Because of the legend left by Tatsuya Uesugi, Meisei Academy High School was well-known for their strong baseball team. But 26 years after their glory, the team has not been able to keep their record and has since lost their fame.
Two stepbrothers, Souichirou and Touma Tachibana, aim to revive of the once-strong Meisei Academy baseball team and enter the National High School Baseball Championship.
Souichirou and Touma are second years in Meisei Academy Middle School. Both boys are talented baseball players. Souichirou has shown excellent skill as a catcher and batter. Though having an extraordinary skill as a pitcher, Touma no longer pitches due to a certain reason.
Once the two enter high school, they pair as a battery and aim to enter the National High School Baseball Championship!
For someone whose all-time favourite anime is Touch, there's a strange feeling to be had watching a quasi-sequel an entire thirty plus years after Touch originally aired. A mixture of nostalgia and of heavy emotions, of how things were and how they are, of how we have changed but not changed much at all.
But throughout it all, the one emotion that lingered strongest was: "I wish I was watching Touch instead."
It's a story that has been done thrice before, with Mix now being Adachi Mitsuru's fourth at-bat with coming-of-age baseball dramas. The biggest difference here is that Mix isn't so much a personal story
in the way that Touch and Cross Game were, but is an entirely sports-focused series in a similar vein to H2, albeit with heavy themes of family and nostalgia. Touch in particular was focused on themes of trauma, guilt, angst, loss, and love, of trying to prove yourself and trying to be someone who you are not. There are none of these things in Mix— not even a touch of romance— which makes the entire experience pretty mild unless an already prodigy-level pitcher aiming for first place at the Koushien is all you ever needed.
The matches are engaging in typical Adachi Mitsuru fashion, as they can be over in a split-second from the tiniest of mistakes, making it impossible to reliably predict who will win and who will lose. No team is invincible, and no player is infallible. The epic music crescendos with Touma's masterful pitches, each landing with a loud thud as the innings rack up and the stakes increase. One mistake, one poor pitch and Meisei could be immediately sent home with nothing but regret and a years-long wait until next summer's tournament. While the first half of Mix is largely slice-of-life and an introduction to the characters, the second half is extremely tense and devoted to Meisei's run at the summer tournament.
As a sports anime, Mix is great. But with only twenty-four episodes devoted to a still-ongoing manga, with enough chapters to already cover several seasons worth of similarly paced content, to have things end as prematurely as they do makes the anime feel like lost potential. "Really... that's it? No sequel announcement? This is how we're ending?", I thought, as my video player reached the end of the final episode's credits. Adachi Mitsuru's anime adaptations— namely Touch and Cross Game— are notable in how they actually portrayed the entire story despite the length of their manga source material. Touch told a full story, from beginning to end. So did Cross Game. But Mix, unless things are to change, has only told about 10% of the entire story, hoping anime viewers will be OK with an ending that doesn't conclude anything or make the viewer feel at all happy with where things are leaving off. It's like a manga that was gutted and canceled with two week's notice— it simply isn't an ending.
But I guess that is the fate of anime produced in 2019. The days of fifty, a hundred episodes airing weekly is behind us, with three different seasons produced over an entire decade being the best one could hope for. Most of the time anime adaptations will simply end after the thirteen episodes and remain incomplete stories. It's a shame Mix was produced in 2019 instead of a decade ago when longer stories still had a fighting chance. Because, you know, Touch never even showed its true colors until twenty-five episodes had passed. Maybe there is more here as the story progresses, and maybe, just maybe, had it been a full adaptation, it could have had the potential to match or even surpass Touch.
I enjoyed Mix. I enjoyed returning to a peaceful setting painted by Adachi Mitsuru, and hearing all the silly fourth-wall-breaking gags the characters prod the viewer with. The summer tournament in the latter half was climactic and exciting. But every time the show would reference Touch, with Touma pitching next to Tatsuya - his splitting image - I would feel a desire to simply return to Touch instead, much, I suppose, as Touma's coach is haunted by nostalgia, unable to let go of his memories at Meisei thirty years past.
