Packed with many curveballs and strikeouts – figuratively and literally – the third season of baseball anime, Ace of Diamond: Act II, has finally come to an end after a near year-long run at 52 episodes.
This past season was a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs for the Seidou High School baseball team and now ace pitcher Eijun Sawamura. It was a season that saw Seido fair all the way to the quarterfinals of Nationals, welcome new and exciting first-years and included a slow build throughout the whole season that finally culminated in Sawamura becoming the ace. Though the first three seasons were exciting, one can’t help but be even more excited for the next, as it could easily top its predecessors.
Ace of Diamond has been a long and tumultuous road for main character and pitcher Eijun Sawamura. In Ace of Diamond: Act II, things finally seem to be turning around for him. Ever since he stepped foot onto the fields of Seido as a first-year, his dream has always been to become the ace and lead his team to the National High School Baseball Championship and become champions.
Though he finally got to become the ace, it was yet to be seen if he could fully deliver the dynamic pitching that got him to that point or if he would crack under the pressure that being the ace entails. Unfortunately for him, during his first start as the ace, he got overwhelmed and only lasted four innings before being replaced.
He found out in his first start that being the ace is no joke and that he has to be ready mentally in order to pitch to his full capabilities. He also learns not to bear the burden all on his own, and that he has a strong team behind him so he’s never alone in the fight. The last episode of the series sees Sawamura back to his normal and confident self and ends with him delivering his first pitch in his second start as the ace.
The next season will be exciting because of the continued growth of Sawamura and his “numbers.” The numbers are various grips of the baseball that he and team captain and catcher, Kazuya Miyuki have tested and worked on. The official numbers are the grips that have produced stable pitching. Sawamura has at least 11 numbers but can only pitch up to number 5 stably. How Miyuki mixes and matches those numbers and if Sawamura can execute them in this tournament is something to look forward to.
Another aspect for next season is Furuya. He is looking to prove himself after losing his title as the ace to Sawamura. After displaying a monstrous level of pitching at Nationals, Furuya fell off a bit and started struggling because of the pressure he felt to pitch like he did then. He showed in his first start after being replaced that he is starting to get back to his old self. So a friendly competition between him and Sawamura will be fun to see as both are looking to be the ace of the team.
As the past champions of the Spring Tournament and West Tokyo representatives for Spring Nationals, Seido has a big target on its back. All of the powerhouse schools that they have beaten are back and better than ever. All the teams look completely different, everyone has essentially leveled up and is looking to become the new representatives of West Tokyo.
Though the past three seasons of Ace of Diamond were jam-packed with fast-paced baseball action, the next season could prove to be the anime’s best yet.
With Ace of Diamond: Act II finally done, the next installment of the series is set up to be the best one yet.