Summer 2016 in Review: Battery

To start this off, just a little warning.  Without spoiling too much, the last episode is the most read the source material ending that ever source materialed.  What do I mean by that?  Well, what I’m saying is that Battery feels incomplete.  It literally cut to credits in the middle of a baseball game.   The episode took great pains to show other people from the series sitting in the stands instead of showing the climatic show down between two characters.  I don’t even know what to say to about that besides…this actually happened.  Yeah, I think I’m a little put off by it.   Still, there are enough good aspects going on to make Battery a half way decent watch.

As a series, Battery is more character driven than anything else and the main two characters that drive this series are Takumi Harada and Nagakura Go.  On the first day Harada’s family moved to Okayama prefecture, he meets Go during a run.  When the two of them talked about baseball, the story between them was set in place.  Harada is a kid that has one hell of a pitching arm and is as egotistical as one can get.  Part of the series is discovering that there is more to Harada then being a stuck up and learning to enjoy the game of baseball.  Go was originally going to quit baseball until he was entranced by how fast Harada can throw a baseball.  His character arc is him wandering and struggling to find out if he can be the perfect catcher for Harada.  Yeah, I already sense the shipping starting already.  But anyway, two additional characters worth naming are Shugo Kadowaki and Shinji Mizugaki from a different high school who give Battery some freshness half way through.

From an art and animation stand point, this anime is nothing special.  Sure, the use of water color adds something special to the show, but this is a low budget production and isn’t really that much of a baseball anime.   The show centers around people who play baseball, but Battery is more about the interactions between characters then actual baseball.  Even in those moments when baseball is played, there is no stellar animation to accent it.  This is okay though, because a pure character drama is more of my kind of show.

In the end, I’m giving Battery a lukewarm recommendation.  It feels like this show needs another episode or two to at least finish where the show was going.  As a comparison, this is what it’s like to end a song with an unresolved chord, it just needs a final push to be complete.  Still, there is enough good material going on to keep the watcher interested.  If you don’t feel like watching this show, don’t worry about it.   Battery is a barely above average show.  With a finale like that, this is where I draw the line.

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