Moshidora! Sucked

Moshi Koukou Yakyuu no Joshi Drucker no Management wo Yondara is almost exactly as boring as it sounds. Well, at least it’s honest.

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.

Advertisements

24 thoughts on “Moshidora! Sucked”

  1. Dropped it at episode 4, too boring. This coming from the guy who’s watching practically everything else.

    That Tea show is more exciting than this. Though I’m gonna drop it after I finish the 3rd ep.

  2. I only saw a few episodes, but Moshidora just fell flaccid. There was no tension, no urgency, and no thrust whatsoever in the plot. This idea (Drucker + baseball) wasn’t really too bad of an idea. Unfortunately, all the human elements felt too mechanical and by the numbers. There was no heart to hold up the anime and its gimmick.

    1. By the numbers is exactly the description I would use. You can call basically all of the twists and turns (what few there are), and they’re not even well implemented to make up for that. The Yuki drama at the end in particular just feels like a desperate tug at the viewer’s heartstrings.

      I probably would have been more forgiven if the baseball didn’t suck too.

  3. I’d like to point out two things:

    1. You’re using VLC.
    2. Moshidora was made for 30-year olds. It wasn’t meant to be an entertaining show. It wasn’t meant to be another anime series where you can laugh and cry and be entertained by. It was a novel meant for businessmen who were too lazy to pick up the actual book by Drucker and wanted a more visual approach. Obviously, anime, the medium, is not exactly the best educational medium to play with, therefore resulting in the show that you dislike.

    Well, fuck you, because I’m liking the show.

    1. 1. Harsh software burn, bro.
      2. Have you watched the show? You would learn more about the book by reading its wiki entry, or its table of contents. If Moshidora! was supposed to be edutainment, it’s an even bigger failure than I thought.

      1. 1. It’s not harsh. Nobody who watches anime decently would use VL fucking C, as apparent in your screenshots. Switch to something that actually renders encodes properly, doesn’t have seeking issues, nor requires a subtitle library building every fucking time.

        2. I’ve watched the show. Why the fuck would you think I say I enjoyed it? I could learn MORE about the book by reading it, or about it, but I can ENJOY it more in an anime format. That’s not to say I’m using this show as a business guide, which you seem to put my post as.

        Lastly, this show was not supposed to be your typical anime entertainment show, as I said above. This show was not another sports show. This show, and the novel it was based off of, was geared towards 30-40 year old people in Japan, because we all know two things about Japanese people:

        1. Their business methodologies are shit and outdated. That’s why their economy has been stagnant the past two decades.
        2. Anime is one of the more popular media. Anime, if you watched enough of it, is not all about purely entertainment. Hell, this season we have two, if not three shows, by which entertainment is not the main focus.

        Combine the two and you have Moshidora. If you watched Moshidora expecting an entertaining sports show, you’re doing it wrong, so don’t blame it on the show. As someone who manages an anime blog, you sure don’t seem like one who knows much about watching anime.

        1. Dude, you can’t have it both ways. You say it was not meant to be an entertaining show, but then you say enjoy it more in an anime format and that it was geared to teach people about Drucker in a more visual way. Ergo, it was meant to be entertaining.

          Still, who gives a shit what the creators intended? If you stick a generic anime heroine and a generic Koshien storyline into a show, expect to be compared to every similar anime regardless of what you intended. Authors are no longer gods to their text.

          Besides, even in teaching Drucker’s principles, it failed to deliver any insights. A good textbook may lack drama, but at least it’ll teach me something as opposed to this stale anime.

          But fine, let’s have it your way. This blog’s “intended goal” is to host its bloggers’ honest reaction to anime. It’s not, however, about sperging out over the “right” way to watch an anime. Fin saw the anime, was honestly bored, and described how she felt. In this sense, her post accomplished the goals of this blog, ooooooh. So fuck you if you didn’t enjoy the article.

      2. And if you thought that Moshidora was better as an entertaining show than an edutaining one, then I say you probably watched the episodes half awake with a set mindset that Moshidora was a shit show because it wasn’t PACKED WITH ACTION and OH SO ENTERTAINING. When I watched the show, I knew what I was expecting, and even though I didn’t exactly learn anything new, I could still see where the show was going and how it could possibly work for the most uninformed businessman.

        The premise of the show was a high school girl applying Drucker’s book to managing baseball. In each episode, she takes a key concept from the book and…applies it to managing baseball. The show, nor the novel, achieved its goals. The question therefore is not whether or not the show did what it was supposed to do, but whether or not you were interested in the content of the show to begin with.

        You clearly demonstrated that you were not. Therefore, watching the show with the wrong mindset would cause you to think Moshidora was shit when in fact it wasn’t bad and it was your own subjective, ignorant viewing that elicited such a response from you.

        Once again, I’m enjoying the show, so fuck you if you didn’t.

