Toua Tokuchi is an athlete by profession, but a reckless gambler at heart. On the streets of Okinawa, he uses nothing but his wits and a "fastball" peaking at a mere 134 kmph to somehow achieve 499 wins in the game of "One Outs," a simplified version of baseball between the pitcher and one batter. Amazed by Toua's unique prowess on the mound, veteran slugger Kojima Hiromichi artfully scouts the pitcher for his long unsuccessful team, the Saikyou Saitama Lycaons. Kojima desperately hopes Toua will lead them to the championship; however, Tsuneo Saikawa, the mercenary owner of the Lycaons, sees the vastly talented pitcher as a threat to the income generated by the team. Rising to the challenge of swaying the owner, Toua suggests a one-of-a-kind "One Outs" contract: every out Toua pitches will earn him five million yen, but with every run he gives up, he will lose fifty million yen.
Adapted from the manga by Shinobu Kaitani of Liar Game fame, One Outs documents the intense psychological battles between Toua and those around him. With millions of yen at stake, can a pitcher who has done nothing but gamble in a head-to-head imitation of baseball finally lead a real baseball team to victory?
“Nobody wins, but I!”, the subtitle of the series, couldn’t be more accurate.
One Outs is the story of the extremist gambler Toua Tokuchi, his battle to completely crush his opponents in the Japanese Pacific Baseball League and, perhaps less importantly to the pitcher, earn a beefy salary while doing so. While advantageous, and likely to increase one's enjoyment of the series, a deep knowledge of the sport of Baseball is not required. Make no mistake; the series is first and foremost about the character, rather than the vehicle used to display his feats.
The story begins in the island of Okinawa, with the star player of the Lycaons, Kojima Hiromichi, training for the upcoming season in the hopes of leading the dismal team to the championships. It is here the title game is revealed to be a betting competition between batter and pitcher, with both sides attempting to overwhelm and suppress the other respectively. Tokuchi is revealed to be the undisputed king of the game, and through multiple matches with Lycaons members and Kojima himself, Tokuchi loses his first contest yet and agrees to join the Lycaons at the behest of Kojima, who believes he can lead the team to victory.
It is here that the primary antagonist is revealed, and the driving gamble of the series is set. The Lycaons team owner, Saikawa, is only concerned with money and the return he can get on stadium seating compared to his losses from expenses such as the players salary. As an all-too-intriguing prospect to Tokuchi and Saikawa, the One Outs contract is formed, granting Tokuchi 5,000,000 yen for every out he acquires as pitcher, but a deduction of 50,000,000 yen for every run he gives up. Thus the stage is set for a battle between the two, whilst Tokuchi also has to deal with the other teams in the league and the various methods he must dispel to win the game with a profit. A fun and smart little addition to the series is the revealed sum of Tokuchi’s current salary, usually given after every few games, to give the viewer an idea of just how much the strategist is escaping with.
Toua Tokuchi (And his very black & white view of winning & losing) is very much the star here, with even the over-lording antagonist being delegated to a role of being completely outwitted and shocked at each loss. In this sense, the series is very much like another oft-compared Madhouse anime, Akagi (In fact, both characters share the same voice actor, Masato Hagiwara). The spotlight is always on the overly-confident, cold-blooded genius, and you seldom if ever really feel like he’s going to lose, no matter what the predicament. If this isn’t your type of thing, One Outs might not be right for you, and another Madhouse gambling series, Kaiji, is likely more up your alley. Secondary characters such as Kojima and the catcher, Satoshi Ideguchi, essentially act as reasons for Tokuchi to explain his plans, though they occasional prove useful on their own, and the owner is always most concerned with ways to recoup his losses on the games with Tokuchi.
The rival teams all have various methods for victory, from star players to expert strategy to outright cheating, and watching these plans be revealed, falter, and be destroyed in kind by Tokuchi’s insight never gets tiring. The extents of the wild gambler’s methods are seen to truly reach their peak during the team’s third match with most powerful squad in the league, the Mariners. As if controlling puppets on a string, he turns the game into a farce just barely within the rules, with both teams striving for errors and various other foul plays in a race against time. Another example has him practicing the principles of “an eye for an eye”, responding to an intentional pitch thrown to injure him with throwing the bat at the pitcher during his swing. As all the teams have multi-layered paths to their own victory, the three-game series’ are never over too quickly, as both sides continually adjust in an attempt to corner the other. Many of the “tricks” aren’t easy to discern by oneself, and will paste a smile on your face or have you laughing manically upon the eventual reveal and Tokuchi subsequently using it against the opponents.
