Ookiku Furikabutte: Beware of Wild Momokans, For They Are Deadly and Quick to Anger

Once one grabs hold of you, you are through. End. Owari. Finito. So tread carefully.

Halfway through the little-seen but much-lauded Ookiku Furikabutte, I think I’ve finally gotten a grasp on the style of the series. It is a sports anime, of sorts, but the focus isn’t the actual sport, it’s the players of the sport. It’s definitely bringing back echoes of Princess Nine to me, doubly so because the manga is authored by a woman, although Princess Nine was shoujo, and Oofuri is seinen. The original manga actually ran in Afternoon, so for anyone who knows their manga serials, that’s a good sign, as I don’t think there’s been something I’ve read or seen that ran in Afternoon that I’ve disliked. From the soft and gentle Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, to the rather less soft and gentle but still in the same sort of mindset Parasyte, it’s all been great.

In the case of Oofuri, it’s a fun series to watch. From the ever genki and cheerful Momoe, the coach, to the interplay between the nine members of the team (the names of which I can never remember, too many of them are regulated to bit roles in the face of the major focus, Abe and Ren, but they’re all fun). The series is about embracing teamwork in one sense, but in the other, it’s the story of a very personal growth of Mihashi Ren from his timid, low-self-esteem roots to a much more sociable person. It’s sort of a tale of recovery from bullying.

That doesn’t mean that there isn’t actual sports in this sports anime–it could hardly be called sports anime if it didn’t have actual games, but so far we’ve only had one, a scrimmage match against a team which contained most of Ren’s former teammates–the same ones who begrudged him for being the ace pitcher and who cost their middle school most of their games (or so they think). And even then, that game wasn’t about the tension of whether or not they were going to win, but the tension came from a combination of the characters’ own actions and the actual game itself. And, hey, if you ever wanted to see what Lelouch would look like playing baseball, Fukuyama Jun plays a bit character in that game, with a quite similar voice. It certainly amused me.

The non-game episodes are spent training, having impromptu birthday parties, making jokes about masturbation (it must be a sports manga meme to do sex jokes; Hajime no Ippo had plenty of “Ippo has a big ol’ one” jokes strewn liberally throughout the series), and having science lectures. The last of these amuses me greatly, because you’re sitting there watching a baseball anime, for chrissakes, and all of a sudden all these complicated psychology terms crop up and the teacher sponsor for the club makes them do some weird activity to boost their brainpower. It’s strangely surreal.

The series certainly isn’t for you if you have some kind of weak main male character allergy, although Ren is far from most characters who get termed “weak” main characters (he does not, for instance, ever accidentally brush against Chiyo’s bosom. Not once), but, then again, we live in a world where people hate Renton Thurston, so it’s a toss up.

And speaking of Shinooka Chiyo, she is the greatest thing in sports anime ever. She gets tragically short screentime, but every time she’s on screen, it’s mega-cute. She’s just there for relief from the male-overload, like Momoe, but that’s okay. She’ll be a love interest later in the manga, I just know it. Proof of cuteness:

She is truly dedicated to baseball. She will even wear herself out watching bad videotapes of baseball tournaments to collect data on opposing teams’ players. That is hardcore.

4 Responses to “Ookiku Furikabutte: Beware of Wild Momokans, For They Are Deadly and Quick to Anger”

  1. 1 rah2 5 March 2008 at 2:12 pm

    I think I should warn you: If you think Chiyo is a big bundle of cute, wait till you see Ren’s sister. Then it’s just….It just knocks everything out of the ball park and makes the lights explode.

  2. 2 lilykt7 19 April 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Chiyo is adorable, I LOVE her. Ren’s cousin is cute too. I actually may like the manager on Haruna’s team the best though.

  3. 3 doorah 28 August 2008 at 11:35 pm

    I totally agree! Shinooka is tres cute and…I bet both Ruri and Chiyo will be the guys’ love interests later on-

  4. 4 Penny Stocks Canada 6 September 2014 at 3:59 pm

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I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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March 2008

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