I haven’t read the manga before but reading some of the comments it was said that the storyline was very close to the manga which is a good thing although it doesn’t matter to me.
Although this is another school drama with a hot headed teacher which is like Gokusen but it is very different from Gokusen. Rookies involves in a lot of violence and a different kind of “trouble students”.
At the very start of the episode it showed a flash back of a game of baseball and the batter ended up hitting the catcher with the baseball bat. Then afterward it was 2008 April showing Kawato running.
Because of that accident the club was suspended for a period of time, during that time one by one of the baseball club members has left the school and was left with 10 members. Although they all look like they don’t care about it anymore but deep in their hearts they all want to play baseball again.
The first episode focus on Mikoshiba Toru’s feeling about baseball where he really have the passion to play baseball again with everyone. But it seem like no one understands him except for Kawato and Shuta.
And with the support of Kawato, Toru has the courage to take the first step to change himself and everyone in the club. With that Shuta was influenced by Kawato and also want to change too. But this lead to the fight between Shinjo, at the end where Shuta comes up to stop Kawato from hitting Shinjo was kind of touching (at least it was to me).
The first episode ended up with Toru and Shuta who was helping Kawato to fix the baseball field.