One Outs shares many key features with Major, the current paradigm for animated baseball and one of my favorite series, wich is why i i decided to try out One Outs. One Outs opts for a deviant flavour more in keeping with Akagi and Kaiji, and in due time it put out the finger to its genre. while Major captures the pure spirit of baseball, One Outs will do whatever it can to try and defile it. In this series there are no special fastballs to save the day in displays of raw power, no epic man to man standoffs, only dark psychological machinations and lots of sinister smiling.
One Outs is a really strange series overall. it is a type of series that little to none depth whatsoever. The different strategies trown out by Tokuchi was quite impressive at first, but it is really just an extreme version of normal baseball tactics, wich ist just made exciting for non-baseball fans. The series is basically a string of baseball matches in which Tokuchi always wins.
The animation wich is done by Madhouse for this anime is deceptive. While from the first background it seesm attractive detailed, But it wont take to for one to realize that pretty colors is hiden in a barren wastelands with unimaginative design. All you ever see in the background are fields of grass, One Outs will almost never show you the outside the baseball park wich sounds obvious. However the very annoying blur that is used to cut corners whenever you are supposed to see audience in the stands makes you double-check whether your are wearing your glasses or not. This leads me to the character design which except for Tokuchi, are all more or less the same. What makes them look different is the bodybuild which makes them stand out from each other.
I enjoyed the characters in the series quite much, with Toua Tokuchi as my absolute favorite as he reminds me of Yagami Light as he enjoy to toy with almost everyone he mets. And whenever possible, he hunts for the psychological weaknesses in his opponents in order to exploit them. while these actions makes him hard to identify with, he also happens to fight for the most sympathetic team. The only bad thing(or good?) is that there is no development of character whatsoever, remaining exactly the same throughout and generally failing to fulfil his true potential as an antihero.
It doesn’t matter whether you like baseball or not, One Outs is a show worth watching by anyone who is interested in mind games. If you love intelligent, albeit undeveloped, leads you might be able to turn a blind eye to this anime’s many shortcomings. I can hardly call One Outs a good show, but it is fun nonetheless, especially if you are into such things as gambling. You might want to check Akagi or Kaiji if you’ve liked this one, or, of course, you could watch few hundred times more intelligent, the king of mind games, Death Note, if you haven’t already.