kaigou: Sorry to barge in, but we have a slight apocalypse. (3 slight apocalypse)
Those of you reading me for awhile know I was a jock for a good while, and retain a lot of that mindset. I was on crew in high school and college, and part of choosing it in the first place was because I didn't like to run, so track was out of the question; I hated swimming (though I was actually a moderately strong swimmer); and I had the eye-hand coordination of a small rock -- which ruled out soccer, baseball, basketball, and field hockey. Crew isn't a one-season sport, either -- we were on the water all seasons except for about November through March (when hypothermia was an issue), and even then we were doing land training in prep for the spring racing season. That cut down on ever having time to be exposed to any other sports, so I never really learned to appreciate anything but, well, crew.

Now, my first partner was a former HS-level football player (center, IIRC), and it's thanks to J that I was finally exposed to the strategy in football and learned it was more than just a ball, some running, some pushing. (Also keep in mind that crew is one of the least contact-sports out there, so anything involving "pile up on the other guy" left me kind of baffled as to how and when and why.) Fast forward a few more years and the chance to attend my B-I-L's hockey game, and I got to see just how much strategy and teamwork goes into hockey (and by extension, similar sports like lacrosse and soccer).

All that said, I've never had any interest in sports movies or sports animes. Hollywood movies, bleah, because almost without exception the focus is on one person's (excuse me, one white man's) journey from inept newbie to star of the team. That never jived with me, because crew is a sport where if one person shines, it's to the detriment of the team, in terms of competition. The goal is to become a seamless group, where the whole is greater than its parts, so Hollywood's insistence that there always must be a 'star' of the team runs counter to my understanding of what it means to be a team.

And, of course, with sports anime -- do I even need to mention TeniPuri here, or did you see that coming already? -- again there's the emphasis on 'star' of the team... and a bizarre martial-arts-influenced emphasis on special moves. It's so often treated like it's all a fight, complete with sweeping lines like flying through the air, so on and so on.

I believe it was [profile] xian_pu who first mentioned Ookiku Furikabutte (Big Windup), and it was her explanation that had me intrigued enough to check it out. Mostly, I think, because she made it clear the focus wasn't necessarily on a 'star' player who single-handedly leads the underdogs to greatness (although there's shades of that in the story), but because the main character has such low self-esteem despite working so damn hard, and the team has to come together as an actual team to achieve anything. No special moves, no flying through the air, no crazy attack names, just the team and the sport.

Now the series has finally started its second season, and I'm starting to get cranky that CentralAnime is slowing on its fansubbing -- they were releasing on Wednesday evening weekly, then it became mid-day Thursday, and the most recent fansub came out on Friday evening. Slowing down, people, and meanwhile NicePitching (who does the scanlations) is so very very slow. Normally bearable, but not when they're translating a single chapter in sections and split it right at a major cliff-hanger. Cruel, cruel!

I can't believe I'm hooked on a baseball series -- but more than that, I can't believe I'm hooked on a baseball series that's actually also teaching me a lot about baseball. Hell, if any of my PE teachers in grade school had even remotely explained half of what Oofuri explains in a single half-hour segment of a game, I would've been a lifetime diehard baseball fan. Even with such miserable eye-hand coordination.

Other folks who've explained the series' virtues, better than I:

Bateszi Anime Blog: Time to champion Ookiku Furikabutte
[personal profile] glittertine: Oofuri Chapter 24b
[personal profile] littlebutfierce: Why I Love Ookiku Furikabutte

You can find the manga on Onemanga.com, and the fansubs (including first season) by searching on Tokyo Toshokan.


kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

October 2016

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