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The Big Windup! Part 2 - Oofuri

1 rating: 4.0
Funimation Anime DVD Release
1 review about The Big Windup! Part 2 - Oofuri

Big Windup! Comes to a Close

  • Sep 16, 2009
Rating:
+4

Much to the dismay of many critics, I likened The Big Windup to one of the better Shonen (fighting-based) anime series out there only rather than an ongoing tournament, the sport of baseball acts as the catalyst to tie together all of the teenage (and older) characters.

I’m sticking by that claim because quite frankly, the show retains all of the best aspects of a shonen piece with a healthy dose of believability.

Previously released only as an online video-stream, Big Windup! was a Geneon property picked up by Funimation that's finally come to dvd format for those of us who prefer to enjoy our anime on the 42 inch plasma with surround sound (rather than in our media players through two tinny speakers that came with the computer monitor).

Coming at a total runtime of 315 minutes, Big Windup! Part 2 (Oofuri) consists of episodes 14-26 spread across 2 discs packaged within a standard-size dvd case. The show wears an appropriate, if not slightly conservative TV 14 rating (no violence, nudity or foul language).

Extras are limited here to textless songs and a nice assortment of Funimation trailers on the second disc.

As is standard fair with sub & dub anime, the language options consist of the original Japanese dialog track (in stereo) and an English language dub presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround with the option of English subtitles available under either choice.

The story picks up with young student Ren Mihashi’s baseball endeavors coupled to his life as a regular high school student.

Whereas the first edition established Ren’s desire to play ball even if bot hhe and his team’s skill left a bit to be desired, this installment starts out right at the end of spring training.  Mihashi has discovered some newfound confidence thanks to beating his old school in the big game (again in the first release).  With Abe calling the pitches, the once insecure Ren has a few tricks up his sleeve.  However, the big summer tournament is just beginning and as fate would have it, the Nishiura Nine find themselves going up against the defending champs in the very first round.

Being the second and final installment of the show, this set does represent the conclusion of the franchise and is done well accordingly (although you will get the impression that the tale could have gone longer if there had been demand for a continuation).

The story's an even-flowing, fun romp through the rigors of both school life and after school sports activity. It's bright, clean and pleasant in its delivery that uses elements of team-building and personal growth as the backbone to a lot of baseball-game onscreen action sequences.

If this sounds a little odd, don't let the sports-themed arc to trip you up from enjoying a tasty little tale that works for the same reason shonen (fighting-themed anime) is so popular: the viewer ends up caring more about the characters than the specific forms of competition that are used to advance the plot. As it stands however, the baseball animation, scoring-system, and physics are exponentially more realistic (and relatable) than mystical fighting tournaments with monsters and magic spells.

The music is nothing overly dramatic or spectacular but it's catchy and rhythmic in all of the right places. Interestingly, when available as a video stream the only language option was the English dub. Funimation has wisely included the superior Japanese vocal track on this dvd set. Not to suggest that the English dub isn't worthy; the dramatic attempts just simply feel a bit less forced in the chipper and lively Japanese form.

In all, Big Windup! Part 2 continues to make use of some of the livelier aspects of popular shonen anime with a nice likeable cast of characters and some sports elements that nearly anyone can sit down and enjoy.

Cover art for Funimation's release

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September 23, 2009
I'm a retired baseball fan since the strike. I'll watch it if it was the chicks from Ikki Tousen playing the game LOL! nice review as always, bud. I'll be right back...
 
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