Moshidora, more properly Moshi Kōkō Yakyū no Joshi Manager ga Drakkā no “Management” o Yondara, or “What If a Female Student Manager of a High School Baseball Team Reads Drucker’s Management?” is about…well, read the title again.
This is a replacement for an earlier post, now that I’ve watched all ten episodes. As I said originally, I like it, but not so much because of the baseball as because of how they try to bend traditional baseball concepts and traditional management concepts so that they overlap.
I mean, baseball and management theory. What’s not to like?
Summary (with spoilers): HS student Kawashima Minami has decided to take over management of the baseball team because the real manager, her lifelong friend, Miyata Yuki (who looks like a young version of Momokan, the female coach in Big Windup) is in the hospital with a bad case of anime-languishing-disease. In Japan, I am told, the job of manager (マネジャー , pronounced something like ma.ne.jyaa) is very much a support function, responsible for uniform cleaning and equipment inventory and “routine drudgework”, not someone who is in the chain of command. In this case, Minami goes way beyond the job description. Her mistake, and the basis for the story, is to ask the bookstore clerk for a book on how to be a manager. She gets Peter Drucker’s classic, and decides to run with it.
She runs through all the management issues, from how to decide who the customer is (the players…the fans…the taxpayers who fund the school…the TV stations who show the games…their suppliers…everyone in the world, it seems, but particularly the students who choose to be on the team), to how to structure a management team, once the job gets too big. To decide who the customer is, she consults with her bed-ridden friend, and then they do market research by interviewing the players in her hospital room. As usual, it looks like the pitcher is going to be a problem, but more due to a coach/pitcher communications problem than anything else.*
In the end, her friend Yuki dies — the first time I’ve ever seen a case of anime-languishing-disease turn fatal — and this prompts Minami to reject baseball in general and her job in particular, right before the big game. Turns out, she’s always hated baseball, and was just doing this to keep up Yuki’s spirits. The team replies that they know that (Yuki told them), but, you know, she was doing such a great job. She flees, horrified that they were deceiving her about her deception, and the team finds itself struggling against a much more experienced opponent. As you might expect, one of the other managers follows her and brings her back, in time to support the team in the cliff-hanger finale.
Comment: It’s a very short series, only ten episodes. Maybe that’s because Drucker’s book only has ten sections. What makes this worth watching is not the fact that it applies management theory to baseball, but that it uses baseball as a way of illustrating the principles of management. So, encouraging people who come out for HS baseball to also consider other sports may not be the best way to apply Drucker’s social responsibility ideas to baseball, but if you are teaching social responsibility in management you might want to use that episode as an example.
I’m not sure the whole series is focused enough to be used as a teaching tool, but it might be included in a list of recommendations, or ‘external readings’.
The artwork is OK. The animation itself is somewhat low-budget (lots of ‘moving stills’). The fanslation is sometimes funny (in one whole conversation, they keep referring to the pitcher as ‘she’).
I doubt that it will be released in the US, but if it is, I’ll buy it. Otherwise, I may have to order from overseas.
* I once read that if you watch enough anime you will come to the conclusion that 80% of the world’s troubles are due to poor communication. The other 20% is split equally between magic and giant robots.
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