Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 5, 2009 to Mar 28, 2010
23 min. per episode
G - All Ages
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.591 (scored by 13577 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisThe main character is Kou Kitamura, son of the owner of Kitamura Sports. In the same neighborhood is a batting center run by the Tsukishima family. Due to their proximity and the relationship between their businesses, the Kitamura and Tsukishima familes have been close for many years, with their children going back and forth between the two homes like extended family. Because Kou and Wakaba were the same age and always together, Aoba was jealous of all the time Kou spent with her older sister. Aoba is a natural pitcher with excellent form, and Kou secretly trains to become as good as she was, even while publicly showing little interest in baseball.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Cross Game
Characters & Voice Actors
“Simple is best.”
One of the most common misconceptions viewers have regarding any form of media is something I call the “been there, done that” phenomenon. That is, if something similar has been done before, chances are the viewer will form a set of judgmental comparisons and criteria to be matched. This leads to the unrealistic expectation that equates to the viewer expecting some sort of literary revolution, only looking forward without truly embracing what the present has to offer. Adachi Mitsuru’s Cross Game accepts its genre boundaries, and relies on the deftness of its storytelling and the depth of its characterization to keep you wanting more.
Kitamura Ko is the only son of Kitamura Sports Shop, whose apathetic nature belies his immense potential as a baseball player. Living down the street from Tsukishima Batting Center, home to its four sisters, Ko’s family has formed a long-lasting relationship with the Tsukishima’s. This bond is strengthened by the fated pair, Ko and the Tsukishima’s second oldest, Wakaba, both being born on the same day in the same hospital.
Almost immediately, Adachi throws a tragic curveball to the viewer, to which he first displays his skillful handling of his story. With such heavy dramatic potential in just the first episode alone, Adachi carefully utilizes this opportunity to not throw away his setup in favor of melodrama, but instead capitalize on creating a human connection between the characters and the viewers. This connection cements the foundation for a strong cast of personalities, led by Ko and the Tsukishima’s third sister, Aoba.
The two protagonists are startlingly similar, and Adachi builds the pair up like two halves of a perfect whole. Despite Aoba’s generally spiteful attitude towards Ko and his reluctant acceptance of her continual ridicule, the exchanges between the two do not detract from their development, but instead define its progression. Additionally, a further romantic element is introduced, which adds a dramatic tone that quickens the story’s pacing towards their lives in Seishu High School and their dreams of aiming for Koshien, while introducing human complexities and relationships that are surprisingly, never overdramatized.
However, to assume the depth of characterization stops with the protagonists would be a major mistake. Perhaps the most interesting character besides the leading pair is Akaishi Osamu, a childhood friend to Ko. Eventually named team captain to Seishu’s baseball team, Akaishi’s personality and decisions throughout the series draw a heavy emotional connection not expected of side characters, especially in sports anime that typically focus only on the protagonists. A whole slew of other characters are also given some time to shine, from Seishu’s cleanup hitter, Azuma Yuhei, to the team’s former manager, Shidou Risa. Each character opts to stay true to who they are, while developing as a result of the progression of the story. Adachi embraces the notion that people never completely change who they are, but they do make adjustments to make better of their lives.
Outside of the drama and relationships is a generally lighthearted dialogue that surrounds a rather typical formula to get to Koshien, Japan’s High School baseball championship. The progression of Seishu’s baseball team and Aoba’s struggle to continue baseball despite not being able to participate in official games become key plot points that seamlessly intertwine with consistent character interaction defined by Adachi’s keen sense of humor.
Speaking of humor, jokes are masterfully timed and clever, despite seeming cliché from time to time. The juxtaposition of the serious and the blithe is a tone not seen pulled off correctly too often in anime, but Cross Game is able to nail it almost every time, making sure each joke is cracked just the right number of times and at the right time too. However, the frivolity of their banter is not wasted either. Even the lightest of jokes serves a purpose to further an emotional connection between the character and the audience, and as the series progresses, the viewer will find him or herself laughing or crying along with the characters.
Regarding the actual baseball in the series, there is definitely plenty of it, and the games are done very well. One does not have to be a fan of baseball to simply enjoy the timely suspense of a close game, and unlike most other sports anime, the series doesn’t sell out on creating unrealistic situations or miracle comebacks to keep the viewer at the edge of her seat.
The pacing of Cross Game is slow for a sports anime, but well-executed. The three major twists in the series are timed perfectly, which adds a sense of believability, for coincidences in life do occur, but not constantly. While relationships between characters may seem to grow complex, the foundation of the series remains rather simple and true to itself. For this series to be labeled as a “drama” is definitely justified, but a bit of an overstatement. It carries many slice of life elements and ultimately is a feel-good experience, but the sheer variety of what it has to offer extends beyond a simple genre label.
However, that’s not to say that the series is flaw-free either. With a decent amount of characters spanning 50 episodes, one can’t help but to ask for just a bit more from a few more characters. There were many lovable personalities throughout the series, and while some continued to develop, others like Nakanishi or Senda could have had some more time dedicated to them, seeing how they were both constants throughout the series.
