The 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.
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.
Cross Game is my first Adachi anime, and I was thoroughly impressed by its storytelling. The whole series is slow paced and filled with tension. Despite being somewhat predictable, Cross Game is well executed. There is only 1 filler episode out of 50, and even that episode tied pretty well into the main story. My only criticism is Adachi could have fleshed it out a little more, adding some more episodes. Yes this show already has 50 episodes, but it feels shorter than that.
I really liked the art from this show. It feels like an old school anime, and the nostalgic atmosphere it creates serves it well. There were a few points in the show where the animation quality dipped. However, the no non-sense/frills animation was pretty consistent throughout its entirety.
Cross Game’s cast is one of the most memorable in all of anime (that I have watched at least). Each character is developed so well that there isn’t really a character that you won’t like. In fact, you will really sympathize with the main cast’s struggles, hardships, and triumphs.
I loved the OP and the first ED. The next few ED’s are great, but not as powerfully moving as the first one. The first ED “Koi Kogarete Mita Yume” is a beautiful song in its own right, but coupled with this anime, it really could not be more perfect. The OP “Summer Rain” is another song that really speaks volumes about the show and instantly feels like a classic. Finally the soundtrack is wonderfully arranged and really adds to the tension/excitement of the show.
I’m not really a big fan of baseball and when I started this show I was a little hesitant, but I had heard great things about it. From the start, the show hooked me in and never dropped the ball. Easily one of the best slice of life shows I’ve seen (one of the best anime’s I’ve seen for that matter), so I highly recommend this show to others. If you can get past its animation (for some, that’s the weakest part of the show), you will be rewarded with a classic.
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. read more
Cross Game is a very special show. Unlike the disappointing standard in most shows today, Cross Game is a show that treats both its characters and the audience with respect. On paper, it looks to be yet another boring baseball series, but it shines as a rare gem of the genre.
The most significant difference between this show and most other sports shows is the fact that the show is willing to portray the characters outside the sport - showing who they are as people - what they care about, what they like, who they are. The show is often said to be more of a slice of life rather than a pure sports anime, and this is without a doubt true. There are often long periods of extended slice of life sequences wherein all we see are the characters going about and living their daily lives - something unheard of in most shows which rush to showcase the exciting and hot-blooded sports action. This is a testament to the strengths of the show - trusting in its stellar character writing to carry itself.
I have mentioned that this shows treats its characters with respect - and that is easily the most charming part of the show. Gone are the ridiculous slapstick sequences, gone are the completely ridiculous misunderstandings that occur because a character decided to act completely against his or her pre-established beliefs. Cross Game takes the time it needs to develop its characters, allowing us to slowly know them as we watch them go through their daily lives, through their interactions with the other characters, and through a large number of well-placed flashbacks. This allows them to grow beyond the typical traditional character archetypes, with every character given the space and time needed to develop and grow.
The past plays an important role in the show. We start off the series with an extended prologue of sorts - going back to the past when our characters were children. It covers a certain event which has huge implications on the characters, as well as giving us a glimpse of the personalities of the characters, and an idea of who they are. This allows us to see how they have changed with the passage of time, and how the event has affected them. It sets the tone for the rest of the series, and is an amazing pilot which serves to capture your attention.
I also mentioned that the show treats its audience with respect. What I mean by this is that it is not a show which feels the need to explicitly state what the characters are feeling through narration, which can oftentimes be a very clunky tool. We never get into the characters heads where they outright say what they feel, but we always know what they are feeling and what they are thinking by virtue of the stellar direction. It is a very subtle show that constantly gives hints about what the characters are thinking, trusting in the audience to interpret those signs. It is a show wherein a simple look, laugh, or a word can mean much more than a whole episode of dialogue in a typical show.
You might have noticed that I have said little about what is thought of as the meat of the story - baseball. This is simply because the baseball takes a backseat to the characters. You don't watch this show for the baseball - it is honestly nothing special and there are certainly much better shows out there. The segments are competent enough and are usually exciting to watch, but it is merely well-done, and nothing too special. And that's perfectly fine for the series - it really isn't about the baseball. The baseball is simply the backdrop for the series, and never the true focus of the series. This means that you should really watch this show even if don't typically enjoy the sports genre - what Cross Game brings to the table is a highly unique experience that everyone can enjoy.
The production values of the show are sadly nothing to write home about, and the art and animation of the show is nothing special. This is perfectly fine though for a 50 episode series, and whilst not outstanding, is certainly suitable for the show. Where it excels in is its stellar soundtrack - containing many strong pieces that are well-used. Of particular note is the first ED, which perfectly sets the tone for the series and is used masterfully in the first episode.
All in all, Cross Game is a show that you really should watch. It is through and through a character work, one which prioritizes the growth of its characters over everything else. This means that it doesn't really have a point or a lesson to drive home, and is simply a simple story about a group of people. But what makes it a great is the painstaking effort and love put into them, turning it from a simple story to an emotionally powerful masterpiece.read more
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