The main protagonist, and also the best character in this anime.
The end of an era beckons, as the long-reigning ‘Anime of the Year 2008’ title holder Wolf and Spice has finally been deposed from its throne. After nearly two years, the wolf girl has finally been swatted away out from the baseball stadium by a part-time baseball anime, full-time psychological thriller titled One Outs. Read on to see how this anime tramples over the sport genre handicap like it is nothing as the anime obtained the elusive 10 out of 10 rating.
And this is why he is so awesome.
A legendary clean-up batter from a weak minor league baseball team is training himself in the off-season to prepare for the new season. There he meets with the main protagonist in a modified 1-vs-1 baseball game called ‘One Outs’. The batter miraculously wins the game and subsequently took the main protagonist into his baseball team, aiming for the championship (not Koshien thank god).
This is the main antagonist behind the curtains that always wanted our protagonist to fail.
No matter how you look at this anime, comparisons with the likes of Akagi and Kaiji will be inevitable. Just like Akagi, the main story is basically non-existent, but the baseball games are awesome. The games in Cross Game or Ookiku Furikabutte is nowhere as brutal as the games in here. The main protagonist doesn’t have a 160km/h fastball like the protagonist in Cross Game, but the former is so dangerous with his ability to read people minds, getting his teammates or foes to do what he wants, engaging in mind games and psychological warfare. He is even better than Akagi in that he made his own luck instead of having it handed to him.
But more often than not, or actually all the time, he will have his ass handed to him by the main protagonist.
The presentation of the baseball games are done very well; there are no games that takes too many episodes, but still allows for the awesomeness of the main protagonist to be shown. The presentation is excellent and the pacing of the games are impeccable. The arc transitions, whilst not perfect, are also better than the ones in Akagi (one of the blips in that anime IMHO). The ending is probably too tight, which has the double effect of making the ending too rushed, but also open-ended. Uhmmm… can we have a second season of this anime Japan?
And this is his face as he sees his debts increased.
Character development is the only part of this anime that is markedly inferior when compared to Akagi and Kaiji. In Akagi and Kaiji, their main protagonists started each series as n00bs who will then VERY QUICKLY learns their way in their respective high-pressure environments. Here in this anime the main protagonist is actually very good from the start, and all he has to do is to plot the downfall of his foes on the opposing team (and the high-ups in his own team). The far simpler character development strategies of our main protagonist here mean that he at the end of this anime is the same character that starts at the first episode. He wasn’t really helped by his opponents who are too weak, so far.
His teammates are in awe as they watched the main protagonist trolling another opponent.
While this anime is seinen just like Akagi and Kaiji, the character designs in this anime are definitely well within shounen genre territory. There are quite a lot of black hairs here too (and so are brown), even if the main protagonist is blonde (probably dyed). A positive point for this anime.
And the baseball team manager of course would want to use the best pitcher in Japan as much as he can.
Unsurprisingly, the same voice actor for Akagi and Kaiji also voiced the main protagonist of this anime, which will automatically makes him the best voiced character in this anime. He has far more dialogues in this anime compared to Akagi too. As a whole. voice acting in this anime is flawless. A positive point for this anime.
WARNING: If he smirks, someone is going to get shafted in the ass.
Only the OST in this anime is good, but not for any of the OP/ED themes. Definitely inferior overall to Akagi and Kaiji.
Another screenshot of him, complete with an apt description of him.
The animation quality in this anime is good, even in fast-paced scenes. Choreography in this anime is just average though. I have nothing to complaint about the director here.
Another picture of him, after pulling yet another miracle.
As mentioned above, 10 out of 10 despite the sport genre handicap. And of course this anime will replace Wolf and Spice as the best anime in 2008. If I were to compare this anime with Akagi and Kaiji, this anime is better than the latter but not the former. This is mainly because the mahjong games in Akagi are more intense and exhilarating plus it has better character development strategies.
More pictures of him looking down on his opponents, and you!