Ookiku Furikabutte – 12.5 (OVA)

Everybody’s favorite BL romance shoujo baseball drama gives us a special DVD episode, and it’s full of all the preposterously shoujified baseball background we love so much.

Much of the full-length episode actually focuses on Saitama, the team that knocked the Nishiura boys out of the summer tournament. The main focus is on their cheating coach, who has apparently made a habit of forcing one player per year to illegally take signs from him in the stands. Their rival from Taisho has spotted it and tries to discreetly warn the lad mixed up in it to pull the plug before he gets into real trouble.

Meanwhile, Abe has a partially torn ACL in his knee and schemes to find a way to play in two weeks, while coach wants him to sit and rest up for the fall tournament (we’re treated to a rather detailed lecture on knees and ligament repair in the process). While this is happening the boys get together to set their goals, which is something they seem to spend an extraordinary amount of time doing.

None of this is really essential viewing, but it is solidly in the vein of what makes this series so enjoyable. Of course it’s totally a romanticized and idealized view of what teenaged boys are like – I could really picture this manga being written by a cadre of 15 year-old girls fond of wishful thinking – but that silliness is what makes it fun. I also enjoy how this is a series that never fails to show us the human side of the opposing team, which isn’t always the case. In purely baseball terms nothing much happens here – the episode takes place entirely after the end of the Saitama game. We may be treated to a little more on-field action in the next DVD episode, though.

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