Shigeno Daigo is a 4th grade elementary school student with dreams of becoming an incredible baseball player like his father, Shigeno Gorou. However, no matter how hard he tries, Daigo just can’t rise above mediocrity. Daigo’s coach even comments that it’s due to a weak arm and that he failed to inherent his father’s physiology. Because of this, Daigo falls into depression and can’t find a path in life, giving up on baseball and not wanting to make any other effort in his life.
However, entrance exams for junior high are coming up, and Daigo hasn’t even been studying for them. Shigeno Izumi (Daigo’s sister) ends up breaking his handheld gaming console and their mother will only buy him a new console if he subs in for the Dolphins (his old little league team) for a game. There he ends up playing with Satou Hikaru, the son of Shigeno Gorou’s old teammate Satou Toshiya. Hikaru turns out to be immensely talented, but ends up disliking his first game of baseball. This enrages Daigo as Hikaru has the talent Daigo always wanted, and Daigo urges him to keep playing. Hikaru agrees on one condition: Daigo has to play with him too.
Major 2nd is actually a sequel to the long-running manga and anime franchise, Major. However, even if you’ve never watched or read anything of Major, there’s no need to be intimidated by jumping in. Major 2nd is written to focus squarely on Daigo’s problems, with all the returning characters from the prior Major story serving primarily in background roles. You can easily get the gist of who they were in the original story without it being distracting to Major 2nd.
Centralizing the story around Daigo was also a smart move, as you can tell just by watching that Daigo is going through a very different story from his father, Gorou. This gives Major 2nd its own unique narrative to that of its predecessor, and Daigo himself is a much more relatable character for someone his age. He’s basically, well, like a kid; he doesn’t want to practice at something that he knows he’ll never be good at, and no one is doing much to understand where he’s coming from. You know that Daigo will eventually move onto devoting himself to the game, but the fun part has been seeing how, as it’s a very different take on the tried-and-true sports story of “nice but unassuming kid finds an unexpected talent in a sport and goes onto win the big tournament” that’s so common in sports anime.
There’s nothing particularly interesting about the animation, art, or direction that make Major 2nd stand-out. It’s a little low budget, but honestly that’s not a big deal, as it’s not been a spectacle-driven show thus far. It’s a small scale story. There are a few obvious moments in the direction though, like when Daigo throws the glove Gorou gave him into the river, and the camera pans away from the river. You know that they’re trying to trick you into thinking Daigo lost the glove but he’s probably putting up a front and still has it somewhere, but we’d like to be surprised!
If you’re looking for a more light-heard sports show this season, or are a US citizen who’s dismayed none of the major streaming services picked up the Captain Tsubasa reboot this season, check out Major 2nd. It’s a fun little anime that shows a lot of promise.