Big Windup!

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Big Windup!
Okiku vol1.jpg
Cover of volume 1
おおきく振りかぶって
(Ōkiku Furikabutte)
Genre Comedy, Sports
Manga
Written by Asa Higuchi
Published by Kodansha
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Afternoon
Original run 2003 – ongoing
Volumes 22 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Ōkiku Furikabutte
Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima
Written by Yōsuke Kuroda
Studio A-1 Pictures
Licensed by
Network TBS, MBS, Animax
English network
Original run April 12, 2007September 28, 2007
Episodes 26 (including OVA) (List of episodes)
Anime television series
Ōkiku Furikabutte ~Natsu no Taikai-hen~
Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima
Written by Yōsuke Kuroda
Studio A-1 Pictures
Network TBS, MBS
Original run April 1, 2010June 24, 2010
Episodes 14 (including OVA) (List of episodes)
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Big Windup! (Japanese: おおきく振りかぶって Hepburn: Ōkiku Furikabutte?), often shortened to just Ōfuri (おお振り?), is a baseball manga series by Asa Higuchi, serialized in the monthly seinen Afternoon magazine since 2003. It has been adapted into an anime TV series, animated by A-1 Pictures, which premiered in Japan on TBS. It received its international television premiere on Animax's English language networks in Asia, Animax Asia.

The manga series won the prestigious Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize for best creative work in 2006. In 2007, it won the Kodansha Manga Award for general manga. The manga was on a 1 year hiatus, and it was resumed on the November 2011 issue of Afternoon (magazine).[1]

Story[edit]

The series, set in Saitama, follows the story of Ren Mihashi. Mihashi was the previous ace pitcher in his middle school's baseball team, but it seems that he only got the position because his grandfather was the owner of the school. His teammates (especially the team's catcher, Hatake) hated him, and they always lost their games. Mihashi is thoroughly convinced that he is a lousy baseball pitcher, and feels guilty because Mihashi believes that he is responsible for all the losses. Mihashi graduates through middle school with extremely low self-esteem. But in truth Mihashi is really a hardworking and skillful pitcher, and the main reason why his team always lost all the games is because of bad cooperation, and because his teammates never talked about the game with him, and they didn't try to come up with a plan or strategy to fight against their rivals. Mihashi then transfers to Nishiura high school with plans of quitting baseball because he thinks he isn't good enough to succeed at it, though he still loves the game deeply. However, he is dragged into Nishiura's baseball team by their coach, Momoe, while watching the team training outside the field. Assisted by his new teammates (and especially the catcher, Takaya Abe), he grows in stature, confidence and skill, helping his team excel with his own abilities.

Development[edit]

While growing up in Saitama, Asa Higuchi became familiar with baseball by reading the manga Dokaben. When she was in high school, the story of a local baseball team wound up inspiring her to come up with the idea for her own baseball manga. In the original version, Mihashi never spoke and characters like Momoe, Kanou and Haruna didn't exist yet. Following that, she collected data on high school baseball for over 10 years in order to create the manga, and she worked with the school she had attended, Urawanishi High School, in the year prior to the serialization.[2] In fact, Urawanishi seems to have been the design for the school that the Nishiura boys attend. The two names are similar as well.

Five months prior to the serialization of Ōkiku Furikabutte in Afternoon, Higuchi published a one shot in the magazine titled "The Basic of Basics". The story was centered around the characters of the Musashino Dai Ichi school, who would show up in the series itself.[2]

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Most likely will not be translated into English.

