Tamayomi The Baseball Girls
When they were children, Yomi Takeda and Tamaki loved to play catch with each other. Now in high school, the two girls are reunited, and together they decide to start up the defunct Shin Koshigaya High baseball team.
Slowly, more and more people begin to join the team. Carrying a name that was once tarnished, Yomi, Tamaki, and the rest of the Shin Koshigaya High baseball girls are ready to show what they are made of.
I do not like baseball. There, I said it.
Also, it is tough for a sports anime to impress me.
Therefore, right from the start, Tamayomi The Baseball Girls (Tamayomi) was fighting an uphill battle, one I didn’t expect it to win. I am happy to tell you this series wasn’t nearly as bad as I assumed it was going to be.
Tamayomi was a safe, no thrills, utterly average sports anime. Although the by-the-book execution didn’t turn this show into anything special, it did prevent it from being a trainwreck. I’ll even go as far as to acknowledge the first episode was impressive to the point where I knew I probably wasn’t going to hate watching.
To that end, I was right. I didn’t hate this series, and it was nowhere near the worst sports anime I have ever seen (Try Knights). And to its credit, Tamayomi did a decent job of establishing the rapport between the girls of the Shin Koshigaya High baseball team.
These baseball girls loved their sport. Most of them were already experienced players before the story started, but there were no prodigies. That meant that everyone had to work hard to raise the team’s standing. There was no arrogance, no bitter rivalries, and no life-or-death drive to be the best. This was simply a collection of talented players who, with enough practice, could make a name for themselves.
By doing this, Tamayomi relied on its focused sport, and not the personal lives of the characters, to create tension, excitement, and fun.
In other words, this series’ characters were bland, forgettable, and not at all worth your investment. Nevertheless, when it came time to play a match, there was something to cheer for – the team. After all, it was the team that put in the effort to improve, so why should there have been only one star?
Baseball requires everyone to play their part, and any team is only as strong as its weakest link.
I commend Tamayomi for prioritizing the Shin Koshigaya High team, as well as giving a role to every player on it. This meant there was never a lull in the batting rotation, nor a hole somewhere on the field.
Granted, there were no wow-moments, and you could easily watch this series on fast-forward without missing anything. But like I said, Tamayomi was your average, run-of-the-mill sports anime. And that made it super obvious when this show stopped giving a crap.
If you want to see a drastic drop in quality, watch Tamayomi.
I’m not sure what happened. Be it budget constraints, poor management, or a general lack of caring, the jump from episode one to episode two was the visual equivalent of nosediving into a putrid dumpster. I’m talking bad CGI, recycled animation, inconsistent character models, and all the other signs that indicate that something went wrong in production.
As I have long said, animation and visuals are not what make a series worth watching. Still, a poor art style can be distracting when you notice it. Fortunately, there are ways to circumvent this. Mainly, a show needs to have a compelling story, fun characters, or, hopefully, both. Having these qualities allow for subpar animation to go unnoticed, or, sometimes, become part of a series’ charm.
However, when a show doesn’t have that good of a story AND characters you couldn’t care less about, you get something like Tamayomi, which ends up looking like trash.
There were times when this series looked downright ugly and cheap. No matter where you look, you can’t help but see the lack of passion.
I know getting an anime to air is an incredible feat that requires the hard work of so many people. That is why I’m not particularly eager to accuse any show of having not having any effort put into it. But when I come across a series like Tamayomi, it’s hard to say anything to the contrary.
It’s a good thing Tamayomi’s story was as paint-by-numbers as it was. Had it been less, this would have been a catastrophe. As it stands, though, this was merely a no thrills show that hardly got the bare minimum attention any series deserves.
At best, this series was serviceable; at worse, it was laughable. We got a story we’ve seen a million times, along with characters who left nothing behind. And it was all wrapped in a sloppy package that screams something went wrong.
Tamoyomi The Baseball Girls can be skipped.
Tamayomi The Baseball Girls Series Review: Subpar Grit
Writing - 6/106/10
Plot - 6/106/10
Character Development - 5/105/10
Production - 4/104/10
Music - 5/105/10
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