Cross Game 7

October 4, 2015

Mitsuru Adachi – Viz – 2012 – 17 volumes
this is an omnibus containing vols. 14-15

Dammit, Cross Game.  There’s a scene in the last chapter of this volume where Senda (the comic relief character) asks Ko if he likes Aoba.  Ko says he does.  Then he says he also likes Senda.  There’s a few panels of silence, then Ko admits to being a great liar.  After a few more panels of silence, Senda gets up and leaves, telling Ko that it made him happy to hear, even if it was a lie.  It wasn’t a joke.  It was like a gut punch when I least expected it.

To make up for all the not-baseball of the last two volumes, this pair of volumes contains mostly condensed games, 7 or 8 of them.  They comprise the playoffs before Koshien.  I like that we didn’t have to sit and watch all these games.  Adachi knows what the most exciting parts are, and just delivered them.  Most of them were low-scoring games anyway, which are probably agonizing to read in a manga.  Even if it is Mitsuru Adachi.

Even with the shortened coverage, the baseball’s still pretty exciting.  We get to hear about strengths of the other teams, and how they work against the strengths and weaknesses of Seishu.  The team that lets its opponents score ahead of them, then comes from behind at the last second.  The team whose pitcher and cleanup are just as strong as Seishu, but whose catcher isn’t quite the star.  Even Senda gets a home run in one of the games, off the first pitch of the game.  Exciting stuff!

But it wouldn’t be Cross Game if it didn’t make you feel like you’re moments away from weeping.  Senda’s conversation above is the least of your worries in that department.  There are complications with Akane.  Ko and Aoba visit Wakaba’s grave.  Ko and Aoba even discuss their personal relationships, in incredibly oblique ways.  It’s sad stuff.  Part of me knows that a manga like this would never… end badly.  But then I remember that this one began badly, and then I’m not sure.

One more volume!

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