Why is the rating so low?
Mar 5, 11:54 PM
Jun 6, 2:16 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
I've seen people try to justify Takumi's irrational concern Seiha engaging in basic physical activity (like catch) with the following rational:
1. Takumi is being an overprotective older brother.
2. Takumi is selfish and doesn't wanta share his interest with Seiha.
3. Whatever nondescript condition Seiha has is actually that crippling.
The problem is that all of these ideas are completely invalidated by the opening scene of the first episode where Takumi asks Seiha to hit some bird out of a tree with a snowball. If catch in fair weather is somehow to much of a physical strain for Seiha then pitching in the snow would've definitely been more concerning and if Takumi didn't wanta share his interest then he wouldn't be engaging Seiha in this situation.
Takumi is simply not depicted as a consistent character. He mouths off to his coach over trivial things but after he becomes the victim of bullying and the principal insists on not only not punishing the perpetrators but essentially punishing Takumi instead by suspending the baseball... silence. Takumi shouldn't care about standing to the principal because, as he's expressed multiple times by this point in the series, he only here to play baseball and would be utterly indifferent to getting suspended/expelled.
He should have threatened to NOT stay silent about the situation and the principal should have either had a more serious threat to silence him or his teammates should have pressured him into backing down somehow. Instead he goes completely against his character to force some drama about the struggle of even being allowed to play.
Beyond that, the only other compelling aspect of Takumi is that he has impressive fastballs, which presents some serious problems for the series:
1. Unlike other eccentric pitcher anime, fastballs aren't particularly interesting. It doesn't give much room to accent the pitcher's personality and doesn't present them with a struggle. This is the type of pitch that's valued in a pitcher by default and although he wants to learn other pitches, he's restricted from doing so by the only character he does seem to respect (his grandfather).
2. Fastballs are challenging to visually represent and distinguish without being unrealistic. As a result we're mostly told that Takumi's pitches are impressive rather than shown why.
3. A middle schooler's fastball isn't going to be impressive in an absolute sense. The show soft cites his pitches as above 60 MPH which is average for a middle schooler but even if we assume he's pitching at like 70 MPH... OK, that's impressive, for a middle schooler but it's not uncommon for high schoolers to pitch in the high 80s. If Shuugo is the "once in ten years" prodigy that the show tells us (but never demonstrates) he is, it's unlikely he'd be profoundly impressed by Takumi's pitches. If he's being scouted for scholarships he would definitely have experienced adults, older students or even pitching machines with faster pitches. Perhaps he would desire a game with Takumi but it wouldn't be the type of pseudo-lust the show presents it as. It can't even really fall back on Shuugo being impressed by Takumi's control since he intentionally asks for the tricks to be withheld during their first encounter.
Ultimately the only thing making Takumi compelling is that he doesn't have a catcher that can reliably catch his pitches, but the show has demonstrated that his pitches aren't hard to catch in absolute terms because his coach manages it easily. Gou just sucks, which lends to the show's only real aspect, the pseudo-shounen-ai shipper fanservice. Unfortunately the characters are somewhat bland, unlikable and inconsistent so I can't imagine it's even really hitting that niche?
Maybe it's an issue of the anime not having the space to flesh out the source material (common for Noitamina shows) but the result is a middle of the road sports drama that only even works if you turn your brain off try to ride the feels... which is basically impossible because none of the characters are made compelling. Like unless your a female that hasn't come to terms with being a pedophile, this show just doesn't have anything special going for it and is a bit too avant-garde to function as junkfood entertainment.
That's why it has a low rating.