I am totally gay for Ookiku Furikabutte. This is important for a couple reasons:
1. I hate sports. I HATE THEM. They confuse me, and they're boring, and even men running around on a field in matching outfits can't convince me that they're worth watching. (EVEN THE MATCHING OUTFITS.) AND THEY'RE CONFUSING. And I'm not saying this because I once asked how many quarters were in a football game. Or if we were winning before the game even started.
2. So it would follow that I hate sports anime, right? RITE? I actually tried really hard this aspect to change. I TRIED SO HARD to like Prince of Tennis, and Eyeshield 21, and Whistle, and Hikaru no Go, if you count pushing lettered crap around on a table as a sport. I tried watching them, tried truly appreciating the ARTFORM that each of their respective sports was, the PURE DETERMINATION and goofy music that came right alongside something dramatic, like a hand cramp. But I couldn't. The characters were simply too two dimensional, self-centered, and solely driven on ONE POINT. It made them all impossible to suffer. Mada mada dane, as that one guy in PoT says, which of course translates to "Sports anime is where fun goes to die." Look, I don't know what it has to do with Tennis either. I think it's slang.
The point is, Ookiku Furikabutte, or Oofuri, is a baseball anime. And I am totally gay for it. Why? WELL I'M GLAD YOU ASKED.
The main character, Ren Mihashi, isn't a holier-than-thou douchebag, who struts around the field slowly but surely winning the hearts of his endlessly numbered teammates, using his UNNATURAL TALENT FOR [insert sport here]. Mihashi cares so much about pitching, and what other people think of him. He has so much personality it's exploding off my computer screen. Granted his personality is wimpy, timid, and wildly insecure, but it's the last thing you'd expect. I don't know any other main character from a sports anime who literally bursts into tears every two minutes. You don't even want to like him at first.
He meets Takaya Abe after being unwillingly pulled into his new school's baseball team. Abe is a catcher, and pretty much tells Mihashi flat out that he's annoying. They are TOTALLY GAY for each other. After they start getting to know each other, their entire lives revolve around the other's existence. Mihashi wants desperately for Abe to like him, Abe wants to win Mihashi over so he isn't tempted to return to his old team. There is handholding and verbal confessions. I didn't even KNOW the catcher gave signals to the pitcher, so hey, you learn knew things every day, right? I AM LEARNING THINGS ABOUT BASEBALL. And after finally succumbing to the fandom, I've realized how important it is for the pitcher and catcher to get along.
Lastly, the mangaka (Asa Higuchi) is a WOMAN. This is the greatest thing to ever happen to sports anime. She gives everyone a personality, even the supporting characters on the team. On all the teams we meet. Personalities that REAL PEOPLE have, if you can imagine. With real feelings and reactions and everything! It's weird, I know. Sometimes I even laugh because what happens is genuinely funny, as opposed to snickering at how ridiculous the whole thing is.
I say all of this because I just rewatched the opening, with Mihashi's last game at his junior high. No one has come to root for his team. There is a close up as Mihashi looks to the catcher for support, and the catcher's hand stays completely limp. AND IT BROKE MY HEART INTO A MILLION BITE SIZED PIECES.
So CONGRATULATIONS, Oofuri, for making me give a shit. I am SO IMPRESSED.
More fagging over Oofuri later.