Surreal Kyushu shorts due out on DVD

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd. 

“Pichi Ko Yakyu-bu” (Pichi High School Baseball Club), directed by animator Benpineko, a surreal animated TV series of shorts that was aired exclusively in Kyushu’s eight prefectures, including Okinawa Prefecture, are due out on DVD in April.

The DVD will be sold nationwide, giving fans outside the Kyushu region a chance to enjoy the main characters’ offbeat, surreal and very habit-forming dialogue.

Multitalented Benpineko also provided original story ideas and character designs, in addition to writing the theme song lyrics.

Each episode of the series runs about 1 minute long. The offbeat comedy features Maru-chan and Nikki, two happy-go-lucky, devil-may-care characters. The boys are second-year students at Momogaoka High School (dubbed Pichi High School) and are the only members in the school’s baseball club.

After their baseball diamond is taken over by the school’s soccer team, the pair have no choice but to practice at the riverbank near the school. As Maru-chan and Nikki play catch, they spout a lot of side-splitting nonsense.

The anime series was jointly produced by eight broadcasters in the Kyushu region and affiliated with Fuji Television Network Inc.: TNC, STS, KTN, TKU, TOS, UMK, KTS and OTV. Animation studio DLE Inc., best known for its “The Eagle Talon Secret Society,” produced the anime.

“Pichi High School Baseball Club” began airing in February 2010 across the Kyushu region, garnering an enthusiastic fan base.

To date, 12 episodes have been produced, which will be released on DVD on April 27. Priced at 1,500 yen ($18) including tax, the DVD will also include an 8-minute bonus comprising three new episodes and two video clips for karaoke practice.

Each episode features a new oddball baseball cheer, which is also a highlight of the series.

See (http://www.tnc.co.jp/pichiko/).

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