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Recommending: Ookiku Furikabutte -- baseball manga & anime
Ookiku Furikabutte

Ookiku Furikabutte.
Baseball. Boys. Burning youth. Holding hands.

Do you believe in love at first sight? I've been flailing since I saw the first anime raw and read the first manga chapter. Oofuri is a golden combination: a great sports series and lots of scope for slash.

Ookiku Furikabutte -- Oofuri for short -- is a sports series about a high school baseball team. Mihashi was the starting pitcher at his junior high, not due to skill, but to family connections. He was hated by the rest of the team and, without their support, never developed any self-confidence. Now, at Nishiura High School, he reluctantly joins the baseball team and it's up to Abe, the experienced catcher, to build Mihashi up and turn him into an ace.

I have followed a lot of sports series and this is the first one since Slam Dunk to make me this excited. Unlike most baseball series, Oofuri doesn't focus on the hotshot pitcher. Instead, it's about team work, partnership, pulling together, learning to fly. And lovely boys.



Mihashi Ren
First-year student. Pitcher. Insecure. Cute as a bug's ear. He's carrying a lot of guilt about his junior high baseball career and it's going to take a lot of effort from Abe to give him confidence. I want to hug Mihashi every time I see him.


Abe Takaya
First year student. Catcher. A bit reserved. He's the game-maker, the one who makes the decisions, and I love that SO much. He knows that he can make an ace pitcher out of Mihashi but it's going to take more than just practice on the field...

If the series were just about Battery Bonding, that would be enough for me to follow it. I like mentor situations, I adore strong pitcher-catcher combinations. But there is more, so much more, to love about Oofuri. For instance:


Hanai Azusa
First-year. Strong batter. A bit of an attitude. Initially, Hanai doesn't want to join the team, but both Abe and Momoe are rather ... convincing. Hanai shaves his head and sports a variety of fashionable headgear. I think he's going to turn out to be the hottest one at Nishiura.


Tajima Yuuichirou
First-year. Bats clean-up. Total spaz. No doubt Hanai will make the attempt to resist his charms, but fail utterly. How could anyone not love Tajima?


Momoe Maria
Coach. Strong. Scary. Freaking awesome. Momo-kan is enthusiastic to the point of religious ferver. She and Abe don't always see eye to eye about Mihashi, which should lead to some interesting situations.


Shiga Tsuyoshi
Math teacher. Advisor. Full of strange and wonderful facts. My boyfriend (fair warning!). Shiga-sensei has many training theories involving psychology, nutrition, biology, and I'm sure many more fascinating subjects.

There are more boys on the team, whom we will get to know in due course, the usual girl manager, and many exciting rival teams to come. (Like in the next few episodes.)

The Series

The Oofuri manga, by Asa Higuchi, began in 2004 and is ongoing. In 2006, Oofuri won an Osama Tezuka Cultural award for showing new possibilities of expression in baseball manga. (It was also, from what I've read, voted the number one baseball manga of all time, but I don't know by whom!) It's only recently been picked up for scanlation by Entropy so only a few chapters are available in English so far.

The anime began in April 2007. It's being subbed by Saizen and Entropy as a joint project. I haven't seen anything about the number of episodes, so I'm hoping that means it will run longer than 26 episodes. Like for 200 at least.


Episode 1 subbed - MU
You will need to turn on the subtitles track in your player.
Episode 2 subbed - MU
Episode 3 subbed - MU
Episode 4 raw - MU | summary
Episode 5 raw - MU | summary
Episode 6 raw - MU | summary
Episode 7 raw - MU | summary
Episode 8 raw - MU | summary
Episode 9 raw - MU | summary
Episode 10 raw - MU | summary

Manga Scanlations
Chapter 1 - MU
Chapter 2 - MU
Chapter 3 - MU
Chapter 4 - MU
Chapter 5 - MU

Communities & Sites

oofuri - news & media - lots of good stuff

oofuri_etc - fanworks - fic (here's hoping!), art, icons, doujinshi, discussion, and such

oofuri.com - official anime site

Oofuri fanart sites, collected by keycchou: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
Please respect the artists and don't use their work without permission.

Epsiode summaries by Seleria

Why you should watch & read Oofuri

Because it is the BEST THING EVER. *flail* Also:

Oofuri is a great story with a fresh take on sports series, especially baseball. You can enjoy it just for that, but there is so much potential for slash as well, lots of pairings, both with Nishiura and the rival teams. Even though I'm supporting the True Battery Love of Abe & Mihashi, I already have two other Mihashi pairings I'm looking forward to writing. I haven't seen a series with this much pairing potential since Prince of Tennis and I've followed a lot of sports series.

