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This review is from: Big Windup: Complete Series [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Funimation's Youtube channel offers the show for free, but I liked it so much I bought the DVD anyway. I barely had a clue about baseball when I started... and I still didn't quite get it by the end of the show, so I did some reading and studying and then watched it AGAIN. You don't need to know baseball to enjoy this, which is very much a story of character-development, friendship and teamwork, but it really helps. You won't appreciate just how "broken" Mihashi's alleged 9-divisions are until you learn more about pitching, for example.
But really, it's all about the characters. You either like them, or you don't. Some people can't stand Mihashi because of his whinyness or Abe because of his bossiness, but I liked both guys, and liked seeing them work together. The best part of the show is the side characters, though, especially Tajima (Tajima is boss), Izumi and Sakaeguchi.
I strongly recommend it for anyone who likes: Sports. Friendship. High school stories. Slow-paced series. Bromance.
I strongly recommend it for anyone who hates: Overpowered, unrealistic moves in sports shows. Superpowered protagonists/protagonist teams.
I do not recommend it for anyone who likes: Lots of girls. Romance.
I do not recommend it for anyone who hates: Male friendship. Crying. Weak characters. Matches that take 10 episodes to conclude.
Here's hoping some company licenses Season 2 one day.