Taishō Baseball Girls

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Taishō Baseball Girls
Taishō Baseball Girls novel cover.jpg
Cover of the first light novel.
大正野球娘。
(Taishō Yakyū Musume.)
Genre Historical, slice of life, sports (baseball)
Light novel
Written by Atsushi Kagurazaka
Illustrated by Sadaji Koike
Published by Tokuma Shoten
Demographic Seinen
Imprint Tokuma Novels Edge
Original run April 17, 2007 – ongoing
Volumes 4
Manga
Written by Shimpei Itoh
Published by Tokuma Shoten
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Monthly Comic Ryū
Original run July 19, 2008April, 2011
Volumes 5
Anime television series
Taishō Yakyū Musume
Directed by Takashi Ikehata
Studio J.C.Staff
Licensed by
Network TBS
Original run 2 July 200924 September 2009
Episodes 12
Game
Taishō Yakyū Musume: Otome Tachi no Seishun Nikki
Developer Suzak
Publisher 5pb.
Genre Visual novel
Platform PlayStation Portable
Released October 29, 2010
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Taishō Baseball Girls. (Japanese: 大正野球娘。 Hepburn: Taishō Yakyū Musume.?) is a popular[1] light novel series written by Atsushi Kagurazaka and illustrated by Sadaji Koike. Tokuma Shoten has published four novels as of October 2013. The novels have been adapted to a drama CD, a manga serialized in Monthly Comic Ryū,[2] and an anime TV series aired in 2009.[1][2][3] The TV series had been licensed in North America by Sentai Filmworks, anime distributor Section23 Films released the complete collection on November 16, 2010.[4]

Story[edit]

In 1925, 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 having to find enough members, to get permission from their parents and also when learning about the sport itself.

The first book in the series opens in Taishō 14 (1925), introducing Koume, who is the 14-year-old daughter of a yōshoku restaurant owner, and a student at a local girls' academy. One day, Koume's friend, Akiko, asks her to join in an all-girl baseball team and have a match against a boys team. While the first volume can be read as a stand-alone work, the second volume develops the storyline further.

The second book is set in the summer of Taishō 14. Koume, Akiko, Manoe and the rest of the nine members of the Baseball Girls continue to face off against numerous all-boy teams, and have trouble dealing with the fast balls thrown by the boys. To combat the anxiety they experience, playing against more experienced teams, they decide to abandon their traditional baseball uniforms in favor of a kimono-style uniform. The girls also partition off the batter's box so that other teams cannot see what they are doing.

Apart from baseball, the series also deals with certain cultural changes that are not seen quite so often in anime. For example, the popular "sailor" school uniforms, now a staple of real-world Japanese schools, as well as school-based anime and manga, are only just being introduced into Japanese society during the Taishō period in which this work is based.

Characters[edit]

Main Characters[edit]

The main characters are the members of the girl's baseball team Ouka-kai. Most of the girls are from class 1-2 and the team's coach is their homeroom teacher.

Koume Suzukawa (鈴川 小梅 Suzukawa Koume?) Voiced by: Mikako Takahashi (Drama CD) / Kanae Itō (anime)
The main protagonist of story, second member and catcher of team. She is the daughter of a yōshoku restaurant owner. Her dream is to wear a sailor uniform.
Akiko Ogasawara (小笠原 晶子 Ogasawara Akiko?) Voiced by: Maria Yamamoto (Drama CD) / Mai Nakahara (anime)
Koume's closest friend, captain and pitcher of the team. She is from a wealthy family.
Yuki Souya (宗谷 雪 Sōya Yuki?) Voiced by: Asami Imai (Drama CD) / Mamiko Noto (anime)
Class president and childhood friend of Tamaki. She and Tamaki played baseball with boys when they were in elementary school. She is third/fourth team member: she spoke with Koume about their baseball team in the evening, but Koume didn't recognize her desire, and so Yuki repeated her request on the following day again (after Noe). She supplied first baseball equipment for the team (catcher mask, several gloves and balls) and also "stole" first team uniforms (western-like sport uniform) from her family kimono shop (it was too modern, so it didn't sell and was kept in storage).
Noe Kawashima (川島 乃枝 Kawashima Noe?) Voiced by: Kaoru Mizuhara (Drama CD) / Kana Ueda (anime)
Third/fourth member and main strategist/tactician of the team.
Tomoe Tsukubae (月映 巴 Tsukubae Tomoe?) Voiced by: Aya Endo (Drama CD) / Yuko Kaida (anime)
Fifth member and Shizuka's elder twin sister. She has a huge crush on Koume and joined the team to be closer to her. Before the baseball team, she was in the newspaper club. She is very athletic and her dream is to hit a home run. Unlike her twin, she wears a sailor uniform for school. She shares a room with her twin in the school dorms.
Shizuka Tsukubae (月映 静 Tsukubae Shizuka?) Voiced by: Hiromi Konno (Drama CD) / Eri Kitamura (anime)
Sixth member and Tomoe's younger twin sister. Before the baseball team, she was also in the newspaper club. Unlike her twin, she normally dresses in traditional Japanese clothing.
Kyouko Sakurami (桜見 鏡子 Sakurami Kyōko?) Voiced by: Yui Makino
Seventh-eighth member. She has a large crush on Tomoe, and when Tomoe asked her to join - she agreed without thinking.
Tamaki Ishigaki (石垣 環 Ishigaki Tamaki?) Voiced by: Masumi Asano (Drama CD) / Ryou Hirohashi (anime)
Ninth member. Yuki's childhood friend. Initially she was the most skilled player in team.
Kochou Kikusaka (菊坂 胡蝶 Kikusaka Kochō?) Voiced by: Saori Goto
Noriko's replacement. Before the baseball team she was on the track team.
Anna Curtland (アンナ・カートランド Anna Kātorando?) Voiced by: Chiaki Takahashi (Drama CD) / Satomi Arai (anime)
She is the English language teacher, class 2-1 homeroom teacher and the girl's coach.
Name Position Class Membership order
Akiko Ogasawara Pitcher 2-1 Initiator
Koume Suzukawa Catcher 2-1 2nd
Shizuka Tsukubae First base 2-1 6th
Yuki Souya Second Base 2-1 3rd/4th
Tomoe Tsukubae Third Base 2-1 5th
Tamaki Ishigaki Shortstop 2-1 9th
Kyouko Sakurami Left Fielder 1-1 7th-8th
Owari Noriko
(retired)
Center Fielder 2-2 7th-8th
Kochou Kikusaka 1-1
Kawashima Noe Right Fielder 2-1 3rd/4th

