Taisho Baseball Girls / Taishō Yakyū Musume

Taisho Baseball Girls / Taishō Yakyū Musume

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Genres: comedy, tournament
Themes: baseball, School Life, sports
Plot Summary: In 1925 (year 14 of the Taishō period), after being told by a baseball player that women should become housewives instead of going to school, two 14-year-old Japanese high school girls named Koume and Akiko decide to start a baseball team in order to prove him wrong. During this time, when even running was considered too vulgar for women, baseball is known as “what the boys do” and they face many difficulties when searching members, getting permission from their parents and when learning about the sport itself.
Number of episodes: 12
Vintage: 2009-07-02 to 2009-09-24

ANN Info Page
Official JP Website

Front and back cover added to first post.

What a great first episode. I used to play baseball myself and the girls really show the spirit needed to persue the sport. You can’t give up. Go for it.

Just finished up ep. 03

I’m loving this series so far!
If it turns out well by the end, I definitely need to add this to my collection.

Just finished up ep. 05

The whole being tormented by running was so funny.
Looks like they finally found their ninth player, but they still need to run.

Coming to the Anime Network VOD 1/13/11 .

Episode 1 -

I like how this starts. It’s the twenties and a girl gets insulted by that “women belong in the home” line from a baseball player. And what better way to show him than to form a team and play baseball? Of course she knows nothing of the game. But the other girls like the idea of playing baseball and are already coming together. It’s a good start!
But I did laugh when they went to a game and the other girls literally ran away when they saw how brutal it could be.

Show looks really cute and interesting, I went into it completely cold and was quite surprised to see it set in 1925. I guess I was expecting more of a girls counterpart to Eyeshield 21, or … the boy’s baseball series that Funimation brought over.

The Opening:

Episode 2 –

Well the girls got their full team together pretty quickly and even have a coach and some equipment. Now they just have to learn how to play! :lol:

Episode 3 –

It looks like Koume has an admirer in Takahara! The girls are practicing and coming along nicely. They can’t be one of the school’s official clubs, but they do get a club house. It’s falling apart, but once they fix it up, it looks pretty good.
They are doing so well, that a practice game is set up with Asaka Junior High and Akiko gets a chance to show Iwasaki her stuff. I liked how one of the conditions was that whoever the winning team’s MVP was got a date with one of the losing team’s members. But this was later revoked, much to Takahara’s disappointment! He was really hoping to win a date with Koume.
Even though the girls lost by a mile, it was a good experience for them and it’s a shame that Iwasaki just didn’t get why Akiko was doing this. I hope the two schools get to play against each other again in a real game. I have a feeling that the girls will give the boys a run for their money the next time!

Episode 4 –

Well, the team has already lost a member due to a conflict of interest. And between the bad weather and losing the game to the boys, the girls are understandably a bit down. But some are more depressed than others.
Koume gets a visit from Takahara and Iwasaki. Iwasaki wants to ask Koume about Akiko and finds out that his insulting comment that “a woman’s place is in the home” is what started everything. He’d like to apologize to Akiko, but still isn’t sure why he should – he still doesn’t get it. Koume asks for a rematch, but Iwasaki says that the results would always be the same. Koume asks him if it would be because of their lack of experience or the fact that they’re girls and once again, Iwasaki is at a loss.
Takahara tells Iwasaki that he’s rude to think of the girls that way and says that they worked really hard, but then he ruins it by adding “for a bunch of girls” which annoys Koume. I liked how Koume’s mother reprimands the boys for their rudeness in visiting an unmarried girl, but she was too nice about it and Takahara said he’d see her again as he said goodbye. Koume’s father was more upset that his daughter was impolitely called by her first name by these strangers. Funnier still was the fact that Takahara scolded Iwasaki as they walked away to “try to read the atmosphere a little better” when he didn’t get it either!
Koume visits Akiko and tells her about Iwasaki’s visit. She gets Akiko to open up about what’s bothering her. Akiko tells her that their game wasn’t taken seriously not so much for their inexperience, but for the fact that they’re girls. She thinks it’s her fault that everyone is down, but Koume convinces her that they just have to practice and improve which would be the best way to show the boys what they are capable of. Akiko gets all fired up and in turn the other girls become more determined – until they realize that they’re short one player!

