Noted tsundere-mongers J.C. Staff bring us a show with a kind of neat setting and absolutely nothing else! Plus, click now and receive a second anime impression absolutely free!
As the title suggests, Taishou Yakyuu Musume is about a girls’ baseball team in 1920s Japan. The Taishou era is actually a pretty interesting period between the modernization of Japan in the Meiji era and the militarism leading up to WW2, when Japan was rapidly adjusting to many imported western customs and ideas (including, yes, baseball and sailor uniforms). And to the creators’ credit they put forth considerable effort in presenting the show as a period piece, the language and manners are very old school and there are none of the usual anime hijinx. The ultra-polite customs can make dialogue seem stilted, but it really adds to the historical credibility. The show also starts with a musical sequence for no particular reason.
Now in a genre where most series fall somewhere between generic and extra generic, I’m a sucker for anything that’s unique, and Taishou Yakyuu is the only anime I’ve seen set anywhere between the Bakumatsu and the end of the Pacific War. My problem is, why is this show set in the 20s? I mean, the way the plot is framed makes it seem as though the point is to highlight the inequality of the sexes during the period by having the girls take up what was then considered a sport only for boys. Except…it’s still considered a sport only men play. There are women’s softball teams, but the only baseball I see taken seriously at any level is still played by men. The Taishou era was filled with radical political movements and reforms, and many conflicts between modernization and tradition, and they pick womens’ sports, a topic that would be exactly as relevant in a modern setting. The show’s gimmick seems to be just that–a gimmick, with no real bearing on any of the show’s themes.
I can’t condemn the show whole-heartedly, it’s honestly kind of cute and it does bend over backwards to make you feel like you’re listening to schoolgirls from 80 years ago, but I just can’t see it becoming anything more than boring. Gee I wonder if they will endure hardships and learn to work together as a team and break down preconceptions of girls being unable to play sports. Gee I wonder if in the climactic game they will beat their opponents in the bottom of the 9th inning when the main character hits a home run. I won’t be watching any more of the show and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone not already bored out of their minds, but at least unlike J.C.’s other summer offering none of the characters peed themselves (so far…).
Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou holds the distinction of being the first show that couldn’t survive our little trio’s scrutiny through episode one. We did somehow struggle through ‘episode 00’, but there were already calls to give up before the 10 minute mark due to the show being boring, insipid, and uglier than a bushel of assholes.
The plot, such as it is, revolves around the main character, who turns magic spells into pans. Like the kind that inexplicably appear above and fall on peoples’ heads in comedic anime and manga. Yes, the entire story is centered around a tired visual comedy device. No, we couldn’t believe it either.
E Minor: welp
Nyro~n: into pans
E Minor: pans?
The Fin: pans
E Minor: I thought it was a spelling error
E Minor: wouldn’t it be cool if like
E Minor: she turned everything into puns
The Fin: pants
Between the stupid story and the gratuitous, ugly fanservice, the whole thing is just an all-out assault on the senses and sensibilities, but it’s also such a goddamn snorefest that I can barely bring myself to type words about it. The disease-ridden tapeworm ribbon on the whole shit package is that the pre-airing episode we watched appears to have been transferred to VHS and then had Sprite spilled on it and been stored in a stuffy attic for 5 years. I don’t know if the rest of the series is also presented by Eyecancer Colorization Ltd., and I don’t care because even if it were in scintillating HD it would still be entirely unwatchable. Stay far, far away from this one if you value your sanity.