Ganbare! Red Vickies (がんばれ!レッドビッキーズ), or misspelled as Gambare! Red Vickies on the Toei Tokusatsu World YouTube channel, is a youth baseball show that doesn’t have explosions, rubber monsters, or any kind of panache or flair. In short, this was boring!
Have you ever seen a sports movie? Literally any of them? Mighty Ducks, Cool Runnings, Rookie of the Year, Bad News Bears, Angels in the Outfield, A League of Their Own, Little Giants, et al? Then you know what Red Vickies is and oh boy is this an arduous watch, let alone write about.
This 1978 series stars Hiroko Hayashi as Reiko Esaki, a high school girl who loves baseball but is denied access to it because A) she’s a girl and 2) this is a sports movie in need of an inciting incident. Fresh off of the 70’s “family friendly” brand of sexual harassment, Reiko decides to become the coach of a little league team and wastes no time in recruiting a team of no-hopers, tropes, and obvious ringers.
The show features these cute cut-in title cards drawn by Ishinomori himself, which are meant to reflect the characters’ emotions which I guess works because all the child actors are bad. They scream their lines and all have that one face children have when told to read lines.
The show does set-up a lot of the ancillary characters that we’ll be seeing throughout the show like the other baseball coach who tells Reiko to disband the team and the comedic owner who’s son is on the team, I appreciated that most of the characters got a little something to1 establish their schtick for the series to come.
Because this is an Ishinomori show, it’s understandable why it’s on the TTW channel but it’s definitely not one for the standard tokusatsu audience but it’s not particularly bad so it’s there if anyone is curious!
You can now find Gambare! Red Vickies, as well as many other tokusatsu shows, on the TOEI Tokusatsu World Official YouTube channel to watch for free with English subtitles.