Episode 5 –

The girls get uniforms and they all look really cute in them. I think having the uniforms inspires them and unites them in wanting to their best. But their basic training is killing them and they are determined to find their ninth player. And perhaps they have when they come across Kikusaka, a member of the track team. But she isn’t interested in joining them and runs away.
Someone tells Koume that pulling rickshaws will help them to run faster and the resulting race was quite comical. It’s funny that Koume’s father thinks that she’s fallen in with a bad crowd with the way she comes home all the time. If he only knew!
The girls almost convince Kikusaka to join them, but something keeps her from saying yes. I thought it was genius that Anna geared the classroom lesson towards manipulating Kikusaka, which helped her make a decision to join the team. The team is ecstatic to gain their ninth player and hope now for better practice sessions. However, Anna has noticed their lack of stamina and continues with basic training, much to their disappointment!

My wife is enjoying the show even though it is sub-titled.

Episode 6 –

Anna has to go away for a few days, but tells the girls to challenge every team they can in order to practice. However, every challenge they send out comes back with a refusal and it’s probably either because they’re girls or word has gotten around about the last game they played.
Koume finds a bunch of neighborhood boys with no place to play baseball and brings them to play with the girls, but Akiko doesn’t want to play against a bunch of elementary school kids. However, Koume talks her into it and they agree to play Tarou and his friends.
The girls find that even these children play better than them and are very disheartened when they lose to them as well. But Noe had been taking copious notes during the game and has come up with some ideas to help the girls play better. She tells them her ideas, including telling Koume and Akiko to act like a married couple. It was funny when Koume asked her mother what it was like to be married and her poor family must be thinking all kinds of things!
The girls play Tarou’s team again, and this time, they do much better although they still lose in the end. The team wants Koume and Akiko to live as newlyweds so that they will be more in sync with one another. Akiko comes to stay with Koume for a while and observes how Koume and Saburou work so well together in the kitchen. She sees how they help each other out and begins to see what it’s like to work in harmony with someone.
They play Tarou’s team again and this time Koume and Akiko begin to use signals and they do a lot better. Anna returns during the game and can see how much the girls have improved, but I think they still lost because of Tomoe wanting to hit a homerun and missing. When Koume returns home, her father tells her that he has arranged for her to become engaged to Saburou! I can see why he did it and for that era, it’s perfectly acceptable, but Koume is just about to turn fourteen and Saburou is already six years older than her and Koume feels that she’s still to young to think of such things as marriage. And Saburou must feel the same, because they are suddenly out of sync with one another and are too embarrassed to even look at each other. This was so funny, but I think that they will make a good couple eventually. That is if they choose to be.

Episode 7 –

Tomoe and Koume go out at night to challenge the Junior High pitchers as the “Rogue Batter”.
Anna compliments Akiko and Koume on their improvements but tells them that they still need to learn the “magic pitches”. However, since Anna only knows how to pitch straight, she tells the mortified girls that they must learn on their own. It’s funny the way Tomoe guilts Koume into continuing the “Rogue Batter” nights. Akiko notices the odd behavior of Koume and Tomoe and catches Koume sneaking out of her house that night. Akiko then joins her as the “Rogue Pitcher”.
I had to feel bad for Koume when Akiko and Tomoe ended up fighting over her and the rest of the team had to witness it. But all three of them end up going out together that night and find that others have beaten them to the challenge. It looks like the whole team has gone “rogue” but the police show up as well. The girls give them the slip and hide with the guys they challenged, but the two guys turn out to be thieves and not Junior High boys.
The girls chase the thieves and it’s very funny until the thieves take a hostage and Akiko is their only hope of saving the old man. Although she pitches a straight ball, Tomoe is able to hit it back and knocks out one of the thieves. Akiko pitches again and is able to make the ball curve down this time, incapacitating the other thief. The cops show up again and while one chases the girls, the hostage tells the other what happened and suddenly the “Rogue Batter” is a hero. However, the jealous Akiko wonders why nothing was said about a “Rogue Pitcher”.
The Chancellor calls the girls into her office and tells them about the thieves being caught by a group of girls. The girls act innocent until the Chancellor produces Tomoe’s bat that the man they saved brought to her. The Chancellor would like to think that she will never hear of the rogue batter and pitcher ever again.
Anyway, the team is all excited about Akiko’s magic pitch but unfortunately, during practice, she can’t remember how she did it!