Anime[edit]

The series is adapted into a TV anime series, animated by A-1 Pictures, which premiered in Japan on TBS from April 2007. It also aired during the same month across several of TBS's affiliated TV networks, including MBS, BS-i and CBC. One month later, the series also aired on the Japanese Animax. The series was also subsequently aired in English across Animax's English language networks in Southeast Asia and South Asia. A second season has been announced in the 13th volume of the manga. The first episode aired on April 2, 2010.[3]

The series made its North American television debut on March 14, 2011 on the Funimation Channel.[4]

Staff[edit]

  • Original Work: Asa Higuchi's Ōkiku Furikabutte (serialized in the monthly Afternoon magazine)
  • Director: Tsutomu Mizushima
  • Series Composition: Yōsuke Kuroda
  • Character Design and Chief Animation Director: Takahiko Yoshida
  • Action Animation Director: Jun'ichirō Taniguchi
  • Accessories Design: Takuya Suzuki
  • Art Director: Yukihiro Shibuya
  • Color Design: Miyuki Satō
  • Photography Director: Ei Rōhei
  • Editing: Shigeru Nishiyama
  • Sound Director: Hiromi Kikuda
  • Mixer: Riyō Yamada (Sound Team)
  • Sound Effects: Tomozaku Mitsui (Sound Box)
  • Music: Shirō Hamaguchi, Akifumi Tada
  • Production: A-1 Pictures

Theme songs[edit]

Opening theme
"Dramatic" (ドラマチック Doramachikku?)
2nd opening theme
"Seishun Line" (青春ライン?)
3rd opening theme
"Natsuzora" (夏空?)
Ending theme
"Medaka no Mita Niji" (メダカの見た虹?)
  • Performance: Kozue Takada
2nd ending theme
"Arigatō" (ありがとう?)
3rd ending theme
""Shisō Densha" (思想電車?)
  • Performance: CureaL

Game[edit]

A video game adaptation of the series was released on the Nintendo DS by MMV. It was released December 13, 2007. Its subtitle is "Honto no Ace ni Nareru Kamo" (ホントのエースになれるかも Honto no Ace ni Nareru Kamo?).[5]

It also came with a collectible screen-cleaner which looks like Ren's shirt (it has number 1 on the back).

Reception[edit]

Big Windup! has achieved both critical and commercial success in Japan. In 2007, it won the Kodansha Manga Award for general manga,[1] and the 11th volume of the manga was the best selling manga volume in its week of release,[6] and sold over 400,000 copies in its first three weeks of release.[7] Unfortunately, this success was not duplicated in the North American market. Lance Heiskell, Marketing Director of FUNimation announced in January 2010 that the company had no plans to release the second season of the animated adaptation.[8] In 2010 the manga sold 1,080,839 copies.[9] Big Windup! was the 41st best selling manga in 2011, with 1,097,910 copies sold.[10] Nikkei Entertainment magazine published a list of top 50 manga creators by sales since January 2010, in its September 2011 issue; Asa Higuchi, the author of Big Windup! was ranked 30th, with 2,241,000 copies sold.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "過去の受賞者一覧 : 講談社漫画賞 : 講談社「おもしろくて、ためになる」出版を" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Archived from the original on 23 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  2. ^ a b Higuchi, Asa (2005). "Omake". Ookiku Furikabutte Volume 3. Kodansha. pp. 165–173. 
  3. ^ "Ookiku Furikabutte 2nd Season Green-lit". Anime News Network. 2009-12-19. 
  4. ^ "VOD & Network Updates – FUNimation Channel (3/4 Weekend)". 
  5. ^ YesAsia: Ookiku Furikabutte Honto no Ace ni Nareru kamo (Japan Version)
  6. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, October 21–27". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 1 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  7. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, November 4–10". Retrieved 2008-11-13. 
  8. ^ "Funimation: No More Big Windup! Anime to Be Licensed". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  9. ^ "Top-Selling Manga in Japan by Volume: 2010 (Part 2)". Anime News Network. December 1, 2010. Retrieved 2014-03-07. 
  10. ^ "Top-Selling Manga in Japan by Series: 2011". Anime News Network. December 1, 2011. Archived from the original on October 13, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  11. ^ "Top 50 Manga Creators by Sales Since 2010". Anime News Network. August 6, 2011. Archived from the original on October 11, 2011. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 

External links[edit]