Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Ookiku Furikabutte 25: Life Goes On...

The look on their faces say... all the wrong things...

The final episode of OoFuri... (excluding the recently available unaired 26th episode, which from what I've seen off Seleria's post is really a side story) What can I say, I'm gonna miss this show for a while... and if Major can get 4 seasons, I'm certainly demanding one more (at least!) for Ookiku Furikabutte. I need to see Mihashi, Abe and the rest of the Nishiura team wiping off that smirk off Haruna's face! Thanks to Central Anime for releasing the subs, since my raw watching experience with this episode ended up as a slightly disjointed one :S

Boys, boys, there's enough of Mihashi to go around...

Nice to see they brought back the umasou~!

This episode closes off the series on a rather open, life goes on note. Tajima, Izumi, Abe and Hanai gather at Mihashi's place and reflect on their recent win against Tousei over some umasou~! curry rice amongst other idle chit chat. Mihashi also somewhat realizes how far he's come since the days of being the hated outcast at Mihoshi and how much a part of the team he's become now with Nishiura. After episodes of hard hitting (and hard pitching) baseball action, it really is a fitting closing episode that helps us wind down together with our players (which still leaves a wide open opportunity for future installments!) after a immensely satisfying climax in the previous episode.


As a final episode, I treated it as a tribute to the key players in this immensely enjoyable series, starting with...

Tajima (aka 'Masturbation kid' XD): Throughout the series he's been consistently impressive with his talents and off-the-wall remarks. And I so do like a character who appreciates his/her food... :D
Tajima is one of those just full of energy and life characters that lights up the scene instantly when he's around. He's also incredibly sharp and shares an unerring understanding of Mihashi as a friend. It cracks me up whenever Abe fails to understand a word or action of Mihashi's, yet it's all effortless to Tajima :D
Tajima says the darndest things... XD

I like how they brought up the awesome swing which Tajima pulled off during the game, which they would've lost had he not done that, as acknowledged by Abe. We also learn a bit about why Tajima chose to study in Nishiura, which has to do with an incident with his great grandfather collapsing one day and his entire family rushing him to the hospital... and leaving poor Tajima rushing back to an empty house. Apparently the family he lives with is so large they totally took for granted that he was with them at the hospital -_-" Since then Tajima chose to study in Nishiura since it was close by and he'd know if an ambulance passes by in another emergency (the long story's relevance to the conversation was really not apparent to me until I watched the subs >.<). In his mind, Abe was thanking Tajima's callous family for their son's enrollment in Nishiura and becoming a member of their team. So was I!

DangoDaikazoku Arigatou!

...About as welcoming as the innkeeper from Fruits Basket...

No episode of OoFuri is complete without Mihashi freaking out like the frightened little jitterbug that he is XD I highly doubt if he'll ever grow out of his flightiness despite the steady improvement in his character along the way, which really is fine by me as a source of a lot of comedy in the show. But despite his shortcomings in the self esteem department (it took him forever to realize that Abe was bluffing when he asked Mihashi to step off the mound diring the crucial stage of their previous game. Thinking that Abe and the team must really be very displeased with his 'selfishness' in refusing to step off, Mihashi spends most of the episode in distress over the issue -_-")

The real tribute to Mihashi is when Izumi passes him a note from Shinooka with written comments from all the team members about the game they just won, and almost everybody had to mention how impressed they were and how so much of the team's performance really relied on Mihashi's pitching strength (Abe had to be the sourpuss who mentions what a 'close win' it really was). It should really come as a vindication for Mihashi, to know that he is fully accepted as a true ace pitcher for his team. Though knowing him, he'll probably need to be reminded again and again in the future, but at least it's proof that he's successfully left his dark days of baseball with Mihoshi behind.

But what I truly enjoyed was the tribute to the volatile (and closely bordering on violent, lol) relationship between Abe and Mihashi XD

Abe always means SRS BSNSS

So someone could use a little anger management classes... Well I hope not, since the fees are probably too high for a high schooler to bear, and it's more fun to watch Abe go ballistic on poor Mihashi over every little miscommunication =P Somehow it never really got old for me through the series, and has played its important part in building up Mihashi's character. Abe too, gives his best efforts in trying to understand Mihashi as a person and to strive to advance themselves as a strong battery for the team. Although he probably has quite a bit more to learn...

Am I the only one who thinks Mihashi's antics are actually quite adorably hilarious? =P

Also in this episode:

Hanai got a small monologue where he ponders that Mihashi does irk him almost to the same level as he irks Abe sometimes, but since Abe's got the abusive front covered, the team captain's relationship with Mihashi has been a placid one, to his relief (and Mihashi's too if only he knew, lol). Hanai started out as a rather 'too-cool for this team' character when we first saw him, but when the true potential and strength of the team quickly became apparent, he too quickly integrated with the rest to form yet another integral part of Nishiura. And we should always remember that it was his dumb luck that drew their team against last year's champions in their first match that set the entire second half of this series in motion. Cheers to Hanai!

And we shouldn't forget the roses amongst the thorns. The women of OoFuri are a nicely varied bunch, from the capable and sweet Shinooka to the awesome 'juiciness' (so-to-speak) of Momokan and even the ever supportive moms. Also, surprisingly for her late introduction in the series, Ruri probably had more of an impact to the story than all the others combined. So here's saluting her for pulling "Ren-Ren" out of his one of his major funks in the game.(Yay for Marina Inoue voicing Ruri. Her Minami-ke 'sister' Rina Satou was the announcer during the match, btw. It makes me think that Haruka-sama is the one behind the stands voicing lines such as "Be careful of foul balls", lol)

Finally there's Kanou, or Shuu-chan as Mihashi calls him. A salute for believing in Mihashi even when his entire team refused to acknowledge him, and for encouraging an old friend to keep on pitching. If the series does continue on, would it become inevitable that Nishiura and Mihoshi face off once again later on? Yet another match to look forward to... *Has already deluded self into thinking that there are future seasons confirmed...*

One more for the fangirls ;P

Sleep well Mihashi. You deserved it ;D

As if to highlight the fact that the show is ending on a feel good manner, we end with a scene where Mihashi napping peacefully. It give the viewer who's somewhat disappointed to see a series they've enjoyed coming to a close (i.e. me) a sense of peace with the show, I suppose. Eventually training with Momokan and the team will resume for him, and there'll be many other teams for Nishiura to play against... But till then, and as long as he can continue pitching, all is well in Mihashi's universe (unless he's dreaming of Abe torturing him XD), and perhaps we will one day see him in animated action once more... Here's hoping anyways!


Anonymous said...

I really do wish that there would be a second season... but as I have heard it takes long for the manga to be publish so it might take some time for the anime as well... well that's what i heard... I find the anime very entertaining and made me appreciate baseball not just as a physical sport but one that requires great annalyzation as well... plus the characters as so real to life that you can relate to them at times... hehehhehe... thank you for the post... it was a joy to read about my favorite episode in the anime...

Anonymous said...

Second season is coming out in the spring of 2010 in Japan. :3 I can't waiiiiiiiiiit!