Taishō Baseball Girls. (大正野球娘。 Taishō Yakyū Musume.?) is a popular light novel series written by Atsushi Kagurasaka and illustrated by Sadaji Koike. Tokuma Shoten has published two novels as of November 2008. The novels have been adapted to a drama CD, a manga series currently being published in Monthly Comic Ryū, and a TV anime series aired in 2009.
In 1925, after being told by a baseball player that women should become housewives instead of going to school, two 14-year-old Japanese high school girls named Koume and Akiko decide to start a baseball team in order to prove him wrong. During this time, when even running was considered too vulgar for women, baseball is known as "what the boys do" and they face many difficulties when having to find enough members, to get permission from their parents and also when learning about the sport itself.
The first book in the series opens in Taishō 14 (1925), introducing Koume (小梅?), who is the 14-year-old daughter of a yōshoku restaurant owner, and a student at a local girls' academy. One day, Koume's friend, Akiko, asks her to join in an all-girl baseball team and have a match against a boys team. While the first volume can be read as a stand-alone work, the second volume develops the storyline further.
The second book in the series, Taishō Baseball Girls: Covered in Dust and Dirt (大正野球娘。―土と埃にまみれます Taishō Yakyū Musume. Tsuchi to Hokori ni Mamiremasu?), is set in the summer of Taishō 14. Koume, Akiko, Manoe and the rest of the nine members of the Baseball Girls continue to face off against numerous all-boy teams, and have trouble dealing with the fast balls thrown by the boys. To combat the anxiety they experience, playing against more experienced teams, they decide to abandon their traditional baseball uniforms in favor of a kimono-style uniform. The girls also partition off the batter's box so that other teams cannot see what they are doing.
Apart from baseball, the series also deals with certain cultural changes that are not seen quite so often in anime. For example, the popular "sailor" school uniforms, now a staple of real-world Japanese schools, as well as school-based anime and manga, are only just being introduced into Japanese society during the Taishō period in which this work is based.
- Koume Suzukawa (鈴川 小梅 Suzukawa Koume?) Voiced by: Mikako Takahashi (Drama CD) / Kanae Itō (anime)
- Akiko Ogasawara (小笠原 晶子 Ogasawara Akiko?) Voiced by: Maria Yamamoto (Drama CD) / Mai Nakahara (anime)
- Yuki Souya (宗谷 雪 Sōya Yuki?) Voiced by: Asami Imai (Drama CD) / Mamiko Noto (anime)
- Tamaki Ishigaki (石垣 環 Ishigaki Tamaki?) Voiced by: Masumi Asano (Drama CD) / Ryou Hirohashi (anime)
- Tomoe Tsukubae (月映 巴 Tsukubae Tomoe?) Voiced by: Aya Endo (Drama CD) / Yuko Kaida (anime)
- Shizuka Tsukubae (月映 静 Tsukubae Shizuka?) Voiced by: Hiromi Konno (Drama CD) / Eri Kitamura (anime)
- Noe Kawashima (川島 乃枝 Kawashima Noe?) Voiced by: Kaoru Mizuhara (Drama CD) / Kana Ueda (anime)
- Kyouko Sakurami (桜見 鏡子 Sakurami Kyōko?) Voiced by: Yui Makino
- Kochou Kikusaka (菊坂 胡蝶 Kikusaka Kochō?) Voiced by: Saori Goto
- Anna Curtland (アンナ・カートランド Anna Kātorando?) Voiced by: Chiaki Takahashi (Drama CD) / Satomi Arai (anime)
- Noriko Owari (尾張 記子 Owari Noriko?) Voiced by: Ayumi Fujimura
- Saburou Kitani (紀谷 三郎 Kitani Saburō?) Voiced by: Satoshi Hino
- Sousuke Iwasaki (岩崎 荘介 Iwasaki Sōsuke?) Voiced by: Masayuki Katou
- Banboku Takahara (高原 伴睦 Takahara Banboku?) Voiced by: Shinji Kawada
An anime TV series based on the novel series, produced by J.C.Staff, was announced in August 2008, aired starting on TBS from July 2, 2009, replacing K-On! in its timeslot. It will be directed by Takashi Ikehata with character design by Kanetoshi Kamimoto, who is known for his design work for Takara Tomy toys.</small>
- Taishō Baseball Girls: Young Ladies Hiking (大正野球娘。乙女たちのハイキング Taishō Yakyū Musume: Otome-tachi no Haikingu?)
- Audio CD, 72 minutes, 7 tracks, Frontier Works, FCCN-0032, 21 December 2007.</small>
- Taishō Baseball Girls. (大正野球娘。 Taishō Yakyū Musume.?)
- 221 pages, April 17, 2007, ISBN 978-4198507428, Tokuma Shoten
- Taishō Baseball Girls: Covered in Dust and Dirt (大正野球娘。―土と埃にまみれます Taishō Yakyū Musume. Tsuchi to Hokori ni Mamiremasu?)
- 202 pages, August 20, 2008, ISBN 978-4198507534, Tokuma Shoten
- Imperial Capital Takoyaki Girls: Taishō Baseball Girls. 3 (帝都たこ焼き娘。―大正野球娘。3 Teito Takoyaki Musume. Taishō Yakyū Musume. San?)
- 212 pages, July 2009, ISBN 978-4198508319, Tokuma Shoten
- Taishō Baseball Girls. 4 (大正野球娘。4 Taishō Yakyū Musume. Yon?)
- 224 pages, June 17, 2010, ISBN 978-4198508661, Tokuma Shoten
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Script error
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Taishō Yakyū Musume Baseball Anime Confirmed". Anime News Network. August 19, 2008. Retrieved November 9, 2008.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Script error
- ↑ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=10206
- ↑ "Taishō Yakyū Musume. (TV)". Anime News Network. Retrieved November 9, 2008.
- ↑ Script error
- ↑ "Taishō Yakyū Musume. (manga)". Anime News Network. Retrieved November 9, 2008.
- (Japanese) 大正野球娘。at Comic Ryu (official site)
- (Japanese) Official anime site (at TBS)
- Taishō Baseball Girls (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopediaru:Taishou Yakyuu Musume