「魂かけて」 (Tamashī Kakete)
“It Takes Guts”
XB, or Extreme Baseball is the name of the game, where almost anything goes, and the rules involve punching your opponent with the ball in hand to declare an out. Outfits can transform into weaponized machines, and the umpire is some sort of robot. If any of that sounded like something you would be into, I would say give Tribe Nine a try, because well this one is just wacky! But in all the best possible sense.
Frankly, I don’t know much about baseball, I don’t know much about sports either, so the nuances of plays and what exactly each team is doing to prevent the other team from winning might have blown over my head, especially when your stadium involves a whole city block dedicated especially to teams that want to duke it out in XB.
After the earth was almost destroyed, riots started, and the world went into chaos, after some time they started forming tribes, but it was too much violence, so the government decided that tribes would duke it out in XB. That’s right the government is involved in this! There is lore in this show, and it’s presented to us quickly and swiftly, Tribe Nine doesn’t waste too much of your time pretending its lore dumping is something you want right out the bat, instead it just gives you enough information to be able to grasp the story and give characters a reason to fight. Pretty straightforward stuff. The show is instantly magnetic with pumping techno tunes – rock-filled orchestras – and soft piano melodies, aka the music, might have been the best part for me.
Kamiya, Shun (Ishida, Akira) the leader of the Minato tribe, and our titular character one day wakes up to a couple of people fighting on his turf, they’re fighting Shirokane, Haru (Horie, Shun) for some undisclosed reason, my understanding is that Haru was looking for Shun, or just so happened to get into the right kind of trouble. Another character, a boy who we saw earlier makes an appearance. The red macho boy – Taiga (Sawashiro, Chiharu) is a fiery type of character, who is all about having guts and not being boring! He apparently just ran from under the sea, titular to his character though. On the other hand – Haru has incredible defensive moves, he’s no regular chump.
Out comes Shun to make the bullies go away, and so Taiga, Shun, and Haru make their way over to the Minato hideout, where we spend most of the episode but’s it’s here that personalities shine. Shun has a hangover but managed to make it through the fight before barfing. Shun is the ice-cold prince, saying whatever’s on his mind even if it’s a little harsh. Haru deems himself borning, and Taiga tells us a little bit about his fishing past. More character makes their appearance Arisugawa, Saori (Fuchigami, Mai) a girl with gold electric hair. Mita, Santarou (Tamura, Mutsumi) the bartender, and Daimon, Manami (Ochiai, Fukushi) the doctor of the group. After all, people can get hurt in XB, almost to the point of death.
And so in comes a challenger Gotanda, Yutaka (Komada, Wataru) from the Shinagawa tribe, who uses XB gear like gloves bats, spikes, and other things. According to XB Law, none of that is prohibited. He challenges the group to a bout and off it goes. The Minato tribe brings out a whole ass truck, pimped up and everything. They travel like 3 blocks. I mean if you gonna play an XB game you gotta arrive to at the stadium in class, right?
And so the truck opens up to reveal the benches, a really nice touch that I personally found interesting.
Now our first XB game is about to start, hopefully, we get to see matches at least once per episode since this is where the spell shined the most for me. Taiga shows off some of his fishermen’s moves, which turn out to be pretty wild, and manages to get to first base. Then up is Haru with a weird standing pose that just plucks the ball a little bit. But because of a glitch, he was able to run. He avoids the big guy and also manages to get to first base while Taiga runs to second. Then as Shun comes on to the bat, Yutaka brings out the big guns, Shun uses the first shot to gauge the speed of the ball, which I think goes faster than the speed of sound. But then manages to hit it and make a home run. Or the equivalent of a home run in XB, which involves killing the pitcher from the other team.
The standout moments for me were towards the end of the episode, the animation might not be the best, and characters don’t stay on model for like 80% of the runtime, but surely those final moments were electrifying.
This was crazy, and really interesting at the same time there were so many over-the-top moments it’s hard not to like. Personalities are pumped to eleven and the new and zany rules of XB prove to make the game engaging. There’s a certain whatever goes feeling that permeates at the end of the episode and it’s incredibly electric. Can’t wait for more!
Full-length images: 48.