  4. To E minor, since for some reason I can’t reply to your post:

    There’s a difference between something that’s has entertainment as its prime focus, and something that’s educational but placed in an media that is more easily enjoyed. For example, movies on HBO are entertainment. Mythbusters is the latter. It’s meant to be entertaining…not in comparison to other purely entertaining anime series, but in comparison to a Wiki article or the book itself, which it undoubtedly is.

    I give a shit about what the creators intended, and so should everyone else. You’re advocating the comparison of apples and oranges. That is fine; you can do that, but you’re missing the point and you shouldn’t blame your expectations not being met with this faulty comparison.

    It did deliver insights. Hell, every single title of each episode was a factor in managing a good business. Labour division, innovation, etc., etc., were all key concepts discussed in the book, and the anime serves the purpose of delivering these principles to adaptation in the anime world. It does teach things, even if you don’t see them as something new. Sure, you can argue that everything the anime seems to teach is common sense, but you have to keep in mind that it might be new shit to the Japanese. You may think, how the fuck is that possible? Well, the two decades of utter economic standstill is sheer proof that Japanese businesses are unwilling to deal with innovation and the various aspects discussed in the show. You are very free to view the show as useless from your perspective, but the show was not aimed towards you; it was aimed towards 30-40 year old Japanese people, most likely involved in the white collar industry, who could learn a thing or two about what makes an economy grow.

    Indeed, the blog delivers its purpose – the thoughts of one person on a show. I respect that. I’m merely commenting on the fact that it was odd that a person who manages an anime blog does not research the shows he/she watches before doing so, which Fin in this case clearly has shown if she thought this show to be another sports show. So yes, fuck me for not enjoying the article. And fuck you for not enjoying my posts.

    1. I don’t care what the supposed primary focus of the show was. It had all of the elements and conventions of a narrative. Mythbusters doesn’t have a narrative. The guys don’t debunk myths within a grand scheme of a story. They just do it and they do it in an interesting way. Moshidora bothered to include a plot and as such, it will be judged in comparison to anything else that has a plot. Just because the show also wanted to educate doesn’t mean it gets a pass on phoning in a boring ass story.

      And sorry, not every theory of criticism positions the author as the god of the text. The audience are not bound by what the creators intended, so no, I will not give a shit what the creators intended. To put it simply, you are in a different school of thought than the writers on this blog and because of this very reason, there really is no reason to continue the discussion. You seem to think no one has any right to criticize the show if they are not part of the target audience. That would put so many critics out of a job — how can anyone criticize something like Transformers when anyone can hand wave away any negative comments and simply say “Sorry, this was intended for brain dead teenagers — not you. For brain dead teenagers, it served its purpose.”

      And I get what you’re saying. This show can be useful to somebody. Likewise, most porn is pretty shit in my eyes, but it’s useful to somebody — that’s why it’s a multi-million (billion?) dollar industry after all. But so what? Do you want us to qualify every statement we make on this blog with “FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE” and “THESE OPINIONS MAY NOT BE HELD BY THE TARGET AUDIENCE THAT WAS INTENDED FOR THIS SHOW?” Because that is ridiculous. Criticism is inherently subjective.

      1. Very well. You may judge it in any method you would like, for instance, towards anything with a plot. I have no authority over your judgment, and likewise neither do you. I am simply stating that doing so will blindfold you from taking the show as it is, since you are comparing apples and oranges by comparing this show to other shows in which the main focus is entertainment and therefore plot development and character focus would be of a higher priority than illustrating the features of the book. Of course, you don’t need to, and you show that you don’t, want to do so, and you are very free to continue to believe the show to be mediocre on the basis that it is an anime series that revolves around baseball set in high school, . Simply put, it does not get a pass on having a mediocre plot, but by understanding the premise behind it, it can very well explain why it has a seemingly mediocre plot, so you can enjoy the things that the show concentrates on instead.

        I am not saying no one has the right to criticize the show if they are not of the correct demographic. People bitch and whine about as many shows as I can think of because, simply put, they are not what the creators aimed for. Does that detract from the quality of the show? No, because shows are created with a purpose in mind, and if the show fulfills that purpose, it can’t give any less of a shit what people outside its demographic, e.g. you and the blogger, think of it. K-On! doesn’t give two shits what 14 year old boys think of it, and Naruto doesn’t give two shits what “classy people with classy tastes” think of it. So long as it fulfills its role in satisfying the needs of its aimed audience, that’s all that matters. I don’t buy products that I don’t need, and businesses don’t sell me products I don’t need. I have every right to criticize Justin Bieber, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that he is pleased with the results he produced, fans are, and the world continues to revolve.

        But it’s funny you bring up critics and Transformers, because as a matter of fact, movie critics DO evaluate movies based on their premises and targeted goals, and not based on their own personal preferences. Movie critics DO see how a movie such as Transformers can be so appealing to braindead teenagers, and thus they judge the movie based on the action scenes. Movie critics understand what the movie they’re aiming for is trying to achieve, and thus give their reviews based on such. They do NOT say that a certain movie is shit because they don’t like the theme. Movie critics, professional ones at the very least, are objective in their reviews and take into consideration what the movie is trying to achieve.