There's not much by way of English fanworks yet but I'm hoping that as the anime and manga become available in English there will be more. In the meantime, there's fanart and doujinshi to keep us going. Jump on the bandwagon with me! We'll ride in the parade!

Please feel free to link to this post!

Okay, I'm sold.

*does to download*

I love you, Hal. You're like butter. You make everything better.

Yay! I need to make a plan for world domination so everyone will jump into the fandom with me.

Mmm, butter. In about 15 minutes, my partner is making me popcorn.

I would just like to point out that when I saw that first picture, I had to scroll back up to make sure you actually said "high school." I forget that not all characters look twice their ages.

Prince of Tennis is the only sports series I've ever watched, so I don't actually know if I like sports series. Hmm. But this sounds interesting, and now that school's over I should have time for new anime, so I think I'll check it out~ ♥

So far, these boys seem like high school students and they are so, so sweet and lovely. I think Oofuri will work well for people who like PoT. It's got some similar elements, but is more down to earth. Watch an episode. Read a chapter. You might fall in love too. :)

This post makes me drool. Omg. Baseball.

It's so, so, SO good. Baseball and the boys are awesome.

I am heading off to CON WEEKEND, but I think sometime during my regular time off next week it will be time to settle down with Oofuri and discover whether it really is the baseball series I've been waiting for. ^___^

I really think it could be. And have you tried H2? That was also excellent, though not at all slashy.

How could anyone not love Tajima?
AGREED. I kind of like anime!Tajima less than manga!Tajima, though. The reason is yet to be identified.

Abe is a first year, too. He needs to be there for Mihashi all throughout his high school pitcher career, after all. :D

Thanks for the correction! I must have mis-heard or mis-read something. Does Nishiura have a junior high too, that he was in?

I really wish I could read the manga raws. I may just get out my dictionaries and give it a try anyhow, see how much sense I can make of them.

Cute boys and baseball are an irresistible combination. *_* Thank you for including the manga scanlations, I'm completely IRC illiterate. ♥

Oh, yes. This is the series I've been waiting for. ♥ I hope you enjoy!

Oh damn, damn, damn.


I may as well give up and admit that I fucking well love sports series.

...damn it. I am so ashamed.

There's no shame in liking a *good* sports series. :)

Oh damn. Tell me they aren't subbing the anime as .mkv. Those things choke my computer.

I have trouble with some .mkv files but this one was fine for me in VLC. I hope it works for you.

I've downloaded the first episode and will give the manga a try too. (If anything, I must know the context of that Tajima cap! XD)

Hanai reminds me of Kawachi. I feel like it's going to give me a fetish for bald anime guys.

I think you'll like it -- it's a very fun and sweet series. It's so exactly what I've been waiting for.

Oh, darling Kawachi! I kind of miss the afro. :D

Best rec post EVER. I will definitely link to this entry on my LJ, God knows how hard I've been trying to pimp Oofuri to my f-list. <.< Also, if I happen to upload episodes on anime_downloads, do you mind if I link to this post instead of posting the usual synopsis? XD

Link as much as you like! I really want to get people into Oofuri so we can all flail together. :)

*flails with you*

*glares at Megaupload* Whaddaya mean 'exceeded my limit'?

*goes to fetch the torrent files instead* They look cute. I need another steady.

Yeah, I think you'll like this one. It's very charming. And, so far, a solid sports series.

Haven't even READ your post yet but SO MUCH LOVE - discovered the show yesterday along with a few others that ARE SO AMAZING.

I'll probably end up making a post with all the anime I'm watching this season but, guh - basball anime are a guilty addiction for me but this one is particularly awesome so YAY

Isn't Oofuri awesome? I'm so glad to hear you're already watching! *jumps up and down with you*

What other baseball series have you followed? I adore H2. I'm slogging through Major, but only half enjoying it. But I'm still in the first season.

What's up with Momo-kan's rack?

Looks interesting. I may just try this one out.

Re: ::raises eyebrow::

What's up with Momo-kan's rack?

You haven't watched much anime, have you? *g*

I'm interested to see what you think. I am, of course, completely in love to the point of having to breathe into a paper bag.

They look so sweet. I suspect something terrible will happen if I start to watch this. >:3

What's the worst that could happen?

The masturbation panel got me. :|

I thought about putting it outside the cut to lure people in, but I already had one big image.