From the folks that gave you Akagi & Kaiji comes another anime about gambling & mind games. This time with baseball.
Hiromichi Kojima, a star batter for the Lycacons team goes on a training holiday to Okinawa where he meets Toa Tokuchi, a grifter/pitcher who makes his money fleecing US servicemen in a simplified baseball game called One Outs. When Kojima’s underlings are successfully conned by Tokuchi, Kojima finds himself drawn into his mindgames.
If you liked Akagi and Kaiji you should check this out, don’t let the baseball theme put you off, it’s really about gambling and trying to get into the head of your opponents. Masato Hagiwara, who played Akagi, voices the similarly cold blooded Tokuchi.
And if the character designs of those two previous shows had put you off, well the good news is this isn’t based on a Nobuyuki Fukumoto manga. Shinobu Kaitani’s manga is a little more traditional in its character designs. Hence the frequency Tokuchi is shirtless in the OP. You wouldn’t get that with Kaiji! Where was my point? Oh yes, if you couldn’t get past the chisel noses and chins of the Fukomoto adaptations, don’t let that put you off this. Though if you were put off, you’ll probably be the sort of person put off by the character design for the character “Big Mama” in this. Yes, another difference is there is actually a female character in this.
It’s not the greatest animation in the world but Yuzo Sato is a master of wringing every last bit of tension from the script. Even though I know what happens after the second episode, it’s still an awesome cliffhanger.