Offered me a great line to start this review off with, "Of course it's cold! The important thing is to feel" which is definitely a motto one character lives by; and the other struggles to understand.
Feels like summer. This manga is very character driven, and also has a lot of baseball (although you won't need any prior knowledge to get into the swing of it...).
Brief; Shigeo Hanada is asked by his mother to spend the summer break with his father, Hanao Hanada - something Shigeo really doesn't want to do for a few reasons i.e. his father left him and his mum and he's still
feeling bitter, he and his father lead very different lives, Shigeru has to get to cram school even though his grades are perfect, and the last being his father is kind of a dim wit. Unfortunately for him he gets carted off for the summer to live with his dad in a small coastal town where everyone knows everyone - and amongst them Hanao is certainly a character (although a well-loved one). The manga extends beyond this one summer and goes in deep about this father-son relationship, it just glows with feeling.
Shigeo Hanada; pretty much a kid genius who is utterly unimpressed by his child-like father (especially his baseball dream). He's pretty much an 'all work, no play' kinda guy and aged beyond his years. Although he's not wise in life, just his textbooks. He's also a smartass but he has a lot of heart, and truly cares about his dad very much.
Hanao Hanada; a well-meaning, care free idiot. He's 30 years old and still believes whole-heartedly in his childhood dream of being a batter for the baseball team 'The Giants'. During the day he plays baseball with his team of other aged players, coaches a children's team, sleeps, leaches off his friend's veggie store and goes on walks - most of which lead him into bumping in with Shigeo (who's never happy to see him). He's wise in the ways of life; and truly believes in the sentiment of doing everything when you feel like it. He loves his son very much; although there's plentiful dumb, little arguements between them.
There's an assortment of other characters throughout the town such as the senile old man who repeats himself, the 'hag' at the candy store that Shigeo has a special anamosity towards, Hanao's baseball friend who runs a vegetable store, Shigeo's thoughtful, yet kinda dumb little friend Buuyan - and so on. They all really build the town and story into something magical.
The art style is unusual - but absolutely wonderful and helps the story flow. I love it.
If you liked ping pong, whether it be the manga or anime, you'll certainly like this - especially considering it's by the same author. Highly recommended - a lot of fun.