This manga is still ongoing in Japan and I have read the translated chapters from various groups, so first of all I would like to thank all the groups responsible for translating this manga without whom I would not have been able to read it at all. Thank you guys and hope you continue translating this.
Sports mangas are usually written to cater to a specific fan of the sports related and frankly I had never been a fan of Baseball. I somehow felt like reading some of the mangas of the fall 2013 animes before watching the shows and somehow picked up "Ace of Diamond" cause I felt like reading something about sports. While this hasn't really blown me away and quite typical in its setting as far as I can tell yet somehow it does what it tries to do quite well and after reading the translated chapters I am quite hooked and waiting for the next chapters.
Story, is quite typical for the genre which starts with focus on a country high school pitcher named Eijun Sawamura whose pitching at the first glance seems quite ordinary but actually has an uniqueness which makes the General Manager/Director of a famous high-school Baseball team (Seidou) interested, although Eijun at first shows reluctance in going to that school cause he wants to satay and play with his friends but later joins the school as his love for baseball convinces him after pitching with the catcher Miyuki for a short while. Then later on we are introduced with other members of that baseball team and eventually to Eijun's rivals in pitching and other key teammates. Although the story seems quite slow in its progression and is a bit boring initially but the manga really benefits from this slow pace later on when the qualification for koshien (nationals) starts and the matches get detailed quite nicely in the author's way. So far for me although the story is quite slow in progression and really seems it will be a long manga but I find its pace and details quite pleasant and will grant it 7 out of 10.
The art at first seemed a bit confusing to me specially on the baseball sequences as I could not tell which pitches were hit and which were not, but later on as I got accustomed with the style I found the artists attempt at giving the matches fluidity through art quite enjoyable. As far as the character drawings goes this manga has a vast range of characters and yet somehow the mangaka finds it possible to keep all their faces unique and easily recognizable which I find a good effort indeed. The art/drawing gets 8 out of 10 from me.
In my view characters are the main aspect in which this manga really shines. The mangaka manages to put enough emphasis on the main characters as well as many minor characters also gets their story told. Eijun is kind of a typical shounen main character but really has his funny moments throughout the story due to his stupidity and unique ways to get motivated, Miyuki is a cocky bastard and yet is easily appreciable for his use of intelligence in the matches and for his dedication to the team, Furuya is quite typical for a rival characters just because he is a very strong pitcher but really gets his own views and story told nicely as well as has his unique shortcomings, Kominato is a character who is so easily likable yet has also a nice back-story. But the manga mainly shines through the authors efforts at trying to tell the stories, motivations and viewpoints of various minor characters throughout the manga many of which are from other baseball teams and might seem not important at all for the greater scheme. By telling their stories the mangaka manages to always keep the flow fresh and also proves his dedication for the manga as a whole. I found the characters quite lovingly detailed and to be the heart & soul of the manga and will give 9 out of 10 in this regard.
To be honest I can't really rate my enjoyment truly as the manga is far from finished yet. But so far I really like the slow pace of the story progression and the detailed character back-stories and will rate my enjoyment 8 out of 10.
Overall Score -
8 out of 10.