Diamond no Ace Season 2 – 43

Diamond no Ace 2 - 43 -20 Diamond no Ace 2 - 43 -24 Diamond no Ace 2 - 43 -27Will someone please get this guy off the mound already?

Diamond no Ace 2 - 43 -1I realize that it’s the point, to a certain extent, but the contrast between Typhoon Raichi and limp-seaweed Nori could hardly be more dramatic.  Talk about a difference in presence – Raichi is a ball of charisma holding a banana (or two) and Nori is a lump of dryer lint. I have a certain sympathy for the overachieving little guys in sports anime when they’re portrayed well, but you can’t just build a guy up as a loser for 100 episodes the way Daiya no A has and turn the big stage over to him when it matters most and expect me to buy what you’re selling.

Diamond no Ace 2 - 43 -2There are definitely issues with Raichi, make no mistake.  He’s not remotely doing it on purpose, but he’s such a wildman on the mound – and he throws so hard – that he could seriously injure somebody (and indeed he almost beans Kawakami here).  But damn is he ever fun to watch, both on the mound and at the plate.  Interestingly, as a hitter Raichi is quite the opposite of what he is on the mound – behind his wild eyes and maniacal laughter he’s keenly observant, and very savvy about what pitchers are trying to do to get him out.

Diamond no Ace 2 - 43 -3 Diamond no Ace 2 - 43 -4 Diamond no Ace 2 - 43 -5

Thank goodness for Raichi or this game would be a total washout until Eijun comes in to pitch.  When Seidou is on defense the most interesting thing going on is the conversation between the four middle-schoolers in the stands, including newcomer Akamatsu Shinji (Yonaga Tsubasa), and eventually between Shinji and Mei-chan.  The three kids we know are all going to Seidou, but Shinji plans to go to Inashiro – and given the amount of face time he got in this episode I think we can expect him to be significant in future arcs.

Diamond no Ace 2 - 43 -6Raichi’s at-bat is certainly the most impressive thing in the episode, even if the writing gives Nori the convenient excuse of having numb hands after Raichi busts him in on the fists with a blazing heater.  Raichi takes unappetizing pitch after pitch until finally getting something he can drive – a hanging sinker on the outside.  And rather than trying to pull it he just powers it out to left on a clothesline.  But I was also impressed with his dad, once again – his refusal to bunt (“We have the momentum – why give them a free out?”) is great strategy and pretty unusual in Japanese baseball.

Diamond no Ace 2 - 43 -7With Nori struggling to find the plate it seems the end of our suffering must surely be coming soon – though who knows how long this thing could be dragged out.  With Raichi doing so well on the mound Sanada is going to be about as rested as we’ve ever seen him, so I don’t think Seidou is going to have much margin for error on the mound – they aren’t likely to be scoring many more runs.

 

 

 

 

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5 comments

  1. N

    I wanted to say this with last week’s episode, but this one made it even more clear. Could Raichi be even more of a Gary Stu right now?
    Great fielding, batting so amazing he’s guaranteed at least one homerun per match, and now super strong pitching that is not only very hard to hit but if you do hit it you’re going to significantly injure/numb your hands if you’re a pitcher.
    I feel that turning a strong but flawed loveable character into an overpowered all around god like baseball beast is a dumb move.
    I don’t even have energy left to be angry at Kawakami after bullshit of this magnitude.

  2. G

    I think it’s pretty clear that Raichi’s playing well above his normal level right now – something his teammates and observers have noted already. One of the things that makes sports great is the randomness of it all…Raichi’s just in the zone, and will almost slip out of it soon. Gary Stu is an awful word for him at this point: he is full of personality flaws and unique quirks, is super good at hitting, and is just now getting the rest of his game together. If you want to find Gary Stu’s in baseball anime it’s not hard…pretty much every Adachi lead fits the bill. (not that I dislike Adachi…)

    As for Kawakami…I’m fine with him doing OK for a bit, then slipping. In the intersquad match, they made a point of all 3 pitchers giving up a run each to give us an idea where they were at. He’ll be pulled soon, so whatever. The middleschoolers are interesting – can’t wait until they enter the picture…

  3. I have no problem with Raichi’s performance and I don’t consider him a Marty Stu. In the first place, freakish talents like him really do exist. And he also makes errors in the field (as a 3B) with regularity and has almost beaned two hitters in this game. He makes plenty of mistakes, but he’s also the most talented player in the series, and he’s on fire at the moment.

  4. S

    Is it all bad writing at this point? has it finally gone to shit? I was never supersold on Raichi, even though he’s leagues better than most characters here.I guess tecnically he’s in my top.. four characters. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing him win this thing, as long as Nori goes up in flames like a toasted seaweed paper

    But that means I have to sit through the episodes and feel violated. Build Nori up to some hero out of nowhere and then cop out with an injury, when it suits the plot. blergh.

    It might be time for me to stop watching this madness, I keep forgetting why I bother.

  5. g

    You can stay. It’s basically last match before a looong break. Second part of the manga has started not so long ago, it has only 20 chapters or so. I doubt they will animate the current chapters. They’d rather wait for the material to accumulate little more.

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