My Complicated Thoughts about Tamayomi

Well, the Spring anime season is kind of in shambles right now and for me personally, it’s a bit hard to discuss about. There are some shows that I am very much enjoying such as the second season of Jashin-chan Dropkick and Yesterday to Utatte. But with a lot of anime being postponed and/or my interest in some of them decreasing rapidly, my list for this season is pretty short.

However, there is one currently airing show that has big reasons for me to continue it and big reasons for me to drop it. It’s strange but allow me to explain (and give you an overview of what this anime is about).

(mild spoiler warning)


Tamayomi, a sports anime produced by Studio A-CAT, is about one Takeda Yomi, a baseball pitcher who was the best on her junior high’s team and even had a crazy yet super effective pitch in her arsenal, nicknamed the “Magic Throw”. However because Yomi was so good, the rest of her teammates were never able or motivated to catch up to her advanced skill, especially her catcher who couldn’t catch Yomi’s “Magic Ball” pitch. Because of that, it ultimately made her lose interest in the game and she ended up quitting all together. Now entering high school, she runs into her long lost friend, Yamazaki Tamaki, who is a very good catcher and used to play catch with Yomi as a child (in fact, she has been the first and only person to have the ability to catch Yomi’s signature pitch). So with their reunion and now developed skills in the sport, they become motivated to create a baseball club/team at their school and fulfill the promise they made as kids.

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Now first off, let me say that I have never really been much of a sports anime fan; I could probably count the number of sports anime I’ve seen on one hand. It may be because I’ve always preferred the fictional sports narratives shown in the United States, with classics like Space Jam, The Longest Yard, the Rocky series and baseball films such The Sandlot and Major League. I think because those movies are live-action rather than animated, I get a better sense of realism when watching those (well… except for Space Jam, that’s for sure lol). I’m not knocking sports anime, I’m definitely not one to give an opinion on it, it’s simply just personal preference.

But for some very specific reasons, I had the sudden urge to watch this show. There were many other opportunities for me to actually watch a sports anime like MajorHaikyuu, and the recent Hachigatsu no Cinderella Nine. But no, my super weird mind and priorities decided to watch this random baseball anime.

I’ll be honest here and say that the main reason was that a specific voice actress that I admire is featured as a main character. When I heard Maeda Kaori would voice Yomi, it definitely peaked my interest. If you don’t know, Kaorin is a part of the newest Love Live group, portraying one of the nine school idols in Osaka Shizuku. And as you probably could tell in my last post, I’ve been pretty dedicated in learning about and supporting that new idol group and its voice actresses. So I just thought, “Kaorin is in this, plus I love baseball, so why not?”. Now that I think about it, I’ve been starting to watch anime that feature the PDP seiyuu, such as seeing Sashide Maria in Wataten and Murakami Natsumi in the currently airing Sanrio anime Mewkledreamy.

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From left to right: Shiraki Nao (Yoshino), Tomita Miyu (Ibuki), Maeda Kaori (Yomi), Amano Satomi (Tamaki)

Another reason why I started watching this is probably because the sports world has come to a sudden halt. Pretty much all professional sports leagues in the United States currently aren’t active, whether that be because of the pandemic or their scheduled season hasn’t started yet (I’d be very surprised if the National Football League season starts in September WITH fans attending). While there definitely are more important things to worry about than sports, as an avid fan, it feels weird and almost melancholy to not see an NBA game on TV or the start of the MLB season.

Anyways, let’s actually talk about the anime now lol

Like a lot of sports narratives, the story is generally about an underdog. A person or a team who starts off at the bottom and in the end, they rise to the top because of hard work, excellent team effort and probably some luck. I actually tend to enjoy those kinds of stories, to be honest. Especially if it’s a character or cast of characters that make it easy for you to like them, you start to feel for them and wish they succeed.

