Battery – 08

Battery is definitely a case of gratification deferred at the moment.

Battery - 08 -1At this point I think it would be fair to say that Battery is turning out to be quite a different series than the one I initially imagined it would be.  It manifests not so much in tone and style as it does in theme – certainly, I knew we were in for a measured and naturalistic narrative style in the hands of Mochizuki Tomomi.  It’s a style which, as I I think about it, seems almost as odd a fit with a baseball series as it does with one based on a novel by Asano Atsuko, if No. 6 is anything to go by (and that’s the only one of her works I’m familiar with).

Battery - 08 -2No, where Battery has surprised me (and not for the better, on the whole) is that it seems to focus very little on what I thought would be the major themes based on the first few episodes.  The sibling relationship between the Harada brothers has effectively disappeared from the story, and the subject of Takumi’s individualism and and stubbornness clashing with rigid Japanese sports culture isn’t far behind it.

Battery - 08 -3Some of this, no doubt, is my fault for jumping to the wrong conclusions.  The name of this series is “Battery” after all, so it only makes sense that the pitcher and catcher would be the center of the narrative.  The problem for me comes in the fact that it was that other stuff that had the most build-up, and was frankly the strongest and most compelling drama.  As a result, the current breakdown between Takumi and Gou seems comparatively overplayed – I just don’t think we’ve been given enough reason to really invest ourselves in it emotionally.  And that is a problem, any way you look at it.

Battery - 08 -4Indeed, the primary voice of the narrative for now at least has turned out to be Mizugaki-kun.  He’s kind of Battery’s Greek chorus, providing a snarky running commentary on the breakdown of Takumi and Gou’s on-field relationship and constantly ribbing Kadowaki for his obsession with his “princess”.  Mind you his read of the situation is generally pretty on-point – indeed, Takumi is a pretty fragile figure, as wunderkinds like him often are.  With young kids who’re supremely talented at a sport, finding others who can play on their level genuinely is a problem – and nowhere is that more obvious than with a baseball pitcher.  If Gou can’t catch Takumi’s pitches at full power, it’s not as though there’s anyone else in backwater Nitta who can.

Battery - 08 -6There is an elegance to the way this plays out, I’ll say that much.  In a sense, Takumi’s problem in baseball now mirrors his problem in life – you can’t just go 100% all the time.  Takumi never has an unexpressed thought, he never tempers his demands to the situation.  That causes all of his relationships to be strained, and unless he can prevent the same thing from happening on the diamond he’ll destroy the one real friendship he seems to have forged.  Maybe throwing at 70% isn’t such a bad thing if it means you can actually be part of a team, play catch with a friend and actually have fun.  And maybe compromising once in a while can make life a little more pleasant.  That would be a novel (no pun intended) take on an anime coming-of-age drama, especially a sports-themed one…

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

5 comments

  1. The problems I have with EP is how Takumi / GO didnt make adjustments it should have been obvious / besides the omission of why this happened I just think it carried over from when Takumi / Go had their last fight and Takumi is right they were never friends in the true sense of the word . I think we all overlooked that!

    As far as Seiha I never thought that to be over important in the grand sheme of the anime yes it’s a piece but was more to furthe GO’s role in the anime!

    Now I can apply my own life lessons here and actually like the pick-up games

    From experience ( playing basketball ) Playing rivals off season is nothing new ! We used to play a couple of our rivals all the time and was even more fun mixing the teans up. That being said sometimes you click and sometimes not! But for the most part we all got along pretty good .

    It is obvious via Mizugaki and the cold hearted truth by Coach GO is not up to the task at this moment!

    However Takumi’s social / team skills need to change

    Even with the rematch things contrary to belief are getting interesting

  2. H

    I read an interpretation that sheds a very interesting light on Battery – rather than just reading into it literally, if you look at it allegorically it tells a coming of age story of a gay kid growing up in Japan. I think this fits, because a lot of things in Battery seem really over-dramatized, unless you read into it in that context. Here is the context of the discussion I’m drawing from if anyone is interested. https://www.reddit.com/r/anime/comments/50os5t/spoilers_battery_episode_8_discussion/d767c6c?context=3

    Regardless, I do wish that there was more Seiha.

  3. I disagree with that interpretation; there’s just no evidence of that in the story other than people wanting an explanation for all the drama.

  4. I disagree, I think Souma’s food is very attractive. ;-P

  5. Attractiveness-wise, I’d go for Hayama Akira’s any day…

Leave a Comment