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Ace of Diamond – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Diamond no Ace


Related: Ace of Diamond: Season 2

Similar: Major

Cross Game

Big Windup


Watched in: Japanese

Genre: Sports

Length: 75 episodes



  • Looks better than most baseball anime
  • The baseball is quite good


  • I’m ACTING!
  • One note protagonist
  • Single. Play. Is. Amazing!
  • Much flashback, little pace

(Request an anime for review here.)

Of the baseball anime quartet I’ll be reviewing over the next few days, Ace of Diamond was the first I watched (more than a year ago at this point, having waited to complete all four for comparison). I started here, as it seemed the most “shounen” of the baseball anime. I was right.

Eijun is your typical high-energy protagonist with arrogance as his defining characteristic. We join him at the end of middle school, where his pitch is the final fault in the last baseball game of the year. A scout sees something in him and recruits him to an elite high school’s baseball team, one filled with players of a higher calibre.

Let me be straight with you right away. I don’t like Ace of Diamond. Eijun is so bloody obnoxious. He’s an annoying arse who trash talks and hits others but can’t take it himself, claims not to watch baseball (how did he learn?), and would turn down a prestigious school to play with his weak teammates while still trumpeting his seriousness towards the championship. He personifies “keeping the cake and eating it too”. He’s a walking series of contradictions, and not the good kind that add character depth. There’s a lack of consequences for this guy. When he dishes it out and can’t take it, nothing happens. Obnoxious to everyone around him? Eh. No one cares. In fact, now that I think about it, the inter-character drama is weak. Everyone does their personality “trait” and…we move on. The most common interaction is people yelling at one another.

Don’t get me started on the yelling! Have you seen Drifters with its constant interjections of random humour? It’s like that but with yelling. I take it the audience is to guffaw every time – and humour is subjective, I know – but man does it grow tiring quickly.

Let’s not talk of the yelling in serious scenes. They communicate with overdramatic, try hard shouting, which would be fine in moderation. This is all the time. Everything is overdramatic, then repeated in the instant flashback, with overdone effort sounds of course. Early on, a guy hits a difficult shot once and everyone’s heads explode. One instance isn’t an indication of skill. A total amateur could get lucky. I don’t doubt he has skill, but would you mind proving it too us before you wet yourselves with delight? Greatness comes from consistency and reliability. One good hit should give management pause. “Huh, not bad.” Twice in row – “Okay, twice lucky.” The third time – “Now I’m interested.” If one hit blows everyone away, you can’t escalate from there.

I cannot emphasise enough just how much they dramatise. Remember the words of the mighty Syndrome. “When everything is super dramatic, nothing is.” (Or something to that effect.) Moments that should be impactful feel the same as normal events because they all have the same hype.

It’s a shame because the baseball itself isn’t half bad, drawing much inspiration from real plays and real games. Looks great too. Excessive dramatisation and flashbacks for the gigantic cast keep obscuring the good qualities, unfortunately. And they kill the pace. This reminds me of when Naruto Shippuden would stall in canon episodes by flashing back to a scene from five minutes ago. These 75 episodes are equal to three standard seasons yet have two seasons of content, made obvious when we get to Cross Game and Major later. Now, if it were dramatics of the JoJo variety accompanied by crazy characters to match, I would be singing a different tune (you know, that sounds like a great anime. Someone make it, please).

If you love baseball and live for the non-stop hyper shounen energy, you will have a great time with Ace of Diamond. It works as a “turn your brain off” sports anime.

Art – High

Considering baseball’s popularity in Japan, it’s surprising how many of its anime have low budgets. Ace of Diamond is the exception with its clean art and more than two colour tones for the full runtime. It’s only real visual flaw – more a fault of the manga – is the standard character designs that don’t match the hyperactive shounen energy. They’re too normal. With helmets on, half of the team looks the same. Not a big deal though.

Sound – Low

SHOUTING = ACTING best summarises major character performances. Everything is overdramatic, yet nothing is ever serious thanks to truly delightful random acts of yelling. Music is better.

Story – Low

An unconventional player joins an elite high school with a baseball program. The matches are okay, but the characters are below average.

Overall Quality – Low

Recommendation: For hardcore shounen baseball fans only. Being a baseball fan isn’t enough; you need to like this type of sports anime.

(Request reviews here. Find out more about the rating system here.)


