Genre: Sports, School
Streaming: Amazon Prime, Funimation
All girls sports animes are somewhat rare in the generally more masculine dominated genre so Tamayomi is something of a welcome addition. Taking on the popular sport of baseball, it centres around Yomi Takeda whose infamous ‘Magic Throw’ caused her to stop playing in middle school. Now in high school, she reunites with an old friend, Tamaki Yamazaki (or, Tama), who had previously wanted to play baseball with her. After playing a friendly game of catch for old time’s sake the two discover that Tama is able to catch Yomi’s terrifying ‘Magic Throw’ and suddenly playing baseball may again be an option for Yomi with her friend’s help.
The initial interaction between these two and a pair of twins also in their school is charming, albeit a little lacking in terms of real depth but as this is the first episode this can be forgiven. The characters are fairly likable but are not particularly original or memorable – they’re just sort of bland which is pretty risky considering this is likely going to be an anime with a large cast. Having such a large roster of characters is common for sports animes, but it only works if the audience cares already about a few of them. So far, this episode doesn’t do this job, despite some flashbacks to Yomi’s struggles back in middle school with her old baseball team.
Visually, the anime is nicely drawn; the designs are reminiscent of other all-female cast animes such as Love Live! It’s also worth noting that the girls designs don’t fall into the pattern of exaggerating their body types or slipping into ecchi tropes. The girls shown so far look like girls who play sports – they’re solid with thighs but none are drawn in an oversexualized manner which is refreshing. This adds a nice touch of realism to the characters and that the show itself is taking the sports side of the series seriously. The animation itself is a little lacklustre, however, which unfortunately also just adds to how bland the characters can appear. The opening is nicely catchy, however, even if the soundtrack music in the rest of the episode is mostly forgettable.
So far, the plot looks to be taking the predictable route of many other sports anime where a formally great player ends up joining a high school team and rediscovering their love for the sport. There are hints that the current baseball club is currently on hiatus, pointing to a likely plotline for the characters to help get the club going again in the future. Perhaps a theme that won’t be explored fully but which could have some good development is that Yomi’s way of playing baseball looks rather lethal – she almost injured one of the twins twice in this episode alone with her throw. Yomi’s backstory was mostly based around how her former team didn’t want to work with her whilst she developed her techniques, but it would be interesting if there was a deeper look at how potentially dangerous Yomi could be whilst playing.
Ultimately, this looks to be a series that takes the sport of baseball fairly seriously and with a great deal of passion, which is reflected in the characters themselves. The cast is charming and wholesome so far, but ultimately come across as somewhat shallow – hopefully, there will be some chance to develop them further as the series goes on.
Tamayomi is a cute and wholesome sports show, but it strikes out in terms of characterisation.