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 Hiromichi Kojima 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.
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!
"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.
Pen is mightier than sword, that is what we learn from one outs. From the synopsis one may be confused that Is this baseball? Is this chess? Is this gambling? The answer is Nope its not, its ONE OUTS. Bored of animes with cliche MC, who either suck at everything and gradually develops into a strong character or suddenly gets a powerboost to defeat all his foes, or in the name of friends brings out some kind of hidden power, and stuff, then u r definitely looking for this awesomesauce.
Baseball as a sports isn't popular in my country, as such I dont even know all
the rules of the game. The ongoing anime Diamond no Ace which is also a baseball anime inspired me and got me into the game, and as such I was expecting One Outs to be a similar sports genre anime. But I was gravely mistaken, and had to eat my words, because it was much more than that.
The best picture of one outs is this-What would happen if someone with IQ 200+ starts pitching in a baseball game? The answer is you get one outs. "Cool" "Awesome" "Incredible" "Mindblowing" these mere words are just not enough. "One outs" the title of the anime cant exactly bring out its epicness, rather the subtitle fairly does "nobody wins but I". The main reason for all this is the additional psychological genre which grills our mind.
Animation and sound 8/10
Considering this to be a 2009 anime, the animation is pretty decent, but obviously not at the level of present animes. But it is not something which will burn up ur eyes, so this shouldn't be a barrier for watching the anime. As for osts and opening, these were cool, and conveyed the atmosphere in the most appreciable way which fits the genre.
Story 9/10 :
For the story, it is the most difficult part to explain without spoiling a bit. Almost the whole story revolves around the protagonist tokuchi, and the antagonist the Owner. The biggest defect of the story is that the introduction part was a bit long, other than that it follows a steady pace. So there is a miser owner, who gets into a contract with tokuchi, if tokuchi gets someone out, he gets 5 million yen, but if he gives up a run, he pays 50 million yen. The story is plain and simple he plays against his opponents, thats all. The story is kept interesting by showing us his tentative salary periodically, after each game. That said how the matches take place is quite amusing, and most often viewer will be tempted to say something like brilliant, and may have no words left for what comes next. As such the story mostly develops around the single protagonist tokuchi and how he distinguishes himself with his keen observational skills and high intellect. It conveys that skill is not the only important thing in a game such as baseball. Another aspect of the story is that there is always someone smart in the opponent team and rivals tokuchi.
The only character in focus is tokuchi, all others are sidelined and get less screen time. Apart from tokuchi there is the catcher Ideguchi who mostly serves to display the thought process of a common man, and brings out what is going through tokuchi's mind. Also there is the batter Kojima who plays a similar role, but in a rather sophisticated manner. And ofcourse we are also shown what the opponents are thinking. There is always one smart guy on the opposite team who partially sees through tokuchi's acts but what happens..... u need to watch the anime. Moreover there is the owner, his personal assistant, and chief, and the manager who mostly add to the comedy part. Tbh, this anime doesn't have comedy genre, yet I was forced to laugh on many occasions, especially due to the character's caricature done by the narrator. In fact narrator has done a very good job explaining many things.
I enjoyed the series fully, tokuchi's character itself is brilliant, his tactics, his mind and his cunning behaviour. It was fun to see how his tricks succeeded, and the reactions of his opponents, and also that of the owner. I laughed a lot, on the incompetent manager, as well as on his teammates. I didn't regret a minute spent on it.
In the end, I couldnt give it a perfect 10, because it lacked two things. First is something, something which I can't recall, it is a silly thing, yet I can't recollect, Ah! I now remember, this lacks a SEQUEL. To get 10 it really needs a sequel.
Read the next para only if u have watched the series else skip the para.
Second, and the more important fact is this-- For the first 10 eps we are not shown what is going through tokuchi's mind. But after that we are shown what he is thinking giving us many clues and made it uninteresting. No doubt logic is a must in these kinds of anime, but the explanation were a bit too implicative. As a matter of fact I was able to predict 80% of the story from the clues presented. One may call it a positive factor which because the author states facts in a lucid yet tricky fashion, but on the other hand it may be referred to as a bit of cliche, because if u can predict the outcome the anime become less interesting. Other animes of the similar genre like death note were much more successful because unexpected things happened but in this case most of them are fact driven and if someone pays close attention they can decipher the whole anime. I know it is not a mystery genre, but nonetheless it became bit predictable in the latter half. I like it when the unexpected happens, in fact I expect the unexpected, but this became a bit low in the latter half. Not that it was 100% predictable or something, only a bit predictable. Nonetheless this fact can be easily overlooked and above all it is my personal opinion.
Finally, this has something which most animes lack, that is its knowledge of scientific facts. The anime lucidly explains psycology, physics, maths and some baseball terms. Many episodes come with a piercing quote from tokuchi, and his perception of winning.
So it doesnt really matter if u r some avid baseball fan, or simone with no prior knowledge of the sport, because it explains every detail. Moreover the suspense is also cool and it has got some of the best cliffhangers. All in one I would recommend this to anyone looking for a cool anime.
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