The Spring 2019 Anime Preview Guide
Ace of the Diamond Act II

How would you rate episode 1 of
Ace of Diamond Act II ?



What is this?

After a previous failure to reach nationals, the elite baseball team of Seidou High and its pitcher Eijun Sawamura decided to go all out at the fall tournament, give nationals a second shot, and in doing so convince their beloved coach not to retire. The Seidou team's determination saw them through to the fall tournament's finals where they faced Yakushi High and, after a tense match, ultimately claimed victory. With the nationals tournament on the horizon, how will Eijun and the team prepare for the biggest baseball games of their high school careers? Ace of the Diamond Act II is based on a manga and streams on Crunchyroll, Tuesdays at 5:55 AM EST.


How was the first episode?

Lynzee Loveridge

Rating:

After a four year break, I'd expect a little more out of Ace of the Diamond Act II to rev up its audience. Its characters are finally in the big leagues, ready to face their toughest opponents yet. Their stage is the Koshien Stadium and the players need to be at the top of their game if they want to continue to move forward. But the premiere episode is far more interested in looking back.

I can appreciate a refresher - four years is an awful long time to go between seasons. The pace never picks up after the five minute rehash as Seidou High eases through its first win amid panning shot after panning shot. The premiere episode lacks dynamism, instead opting for peanut gallery explanations of pitcher Sawamura's attributes and narrated cutaways. I'd expect this several weeks into the show. Ace of Diamond's previous seasons were known for its limited animation, but not for a premiere four years after the fact. The best way to illustrate what level our guys are at is to show the audience how good they are, but there's little more than two plays in the entire episode.

The rest of the limited screen time is spent on Komadai Fujimaki, another team in the tournament spearheaded by pitcher Masamune Hongo. Hongo's a powerhouse and he knows it. He reminds me of a more volatile version of Haikyu!!'s Wakatoshi Ushijima. He's the type of guy where you want to see him blow it because he acts like the concept of humility is completely foreign to him. Sawamura, on the other hand, could also reel it in a bit. He has a similar energy to Hinata, but none of the charm.

Ace of the Diamond Act II didn't put its best foot forward. It doesn't convincingly sell itself as an engaging sports series worth getting in to after so many episodes, despite using considerable screen time to refamiliarize past viewers or entice newbies coming in later. Next time, lead with the action!


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