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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Big Windup: Part 2
Big Windup: Part 2
FUNimation // Unrated // September 29, 2009
List Price: $59.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted October 8, 2009 | E-mail the Author
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The Show:
 
It's the first game of the season, and the newly formed baseball team from Nishiura High School is matched against last year's champions.  Can Mihashi, the insecure star pitcher, handle the pressure?  Can viewers keep their interest when this animated match lasts as long as a real baseball game (11 episodes)?  Those are the questions we find ourselves asking going into the second, and final, volume or Big Windup.
 
Series Background:   
 
 Mihashi was the starting pitcher on his middle school baseball team, but the only reason he got that position was because his grandfather was the owner of the school.  Ridiculed and ostracized by his teammates, the team looses every single game for the three years running.  Wanting to get away from the teammates who hate him, Mihashi decides to go to a public high school, Nishiura. 

The school is starting their baseball team, all the members are freshman, and when Mihashi shows up at the diamond during practice he gets drafted as the pitcher.  There he meets Abe, a great catcher who came from a school with a prestigious baseball team.  Abe soon realizes that though Mihashi doesn't have much speed in his throws, he has amazing control.  He can throw an entire game and still plant the ball just where he wants it to be.  With Abe's skill at reading batters and Mihashi's precision, this new team may just have a chance.
 
This volume:
 
The last set ended just as the big game against Tosei Academy was getting underway, and it's an important game.  Not only is it the first game of the season, but it could be their last since they have entered a single elimination tournament.  (What?? Why would they run the season like that? 75% of the teams would play 2 games AT MOST in a year!  That's idiotic.)  Naturally Mihashi is a bit nervous, but he's more excited than anything else.  The rest of the team seems calm too, but that's only until they start playing.  Tosei didn't win the whole event last year for nothing, and they're still quite a team. 
 
And that's pretty much what happens in this 12-episode set.  They play one baseball game.  Let me state that in another way:  This animated baseball game lasts longer than many professional baseball games!  I wasn't a huge fan of the first volume, but in this second half of the series the pace slows to an incredible crawl.  If you're looking for fast paced sports action, look somewhere else.
 
So how do they draw this out, making each inning last more than an episode (on average)?  Well, they focus on the batter trying to read the pitcher and predict what type of pitch he'll throw.  "Let's see... for the last batter he threw a fastball, a slider, a curve ball and then another fast ball.  I wonder if he's been saving his fork ball for me?"  If that dialog has you on the edge of your seat wondering if the next pitch is a fork ball, run out and get this set.  If your reaction, like mine, was 'get on with it and throw the ball' then this isn't the series for you.
 
 
The DVD:

 
The second half of this series, 12 episodes, is included in this set.  They are on two DVDs which come in a single width keepcase.  Unfortunately the discs are overlapping on the right page.  I'm not a fan of that style, but I can live with it.
 
Audio:
 
This disc offers the both the original Japanese soundtrack in stereo and an English dub in 5.1.  I greatly preferred the Japanese track.  The English dub features a couple of fake accents in minor characters, but more importantly Mihashi's whining is so irritating in English that I could barely stand it.  He whines in Japanese too but when he does it's not nearly so bad.  In English I really feel like punching him just to shut the guy up.   In addition to that though the English dub is 5.1 the show didn't make use of the rear speakers very often.
 
Video:
 
The full frame image looks pretty good.  The lines were tight and the colors were solid.  There was some aliasing in the program though, mainly in the background, and some minor banding mainly in scenes where the sky in prominent.  Overall this is a nice looking show, though not exceptional.
 
Extras:
 
There isn't much in the way of extras.  The set only contains a pair of clean songs and some trailers.
 
Final Thoughts:
 
Of the 12 episodes included in this set 11 of them, over four hours (!), involve just one baseball game.  *Yawn*  I thought the first set was below average because the main character is such an unappealing wuss (and he still is) but this is ridiculous.  A distinct step down from the first have, otaku should just skip this.  There are many better sports anime shows available.
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