Episode 8 –

The girls are still playing practice games with Tarou. Akiko finally learned a magic pitch and tries it out during the game, but Koume can’t catch it, resulting in another loss. Koume is chosen to be in a movie and I wonder how that will help them beat Asaka as Noe says it will.
Things are still a bit weird between Koume and Saburou at home. It’s funny how everyone thinks that Koume will be a big star. Some of her friends are really happy for her but others seem a bit jealous. Koume has trouble with her lines and asks her mother for help, but her father volunteers Saburou instead and sends them out for a walk. They seem very awkward with each other, but go to a quiet spot to practice. The words in the script are very similar to their current relationship and I liked it when Saburou ended up telling Koume he loved her, but she thought he only messed up a line in the script.
The next morning, it looks like the whole town came to see Koume off to the filming. Once on the set, even her admirer comes to see her, but Takahara seems more like a stalker and I like how he was carried away by the film crew. I knew it was coming, but it was still sad that after all that, they only wanted Koume to jump off the bridge.
It turns out that Noe made a deal with the assistant director and got him to film a baseball game for her. So that was why Noe told Koume that her being in the film will help them beat Asaka! It was really funny when the assistant director took a liking to Noe and asked her out too and she didn’t know what to say.
When the movie plays in the neighborhood theater, the patrons laugh at their “big star” jumping into the river but Koume’s parents seemed more embarrassed than anything else. Back home, Koume lies in bed and Saburou tries to cheer her up through the closed door. He tells her that he’s glad she didn’t become a big movie star because then he wouldn’t be able to see her anymore which was really sweet. He leaves a tray of food by the door and walks away. Koume is touched by his gesture and finds the food delicious. Feeling a little better, perhaps she realizes that she just wasn’t cut out to be a movie star after all.

Episode 10 –

Training camp did not get off to a good start, but progressed well. Kyouko’s only desire at the camp was to get closer to Tomoe, but she just kept trying too hard. The test of courage was funny – most of the girls got scared and ran away even before they got to where Anna was waiting to scare them. And Kyouko was among them.
However, once Anna points out the dedication of others to Kyouko, she fully devotes herself to playing baseball and improving her game. She even joins Koume and Akiko on their morning runs. By the end of the episode, it was nice to see that the rest of the team joined them as well. In the end, Kyouko improves enough to finally catch the ball and wins praise from Tomoe. That really must have made her day! It just goes to show you that once you try too hard for something, it often becomes elusive, but once you stop trying so hard, things often fall into place naturally. But I wonder if they’re really ready for Asaka.

Episode 11 –

One last game with Tarou and his team is an overwhelming victory for the girls. Their training really paid off and they’ve truly come together as a team. The next day is the big game with Asaka, but that evening Takahara shows up at the restaurant and announces his intention of proposing to Koume the following day. I don’t know why this arrogant guy is so sure Koume returns his feelings. But the conceited idiot spills the beans to Koume’s parents about the baseball game too.
Koume’s angry father goes looking for her and finds Koume at the temple, practicing her swing. He yells at her for lying to him and Saburou comes to her rescue. The he gets mad at Saburou for knowing about Koume’s secret as well and keeping it from him. He calls both of them liars and deceivers before storming off. Saburou follows him, still trying to explain, but Koume remains behind and continues to practice, her determination evident by the blisters on her hand. Although all the girls were told by Anna to get a good night’s rest, they are all practicing and preparing for the game.
Morning arrives and as Koume leaves her house her father disowns her, slamming the door. It broke my heart to see her bow to the closed door. She respects her father, but this game means a lot to her and she doesn’t want to let her friends down. Akiko seems to be having the same problem with her family because Anna is told that Akiko has a fever and is taking the day off. Koume goes to investigate but is turned away at the gate by a maid that tells her Akiko cannot have visitors.
Koume soon finds out that Akiko’s mother found out about the game and locked Akiko in her room. Koume gets some help getting into the mansion in the form of Akiko’s chauffeur but they find a guard at the door to Akiko’s room. Meanwhile if Koume and Akiko don’t show up for the start of the game, the team will have to forfeit and all their hard work will be for nothing. With help from the chauffeur, Koume is able to break Akiko out of her room and as they race to the game, they get into a car accident. They are okay and continue on foot but the start of the game is called – and they arrive just in time!
During their practice throws, even the impartial umpire is impressed by their skill. The game begins and the girls are off to an excellent start. Tarou and his team come to cheer them on and are amazed that the girls are actually winning. Asaka can’t figure out what is going on, but soon realize Akiko is using magic pitches. Anna has noticed this and tells the overconfident girls. And the game is about to get a lot tougher!

Episode 12:

I watched this with no preconcieved notions - being an anime I figured any ending was possible. Well, they didn’t win the game, but they had nothing to be ashamed of in the loss. All in all this is a good series, it’s one of those that you can’t watch without it making you smile.