The series artwork is fairly realistic, with exception of characters like the Manager and Assistant Manager who are drawn in the fashion of comic relief. The series makes use of a few foreign (Essentially American) players as well, and draw then is somewhat stereotypical fashion, but still utilizing good designs. It seems Madhouse also wanted to appeal to female otaku in the series as well, with the OP housing continual shots of Tokuchi shirtless and looking aloof.
The audio work in One Outs is fitting, but the musical side never really rises above. It all fits great in the series and never feels out of place, but it’s also not really a soundtrack you would listen to outside of the anime. The voice acting is done really well, with Tokuchi’s voice actor, Masato Hagiwara, easily stealing the show thanks to his familiarity in the role (And gambling anime in general) thanks to his previous work as the title characters in Akagi and Kaiji. The Lycaons manager also performs admirably in his efforts at comic relief, making it a bit hard not to chuckle every time he calls for a “safety bunt-o”.
The series provides everything a viewer could want in a series based on mental and/or gambling, and the use of baseball allows all 25 episodes to remain fresh thanks to the numerous ways the rules can be warped and the loopholes that can be exploited. Anyone looking for series revolving around plans, schemes, and overall mental talent will certainly not be disappointed.read more
So, One Outs is an anime about sports, right? Hell no! Its about Tokuchi owning everyone and kicking their asses! Its very similar to Akagi, so if you enjoyed that the chances are VERY slim that you wont enjoy this one as well!
Well, the story itself isnt really anything special, Its about Tokuchi Toua who is a genius pitcher. He kinda gets forced to join the lowly ranked Lycaons baseball team. Of course his goal is to make their team start winning their matches. So the basic story is pretty ordinary as you can see, but there are two things that makes the whole thing a lot more interesting. The first is how the matches are played. The Lycaons opponents always have better players overall, or some kind of ace up their sleeve and one team is even cheating. Now its Tokuchis job to destroy these opponents using his brilliant mind. Thats right, One Outs is actually more about strategies and mind games than actuall baseball.
The second twist is that Tokuchi gets 5 000 000 yen for every out he pitches, but loses 50 000 000 yen for every point he gives up. And the Lycaons manager cares more about making money out of Tokuchi than winning the actuall games, so he tries to make his own team lose! So outsmarting the other teams is not enough for Tokuchi, he has to fight on two fronts also preventing the manager from ruining the games with his interference. This puts Tokuchi in all kinds of impossible situations, but he always succeeds in coming up with a counter-strategy, and watching this is a blast! The best part is that all of Tokuchis strategies makes perfect sense after they are explained! You never feel like the creators are cheating and leaving out unexplained or logically invalid bits and pieces.
Not a particularly interesting point. Its good, it does the job, it doesnt bother you.
Not that this matters or affects the score in anyway, but Ill still say it: The OP was pretty good, I actually watched it which I often dont. But of course the important stuff is the bgm and the voices. And well, I have no complaints, they were both very good. The music fit in great with the intense and exciting atmosphere.
Ok, Tokuchi himself is awesome. He is one of the most badass characters ever. Nothing ever fazes him. Even if the situation is looking extremely bad he still remains cold and calculating, soon to be delivering his new plan that will eliminate all his obstacles. The thing is that the other characters are not even half as interesting. They are either tools for him to use, or obstacles for him to completely destroy, using these tools. And thats pretty much it. Of course it doesnt really matter seeing how the point of the show is watching when Tokuchi kicks ass.
This show never really gets boring. You know Tokuchi is always going to win, but it doesnt matter, because seeing him in action is just too freakin awesome. Also, finding out HOW he will to get out of all the imossible situations and what kind of strategies he comes up with, is another important part. The only complaint here is that it is a bit slow sometimes, but you get so caught up in it that it doesnt really matter at all.