        Actually, yes, if you are to make a criticism, you are implying that the content you post come from YOUR point of view. Likewise, the posts I post come from MY point of view. There is no need in trying to convince one another of each other’s points of views because chances are, we will continue to disagree. However, the point of discussions is simply that – discussing. I CAN show you my point of view, disagreeing or not is up to your discretion. I CAN tell you what I feel about the show, because I think there’s a side to the story that the blogger, or you, did not see. And I CAN hope that you understand my point of view, whether or not you accept and change your mind is to your own discretion.

        Criticism and opinions are by definition subjective, yes. We value different things differently. However, if one was to make a review of a show, that is a different case. If one was to make a review, one would, as stated above, need to consider what the show was trying to achieve, and whether or not it has done so. That’s what makes reviews actually useful: they provide information to those that need it (i.e. people who want to watch the show because of its premise) and nothing more, nothing less.

        1. So long as it fulfills its role in satisfying the needs of its aimed audience, that’s all that matters.

          Movie critics, professional ones at the very least, are objective in their reviews

          If one was to make a review, one would, as stated above, need to consider what the show was trying to achieve, and whether or not it has done so.

          I am fundamentally opposed to everything expressed in these statements and I’ve explained my position so there’s really no reason to continue the discussion. The idea that reviews can be objective is mere sophistry. Sorry, I will continue to think certain anime are shit regardless of whether or not they fulfill their “intended objectives.” If anyone doesn’t like this, too bad — plenty of other blogs to peruse.

  5. To E Minor

    Then it appears we have reached a deadlock. Before I leave (or until I come back because someone else has posted in response to my posts, though I doubt I shall ever return because the only reason why I stumbled upon this blog, or any other anime blog, was through sheer boredom), I’d just like to say

    Fuck your opinions.
    And you are free to fuck mine too.

    1. Apparently you think criticism is objective and has to be on the terms set by the show, so yeah there’s not much sense in talking to you. However as a parting shot let me point out that objectively you are incorrect about Japan’s “shit and outdated business methodologies” in relation to Management (the book). They had massive postwar growth that people referred to as miraculous until the 1990’s, and in particular their management style at firms like Toyota became an industry standard. Drucker’s book came out in ’73. So, objectively, their outdated business practices are probably not going to be rejuvenated by a book that came out more than 30 years ago in a country that at the time they were rapidly outpacing in economic growth.

  6. You are incredibly ignorant, naive, or a combination of both. By your logic, there should be no such thing as a bad manager since, well, managers today came out after Drucker’s book. Think about Europe’s regression into the Middle Ages. You’d think that after the Greek and Roman empires, Europe would steadily climb in culture and technology, since chronologically speaking they were later, but oops, there was a centuries-long regression to primitive lifestyles. You’re wrong to assume that the more contemporary Japanese businessmen in the mid-late 1900s would have already known about Druckers practices, especially in such a prideful, isolationist, and xenophobic country such as Japan. You’re also terribly wrong to think that just because Drucker was Austrian and, LOLHOHO Austrian economy < Japan's that he wasn't more keen than the rest of the Japanese managers combined. In fact, that is one of the silliest conclusions I have ever came across.

    Firstly, you seem to know absolutely nothing about Drucker and his invention of management. Everything you take for granted in good management, and everything you laugh at reading Dilbert's shitty pointy-haired boss was defined by Drucker. One could say that before Drucker, there was no such thing as management. His poignant ideals shaped business management as we know it and has implications throughout time and space. Perhaps you should at least read one of his books. For everything in them that you assume to be common sense, remember that before him, they did not exist.

    Now you're assuming the economic boom in Japan was because of Japan's miraculous management principles. That is your largest mistake. If that was the case, I'd like to say that Japan has regressed over the past couple decades. That would be terrible and thankfully untrue; Japan has kept the same management principles ever since then, and yet for some reason their economy is at a standstill. You fail to realize that Japan's economy boomed in the mid-late 1900s because of a variety of factors, such as American occupation after World War 2 and the subsequent Westernization of many facets of Japan, including technology and industry, or the increased foreign investment. These factors are not unique; we see them today in China, and will you argue that it is thanks to Chinese communist management that the Chinese economy is increasing by 10% each year? The boom was not thanks to Japanese management or business practices because their management and business practices were outdated.

    That is why now that the boom has ended as the yen skyrocketed and everything settled, the Japanese now realize that they're shit out of luck because they never evolved their business practices. See, their business practices helped them _grow_ exponentially, but then they'd hit a ceiling eventually. That is why they're not the largest economy in the world; the US is, and that is largely thanks to the knowledge worker concept that US managers began taking up after Drucker while Japan held onto primitive business models. That is why contrary to what you believe, Japan, and any other country with poor business managers, can have their practices rejuvenated by an "outdated" book that for some reason many, many managers still do not grasp, or fail to translate to reality successfully.

    Also, your frustration with the show is akin to a airline pilot being frustrated with an F-22.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s