Keywords: , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Original Concept - ADACHI Mitsuru
Kunimi Hiro is a high school student who is forced to give up his ambitions as a professional baseball player due to a serious injury. But the diagnosis was wrong and the doctor was proven to be a fraud!! Now at a new high school, Hiro gets involved with Haruko and her goals of reviving that school's baseball team. At first they must get permission from the school principle, who still remembers a dishonorable defeat of the school's baseball team some ten years earlier. Even with permission to form a school baseball team, there are still the players to recruit and train, and the challenges of building the reputation of their new team within the high school baseball circuit.

This is a story of group of high school students and their love of the game of baseball. Hiro is national class pitcher and batter, with his best friend who is a catcher and with Haruko as the team manger, together they struggle to build a baseball team worthy of the national championship.

41 episodes in this series
Aired on Japanese TV in 1995/1996

Based on a manga series by Adachi Mitsuru by the same name. Adachi has also authored other popular sports manga series that have been animated - Touch, Slow Step and the latest 2009 series - Cross Game.

There is also a Japanese live-action TV-drama series which is viewable (subtitled/streaming) at Mysoju.

1:30min Series Opening - YouTube Video
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Unevaluated Ggultra2764 [series:666#1552]
(Watched 4 episodes)

With how much I'm enjoying Cross Game, I chose to take a look at this earlier work done by Adachi. Unfortunately, I didn't get as much enjoyment seeing the first few episodes of H2. Much like Cross Game, H2 has a down-to-earth and carefree feel with its characters and setting. Unfortunately, the character archetypes commonplace of high school shounen titles stick out too much with H2, special thanks to members of the soccer team and baseball club at Hiro's school. The baseball club is too humble for its own good and the soccer team are cocky and obnoxious enough to get on my nerves, especially Kine's annoying habit of screaming out loud and running around whenever he scores a goal. Sure Cross Game also has its archetypes. But the show doesn't make it too obvious and its mood is much more whimsical. The artwork for the series is fairly standard for a mid-1990s anime and the music is tolerable to my ears, but doesn't do enough to excite me. After 4 episodes, I think I've had enough of H2. As much as I enjoyed Adachi's work for Cross Game, his work with H2 is too dry and cliched for my tastes.

Last updated Monday, September 28 2009. Created Monday, September 28 2009.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:666#628]
(7 episodes watched):

This is actually my first sport anime series (unless you count imaginary competitions like Angelic Layer or Variable Geo). I got the impression that the story seemed to be moving along at a fairly slow pace--or could it be that it just seemed slow, because the characters don't talk all that much, instead they take action (i.e., play their sports). There didn't seem to be all that much comedy, either, although that may be picking up. What comedy there is is sort of dry, but still amusing. Is there some sort of rule in Japanese baseball that sometimes requires the pitcher to throw what's called a "free ball" (which perhaps won't be counted as a strike if the batter doesn't hit it)? Anyway, H2 strikes me as a relaxed, fairly amusing, semi-exciting show about real-life situations and characters. 41 episodes would be a major committment of time and memory, though.

My favorite line: "Call me Hikari!"

Last updated Thursday, February 16 2006. Created Thursday, February 16 2006.
Buy 7 8 8 7 7 Jan-Chan [series:666#967]
(first posted on April 2004)

I have enjoyed watching this series twice more (and I have been reviewing a lot more anime since I first posted this review, so my opinions have changed a bit), and I have come to think that this series is really quite special.

If you look around, you just might be able to find a baseball manga series by the same popular manga artist(and now is available as a fan-sub anime series) called Touch. While I am the first one to admit that I am NOT a sports fan, I found myself being very entertained by not only the story, but also even more by the characters of the story.

The middle school aged Hiro (Kunimi-kun) and his baseball partner Nota have both been diagnosed with career ending injuries, and they have decided to attend a high school that does not have a baseball team (in fact, it forbids baseball in the student guide.) But sports are part of high school, so Hiro goes out for soccer and Nota joins the swim club. Hiro has a couple of chance encounters with a young lady named Haruko, who is the manager of the high schools baseball fan club, who dreams of getting permission to start a true high school baseball team and perhaps even go to Koushien, the national high school championship play offs. It is only when Hiro and Nota learn that they were treated by a quack doctor, who misdiagnosed them, do they dare to start playing baseball again. Haruko has quite a surprise when she learns that Hiro and Nota are really a middle school championship pitcher and catcher team, and just what the fan club needs to meet the challenge of overcoming the school rules, to become an official baseball team.

There is a secondary story in which Hiro is/was in love with Hikaru, a first grade playmate, but she is now the girlfriend of Tachi, Hiros good friend and baseball rival. Hikaru is brave enough to, not only root for both Hiro and Haruko's success in forming a baseball team, but also in their growing friendship/relationship.

And so the story of these five teenagers goes, Hiro and Haruko, Hikaru and Tachi, and Nota, as a supportive group of high school friends. With no fan service or other major objectionable content, this is truly a slice-of-teenage-life story about a group of teenagers, and of their life in highschool and their love of the game of baseball.

I shared this series with a 13-year-old friend of mine, who is now just getting into high school and while he is on the basketball team, he admitted that he really enjoyed this series, (well, what he actually said was this series waz cool and I really liked it.)

In any case, I have really come to enjoy the 41 (subtitled) episodes of this story. It has a slice-of-life flavor similar to Maison Ikkoku, but with a different focus.

This is something well worth the watch/rent/buy, as it tells a very heartfelt story of a group of high school students who are brave enough to follow their dream.

Last updated Tuesday, January 27 2009. Created Saturday, October 04 2003.

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