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Tamayomi is not any different. Two girls who are hella good at baseball decide to revive their high school’s baseball club and recruit a bunch of people with different backgrounds; it’s standard stuff. I do find one aspect of the story to be interesting; that being the history of that school’s baseball club and how that impacts this new, upcoming team. Because the leaders/captains of the previous club were too serious about the game, going as far as inflicting violence on some teammates, it makes me interested in how exactly Yomi and her new team will deal with the unfortunate image of that school’s program. Obviously winning an actual title will clear most of it but with the team having that bad of a rep, I’m looking forward to seeing their whole journey to prove their school’s worth.

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Characters are decent. All of them come from different backgrounds which some were explained well within the first few episodes. Our two main ladies, Yomi and Tamaki, both are veterans at baseball and have the skills to play but what makes this battery (term for a pitcher/catcher combo) interesting is the way they had to develop their game. Yomi came from a team that was always unmotivated and laid-back while Tamaki was dealing with the complete opposite with a group that may have been too intense. With both experiences being considered failures to them, it gives a good insight in the motives of Yomi and Tamaki creating a whole new group of players and a reason to root for their success.

As for the rest of the cast, I feel like they were a little bit more memorable than Yomi and Tamaki themselves, simply because their personalities and behaviors felt more interesting. A friend duo with an on-going rivalry of who’s the better infielder, a girl with a high-pitched voice who surprised me with how much of a baseball nut she really is, and hell, there even was a person who finally got her chance to play ball after becoming a kendo champion. I feel like the only strong trait of Yomi and Tamaki is being great at baseball, so I hope their development as characters gets better overtime.

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Speaking of baseball, I have to address that part of the show. As an amateur baseball fan, I’ve gotten to learn a lot about the game and the specifics around it over the years, such as mechanics and even pitch types. Certainly won’t call myself an expert but I was looking forward to seeing how legit this show expresses the game. And in my opinion, they’re not really bullshitting much! Everything from pitch types (Yomi’s pitch is what you would call a ‘slurve’, a curveball with the velocity of a slider), practice drills, sac flies, when and when not to shift the infield; the fact that I’m actually understanding what’s going on goes to show that they’re not ‘half-assing’ the baseball part of this story. Although, I feel like they sort of jump right into expressing all these aspects and expect you to already know the basics. So if you don’t know much about baseball, you may not have the same experience as someone like myself.

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Fungo: a ball that is thrown in the air and hit for fielding practice, usually used for infield (grounders) or outfield (pop-ups) training

That being said, it seems like I’m, for the most part, enjoying this show. So what’s the problem, Al?

…the problem is the art and animation. And for a lot of people, including myself, it’s been a pretty major problem.

Even though I haven’t seen many sports anime, I would think that it’s normal to expect at least some good and smooth animation. I mean, how could you not? Sports is all about movement and it’s essential to show athletes playing in the most accurate and polished way possible.

But when it comes to animation with Tamayomi, it’s almost frustrating. First off, it looks bad. It’s not smooth and looks like it was done really cheaply, both in the 2D and 3D parts. There are certain places where the 3D animation looked very out of place and while I have brushed off weird 3D scenes like that in other shows, this one was just too glaring and distracting to me.

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Another problem I had with the animation was that they just kept going back and forth, changing from 2D to 3D very frequently. And with the art (more on the character design side of things) and general animation not looking great in the first place, I feel like that just made it worse. There were some parts where it actually looked nice, but you can tell that they put most of their effort and work into those important shots rather than the entire scene.

Obviously there are many factors in why it is what it is whether that be because of a small budget, time constraints, or even this whole pandemic disrupting the production process. But as a viewer, it’s hard not to criticize the glaring flaws in how this anime looks and to be honest, I have a good feeling that it’s gonna break the whole show for me at some point. I understand that because sports anime is never going to look as realistic as real life sports, the story should make up for that. But with Tamayomi’s narrative not being too special, it just doesn’t help its cause. Hell, it doesn’t help that Funimation, the international distributor for the show, decided to air an unfinished version of episode four.

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But that’s just my own opinion. I really like a good amount of aspects about this show, which will probably make me continue watching. However, it may be a ‘picky’ thing for me to say but I just can’t get over its massive flaws. And with it being pretty bad in the public eye, I’m kind of bummed out that it’s gonna be seen as just a poorly animated baseball show with girls that have thick thighs.


