Only in Japan.
To say the subject matter of Moshidora is unusual in the world of anime is something of an understatement. Peter Drucker’s “Management” – while one of the best-selling and most influential business books ever – hardly seems like an interesting subject for an animated series. And applying it to managing a high school baseball team is hardly a logical extension of the source material. And the format – 10 episodes airing on 10 consecutive weeknights – is unique in anime as far as I know.
There’s a lot going for this show, though. I’m obviously a sucker for HS baseball series, and it’s from the normally Godly Production I.G.. Clearly, this isn’t their most lavishly animated series but it has a nice look – the art style and character design vaguely reminiscent of Kimi ni Todoke. But the most important question: is it entertaining?
I would say – somewhat. The first ep certainly wasn’t riveting, and none of the characters jumped off the screen. The main, Minami (Yoko Hikasa) is a 2nd year high-school girl and former ballplayer who says he now “hates baseball”. She takes the place of sickly BFF Yuki (Kana Hanazawa, extraordinarily busy as usual) as manager of the baseball team. She picks up a copy of Drucker’s book from a well-meaning bookstore clerk, not realizing it isn’t about managing baseball – and decided to try and apply it anyway. It’s a fascinating concept, and there’s no question the show is genuinely interesting. The questions Minami – via Drucker – asks are unusual in the context of basbeall, but oddly relevant. I respect any series that can make you look at something familiar in a new way.
But interesting and entertaining are two different things. I don’t know if this is destined to be a somewhat dry educational exercise, or whether it will pick up some actual dramatic imperative and be a really good watch. Given the format I’m going to withhold judgment for now in deference to the unique challenge the studio has set for itself here, and hope for the best.