This first impression is coming from someone who has only seen one shounen-sports series – Kuroko no Basuke. This is an impression of someone who’d like to get to know the shounen-sports genre more and would like to explore the genre. This is also from someone who doesn’t know anything about baseball. This is all coming from someone who enjoys character-centered stories as well as inspirational ones.
With those in mind, let me get into this first impression.
I think Daiya no Ace or Ace of Diamond is mainly about Sawamura Eijun (Ohsaka Ryota) and baseball and teamwork and Koushien. Typical setup I think… It looks quite generic with those teamwork-things, friendship stuff, comedy style and real shounen-sports vibes. It’s honestly everything that I expected (in a good way). This first episode opened up nicely with that quick pacing ending in that interesting challenge between Eijun and Kiyokuni Azuma, one of the top batters of Seidou High Baseball Team. Having read the synopsis, we all know what’s going to happen next.
There were four characters that caught my attention in this opening episode. Sawamura Eijun is a pretty fun main character. His too carefree character together with his immediate change of attitude when talking about baseball kind of reminded me of Azuma Kazuma from Yakitate!! Japan :3 Then there’s Miyuki Kazuya (Sakurai Takahiro) who’s got that seemingly arrogant attitude, kind of fitting for Sakurai Takahiro’s voice (YukiAtsu, Makishima Shougo). Another is Takashima Rei (Uchiyama Yumi), the one who scout for Eijun. And finally, the female player from Eijun’s middle school – I think I failed to get her name (and it’s not in MAL either). Odd. Maybe she’s not really important.
The introduction of Eijun was pretty smooth. Everything comes in pretty natural, looking at this as a typical shounen series. His character was established well. As for other characters, I think that aside from Miyuki, other important characters were only given a few seconds of screen time. We’ll probably get to know then next episode or once Eijun finally attends Seidou High.
|see, it's not sparkling beautiful :))|
The art style kind of looks old school (or classic) in my opinion and I like it that way. The background art isn’t as stunning or breathtaking as most series today but I guess for this kind of series it’s more or less okay. I think that Daiya no Ace will show off in terms of art when it comes to those baseball games (and practices perhaps) giving some pretty nice character movements and camera angles as shown in this episode. Character designs look kind of like some classic anime series for me most especially Eijun. What’s also very noticeable in the art are those quick comedy acts – like oh you know typical shounen comedy with the sudden change of art style to some funny looking chibi or those comic-like art style but still well delivered. Really. Finally, as expected, the atmosphere the series creates is really good. The occasional scene lightings look great, Eijun’s emotions are shown well and their transition from serious scene to quick comedy was never awkward and never made it feel as if it’s a purely comedy series such as how Cuticle Tantei Inaba does their comedy (but yeah, perhaps this is one of my comparison fails again, but if you’ve watched Cuticle Tantei you get the idea of serious scene to comedy scene and how they still maintain that comedy atmosphere all the way).
Looking at Daiya no Ace’s opening episode, I’d say it’s something to look forward to every week for shounen sports series fans. Not being a huge sports fan for now, I’m definitely seeing some good share of potential in this series. It’ll definitely be a fun ride of shounen-comedy and inspirational sports stuff (drama) perhaps :3
~I’ll work on Yowamushi Pedal a little later (or tomorrow perhaps)…