The animation is relatively consistent throughout the show. Released in 2009 by SynergySP, Cross Game definitely isn’t one of the top shows in the animation department; however, the series definitely wins some points with its charm in character design. Even though the art style might not seem too refined, it is easy to grow onto, and within a dozen episodes, one will hardly notice any huge complaints in that department.
One step above the animation is the quality of Cross Game’s soundtrack and voice acting. While there isn’t anything in particular that stands out about the voice acting, Irino Miyu’s Kitamura Kou and Tomatsu Haruka’s Tsukishima Aoba were a fine lead pair. The true standout of Cross Game’s sound set was its OST, which includes several tracks that were awe-inspiring when played alongside certain scenes. However, the OST probably was not used to its full potential mostly because the most captivating tracks were saved for the grandest moments, and most of the series consisted of lighthearted moments with lighthearted tunes to match it. The only opening of the series, Summer Rain, was an excellent choice to carry the series through 50 whole episodes. The first ending, Koi Kogarete Mita Yume, was my personal favorite and a highly emotional ballad. The other endings were all solid with their own respects.
They say to never judge a book by its cover, and Cross Game is an excellent example that supports this time-worn metaphor. Underneath a genre filled with complexities and controversy, Cross Game flourishes with a simple tale to tell, and it’s given a lengthy amount of time to do so. Unhurried, yet engaging – simple, but beautiful – Cross Game was an emotional and memorable experience that has undoubtedly been the best Sports-related anime I’ve watched thus far.
+ Charming design
+ Consistent animation
- Nothing too special
- A few gaffes in animation
+ Extensive cast that is believably human
+ Heavy emotional connection
+ Excellent Development
+ Does not fall victim to repetitive tropes
- Some characters could’ve used more attention
+ Excellent OST and op/ed sequences
+ Solid voice acting
- Some wasted potential in soundtrack usage
+ Engaging story that is simple at heart
+ Nearly perfect pacing that always keeps the viewer at the edge of her seat
+ Highly entertaining baseball games
+ Mixes well with characters
Overall: 9.3/10, Highly recommended for anyone to give a try. Potential classic of the genre.
This is the first anime that I watched that was written by Mitsuru Adachi. I love baseball anime so I give this one a chance, I never thought that I'll love it so much~ :D Just finished re-watching it for the third time.
Honestly, i was blown away by the first episode, what a very strong start for an anime. It was all unexpected, Just the first episode and it already made me cry... The story was about the cat and dog relationship of Kou and Aoba. Adachi-sensei used his usual pattern of story, the childhood friend route. With a lot of twist , surprise event and a roller coaster of emotion that you will like. We have comedy, romance, drama, Baseball action in one place.
First, let’s discuss comedy, Adachi-sensei never missed any opportunity to crack a joke, the very important thing about delivering a joke was the Timing and that was done perfectly. He will happily use anyone or anything (old or new) as a punch line, so even its just an ordinary day you will find it funny and interesting. Next is Romance, the romance in the story isn’t rushed, you can see it develop little by little, with love triangle in every corner makes it interesting so you can enjoy the love and hate relationship of the two protagonist until the end~. Drama, when Adachi-sensei put a drama in his work it become the key point of the story, just like what happened in the first episode, it will leave an impression until the end of story. Baseball action, Maybe because Adachi-sensei have his own baseball team that he can deliver such an exciting baseball game. He knows When and how to make incredible events to happen, totally surprising, that's why I love the baseball manga the he writes.
Another key point of the story is memories~ Every now and then you'll see a flashback in the story, well I didn't find it annoying, it plays a major role in the character development of the main characters. Sometimes those memories makes me teary.Ending, I'm somewhat contented with it, all the feelings was sorted out and finished the climax of the waited battle in the baseball tournament. Somewhat because i wish he continued it until koushien XD
If u already read some of Adachi-sensei's manga you will find that all of his male protagonist has the same kind of character and i think same goes for the female. This time its Kitamura Kou, only son, cant even play catch ball till 5th grade, hard working and good at lying. The Ace Pitcher of the Seishu Academy, a typical character that you will like. Tsukishima Wakaba, same age, birthday and birthplace as Kou and love him more than anyone else. She plays a major role in the story despite of her status. Tsukishima Aoba, wakaba's little sister, who hates Kou very much and love Wakaba. If there's a word to describe her its "Tsundere". Kou's teacher about pitching. Very talented in Baseball despite of being a girl. Akaishi Osamu, position catcher, 5th batter and later the Captain of the Seishu baseball team. Like Kou he loves Wakaba too. Azuma Yuuhei, 1st base and the 4th batter and a talented one. He first appeared as an antagonist. He's emotionless when talking and only shows different emotion when playing baseball. Takigawa Akane, I'm really surprised of her appearance in the story, almost jaw dropping. The girl that moved next door and the daughter of the Soba Restaurant owner and a great painter. Her appearance takes the story to a new height.
