The team looks at Mihashi with a strange mix of exasperation, disdain, and accusation which sums up their feelings toward him. Note the catcher’s icy expression.
The timid protagonist trembles on the mound. Mihashi is obviously expecting what comes next but he’s still stung when he looks up to find the catcher ignoring him. Offering him no signals, only cold silence.
Watch the opening theme at Youtube.
He graduates to a different high school with plans to never participating in baseball again but Nishiura High’s baseball coach, Maria Momoe, grabs him. He suddenly finds himself recruited.
Mihashi is introduced his future teammates, Abe and Sakaeguchi. The players are all freshman because it’s the school’s first official baseball team. The team’s lucky catch is Tajima the star athlete and the skilled batter, Hanai.
When Momoe’s qualifications as manager comes under fire by Hanai, she lets the team know she’s in no way inferior to her male counterparts in terms of skill —
Or strength. Here, she demonstrates muscle power under the guise of squeezing juice for her adorable baseball players.
Hanai enjoys freshly squeezed juice. Kinda gives new meaning to “eat your words”.
The team thinks he’s an ace pitcher when they learn he’s from Mihoshi, a private middle school. He tearfully corrects them. He became the pitcher because his grandfather owns the private school. He wasn’t a very good pitcher but he refused to give up the mound causing his team to have a miserable 3 year losing streak. Abe bluntly tells Mihashi that he is unpleasant; however, he has no problem with him as a pitcher.
Abe convinces Mihashi to practice and ends up in love— with Mihashi’s controlled pitches. Mihashi reveals he has four different types of pitches.
Abe wants Hanai to practice batting with Mihashi but he refuses citing he has no intention of joining. So Abe gets him to accept a three strike challenge which is really a trick to make Hanai join the baseball team once and for all because he knows Mihashi will strike him out.
Before the challenge begins, they practice signals in the dugout where Abe promises he’ll make Mihashi a true ace.
Hanai can’t believe he lost the challenge (as Abe predicted). Abe explains he lost to Mihashi’s pitch control. Mihashi divides the strike zone into 9 sections, a skill even the elite pros haven’t mastered. Abe confidently proclaims they can win the regionals with Mihashi.
Mihashi’s nerves fail at the though of making it to the regionals and states, “Impossible.” He riles up the team with his lack of conviction. Even Momoe is annoyed and threatens him with bodily harm if he displays his negative attitude again.
Momoe follows through with her threat when Mihashi balks at the announcement Nishiura High’s first practice match is against his old teammates. She demands he stop acting so timid.
She crushes another orange to prove she’s serious and gives him an ultimatum: change his disposition or don’t pitch.
Copyright 2007 (DoA)nimation. Images copyright to their respective owners.
Watch the ending theme at Youtube.
Tags: Ookiku Furikabutte