If you’ve been watching Tamayomi as well, let me know what you think of it. I’d like to see other people’s opinions on it.

Thanks for reading!! 😀

-al

  1. Yeah, the quality of the animation really is hard to miss. Even, the way the characters have been drawn seems clumsy. Their faces are almost identical and then there’s no consistency with their shapes and dimensions. It’s an odd one for sure.

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    1. Yeah, I feel like if they followed the character designs from the manga more, their faces and such would look a lot better. I’m just hoping they improve everything along the way… if they even get the chance to.

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  2. RisefromAshes May 4, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    Like you; I’ve been impressed that the technical lingo both in Japanese and translation is really solid. It was way more technical then prior girls playing baseball series. As for characters, they’re about par for the course imo but we’re not even halfway through the series so there’s still room for that. I’m a little unamused with the pacing since everything seems really quick. I’m really not invested in any potential ‘stakes’ within the series.

    But holy hell. The animation. Episode 4, I don’t even know how they aired that as it was. I rarely complain about animation but the amount of errors in fluidity, I couldn’t count how many times they came across cross eyed. From episode 1 it was clear the key visuals and the animation didn’t match up but it really came across poorly.

    I’m with you though. Despite my complaints, I’m still going to keep watching just to see how it all pans out.

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    1. Art/animation is also something I don’t complain about too much but yeah, this show is one of the rare occasions where I can’t help but criticize it. I just hope they improve on it for future episodes, if they are able to.

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      1. RisefromAshes May 6, 2020 at 4:28 pm

        Looking at the studios prior works I’m not holding my breath for improvement. I’m just hoping it will stay a bit more consistent in the remaining episodes. >..<

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  3. While I too have experienced first-hand just how bad the animation for Tamayomi got (because I watch this on Funi), I can’t help but think I have to give it a bit of a pass at times owing to what the show is, in my opinion.

    Tamayomi toes the line between Sports Anime and the Cute-Girls-Doing-Cute-Things variant of Slice of Life Anime and, more often than not these kinds of shows tend to skew more to being like the latter than it is the former. That is to say, I wouldn’t necessarily put Tamayomi beside something like Haikyuu!! mentioned here, or Ace of Diamond for example. Instead the show would find more similarity with shows like the recent-ish badminton anime Hanebado, or the classic kendo anime Bamboo Blade. The key difference is that these shows, while being sports “themed” in a sense, put less emphasis on the games or matches presented in the story than they do the character dynamics – which end up being the strong suit of shows like this. Not to say Haikyuu!! *doesn’t* have good character dynamics, but rather I just don’t see a show like Tamayomi devote 5 or 6 episodes to a single game with as much intensity (and thus to have more robust animation as a direct consequence) as Haikyuu!! does, if that makes sense.

    That being said, I’m enjoying the show, despite its misgivings (xD). The characters are likeable for the most part (I’m particularly fond of Ibuki’s character) and the “Let’s Aim For Nationals~!” is a classic plot progression that’s always hype. I’m not expecting to to blow me away, but it’s enough to scratch the itch for a baseball anime. And yes, Kaorin was also partially responsible for getting me to watch this, lol.

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    1. Mm, I see. I didn’t realize that there was more of a laid-back and slice-of-life style of sports anime but now that you mention it, I can see Tamayomi falling into that category. I think because I haven’t seen many sports anime in the first place, I kind of expected it to be like one of the more traditional shows like Ace no Diamond or something similar. But regardless, it’s still interesting enough to watch and I just hope it improves along the way lol

      I didn’t get to touch on the voice acting that much but Kaorin has been doing a good job as Yomi, I’d say (Tomita Miyu being there is a plus too :P)

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  4. I can’t disagree with any of your points… (Other than I’m watching it deliberately but CGDCT and sports are a combination that’s irresistible to me.) But to me, there’s also the problem that they’re trying to inject character drama w/o really establishing any interesting characterizations. They’re wooden blocks with generic labels.

    If you’re interested in sports/baseball anime – I highly reccomend Mix.

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