|Original Manga||Mitsuru Adachi|
|Format||Manga, Anime (TV)|
|Made By||Synergy SP|
|# of Episodes||50|
|Published In||Shōnen Sunday|
|# of Volumes||17|
Sum it up in a Sentence:
Summer days, bittersweet memories, romances old and new, and dreams of the Koshien make up this light-hearted and entertaining entry by a veteran of the craft.
Ko Kitamura is a talented young pitcher just beginning high school and his path to play in the Koshien. He is motivated by the prophetic dream of his childhood girlfriend Wakaba Tsukishima and the reluctant encouragement of her little sister Aoba, a natural talent who taught him all he knows about pitching. As Ko and Aoba deal with ghosts of the past throughout the series, they move slowly closer together and closer to that dream from so long ago.
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Adachi is a big name in the sports genre, and he has pretty well perfected the romantic sports story. Cross Game is just the latest entry among classics such as Touch, Nine, and Slow Step. To long time readers it may seem a bit by the numbers in that respect, but a great cast of characters and the author's natural talent for comedy and nostalgic storytelling make this an extremely relaxing, fun, and all around enjoyable ride. If you've never been exposed to his works before this is as good a place as any to start. Just be ready for a bit of a sucker punch at the start of the series.
Cross Game was an interesting watch for me, since I had never touched (no pun intended) any Adachi before watching it, and I wasn't really into sports anime. I watched the anime version weekly, and it was entertaining, but not outstanding. The beginning is strong, and I can't say much more than that without spoilering. It's great to see our main cast develop and get to the level that they do. The actual baseball was short but very fun to watch. After about the halfway point I felt that the series jumps a little too deep into the drama department, which I don't think it performs well in. It's far too melodramatic for me. The side characters are really unimportant (and some of them are downright awful), but there's a good bit of time spent on them. I didn't see the ending coming when it did, and thought it was a bit abrupt, but looking back it was a good time to wrap things up. If you've liked any Adachi or need a new sports-anime-that-isn't-really-about-sports show to watch, Cross Game is a good one.