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Big Windup!


(C)Asa Higuchi· KODANSHA/Oofuri Project All Rights Reserved.

Big Windup! is an anime about high-school baseball players that takes readers inside the minds of the pitcher, catcher, and batter and describes the drama behind each pitch. Based on the popular manga by Higuchi Asa, it devotes a great deal of attention to the personal rapport among the players, depicting not just how they care and show kindness for one another but also how they put each other off.

Mihashi Ren was the starting pitcher for three years on his middle school team. But this was because his grandfather was a trustee for the school, Mihoshi Junior High School, not because he was a good player. Not surprisingly, his team failed to win a single game for three years. He was very unpopular with his teammates, as a result of which he developed a fretful personality and had no self-confidence.


(C)Asa Higuchi·KODANSHA/Oofuri Project All Rights Reserved.

"I'm not any good," he would tell himself. "I've got no skills and am not a very nice guy either. I've taken the fun out of baseball for my teammates."

He wanted to change himself, though, so he decided to attend a high school in neighboring Saitama Prefecture, instead of simply advancing to the upper-secondary division of the same school. He joined the newly established baseball team at Nishiura High School and, thanks to the faith placed in him by his tough-minded female manager and reliable catcher, he and his teammates develop into competitive and winning players.


(C)Asa Higuchi·KODANSHA/Oofuri Project All Rights Reserved.

The sound effects used for the anime were recorded during practices of real high-school players, creating the impression that viewers are seeing a live baseball game.

After struggling to overcome his own weaknesses and a defeatist attitude, Ren eventually comes to enjoy being on the mound. "I love this contest," he says before winding up for the pitch. "I'm gonna win and become a true ace pitcher!" Ren's personal growth through baseball has struck a nerve with many young viewers of the anime who, too, lacked confidence in themselves but have come to feel they can succeed if they really believe in themselves.

(Updated in November 2007)