In her Junior High years, the pitcher Yomi Takeda was not able to get very far in a cross-school baseball tournament. Since the catcher on her team wasn't at her level, she couldn't use her signature move, the "Magic Throw," and eventually regretted not being able to use it. After Junior High, she decided to stop playing baseball and went to Shin Koshigaya High School, a school without a baseball club. There, she found her long lost childhood friend, Tamaki Yamazaki, who used to play catchball with her when they were kids. Tamaki also played baseball during her Junior High years as a catcher, and could even catch Yomi's "Magic Throw!" Their promise with each other during their childhood could now be fulfilled! Walking together on the road of baseball once again... The story of the girls who love baseball will begin! (Source: MU)
There are sports series that focus seriously on the sport, ones that use the sport merely as a backdrop for bigger drama, and ones that are basically Cute Girls Do Sports. Based on the first episode, this seinen manga adaptation looks like the last option. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t some dedication to the mechanics of the sport going on here, but this is definitely not in the same category as, say, Hanebado! The essential premise here is a combination of two common ones in sports anime: a talented player has decided to drop the sport for Reasons but gets convinced to rethink her decision by both friends and enthusiasts of the sport, and the talented player is attending a school where the club for that sport either doesn’t exist or is on hiatus (and so the team will have to be reformed from scratch). In Yomi’s case the Reasons are less a personal failing and more a case of her being disillusioned by middle school teammates who lacked her commitment, thus resulting in them losing early in their last tournament. Not yet even hinted at is why the baseball club at Shin Koshigaya is on hiatus, but the first episode is fully invested in establishing the relationship of the titular characters and starting the team-building ball rolling, so presumably this will be detailed in upcoming episodes. The series is being animated by Studio A-Cat, which mostly specializes in CG animation support but ironically uses little to none of it here. This is also not the first baseball title for director Toshinori Fukushima; he previously directed a couple of the OVA follow-ups for the Major franchise. That experience shows in the attention to detail on Yomi’s pitching form, which gets the episode’s most detailed animation. The series also won’t fall short on the attractiveness of its character designs, and while the emphasis is more on cute factor than making the girls look convincingly athletic, Tama and Yomi are both credible enough on the latter point. The artistic concern so far is that quality control already seems a bit shaky, especially with staying on-model. I am not a fan of sports series in general, and especially don’t care for ones where the protagonist is dependent on a gimmick move, so I can’t see myself following this one. Still, if you’re into CGDCT series and don’t mind a sports twist on the concept then this one might be worthwhile.