Ren Mihashi is an emotional wreak. He's a seemingly weak pitcher and grade-A crybaby. His ex-teammates whine and complain, claiming the only reason Mihashi became their ace player was due to nepotism. After facing a horrid few years of middle school (complete with death threats and bullying), Mihashi switches to a public school called Nishiura High vowing to never play baseball ever. The Nishiura High School starts up a baseball team (as they didn't have one before), full of freshmen. Mihashi is forced into playing as the team can't any other pitcher. Mihashi soon meets Abe, a mature catcher. Abe discovers Mihashi's hidden talent and the two work together to become a formidable team.
I fell in love with this series from the first episode. I can't say I've watch anything like it. I'm not a fan of baseball, but I still liked Oofuri. It was about more than just baseball, which I really liked. I also liked the characters and their development. I also liked the way Oofuri was played out, such as the internal monologues during games.
Oofuri is about friendship, and learning to work as a team. Abe works with Mihashi, unlike Mihashi's previous pitcher, which ultimately leads to the team's success. I've never been a fan of baseball. I guess it was the constant bullying I was faced with in the little league. It doesn't help that my gender made me the odd-girl-out. Maybe this was why I have such an attachment to Mihashi, and why I'm able to see Oofuri's multiple meanings. I really enjoyed how Mihashi face a bit of 'culture shock' with his new team, and how he wasn't expecting everyone to be so nice. Oofuri had a lot about supporting each other. I think I nearly burst out into tears when Mihashi was found doubled over under the shower by Abe. The friendship between Abe and Mihashi was so unique and exaggerated, it really nailed each of it points. Oofuri has a lot of hidden meanings that different people are able to interpret. The team dynamic of Nishiura High School was able to create multiple perspectives and meanings.
I loved the characters. The colourful cast only exaggerated the rag-tag team, and seeing as exaggeration was key, it really strengthened the series. I personally felt akin to both Mihashi and Abe. As mentioned before, I really envied Mihashi for being able to find a team that accepted him. I was never able to find a team that accepted me. I was too much of a tomboy to join an all girls team, and I couldn't compete with the guys. I guess that was my draw to Mihashi. I also felt a connection with Abe, as he reminds me a lot of my own personality. The thing is, each character is so diverse and deep that everyone can find something in common with at least one of the characters, making the viewer very close to the series. I also liked how there was a very tight-knit baseball community and the viewer was able to meet a vast array of characters. I found that the way the team grew ever closer and characters became more and more dynamic was quite interesting and kept me watching (although it wasn't the only good thing).
Finally I really like how Oofuri was played out. That's a bit non-descriptive, but allow me to elaborate. The story would have been boring from Mihashi's point of view. I really like how instead, it was more from the point of view of Abe, with some Mihashi POV. It was a very interesting perspective that I particularly enjoyed. I also like how the creator made baseball epic. For most, you can say that baseball can get very slow, especially at the major leagues. But in Oofuri they give you internal monologues of every character on the playing field. You get a nice long one from the coach, one from the batter, a short nervous blubber from Mihashi, the ocasional thought from those on base, and the constant strategic planning of Abe. Flash backs, monologues, and exaggerated expressions made each throw of the ball more suspenseful than it should have been, although nice never the less.
There was nothing stunning about the animation, although I loved the colour pallet. The Japanese voice acting was pretty good, but I was particularly surprised with the dub. Funimation did a great job, and I loved the voice acting. Over all the script was funny, the scenes were funny, but there was still an air of seriousness and a deeper meaning. Which is why I give Oofuri 5/5.