So, One Outs is a show about mind games and tricks more than baseball, and if you like that kind of stuff you must try this one. And yeah, if you like badass characters owning everyone then thats another reason to watch this. Even if you dont give it a try, because its awesome!read more
"Winner takes all. This is the universal rule of battle." - Toua Tokuchi.
One Outs, for the most part, only caught my attention after I was looking for similar titles to the recent sports anime, Diamond no Ace. After taking a look at the synopsis I considered it and put it in plan-to-watch only to start and end it months later but in a rather very quick time.
The story sets off in the island of Okinawa, where the pinch-hitter of the struggling and fictional Lycaons team, Kojima Hiromichi, heads off to form a training camp in hopes of reclaiming the ultimate prize that is the Japanese Baseball Championship. When a minor league pitcher who trains with Kojima gets injured, him and Kojima's trainer are forced to look for a replacement, but this is when they run into a group of people who seem to play a shady game of gambling related to Baseball, named "One Outs". It's apparently a one-on-one between the batter and the pitcher but with money on the line. After completely losing out to a mysterious pitcher named Toua Tokuchi, Kojima arrives at the scene next day to avenge his teammates and find this mysterious pitcher and defeat him. Things don't go as planned for him though as even he is completely beaten by Tokuchi and is forced to conceal himself from the people for a week. After some days, though, Kojima finally returns and seeks a rematch with Tokuchi Toua once again. This time though, he urges Tokuchi that he'd retire from professional Baseball at once if he loses, but then tells Tokuchi that if he wins he'd take an arm off Tokuchi in order to make sure he never gambles on Baseball again. Tokuchi promptly agrees to the deal and faces off with Kojima once again. Circumstances make Tokuchi lose his first ever "One Outs" game and readily offers his arms to Kojima, but he tells that he never said he'd "break" his arm but simply "take it" as he grasps Tokuchi's right arm. Kojima urges Tokuchi, who has exceptional potential in Baseball, to join his team Lycaons and help them to win the Championship. Thus beginning his first step towards professional Baseball. Not long after he meets the Owner of the Lycaons, who refuses to give up any significant amount of salary to Tokuchi for his yet unknown abilities, Tokuchi then proposes an unusual ordeal, he tells that for every out he pitches, he'd get 5,000,000 yen but loses 50,000,000 yen for every run he gives up.
Regarding the artwork of the series as we move on, I have come across a few criticism's that it's pretty poor and not aesthetically pleasing. I, however, believe it's the opposite of that where the art actually stands out on top. I'm not an avid reader of Manga's and haven't read the One Outs manga either, but I can say that the art is top-notch throughout the series. It was indeed the striking poster of Tokuchi Toua that got me interested in it, and it isn't any different in the anime either, full marks for that. And I'm not comparing the two by any means but if you see the artwork of Death Note, a similar and much popular psychologically-hit anime and One Outs, you could say that it's Death Note that lacked a bit in art. This is just my opinion though, anyway.
Moving on to the Opening and Ending themes of One Outs as well as the soundtrack, which are pretty okay in comparison to the whole anime. They both practically just do the standard work of an opening and an ending theme, that's pretty much how I'd put it. The ending theme however was pretty good and made me search for the full version on Youtube and it was pretty nice.
The show is fully centered around our mastermind Tokuchi Toua, and the Owner being the antagonist. In terms of enjoyment, One Outs never disappoints and it kept me in the edge of my seat throughout the entire series. Game after game you are left astounded by the various shrewd and astute tactics by Tokuchi Toua.
It was only long after since I actually came across this anime for the first time that I started watching. And I managed to finish it off in a week but was left astounded as to what a great gem of a show this is. Compared to its various psychological thriller hits, its highly underrated and mostly overlooked just because it's based on the concept of Baseball and not many people are aware of the game. That being said I can guarantee you that you don't need to have a deep knowledge of the sport.
Diamond no Ace is the only other Baseball anime that I've watched so far and before that and I should say that STILL I have not a very complex idea on how Baseball works. Though I have learnt a fair amount of things. If you seek a mind-bending anime with a sharp-witted and easily likeable character with godly skills, One Outs is definitely worth checking out. If it turns out the way as it did for me, you'll love it for sure. read more
One Outs was a baseball manga written by Kaitani Shinobu. It was adapted into an anime by our old friends at Madhouse, who brought us such classics as Black Lagoon, Petshop of Horrors and Rideback. Unfortunately, they've also been behind some of the worst anime I've ever seen such as Highschool of the Dead and Devil Hunter Yohko. I'm honestly not predicting their best work this time around, although a lot of that is more to do with the subject matter than anything else. I am not a person who cares about sports in the slightest. So, let's look at One Outs and see if it holds up in spite of my own apathy towards the material.
