Diamond no Ace Season 2 – 51 (End) and Series Review

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What a strange final post this is.

Diamond no Ace 2 - 51 -2I think I said pretty much everything I had to say about my parting of the ways with Diamond no Ace last week, so there’s no point in rehashing it.  I don’t know what’s really going on here as far as why what happened in last week’s episode happened – whether Terajima Yuuji was in fact ordered by his editor to make Sawamura Eijun his protagonist over Furuya against his will, or he’s just a massive troll.  Whatever the case may be, this is a writer whose perspective is seriously fucked up, and I just don’t want to subject myself to it any longer.

Diamond no Ace 2 - 51 -3Did I watch the finale?  Yeah, mostly – though I would be lying if I said I went into it with an open mind.  Anti-climax would be far too generous a description for what it added up to for me.  But I’m not going to talk about it much because it left no impression on me at all – I checked out after last week’s episode and I was just along for the screencaps.  Were there any surprises in the way things ended?  No, none at all – as with another series that ended this week, stupidity was rewarded and consequence doesn’t exist in this universe.  And that’s a big hurdle to overcome as far as I’m concerned.

Diamond no Ace 2 - 51 -4Maybe the most interesting question is whether, after 125 episodes (or however many it was) do I regret tagging along with Daiya no A?  Hell, I even read the manga for a while.  I think on balance the answer is “yes and no”.  I mean, I really do think Eijun is a terrific sports protagonist.  And there were some fantastic episodes along the way (usually after horrible ones almost bad enough to make you drop the show).  The baseball side of the show was relatively good, and Yakushi was an excellent opponent to play off of.  With Madhouse and Production I.G. on-board visuals and sound were fantastic.  So there was a lot of good here that I’m happy to have experienced.

Diamond no Ace 2 - 51 -5In the end, though, there is a lot of regret at having wasted so much time with an author who finished off the story (as far the anime has gotten) in such a horrendously tone-deaf and idiotic fashion.  Clearly, he really did think all along Kataoka was a great man and Furuya a great teammate.  There was just no payoff here, no reward, and while that might not be so galling after a one-cour show, after 10 cours it’s a sharp stick in the eye.  None of it really means anything – it was just creative masturbation.  How could anyone not have mixed feelings at best under those circumstances?

Diamond no Ace 2 - 51 -6None of this matters now, because the series is history – it is what it is.  There’s more manga and most likely will be more anime someday, but I’ll content myself with Battery this summer and waiting for the inevitable anime for Major 2nd and Mix – series by authors I know from experience aren’t complete douchebags towards their characters and audience.  Fool me once, Terajima-sensei – fool me 125 times… I will miss having this series be a part of my week, and Haruichi and Raichi and especially Eijun – all of whom deserved better (especially Eijun).  But I won’t miss being pissed off about it most of the time.  Life is too short, even if Diamond no Ace ended up being two episodes too long.

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12 comments

  1. B

    “Life is too short, even if Diamond no Ace ended up being two episodes too long.” Yessssssss Perfect ending missed!!! Even the end of the game was just boring. Who takes 5 years on every other inning then for the very last ending just sprint through what should be very climatic and with the MC…or previous MC in this case. Also did you watch after credits?

  2. G

    Not to sound like a broken record, but I like this anime quite a bit. Even if the end was a little disappointing, it made me feel excited or defeated the whole way through.

    It’s a little like No Country for Old Men, only in that I got really enjoyed the story, but felt bad at the end. I still look back on that movie as a good movie, because it had so many moments that stuck with me.

    I hope it gets another animation when the time comes…

  3. N

    Enzo,
    I’ve never seen an episode of Daiya no A, but I have read all your reviews.
    And even *I* feel like I wasted my time.