Awards: (hover over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive: None


Poor Pacing

New Review Format + Backlog Update

Coming soon, I’ll be releasing a new review format in addition to the regular reviews. This new format will be a quick thoughts/quick review style for anime where I don’t have much to say. An issue I’ve had and contributing factor to delays in recent reviews is struggling to find enough to write on some reader requests. Rather than drop the series, as I want to cover all requests, some will be in this format starting next week.

Sometimes a series is so similar to another I have already reviewed, where it would repeat many of the same criticisms, or it isn’t a series with much to analyse – some of my early reviews would fit this criteria. This format also allows for a few words on anime I drop – why I dropped it and whether I still recommend it or not. I will have several anime together, a few paragraphs for each. It’ll be flexible, saying as much or as little as I feel. There could be weeks with no need for such a write up, while I may need several in sequence at other times. Flexible.

Furthermore, I want to write more on currently airing anime while still relevant. I’ll use this format to round up some first impressions of what catches my eye, whether positive or negative, and note what I’ll continue. And at the season’s end, I’ll do a full review of the most interesting titles – again, both good and bad. I’ll start with these next season and knockout a few quick reviews off the backlog in the meantime.

Speaking of the backlog, it’s time for an update. The big change is the completion of Naruto: Shippuden, finally, alongside over 30 other reviews. However, reader requests and new releases have added quite a lot to the list (additional review format will help here). No, haven’t started One Piece yet.

The current backlog in rough alphabetical order (series flagged red are long):

New additions since last time:

  1. Attack on Titan season 3 (watched)
  2. Babylon
  3. Beastars
  4. Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo
  5. Cromartie High School
  6. Dororo
  7. Dr Stone
  8. Fairy Tail
  9. Grand Blue (watched)
  10. Hanebado
  11. Hyouge Mono
  12. Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken
  13. Love Tyrant
  14. Mob Psycho 100 II
  15. Orphen (new one)
  16. Promised Neverland
  17. Pupa
  18. Snow White with the Red Hair
  19. Vinland Saga
  20. Weathering With You
  21. W’z (very important)
  22. Yona of the Dawn
  23. Yuri on Ice

Previous entries:

  1. Baby Steps
  2. Beast Slayer Erin
  3. Big Order TV
  4. Code Geass: Akito the Exiled
  5. Den-noh Coil
  6. Galaxy Express 999
  7. Garzey’s Wing
  8. Ghost in the Shell 2
  9. Ghost in the Shell Arise
  10. Ghost Stories
  11. Gintama
  12. Glasslip
  13. Gundam Thunderbolt
  14. Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
  15. Gundam: The 08th MS Team
  16. Haikyuu Season 3 (only if enjoying it)
  17. Harlock / Cosmo Warrior Zero / Endless Orbit SSX / Harlock Saga / Space Pirate / Battleship Yamato (finish one or more, depending on enjoyment)
  18. Hikaru no Go
  19. JoJo sequels (only if enjoying it)
  20. Katanagatari
  21. K-ON
  22. Last 5 Ghibli movies
  23. Legend of the Galactic Heroes Gaidens
  24. Lovely Complex
  25. Macross franchise (finish one or more, depending on enjoyment)
  26. Magi: The Kingdom of Magic
  27. Monogatari sequels (only if enjoying it)
  28. Mononoke
  29. Moribito – Guardian of the Spirit
  30. One Piece ?
  31. Penguindrum
  32. Princess Tutu
  33. Qwaser of Stigmata
  34. Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
  35. School Days
  36. Slam Dunk
  37. Space Brothers
  38. Striking Daughter
  39. Time of Eve
  40. Turn A Gundam
  41. Yu Yu Hakusho
  42. Various shorts and films

The following are anime I’ve completed (or nearly), but not published the reviews yet:

KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World! – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!


Similar: No Game No Life

Ixion Saga DT


Log Horizon


Watched in: Japanese

Genre: Adventure Comedy Fantasy

Length: 20 episodes (2 seasons), 1 OVA



  • Consistently funny characters.
  • Fun, colourful style.
  • Great parody of otherworld anime.


  • Weak story lacks progression.
  • World could do with greater exploration.

(Request an anime for review here.)

Kazuma is useless. Darkness is useless. Megumin is also useless. Aqua is especially useless. Everyone is useless in the world of KonoSuba! And it is great.

After an embarrassing death, high schooler Kazuma has the chance at another life in a fantasy world. A nerd’s dream come true! Unfortunately, he spawns as the worst class in the game and Aqua, the goddess that granted the new life, is a companion without talents to speak of. They soon recruit descendant from a powerful magical bloodline, arch wizard Megumin, master of explosion magic. At last, some strength to the group!

