Once again, it’s proved that you don’t have to be knowledgeable about sports if you want to watch sports anime. After watching the entire first season, catching up to the second season and manga, I can safely say that Daiya no Ace is completely worthwhile. I do admit that it feels weird at first. I guess I was too used to watching basketball or volleyball or soccer LOL. It takes quite a while to get into the baseball feel but once I did, the game felt thrilling as hell! Especially the Summer Koshien final, it was such an intense match I really had no idea who would win!
In brief, Daiya no Ace tells the story of Sawamura Eijun who was scouted to join Seido, a strong high school team in Tokyo. Unlike a few other sports anime, the main character’s team — Seido — is a well-established team with a large amount of members and competing in Koshien as their goal. Everyday training is tough and competitions between member are fierce. There are only 9 players on the field after all. It takes time to create a strong team, especially from many people with different mindset and personalities. *cough post-Inashiro-match cough*
“Have pride on the sweat you’ve dropped.”
The main reason I continue this series is the characters. I see the effort they put in, the long journey they have to go through in order to reach their current level, the issues they face and the bitter defeats they have to learn from. I personally think that the main theme for this series is hard work and I get the impression that it is portrayed more dominantly here than other sports anime I’ve seen. If you want to be better, then try twice harder than any other people. It’s been mentioned multiple times by so many characters in the series.
The best thing is Terajima-sensei gives a backstory for almost every team and that’s nice because it makes the struggle more real. Those backstories let me see them in a new shade of light. (Damn straight, I have SO MUCH RESPECT for Yuki and the other third years.) And when the characters succeed? I can’t help but to squeal in delight!! Sawamura has been overshadowed by his teammate-slash-rival for quite a while so no wonder I am ecstatic for his little accomplishments and victories!
Indeed, some matches feel like forever but there are many aspects that I really like and find to be extremely motivating. I think this series has conveyed some beautiful messages very well. Sometimes we can only see the good things in sports anime, but not the bitter reality like what it’s shown in Daiya no Ace.