It's been almost a week since I finished Oofuri and it still lingering in my brain. Honestly, I just decided to try because a lot of my favorite seiyuus were in the cast (Fukuyama Jun, Nakamura Yuuichi, Shimono Hiro amongst others). I really wasn't expecting anything awesome but boy was I surprised.
I'm not one to enjoy sports anime much but the beginning of Oofuri was pretty slice-of-life-ish and by the time we got to the actual baseball I loved the characters too much to stop watching. The story is about Mihashi Ren, a first-year whose self-esteem was completely destroyed by the members of his junior-high baseball team. He ends up being "forced" to join the baseball team in highschool and from there starts regaining his confidence.
I have to say that I'm really happy with the animation in this anime. I've never heard of the studio but they really did a good job. Since this was a sports anime I was expecting for surreal effects during the matches but I'm glad I was wrong. Makes me happy how realistic the whole thing was. At first, some of the characters were pretty hard to distinguish but as the show goes on it becomes much easier to tell them apart because of their different personalities. Of course, Mihashi isn't very hard to recognize with how he's always blushing and making chicken faces.
Sadly, I didn't have the opportunity to properly listen to the music but since it didn't strike me that must mean it was horrible to say the least. (I'm still hooked on the second ED "Arigatou" by SunSet Swish, though)
I guess an important element in anime like Oofuri is the characters. Though at first (I'll bet this has been said over 1000000 times) Mihashi can be VERY VERY annoying, as the series goes on you slowly find yourself thinking he's the cutest thing ever. When the self-esteem problem is (more or less) gone, Mihashi's just a really strange kid with strange mannerisms. Hard to hate someone with such cute chicken faces. Even the rest of characters, including the ones in opposing teams, were easy to love. With that kind of cast it's impossible to not like anyone. Personally, I loved all of them tho'.
The best thing about Oofuri is that even if you don't give a crap about baseball you STILL enjoy it. Hell, by the end you might even like baseball (I know I do). Part of the reason is probably the slice-of-life start which gives you time to enjoy the show before getting into the serious matches. The matches themselves, though slow, put me on edge every episode. Luckily I started watching this when all the episodes were out and I didn't need to wait long to see the results. The only downside is how slow the series is (covering two matches in 25 episodes) but the matches were so tense that I barely noticed it took almost 10 episodes to finish the game. However, if your expecting fast-paced baseball action look somewhere else. If your like me and watch an entire series straight without rest then your bound to be a little unsatisfied at the end. I, at least, was sulking and taking it out on friends how I needed "MOAR OOFURI!" ... but once you get pass that you'll think back on the anime and say "Man was that a great anime" (I'm still saying it even one week later) ... Hopefully we'll get another season one day.
Being a yaoi fangirl, part of the reason I started this reason was because I kept on hearing about it from other BL fans. Really, you don't need an eye for slash to see the homo undertones in this anime. If you know about a certain scene in episode three then you know what I'm talking about. The slash is quiet so it won't bother anyone who doesn't like BL (which I am guessing is a good thing)
Despite being anime I wasn't expecting much from, Oofuri has ended in my favorite list. I don't know what to hate about this anime because there's everything to love. The tension after every episode makes up for the its slow pace and since Mihashi become a loveable little chicken I'll let the fact that he was annoying at first past. I highly recommend this anime. Really.