Directed by: Yumai Yamaguchi
Starring: Tak Sakaguchi, Atsushi Itô, Hideo Sakaki

I have to admit that I have a bit of a man crush on Tak Sakaguchi. Every movie I've seen him in he plays an absolutely cool-as-ice badass. The kind of guy who will be confronted with ten other guys who want to kick his ass and with no problem at all he'll kick all their asses without even breaking a sweat. He's like a Japanese Clint Eastwood or something.

Like a lot of Japanese films this is an adaptation of a manga which unfortunately I have not read so therefore I can't say how close it is to the source material. What I can say however is that it shares more than a few similarities to the 2011 flick DEADBALL, and with good reason. Both films were directed by Yudai Yamaguchi, both star Tak Sakaguchi as the lead character Jubei, both have a character named Four Eyes and both are about a deadly variation on the popular sport of baseball. DEADBALL however is not a sequel but more of a re-imagining.

Principal of Sudei High School and manager of the school's baseball team has a star team and is ready to take them to the next level. Unfortunately he finds out that their first game is against the brutal Gedo High team who will literally destroy his team. The only hope he has of winning is recruiting transfer student Jubei (Takaguchi). But Jubei has pledged never to play baseball again after his amazingly powerful pitch killed his father. Obviously he is convinced to join the team but will that be enough to defeat the deadly Gedo High team?

Even though I haven't read the manga it's easy enough to see the influence. BATTLEFIELD BASEBALL is full of that kind of over the top cartoon violence, slapstick humor and cheesy sentimental scenes that you see in a lot of Japanese cinema. And the way it resurrects characters so matter of factly is both absurd and hilarious. Take this line for example:
 - "Head Teacher! You're alive!"
 - "Yes I've returned as a cyborg, thanks to advanced technology!"

That's what this movie is like. Completely absurd.
Contrary to the title there is little actual baseball played here. Most of the 'game' consists of the competitors brutally beating each other or playing 'fighting baseball' There's plenty of red stuff splashed around and some of the action scenes and fight choreography are pretty neat, but DEADBALL does all of this a lot better and it also has Nazis in it so if you have a choice go for that. Or you could just watch both. I'm giving this five bloodstained baseballs out of ten.

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