Azusa, Otetsudai Shimasu!
Released Year : August 1, 2004 to ????
No of Episodes : 1
Genre : Comedy,Sci-Fi,Slice of Life,Sports
Plot : The Karugamo High School Baseball Team has not been doing well. After losing badly to the Eagles, many of the players leave, and the team now has only eight players, one too few to play a game. Going against his principles, the main character Harumaki Shunpei decides to buy a baseball robot. However, since he does not have enough money, he ends up buying the maid robot named Azusa. Even though Azusa has a warm heart and strong determination, it doesn't appear that she stands a chance against her adversaries who were top-of-the-line baseball robots. The team's only hope seems to lie in a secret buried within Azusa's clouded past.
Our Review : Nowhere but Japan would we see the combination of two of its time honored anime themes mixed with its favorite sporting pastime...Robots, Maids, and Baseball! They go together like ice cream and apple pie! Wait...maids and baseball?!?!
Everything I know about baseball can be summed up in what little I understood of the rules from this anime and the parts of the Houston Astros game I attended once that I did not sleep through. So you can say I am not a huge fan, but this anime had Mamiko Noto! Of course I am going to watch!
The premise of Azusa revolves around a high school baseball club who loses a member reducing the clubs total to only eight, and since you need nine to play baseball this puts the club in a pinch. The story is set about a hundred years in the future and robots; particularly in sports are fairly common. To keep their club alive they set out to by a sports robot to fill in their final roster spot. However all they can afford is an outdated but very moe maid robot. (Really you expected less than total moe-ness from a Mamiko character and a maid!?) Of course she is horrible at baseball and with an impending tournament the club leaves for a training camp in with all of them, including Azusa find hidden talents within them all.
It’s not terribly original and the story and its conclusion are predictable and formulaic. But it was a lot of fun to watch, even for me a non-baseball fan. Nothing in the show will amaze anyone but it has a number of laughs and heartwarming conclusion despite its short length. I can’t comment much on the actual baseball action, since my knowledge is limited but it seemed to be fairly realistic and not overly corny. Despite the themes of the show, one might expect the potential for a lot of fan service but there is very little of that and is safe for all viewers.
None of the characters have all that much substance. They pretty much all live up to the standard stereotypes expected of them. Regardless of their lack of depth, I found them to be a solid group. Azusa, as expected shines the most due to Mamiko Noto's performance. You really have a dried up husk for a heart if you can’t like her just a little bit. It’s a bit of a shame that this series wasn’t longer because I thought her past and abilities could have been a lot more interesting had this been a few episodes longer.
As I mentioned, the only reason I even started this was because of the presence of Noto in the cast. I am her biggest fan and she plays her roll to perfection. She even gets a chance to break out of her meek maid stereotype once which I found especially amusing. The art and animation is pretty ordinary and typical of what you expect nowadays. Solid but unspectacular overall.
Azusa, Otetsudai Shimasu will appeal to sports anime fans and baseball lovers. Though I think it was entertaining enough to attract others who don’t necessarily watch them too. If you love your robotic maids with a wicked fastball moe on the side, then you won’t be disappointed with this.