
This anime has the worst ending I ever seen. The ending of the anime was the biggest betrayal of the season. The main character "Takumi" is a big asshole. This ins't your every day shounen asshole like "Kaiba". No this is the type of asshole that is like a real asshole in real life. That not even the worst asshole. There is another character later in the anime that is worst than him. The opening and ending themes are okay. That the only thing I can say that is good about the anime. The story is bad. It should not take 11 episodes. It
should at least take like 4 episodes ,or maybe less. It is a waste of time. If you are planning to watch it. You may be disappointing.