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MAJOR
Kanji メジャー
Rōmaji Mejā
Genre Sports, Drama
Manga
Author Takuya Mitsuda
Publisher Shogakukan
Published by Weekly Shōnen Sunday
Original Run 1994 – 2010
Volumes 78
Anime
Director Kenichi Kasai (Seasons 1, 2)
Toshinori Fukushima (Seasons 3-6)
Music Noriyuki Asakura
Studio Studio Hibari (ep. 1 - 78)
SynergySP (ep79 - 154)
Original Run November 13, 2004 - (Season 1)
Episodes 154 (total), 3 OVAs, 1 film

MAJOR, otherwise subtitled as the Dramatic Baseball Comic or MAJOR DREAM is a sports manga series by Takuya Mitsuda. It has been serialized in Shōnen Sunday and has been collected in 78 tankōbon volumes. In 1996, it received the 41st Shogakukan Manga Award for the best shōnen manga.

The manga series concluded in the 32nd issue of Shōnen Sunday for 2010, with the 78th and final volume of the manga series released in the middle of December 2010 together with a special original video animation (OVA).[1]

The series has been adapted into an anime series produced by NHK and Studio Hibari. The first episode of the series, aired on November 13, 2004, running for six seasons with the final episode aired on September 25, 2010. An animated film titled MAJOR: The Winning Shot of Friendship tells the in-between story of the first and second seasons released on December 13, 2008. Two OVAs were released on December 16, 2011, and January 18, 2012, dealing with the Major League Arc which was skipped in the TV series.[2]

Story

The story follows the life of Goro Honda. From childhood to adulthood, he aims to be the best professional baseball player, seeking and challenging tremendous adversities.

Characters

Main Characters

  • Goro Honda is the main protagonist of the series. Now renamed as Goro Shigeno after his new mother married his father's best friend.
  • Toshiya Sato is the deuteragonist of the series. He is Goro's best friend since childhood and catching rival as he rises through the leagues.
  • Kaoru Shimizu is the heroine of the series. She has a crush on Goro since they first met in elementary, a trait that continues through the story till they get married and have 2 children in the epilogue.

Goro's Family

  • Shigeharu Honda Goro's biological father who tragically died after the match with Gibson.
  • Momoko Hoshino Goro's kindergarten teacher who becomes engaged with Shigeharu until his tragic death and adopts Goro as her son. She later marries her fiance's best friend becoming Momoko Shigeno, bearing 2 children.
  • Hideki Shigeno was Shigeharu's teammate and pitching ace of their baseball team. After the tragedy, he bears the responsibility for his best friend's death by marrying Momoko and raising Goro as his own son.

Goro's Rivals

  • Joe Gibson is Goro's major rival in the series. He was the man responsible for the death of Goro's biological father and was crossed to bear the heavy burden to be the best MLB pitcher Honda faced as an atonement to Goro.
  • Joe Gibson Jr. is Goro's slugger rival and son of Joe Gibson. He antagonizes Goro and his biological father for the downfall of his family.
  • Ken Mayumura is Goro's pitching rival since he enrolled into Kaido Academy.

Manga & Anime Differences

  • Team Names
    • The "Yokohama Marine Stars" in the manga became "Yokohama Blue Oceans" in the anime.
    • The "Tokyo Giants" in the manga became "Tokyo Warriors" in the anime.
  • The match between the Kaido Junior Varsity and Varsity teams
    • (Manga) Toshiya's home run in the 7th inning was worth 2 runs, placing the JV team in the lead. The 8th and 9th innings quickly ended without incident or anyone scoring. Mayumura was never on the field. Also, Enomoto does never enter the field in this game.
    • (Anime) Toshiya's home run was only a solo run. Goro gave up the run in the 8th inning, but hit a 2-run home run off the Varsity team's ace pitcher and took back the lead. The 9th inning ended without either team scoring. Mayamura appears and made a hit in the 8th inning, testing if Shigeno has the ability to follow up with a game-winning home run, instead of having to rely on Sato in the 9th inning.
  • Chiharu Shigeno's birth and Hideki Shigeno's retirement
    • (Anime) Both events happened a few years later than the manga timeline, in the manga it occurs during the Mifune East arc, in the anime, it occurs during the Seishu Arc.
  • Ryoko Kawase
    • (Anime) Ryoko's appearances in Season 2 and 3 were not present in the original manga. In the manga, she was never mentioned after the little league match.
  • Ayane Suzuki
    • (Manga) When Goro moved back to Mifune and was asking directions to Mifune East, the person who gave the wrong directions in the manga was Yamane (intentionally). But in the anime, it was Ayane (unintentionally).
    • (Anime, Season 3) Ayane's plot were not present in the original manga. In the manga, she was never mentioned after Goro and Toshiya began school in Kaido.

Anime Credits

  • Director: Kenichi Kasai, Toshinori Fukushima
  • Series Composition: Michihiro Tsuchiya
  • Production: NHK, Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions
  • Music: Noriyuki Asakura
  • Script: Isao Shizuya, Michihiro Tsuchiya, Reiko Yoshida, Takao Yoshioka
  • Sound Director: Hajime Takakuwa
  • Producer: Naohiko Furuichi
  • Director of Photography: Taro Sato
  • Original Creator: Takuya Mitsuda
  • Character Design: Kenichi Ohnuki (Season 4), Masaru Oshiro
  • Art Director: Toshiyuki Tokuda, Yasutada Kato
  • Animation Producer: Seiji Mitsunobu

Reception

In 2005, sporting goods manufacturer Mizuno entered into a one-year agreement with Shogakukan to have their company logo appear in the baseball equipment used by Goro Shigeno and other manga characters from the series. Under the agreement, Mizuno would also use the Goro Shigeno character in other promotional events.[3]

  • A NY Times article credits the popularity of the gyroball pitch.[4]

In 2006, the anime ranked 46th in TV Asahi's online poll of Japan's favorite animated TV series. A Celebrity List of the same poll placed the anime series at the 70th spot.[5]

Notes and Trivia

  • Many violent scenes (mostly physical violence) from the manga were greatly toned down or completely removed in the anime. There's only one game that is in the manga and isnt present in the anime adaptation, probably due to its high level of violence. This game starts in chapter 137 and ends in chapter 143. That is also the revenge game of the Mifune West.
  • The manga's plot follows the same prologue theme from other sports manga in which a family relative of the protagonist dies prematurely before or during the story's beginning, with examples as:
    • Kyuudou-kun: Kazutoshi Yamamoto, biological father of Kyuudou Nakanishi.
    • Oretachi no Field: Kanichi Takasugi, father of Kazuya Takasugi.
    • Musashi no Ken: Eiichirou Natsuki, father of Musashi Natsuki.
    • Touch: Kazuya Uesugi, twin brother of Tatsuya Uesugi.
    • Area no Kishi: Suguru Aizawa, elder brother of Kakeru Aizawa.
    • Princess Nine: Hidehiko Hayakawa, father of Ryo Hayakawa

References

External Links