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.