So I write this review, six years after I wrote my Touch review, with manga volumes of Touch and Cross Game still standing next to my computer desk. Obviously I haven't let go just yet, but that doesn't mean I didn't give Mix a fair shot, either. I just don't think it did it best.
As someone who hasn't read Touch, I feel as if I can give a clear review without having to compare it to something. I understand that I might be missing out on some of the important information, such as the backstory of how they became national champions 30 years ago, the dynamic husband and wife, etc etc. The list can go on and on. However, not watching/reading Touch has allowed me to get a better grasp on what the show did right and wrong.
To me, this anime was solid. The storytelling is always going to be solid, since it was originally by Mitsuru Adachi.
I have watched cross game and I picked up similar vibes. The powerful batters always have that clearness in those eyes, there is always one/two girls in the show giving it a romance kind of feel and the atmosphere had the same kind of aura. However, even though it is similar, Mix is unique. An outsider coming into this without knowing anything about Touch, the story's that I heard about what happened 30 years ago were so intriguing. I kept on wanting to just watch more and more. Each of the main games that they had that lasted more than 1 episode (such as the last one) were a hard fought battle. Even then, I didn't know what was going to happen. Usually I tend to predict where the anime is going but for this one that was certainly not the case.
Even though there is a lot of good things about the show, it doesn't give me amazing vibes. Shows that I give a 9+ to are usually ones that I really enjoyed and I would rewatch it anytime. This one didn't strike to me as something I should rewatch. Although the show did everything right, I feel as if it didn't reach the viewer enough. Perhaps I should say it was too bland? I am not sure. It is also hard for me to recommend this because the topic is just so niche.
Another reason why it is hard to recommend this show is because of the other shows that went with it. I thought that this season (Summer 2019) was going to fall short compared to the other reasons and how wrong was I. Shows like Fire Force and Demon Slayer dominated throughout social media and sadly Mix, was just there. Plus, not only did it kind of end abruptly, but there just isn't enough. I am pretty sure that the story is no where near finished but some of the things aren't fleshed out enough. Does that mean I think there needs to be a sequel? Yes. If there isn't one then I will be disappointed. 26 episodes is a 'long anime' but compared to other sports animes such as Kuroko no Basket, Baby steps, Hikaru no Go, this doesn't have enough.
As a result, this anime was a disappointment that it ended far earlier than I wanted to. I would like to watch more but with no sequel announced, I am losing hope at a rapid pace. The charaters, art, sound, story were solid. Everything about this show was solid. I would recommend this show as a result of all of the things it does right. Shounen animes should learn from Mitsuru Adachi style of writing, as all of his works had relatively decent success. TL;DR : Watch this show if you enjoy sports anime or if you are on the fence about watching it. I am sure you won't regret it.
I quite admit Mix is surprisingly good anime and here is why. First of all it has this good family spark in it and we learn a story about two families merged into one. Brothers are looking nearly the same but they really aren't blood related ones. This anime kind of hits us in the moments that we didn't expect it. Anime touches hard theme because teams manager is favorising chairmans sons who appears to be all-time starting pitcher no matter of results. In general Touma has hard time because of this situation he can't event have his own good training time because manager is
only looking at chairmans son and he doesn't bother how the others are doing, or maybe this is how author of story would like us to think it is? To be honest it's more slice of life/school anime than a sports one but maybe in second part od season we will see more games.
Art and animations has this old style that's easy to remember for those whom watched many '80's anime series. Still it's more than decent, even more than good I will even call it great. I like voice acting here it's also brings some memories from the past. Baseball game sounds are polished and done well. When ball lands in the mitt or is hit by the bat, the sound is clear and obvious, and very real. Character development may look a bit slow but in general it time flies quickly in Mix so you need to watch it carefully to not miss boys advancing to high school. Overall I can easy give it 9. It will be 10 if only there will be a bit less of slice of life and more of action.