- Genre : Sports!, Comedy, School
- Episodes: 52
- Studio: Madhouse,
Baseball! No really that’s what happens. That’s all that happens! Ok, ok, so after a disappointing performance at the summer tournament in Koshien last summer, the Seido team is getting ready for revenge but now that the third years are gone and a slew of new first year recruits have joined, the roster has been shaken up. Will this finally be the year for Seido and will Sawamura finally be able to prove he has what it takes to be Ace!
The first season of Ace of Diamond is one of the very first reviews I did on this blog. It’s pretty sad if I’m to be honest. Still, it’s my humble little beginnings so I like it. I reread it before writing this review. I had forgotten that the first season was 126 episode. It makes this 52 episode season really modest in comparison. It also means I’ve now watched 178 episodes of this show. And they were almost all the same. No really, I could have copy pasted the first review and it would have been accurate.
The thing about Ace of Diamond is that it always looked really good and continues to do so. There are a few visual tricks that are super repetitive like withe out backgrounds with little particles floating around, split screens and dramatic stills. And I will admit that if you take away all the reused scenes either from flashbacks or just the “previously on…” that episode count would probably drop considerably.
But you know, the production of this show has been fine honed. It knows what it works and what doesn’t. The short cuts are thought out and the emphasis is given on what is most important. The same can be said for the voice acting. It’s occasionally theatrical and there are a lot of characters that seem to be monologuing exposition but the chemistry is there between the characters that to have emotional connections to each other and voices are kept soft and smooth to make sure all that dialogue doesn’t get grating.
What I’m saying is that this is exactly the type of show you would get after nearly 200 episodes from a seasoned studio with a decent budget. Nothing is particularly unexpected or striking but it just works well.
In the first season, I hadn’t yet started to take my own screen caps. For a bit of context, I take screencaps automatically. When I watch on my computer a little program runs in the backgrounds and snaps a shot every few seconds. After which I go through the screencaps and keep on;y the ones I like. It’s not very long. This said, with 52 episodes I ended up with thousands of images. And I went over all of them to decide what to keep.
I’m telling you this because over the thousands of screencaps taken there were maybe 10 that weren’t the characters playing in a game, practising baseball, talking to each other in the dorms about the upcoming game or talking with the coach .. about the upcoming game. There is nothing in this show that isn’t directly linked to the games taking place. So no lonely walks home, no existential crisis, no origin stories. I actually couldn’t tell you if any of the characters have any friends or family unless their also on a baseball team.
As I said in my season 1 review, Ace of Diamond is the quintessential Sports! anime, and if anything it just got sportier in season 2. And that could sound like a bad thing. It would sound like a bad thing to me. After all, it’s a very long series that is very repetitive and of all the commercial sports out there, I think baseball may be my least favourite. That may be because I am absolute and udder rubbish at it. I think it’s impossible. I suspect every baseball game on TV is a huge elaborate hoax like the moon landing!
On paper, Ace of Diamond wouldn’t necessarily strike me as a show for me. But I liked it. I liked it a lot. The repetitiveness itself becomes a comforting and familiar element and as it is handled by an experienced team, it’s done well. Basically , for me Ace of Diamond is the grilled cheese of Sports! anime. It’s not very fancy and the ingredients are pretty mundane, there’s nothing special or unexpected about it, but sometimes, you just really want a grilled cheese (unless you’re lactose intolerant, in which case I’m sorry). And Ace of Diamond Act II is a really yummy grilled cheese!
Favorite character: Miyuki, Just like this anime – my tastes never change
What this anime taught me about myself: Still amazed that there IS a way to make me sit through a baseball game.
“Drinking after work is fine, but if you really want to enjoy working then drink before work.”
Suggested drink: Home run shots
- Every time anyone says the speed of a pitch – quick, make your shot
- Every time the background is white out – breath in , it happens all the time
- Every time Eijun narrates – take a sip
- Every time Sawamura can’t contain his emotions – what else is new?
- if he’s calm – take a sip
- Every time Seido loses a game – cry!
- Every time the sports journalists are used for exposition – pay attention
- Every time a player gets an aura – get ready
- Every time the Red Oni-Blue Oni trope comes up – take a sip
- Every time Miyuki finds something interesting – be scared
- Every time the outfilders come in – take a sip
- Every time someone steals a base – whoa!
- Every time there’s a split screen – actually this happens like 10 times an episode, you probably shouldn’t do anything that frequently
- Every time someone hits a homerun – Cheer!!!
- Every time someone mentions “momentum” – take a sip
with 52 episodes, I took a lot of screenshots…