  4. S

    The author took a steaming dump on this story and tries to tell the audience that shit doesn’t stink. But I want to throw some serious shade on the director here as well. What kind of series finale removes all sense of suspense in the pen-ultimate episode like that? I mean, the pacing has always been bad. Never have seconds been milked this poorly, and rarely have the long recaps and (mid-swing) flashbacks been more unwelcome. But to make the final inning of the final match in a tight game completely unimportant is a skill only very poor pacing and directing can do. There was no way there was time for a tie or anything, that much was obvious, but even so: Furuya and the coach had unparalleled plot armour against the absolute worst and most anonymous lineup at-bat ever.

  5. R

    Though this series has some ups and downs (mostly downs), glaringly obvious ones, I would like to ask you to at least give the series a chance again sometime in the future when the series is redeemed because I think we can both agree based on your post that it had great potential. Sure, Terajima might’ve been a jerk most of the time but please don’t give up on Eijun! Someday, somehow when news of Eijun performing to his greatest potential and being rewarded for it, please do look back and support him again. That’s all I want to say. 🙂

  6. I’m done, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying it if indeed you are. It’s all a matter of personal taste anyway.

  7. C

    I’ve definitely been frustrated with this season (there were good parts – more downs than ups though), and the lack of consequence here feels so unfair to Yakushi. Comparing Raizo’s inner dialogue (in the final inning “What can I possibly tell these kids? My hands are shaking”) to Kataoka’s opaqueness, how could anyone not have been rooting for Yakushi to win? An injured pitcher pitching to an injured catcher (who after that dive for home base looked as if he was truly past his limit) surely should have had a consequence, but oh well.

    That said, Kataoka’s decision to swap to Furuya in the last inning did make sense/fit his character for me. Ever since his disagreement with Oichai over how to rebuild the team (sacrifice everyone for Furuya vs let everyone play), it felt to me like he had a “you’ve had a turn Eijun, now let Furuya pitch, we play for fun, not to win” mentality, and of course he was going to cycle through his pitchers, one didn’t have a chance to play yet. I don’t think he ever explained his reasoning otherwise.

    Otherwise, this was a fun series, at least back in Season 1 – I loved the ‘mentoring under Chris’ arc which at the end the light returned to Chris’s eyes, the game against Akikawa, the first game against Yakushi etc. The ending might have left a bitter taste, but I thought a large part of the journey was enjoyable.

    Would I watch a season 3? Well, if you’re not blogging it, probably not.

  8. Well, that’s a lot of responsibility on me, heh. But I’m definitely not blogging or following any potential sequel. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 75 times…

  9. C

    I like to think of it more of a condemnation of the anime for not being enjoyable enough to watch if my ‘friends’ aren’t watching it. At the very least I wanted to thank you for your coverage. I actually don’t know anything about baseball outside of this anime, so it was so useful to be able to watch an episode and then come here to check if a particular play was realistic/unusual/a clever strategy used in actual baseball, and also your perspective on the mentalities in actual Japanese highschool baseball (pushing yourself past your limits etc) and how this anime feeds into that mindframe. So thanks for that.

    Plus if you’re not covering S3, you’ll be covering something else instead. It’s not like it’s DnA or nothing, haha.

  10. I appreciate that. Eijun deserved better and so did we, but in the end a series is only as good as the writer. I don’t think baseball anime is going anywhere – we may have a season here and there bereft of it, but there are some popular and far better baseball manga out there that are going to be anime sooner or later, and I plan to be there when it happens.

  11. T

    Is having the MC (main character) constantly getting shafted such a deal breaker, though? It’s something new where a secondary character keeps winning over MC, for a change. In fact, I can’t recall where the MC loses to a secondary character and for that reason alone, I like it. But easy for me to say as a non-watcher. Now I’m sure there are other issues here (bad storytelling, stone-faced bore as the secondary character, etc, etc), but I get the impression that folks here feels that MC constantly losing in anime is the deal breaker and any other is secondary issue.

  12. N

    I agree with your comment.

    Maybe I just can’t understand the opposing arguments, but I still don’t see why swapping Eijun out at the end was such a big deal.

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