Others[edit]

Noriko Owari (尾張 記子 Owari Noriko?) Voiced by: Ayumi Fujimura
The newspaper club president. Initially she was seventh-eighth member (she was forced to join by Tomoe because she owed her money), lately she retired from the team, but she stays their fan.
Saburou Kitani (紀谷 三郎 Kitani Saburō?) Voiced by: Satoshi Hino
The young man, working in Suzukawa father's restaurant. He becomes Koume's fiancé through arranged marriage in the middle of the anime.
Sousuke Iwasaki (岩崎 荘介 Iwasaki Sōsuke?) Voiced by: Masayuki Katou
Akiko's arranged fiance. He held chauvinistic views believing women belonged only in domestic roles prompting Akiko to take up baseball. He changes after playing against her.
Banboku Takahara (高原 伴睦 Takahara Banboku?) Voiced by: Shinji Kawada
One of Iwasaki's fellow baseball players, due to a misunderstanding he self-proclaims himself Koume's boyfriend henceforth becoming extremely rude and pushy about it.

Media[edit]

Anime series[edit]

An anime TV series based on the novel series, produced by J.C.Staff, was announced in August 2008, aired starting on TBS from July 2, 2009, to September 24, 2009, replacing K-On! in its timeslot. It was directed by Takashi Ikehata with character design by Kanetoshi Kamimoto, who is known for his design work for Takara Tomy toys.[1][2][3] The anime had a length of 12 episodes and two 5-minute-long specials were released with the two first Blu-ray of the series. The anime was licensed by Sentai Filmworks and the complete collection was released on November 16, 2010.

Drama CD[edit]

Taishō Baseball Girls: Young Ladies Hiking (大正野球娘。乙女たちのハイキング Taishō Yakyū Musume: Otome-tachi no Haikingu?)
Audio CD, 72 minutes, 7 tracks, Frontier Works, FCCN-0032, 21 December 2007.[5]

Manga[edit]

A manga series by Shimpei Itoh began in the September 2008 issue of Monthly Comic Ryū.[2]

Novels[edit]

Taishō Baseball Girls. (大正野球娘。 Taishō Yakyū Musume.?)
221 pages, April 17, 2007, ISBN 978-4-19-850742-8, Tokuma Shoten
Taishō Baseball Girls: Covered in Dust and Dirt (大正野球娘。―土と埃にまみれます Taishō Yakyū Musume. Tsuchi to Hokori ni Mamiremasu?)
202 pages, August 20, 2008, ISBN 978-4-19-850753-4, Tokuma Shoten
Imperial Capital Takoyaki Girls: Taishō Baseball Girls. 3 (帝都たこ焼き娘。―大正野球娘。3 Teito Takoyaki Musume. Taishō Yakyū Musume. San?)
212 pages, July 2009, ISBN 978-4-19-850831-9, Tokuma Shoten
Taishō Baseball Girls. 4 (大正野球娘。4 Taishō Yakyū Musume. Yon?)
224 pages, June 17, 2010, ISBN 978-4-19-850866-1, Tokuma Shoten

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "人気ノベル『大正野球娘。』TVアニメ化決定! (Ninki noberu "Taishō Yakyū Musume" terebi animeka kettei!" [Popular novel "Taishō Baseball Girls." to be made into TV anime!] (in Japanese). Hive, Inc. August 26, 2008. Retrieved November 9, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Taishō Yakyū Musume Baseball Anime Confirmed". Anime News Network. August 19, 2008. Retrieved November 9, 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Animage Editorial Staff (October 2008). "Shall We Not Play Baseball? (一緒に野球をしませんこと? Issho ni Yakyū wo Shimasen Koto??)". Animage (in Japanese) (Tokyo, Japan: Tokuma Shoten) 364: 64–65. 
  4. ^ "Section23 Films Announces November Slate". Anime News Network. 2010-08-17. 
  5. ^ "ドラマCD「大正野球娘。 乙女たちのハイキング」" (in Japanese). animate.tv. December 18, 2007. Retrieved November 9, 2008. 

External links[edit]