There’s Money Under the Pitch!
- Episodes : 12
- Genre : Sports, Seinen, Comedy, Drama
- Airing Date : October 2018 - December 2018
- Studios : Studio Deen
Gurazeni Season 2 Introduction
It’s been a successful season for Natsunosuke Bonda. The Spiders got a shot at the pennant due partially to Bonda’s hard work, and he’s been making such a name for himself on the team that management is discussing upgrading Bonda to a starter. Just when everything was looking great, though, Bonda breaks his wrist in a nasty accident during his first starting game. This sets back Bonda’s plans, but he’s determined to make sure his efforts prior to his injury don’t go to waste. He’s got his sights set on everything: winning the pennant, catching the attention of the lovely Yuki, and, most importantly, netting a major salary upgrade!
1. Distinctive Art Direction
There’s no denying that Gurazeni’s art is an acquired taste. If you’re into sports anime, you might find the distinctive lack of pretty boys sharing suggestive, intimate relationships offputting. Instead, you’ll find decidedly normal-looking, unimpressive men that wouldn’t look out of place in a discount Detective Conan. However, this actually works in Gurazeni’s favor, as it’s a story about the average man’s plight to make a name for himself in a cutthroat world. A prettier art style would make its narrative ring hollow.
2. More Focused Than Season One
While the second season continues season 1’s episodic approach, you’ll still find much longer story arcs spread across this season. You’ll find Bonda knocking some sense into a promising newcomer to the team, Toka’s woes of keeping his job making color commentary, and more concentrated efforts from Bonda to woo over Yuki that eventually has a payoff. It goes a long way into making Gurazeni into feeling like a cohesive world rather than just a series of incidents.
3. Conceptually Unique
Surprisingly, after the wildly tepid response to Season 1, there has yet to be an influx of baseball management anime rushed into production. And this is a key strength of Gurazeni; it’s still going to be your most entertaining education about the ins-and-outs of what it takes to keep a baseball team going. It takes a highly capitalist, pragmatic view of professional sports and removes the idolization that’s become so associated with them, which continues to make for an interesting watch.
1. More of the Same
Look, the fact of that matter is that Gurazeni Season 2 is really just a continuation of the first without a lot of changes. If you weren’t down with Gurazeni’s more down-to-Earth approach to the sports narrative, Season 2 will do absolutely nothing to change your mind.
2. Weak Animation
There’s just no getting past the fact that, even if you like the art, it’s just really low-budget and not terribly well-produced. It’s not exactly the kind of series that specifically needs a high budget, mind you, but even for the minimal amount of animation Gurazeni requires, it’s pretty bad. It still even reuses the same CG animation of Bonda pitching from the mound that was in season 1 at times!
3. Pulls its Punches a Bit Too Much
One of season 1’s greatest strengths was its unflinching look at the cutthroat world of professional sports and how, sometimes, no matter how much things were working in your favor, everything could still fall apart. Season 2 still has this, but it also may be a little too nice to its characters this time around. Ultimately, Toka gets to keep his commentary job due to a series of absurd circumstances that lead to the guy replacing him getting an even better job elsewhere. A great story revolving around the pointlessness of professional tryouts comes to a strangely happy end where the two characters we follow get picked up by Taiwanese leagues instead. These are still overall interesting stories, but they lose their edge when they’re all ending a bit too sweetly.
When it comes down to it, Gurazeni season 2 is not going to change anyone’s minds about the series as a whole. The animation is terrible, it’s a strange concept for a show, and it’s not really the sort of show that builds up to a grander plot.
That being said, what Gurazeni does offer is something wholly its own, and as a result, is fascinating in its own right. If you’re curious, check out season 1 first and see if it’s up your alley. If you like it, you’ll find season 2 to be a solid follow-up.