After the first half of this episode, I was beginning to really wonder if Moshidora was for me. At that point it seemed to me more an academic exercise than anything else – interesting but dry and frankly, a little boring. But things did pick up a bit after the eyecatch, and the second part was certainly the best of any of the segments thus far.
It says something about how vestigial the players at Hodo High have been to the presentation so far that the only one whose name I could remember without checking the credits list was Asano, the pitcher. After the players are briefly introduced via a brief interview montage with Yuki – along with timid co-manager Ayano – the second half focuses on Asano and the coach. Asano seems like a nice kid but never shows up to practice, and bears a grudge against the coach for pulling him after third baseman Yunosuke (I looked it up) booted a ball in the summer tournament. The coach pulled him because his pitch count was over 100 and his mechanics were degrading – but he never communicated that to Asano.
This all sets off a somewhat interesting look at “translate” portion of Drucker’s book. Having correctly figured out that it’s the players themselves who are the customers, Minami now realizes she has to act as a translator between the “expert” – the coach – and the players. Since these are high-school boys, a big part of that is understanding their feelings – and while the coach finally seems to pick up on that, at this point he doesn’t look like much of a leader, though he knows baseball – thus, a power vacuum for Minami to step in and be the leader the team needs. Since the outcome is spoiled in the introduction – “the story of a girl who leads her high school team to Koshien” – one can only assume she succeeds.
I hope the focus continues to be on the characters and their feelings, and not just on the text of “Management”. It will certainly make for a much more engaging anime if it does.