:: SAKITAMA: THE TRANSITION
Sakitama on the screen, the event I longed for for YEARS. My wish finally came true, didn't it? But did this realization live up to my expectations?
Well yeah! But let's get into detail anyway because that's fun and gives me an excuse to make a new article.
Der Captain! The first thing you may notice about Tai-san here is his clownish appearance complete with thick perfect bow-shaped eyebrows, squinty eyes, and smallish eagle nose. Let's face it, Oyama looks weird (that is certainly not a bad thing). He looks exactly the same in the comic and the cartoon versions. So what kind of VOICE did the Powers That Be decide to grant this strange fellow? Surely it's something ear-openingly unique, right? That's what I expected, so I was SO surprised when I first heard Oyama speak because he sounds like a totally normal person! And I LIKE it. His voice is calm and collected like an average nice guy, and it suits his nice heartwarming personality wonderfully!
Sakitama's reluctant pitcher! I always considered It-chan the MAN of the team with his strong desire to win and low tolerance for his teammates being babied. His character design brought us a brand new eye type, the one with a totally straight and slightly upturned upper line. His comic and cartoon designs look the same as far as I'm able to tell, although the cartoon version's eyes just might be a tiny bit more diagonal, and the bangs just a bit shorter.
So what about his voice? I expected something slightly low and grouchy from the man himself, so I did quite the double take when he was revealed to sound like... Yakko Warner from Animaniacs. Where did THAT come from?! The more I listened to him, the more I grew used to it, though. It's slightly weaselly and works wonders for Ichihara's somewhat snarky personality and frequent whining.
Sakitama's real talent! Daichi is the towering first-year who loves everything, but who has a tendency to get dramatic outbursts over the littlest things. He looks the same in the comic and cartoon, complete with eyes that look like Haruna's except maybe just a tiny bit narrower. I'm not sure what I had in mind for his voice, but it was probably something slightly awkward since I once again was taken by surprise when I first heard him speak; Daichi's voice is totally MANLY!! It suits his grown-up appearance wonderfully (although his face does have a tendency to look childish every now and then), but completely clashes with his spazzy personality. Either way, I like it! When someone's appearance and personality are as different as in Daichi's case, it's only natural that their voice will clash with ONE of the two.
NICE, SAWA!!! Sawamura is a bit of a minor character, but from what I've seen, he's like the slightly laid-back voice of reason whose role is to calm down his more passionate teammates. He's only had one line by the time I write this, but from what I can hear, his voice sounds normal enough and suits him just fine.
What I would like to address about Sawa is his character design, which is the best character design in all of Ookiku Furikabutte. This is a FACT! You cannot argue against the brilliance of his sideways D-shaped eyes, button nose and unibrow... ah yes, the unibrow. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE UNIBROW DURING THE TRANSITION FROM THE COMIC TO THE CARTOON?!?!? Instead of a complete unibrow, the area between his eyebrows just have some light fuzz! I have come to the conclusion that Sawamura for some reason felt the need to give himself a makeover before appearing on the big screen. It's harsh being a television star...
SAWAMURA (episode three)
...but in the third episode, his unibrow seems to have magically grown back in some scenes! I'm just as confused as you are, but HEY, I'm not going to question it because the unibrow is just SO awesome that it may very well break all the laws of physics in the world as far as I'm concerned.