What’s it about ?
Eijun, our protagonist, is still technically in his last year of middle school, but he’s already being scouted Seidou High School, a Tokyo school that’s been recruiting the most promising baseball players all over the country. Since he sucks at exams and his violent outburst during his team’s final match is bound to get him blacklisted from most high schools, it’s not like he has many other options ; his family can’t believe his luck. But since he’s an arrogant little fuck who really needs to be taken a peg or two down, he’s still looking this gift horse in the mouth.
Miss Takashima, the Seidou recruiter, is plenty weird herself. Under her outward appearance of professionalism, she has a core determination to recruit someone she sees as a prodigy, and won’t take no for an answer. Since this is a shounen sports series, she’s most probably right.
Azuma, Seidou’s star batter, rubs Eijun the wrong way when our hero (?) comes visiting a training session (at Miss Takashima’s insistance). You can see his point, as the guy is a massive asshole who bullies his younger pitchers. Cue showdown after Eijun calls him on his bullshit (and throws in some fat jokes, for good measure).
Miyuki, one of the younger catchers, volunteers to catch Eijun’s balls against Azuma, because he finds the new loudmouth interesting (and he’s not afraid of challenging the bully). You can clearly see the cool-rebel-who’s-not-actually-a-rebel checkboxes being ticked.
Eijun’s pals at his middle school (including his not-girlfriend) get quite some screentime, but if the OP sequence is any indication, both he and the show will quickly forget about them, however much he may be protesting he wants to stay with them and not move to Tokyo. Yeah, right.
It’s a shounen sports series that’s probably going to run forever : of course it doesn’t look to great, even in this showcase first episode.
Darn, baseball. Must not fall asleep watching the most boring sports ever… Oh, wait, they hardly play any baseball in this, instead focusing on the melodrama. Fine by me.
This show must be doing something right. I originally had no interest in watching any of it beyond the token preview, but it hooked me enough to make me want to check out next episode’s resolution to the showdown. Admittedly, most of the suspense resides on whether Eijun is worth the hype (something even he doesn’t really believe) ; while crushing Azuma would certainly be satisfying in the short term, I don’t think this is where the series is really going. At least, I hope so, as Eijun is such an irritating little git that I wouldn’t be able to stand everything going his way just because he’s that good. (Also, it’s going to be quite hard to properly justify him moving to Tokyo and leaving all his friends behind.)
You get one more episode. Don’t waste it.