The concept is right in the title: what if high school baseball team manager read Peter Drucker’s classic book on management? Which of course begs another question, who cares? Drucker is a classic in the same way Sun Tzu is a classic, he said a bunch of stuff that is now common wisdom. I look forward to titles based around ‘what if a Korean progamer read Sun Tzu’s Art of War?’ and ‘what if a WoW guild leader read Machiavelli’s The Prince?’. It’s a bizarre starting point, but in fairness it’s also the most memorable thing about the series. Not because it’s particularly interesting but because everything else is so snore-worthy.
VLC kept throwing out these weird encode errors, so I stayed awake by trying to screencap them all. The actual show has the flattest visual style I’ve ever seen. Every frame looks like it could be a painting on the wall of a shitty motel in a better anime. The palette is muted, the characters are largely static, and worst of all the directing is atrociously safe. Sit down and watch an episode, count how many montages you see. Production I.G. has always had kind of a plain-Jane approach, but this is just awful.
You can hardly blame them for not being able to drum up much enthusiasm though, the only thing more boring than the visuals is the story. You aren’t going to get a lot of surprises out of a sports show/movie, but even for its genre Moshidora! was a bore. They lose a bunch, then, after a few extra montages, they start to win. They guy who commits all the idiot unforced errors saves the day at the last minute. The quiet girl makes a big emotional speech to the main character. I could tolerate a formulaic show if it brought something, anything new to the table, but all Moshidora! has going for it is a decades-old book that is only tenuously relevant to anything.
For the record, I only picked the show up because of the Drucker namedrop in the title: I am a big huge nerd who wants to study corporate governance and I read about management-related stuff occasionally. But beyond a couple dumb truisms there’s no real significance to the book’s presence in the series. It’s such a weird gimmick for a baseball show, you wonder how it will fit into a sports anime. And lo and behold, it doesn’t really fit in at all! Also apparently four separate Japanese teenagers have independently read an 80-something year old English book about business management? I guess Japanese schools really are better than ours.
If the show has anything going for it, it’s the main character, a female character who actually kicks ass and takes names as a manager. She bosses people around, she makes tough calls, she makes it look good. And her inevitable childhood trauma is actually kind of interesting; she hates baseball because she lost her starting position when the boys on her little league team matured faster than her. There aren’t all that many competitive girls in anime, they’re always eager to roll over and let the cocky black-haired shounen main character take over. But Minami is a pretty thin silver lining to Moshidora!‘s dark cloud of boring.
I can’t really think of anything else nice to say about the show that doesn’t begin with “well, at least it didn’t…”, so I think I’ll leave it at that. Moshidora! had an original concept that turned out to be original because no one else had been dumb enough to try it. My recommendation: don’t let it steal five hours from your life like it did from mine.