Nope. She can only cast one spell before collapsing. Well, at least they have a resilient tank in the form of paladin Darkness. She will save them! Nope. She’s has zero accuracy in combat and is a masochist that loves taking a beating from monsters – the more people that watch her sweet arse and bountiful breasts get beat the better.

KonoSuba is a refreshing change after trudging through the endless mire of isekai (otherworld) anime. This parody is better and funnier than the vast majority of titles in the genre, not to suggest there is stiff competition.

Everything works and make sense in this take on the genre, Kazuma being utter trash most of all. His team starting out at the bottom doing menial quests such as slaying killer cabbages and painting houses that barely pay enough for living expenses (note how most isekai forget expenses), just like in any MMO, makes sense. Every isekai fan believes that if they woke up in a fantasy world, they would be a powerful knight or wizard at the top of the food chain (just like how advocates for communism think they would be part of the small ruling class and not one of a billion peasants at the bottom). Who knew that being an otaku NEET doesn’t train you for life in a dangerous fantasy world? KonoSuba shows the reality of how garbage everyone would be and leans into it for great comedic effect.

The characters in particular bring this series together. They are such fun, such a riot to hang out with that they overshadow problems. I did think there was a risk of repetition at the start. For example, Darkness’s love of masochism could have quickly become her running into the fray to get smashed, we laugh at the joke and repeat next episode. However, the joke stays fresh because it isn’t about having her armour stripped off each battle. Instead, it’s about the ridiculous lengths she will go to for arousal and how much more desperate she is each time. Just when I thought it wouldn’t be funny anymore, she surprised me next episode.

The big problem with KonoSuba is the story, or lack thereof. The main goal is to defeat the Demon King, something I forgot about a few episodes in since they ignore this in favour of episodic stories. Now, these small stories work well in facilitating the characters and comedy, but they don’t progress the plot. Watching these episodes in the moment wasn’t a problem until it cares about the Demon King again, where it reminds you of how little the plot has moved. The overarching story feels like an afterthought. “Oh damn, I wrote all these great jokes but forgot the story. Quick, make something up – kill bad guy…big monster…demon…yes, demon king! All done. Phew.”

As such, if you are going to watch KonoSuba, you have to do so for the characters and humour. The world itself lacks depth, having used the generic fantasy template, and the story is just as straightforward as can be. If after you meet the whole team you don’t find it funny, then don’t proceed further.

Art – Medium

I like the colours and character designs. It’s a shame little effort went into making the environments anything but generic. If you removed characters from the shot, you wouldn’t know which anime the environment was from. The animation is strong, particularly in the spell effects that took the largest portion of the budget.

Sound – High

The acting is strong, though it may take a little getting used to Kazuma’s voice, as he sounds too old for a teen, but hey, at least it’s something different from the usual forgettable isekai protagonists. (Note: There is a dub on the way, for those interested.)

Story – Medium

A teen revives in a fantasy world, but has no talents and is surrounded by others with no talent either. Characters and humour hold up this rather barebones story.

Overall Quality – High

Recommendation: A must for comedy fans. KonoSuba is greater than the sum of its parts thanks to its characters and hilarious comedy. This is an easy anime to watch and recommend.

(Request reviews here. Find out more about the rating system here.)


Awards: (hover over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive: None

Negative: None

The State of the Review Schedule

As many of you have noticed, recent weeks have missed the consistent ‘two reviews a week’ schedule. This is due to my increased workload in real life. It isn’t the first time extra work reared its menacing gaze, but in the past, I had a stock of reviews to tap into (the manga reviews were the last time). Sadly, my stock has run dry.

I don’t want to reduce the schedule to one review per week, nor do I want lower my standards to rush through series and churn out reviews for the sake of it. My problem is time. I simply don’t have the free time to watch enough anime – watch it properly. Writing the reviews is no strain at all, but it’s difficult to speed up a series without compromise.

So, what’s changing?

For the next couple of months, the schedule will be as follows:

  • Anime review on Sundays, as normal.
  • Mid-week will still have reviews where possible (anime or manga), but also anime related articles when I don’t have the time for a review.
  • No long anime until I have time again – focus is on movies and 13-episode series, maybe a 26-episode one, if lucky.

I’ve wanted to do some non-review content for a while now, so this is a good opportunity. Many readers have asked for my favourite anime, which I haven’t thought about in years. Before I list my current favourites though, I want to recall my favourites as they were before I started this site. It will be interesting to see how the list has changed since.

Thank you for bearing with me and I hope to have you around for many reviews in future.