Tuesday, November 27, 2012


When I first heard the concept behind Moshidora, it cracked me up. A high school girl manages her high school's baseball team using Peter Drucker's business book Management. How were they going to pull that off? I expected a comedy about a failing team that pulls wacky stunts as they vainly try to apply corporate management techniques into their training. I was not expecting a heartfelt slice-of-life show that balanced comedy and drama in a sincerely told and uplifting story. For whatever reason, baseball media seems to be especially good at this sort of underdog tale.

Kawashima Minami volunteers to manage her high school's baseball team when her best friend, and the team's current manager, Miyata Yuki is hospitalized. Minami hates baseball and knows nothing about management, but being a gung-ho young woman she visits the bookstore and finds a volume with which to educate herself about the latter. The team is full of unmotivated and discouraged young men, but Minami applies herself, and with the help of Yuki and team member Nikai, she employs Drucker's techniques to energize and focus the team, setting their sights on the Nationals.

Now, I'm not such an anime connoisseur that I can comment knowledgeably on production aspects such as animation, sound, voice acting, and the like. I will say that you're not missing anything if you skip the first two minutes of each episode, which is the introduction and opening theme, the latter of which is pretty terrible. The ending theme isn't bad, but it's nothing special. The animation is good enough that if you're just a casual viewer, like I am, you'll have no cause for complaint. Occasionally the series makes use of super-deformed art for comedic effect. The story is well-told and well-paced. We get some early episodes setting up how Minami transforms the team using management best practices, and then the series tones down on introducing new terms and concepts and goes into showing how the efforts of Minami and the others are working out for the team. There are some predictably dramatic moments, but they're handled very well. Nothing overblown; the characters act how you'd expect high school kids to act under pressure or grief. Overall, this is a funny, sweet stories that tells an uplifting story in just the right amount of time.

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