Ookiku Furikabutte

Title:Ookiku Furikabutte
Big Windup! (R1 title)
Oofuri (Alternate Title)
Swing Big
おおきく振りかぶって (Japanese)
おお振り (Japanese abbreviation)
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - A1 Pictures
Original Concept - Kodansha Manga Award Winner
R1 License - FUNimation
Ren Mihashi was the star pitcher for his middle school's baseball team, but mostly because his grandfather owned the school. Hated by his teammates for his slow pitching and believing he has no ability, Ren has no intention of playing for his new high school, but is dragged onto the field by the scary woman coach who needs a pitcher for the new team she's determined to build. Can unconventional training and a catcher who believes in him turn Ren and the new team into a winning combination?

Animation by A-1 Pictures.
Originally aired April to Sept '07.
R1 licensed by Funimation.
25 TV Episodes.

Also see the second season: Ookiku Furikabutte 2

"おおきく" ("ookiku") is the kana sound pattern for a word (usually written as "大きく") that means "in a big way; on a grand scale"; "振りかぶって" ("furikabutte") is the -te form (here probably as imperative) of 振りかぶる ("furikaburu") meaning "to hold aloft (e.g. a sword)". So "Swing Big" appears to be a rather literal translation. "おお 振り" ("oo furi") is an abbreviation for the full title name.
1:27min Series Opening – YouTube Video

FUNImation has decided to post the dubbed episodes to their YouTube anime site.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 7 6 7 5 5 6 Ggultra2764 [series:1703#1552]
Big Windup is as run-of-the-mill as you can get for a baseball anime in its focus on Mihashi trying to gain greater self-confidence as he becomes the ace pitcher for his high school's new baseball team. A few major characters do get some focus to explore their varying pasts and personal issues (counting Mihashi), but caring for teams as a whole are lacking due to the lack of development on other characters that make up Nishiura's baseball team and the two opposing teams they face throughout the series. Mihashi's character was a difficult one for me to even care for thanks to his timid and nervous personality being on regular display throughout much of Big Windup and the series even suffers in its second half due to the really slow pacing of the first round game that Nishiura gets into with Tosei to make it to Koshien. The series ends after the first round match as things continue on with the baseball tournament and Mihashi's character as a whole not having changed all that much when he first started pitching for Nishiura, which has my expectations rather low of the second season even bumping up in quality at all. I guess this is why with exception to works done by Mitsuru Adachi, many sports anime fail to attract many Western fans.

Fun fact: Big Windup's American release by Funimation was their way to test the waters with seeing if sports-themed anime would be marketable for an American audience. But with low sales, Funi opted not to license the show's second season hence why you would have to snag fansubs to see more of what this show offers if you care enough for it.

Last updated Monday, April 06 2015. Created Tuesday, June 28 2011.
Watch Jan-Chan [series:1703#967]
This series came out in 2007 and nobody really noticed. FUNimation licensed it and it did not sell too well. Well, a 2nd season is in the works for spring of 2010 and FUNimation announced that they have no interest in licensing it, citing the lack of fan interest and poor sales of the first season.

I could praise FUNI for showing an interest in bringing to the R1 market a baseball anime series, and could also criticize them for choosing this title. Of the six (or so) baseball anime series, this title is perhaps the most lackluster and boring of them all.

Let's hope that they are interested and brave enough to consider licensing Cross Game and offer us something worthy of an anime fan's appreciation.

Otherwise, the Big Windup is a tale about an under-appreciated and ball-shy pitcher who ends up joining the newly formed baseball team at his new high school. All through middle school, Ren was teased and criticized by his teammates for his poor pitching skills and was accused of getting his position solely because his father was part of the school board. They blamed him for their losses - for everything - except for their own shortcomings, poor skills and miserable game play.

Now on a new team, Ren finds encouragement in the team's catcher, who can see past his shyness and recognize that Ren is actually a good pitcher, but he is someone who needs to be nurtured and coaxed to perform at his best. So together with the rest of the team, Ren slowly learns what its like to play baseball with a group of supportive and friendly players.

I remember watching this series some three years ago and the only thing that I could remember is CHICKEN LIPS. Yes, I said CHICKEN LIPS, Ren has a weird facial expression that is used two or three times each episodes, and it looks like he has CHICKEN LIPS. I also remember that the team's coach is a noisy lady with bouncing breasts. Other wise, I really don't remember much about this series (animation, music, storyline, etc) - and what does that say?

If you are really into baseball anime, then watch Adachi's various titles. But if you insist that on something with an English dub, then this might prove to be a quick watch.

Just for the record, the manga series was both popular and highly rated. It even won a ↗Kodansha Manga Award in 2007 in the general category.

Last updated Saturday, May 15 2010. Created Sunday, January 10 2010.

Other Sites
Official series web site http://www.oofuri.com/

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