Here's another trademark of Adachi-sensei. Imagine a classic drawing and add modern day coloring and you will get a remastered feeling. His character design is all the same, specially the ears and the hair color were black, blond and brown. Same goes for the character faces, i had read in one of his manga that even Adachi-sensei criticize his own work for having the same face design for some character. Overall, the classic animation style that used in this anime was some-what refreshing if you want to escape the modern day animation style.
The Opening song "Summer Rain" really suits the anime, it gives the listener a tropical kind of beat, maybe because of the guitar. Good thing that they didn't replace it until the end of the series. The Ending song Koi Kogarete Mita Yume fit perfectly to the 1st quarter of the season~ that slow and sad song can easily make u cry if added in the scene specially in the 1st episode~ The 2nd one is Orange Days, a Rap song, IMO it doesn't fit the anime, its not like the song is bad or anything, just that using a song like that in an anime with a classic style of animation isnt good. The 3rd Moeru You na Koi Janai Kedo got a nice beat and slow rhythm . And the last ED song is Rehersal, one of my favorite song. The piano is great and the lyrics too.
I really enjoy Cross Game. I laugh on the jabs, cries in the sad and touchy scenes and get caught in the suspense and excitement of baseball action. that you will ask for more. Well if you Want more baseball action, read H2 and Touch.
At one point the cast of Cross Game ask themeselves "do ghosts grow older too?" the cast of Ano Hana would tell them "yes,they do".
It's fascinating how both of these can be so similar and yet in a way so different
Similar because the premise is very similar,making a friend's wish/last dream come true.
Also the 3 main roles of Ano Hana are played by voice actors that were in cross game
Both have very gripping first episodes that make great use of their ED songs at the end of the episode
Different because while in Ano Hana ghosts are very much real in Cross Game it's left to the viewer's interpretation.
Different because while one is an 11 episode intense ride the other is a more subtle 50 episode long journey.
Different because in one the wish is a mystery and the characters try to figure out what it is while in the other the wish is made clear from the begining
One thing is sure though,both are a great watch
Both stories are about one special girl and how an event on one summer day leaves a lasting effect on her family and friends, for years to come. There's the main character who holds the girl's affections, the boy who can only watch in envy, and the girl who always feels like she's in the shadow of that special girl.
Add to it feelings of regret and guilt, wishes, and dreams, you get two great slice of life, coming of age stories.
one has baseball
one has ghosts
other than that, they're kind of the same.
They both have stories that kind of center on the male protagonist's deceased childhood friend/girlfriend, and both give off the same kind of feeling.
Even though Cross Game is about baseball the underlying themes are similar to Ano Hana. Also some plot elements are very similar between the 2 series.
Both anime are very similar. strong bond between childhood friends, having one special girl in their childhood, and making her last dream come true. the difference is that Anohana with ghost but no baseball while Cross Game with baseball but no ghost (or at least it's left to the viewer's interpretation)
3 of the 6 main characters are the same seiyuu in Cross Game.
The interactions of characters and underlying story are similar except Cross game has an added sport and competitive element.
Both series adapts a similar tone of story telling involving a young girl who was once a special person (childhood friend) in the main protagonist's life.
They have a lighthearted atmosphere that follows a sort of slice of life adaptation.
Both series has theme of friendship involving the main protagonist and the other characters he has interactions with. There is also hints of romance, drama, comedy, and emotional moments.
you get the same feling for both of the romance and the characters that tomatsu haruka voices for. They both hate the person they love. very teary ad motional. i cried every episode. one answrs the other's question.
"Do ghosts grow?"
You would want to answer,"Yes, they do!"
anyway the're both a very good an emotional anime.
Both of these anime are very similar both are about childhood friends that are very close to each other and then suddenly an unexpected scenario will happen can they overcome it or not?
Well both are about baseball and they have several other similarities; however, i don't want to give anything away so you'll just have to watch to find out!! ^_^
Both baseball animes in which the main characters are determined to advance in baseball because of some emotional event experienced in their lives.
A similar event occurs early on in both shows. The male main characters are power pitchers. Both shows have a baseball loving female main character.
Both about baseball, though Cross Game a little "lighter" and Major is more of a serious anime.
Same kind of chars and similiar story
Baseball, Romance, Tragedy, Friends, HardWork
Both of them are similar because they both love baseball and improve. The main characters are alike. The anime shows little bit of romance, childhood, and both characters been through a death of someone they love and cared for. So if you love cross game then you will love major or if you love major then you will love cross game.
They are both baseball animes. Without giving out spoilers, similar situations occur to them. This leads to the protagonist maturing through the sport.
Opening Theme"Summer Rain" by Kobukuro
Ending Theme#01: "Koikogarete Mita Yume (恋焦がれて見た夢)" by Ayaka (eps 1-13)
#02: "Orange Days (オレンジDays)" by SQUAREHOOD (eps 14-26)
#03: "Moeru You na Koi Janai Kedo (燃えるような恋じゃないけど)" by Tsuru (鶴) (eps 27-39)
#04: "Rehearsal (リハーサル)" by Natsuko Kondo (近藤夏子) (eps 40-49)
#05: "Koi Suru Otome (恋スル乙女)" by Natsuko Kondo (近藤夏子) (ep 50)
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