Our story opens with some minor league players at a training camp. After an injury destroys their pitcher's ability to throw balls at a guy with a stick, two of them go on a search for a new one. At this point they get lured to a gambling arena where people bet on whether or not a guy can hit a ball with a stick. The two lose a large amount of money and their friend, Kojima, who has won a bunch of awards with names that are meaningless to me, returns to challenge the pitcher who beat them, Tokuchi. He loses, but returns for a rematch, if he loses he'll retire, if he wins he'll take Tokuchi's hand so that he can never gamble using baseball again. Because a game that requires people to hit a ball with a stick and run in a square is serious business and not some kind of game.
In spite of a rather serious hand injury, Kojima wins, but instead of inflicting violence to take Tokuchi's hand, he recruits him as a pitcher to help his team, the Lycaons, win the championship. So, the basic plot is that a low ranking team aims for the championship? I haven't seen that plot since... every piece of sports media ever made, I think. To be fair, One Outs isn't typical in its execution. It uses Tokuchi's unusual contract with the game's owner as the primary source of tension instead of whether or not the team will win the big game. It also puts the focus, not on whether or not the Lycaons will win since basic pattern recognition gives it away, but on how they're going to win. Which is more interesting than it sounds since Tokuchi uses a lot of psychological manipulation and has to think of ways to outsmart his opponents while thwarting the owner's attempts to sabotage him.
The strategic aspects are pretty well handled in this anime, in spite of the rather trite plot. The series is also good at keeping the viewer's attention with various new elements and twists as well. However, the story telling isn't perfect. The biggest problem is the narrator. His entire job seems to be to give exposition. Which isn't so bad when it's used as a tool to skip through the boring bits, but it's also pretty unnecessary. You could cut out the dialogue for almost all of these scenes and lose nothing. There's also the issue of the plot itself. Even if the execution is unique, just about everyone knows exactly where it's going to go which does limit how much tension the series can have.
The characters of One Outs are mixed. Tokuchi is a pretty interesting “magnificent bastard” type of character. The Lycaons' owner makes for a compelling antagonist as well. Ideguchi and Kojima are two-dimensional characters. They get some personality and develop a bit, but not a whole lot. The rest of the characters are pretty one-note. They're around and you might remember their names, but there isn't anything that really makes them unique or compelling. They're just “that guy who runs fast” or “that guy with glasses.”
One thing of note is that a lot of the antagonistic teams that Tokuchi and the Lycaons have to face are shown to have foreigners as their big guns. I'm not sure whether it's a demonstration of Xenophobia in which the great all-Japanese team has to face off against those foreign players who came from some unspecified location or it's just a coincidence. That being said, they do make it a point to bring the foreign players to the viewer's attention so the former seems more likely.
The art is pretty good, overall. The character designs are distinctive. The backgrounds are nicely detailed as well. That being said, there are some questionable art decisions. There are some ridiculously exaggerated expressions. For example, a “shocked” character might just open their mouth so wide they could fit their own head in there. Tokuchi also has an absurd hairstyle that makes him look like he's gone half super saiyan. I know, an anime with silly hair what an original concept.
The acting in this is okay. It doesn't stand out in any way, but it's passable. The music is really effective when it comes to atmosphere. The tense moments have a score that perfectly emphasises the tension as do the victorious moments.
There is none in this series. 1/10.
In some ways, One Outs is a typical piece of sports media. Underdog team pushing for victory. In others, it's not at all typical. The battle of wits aspect works pretty effectively and the main protagonist is an interesting character, even if most of the side characters are really flat. Still, it has quite a bit of intrigue and I do recommend checking it out for the battle of wits, if you don't mind watching grown men act like hitting a ball with a stick is a pastime of dire importance or a predictable plot arc. Final rating, 6/10. Next week I'll look at Shining Tears x Wind. read more
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