Cross Game 8
October 12, 2015
Mitsuru Adachi – Viz – 2012 – 17 volumes
this is an omnibus containing vols. 16-17
Mitsuru Adachi, you are truly an evil man. The last volume had me in tears, and they were only playing baseball.
The first half of this book (which is technically the second-to-last volume in the series) is just the baseball game with Ryuou. It’s a pitcher’s duel, which is half exciting stuff (will he hit it? how about now? where is that ball going?!), and half nothing really happening. But seriously, it is a page turner. We also get the last little bit of drama about Akane’s surgery at the beginning.
That second volume, though. They were still only playing baseball, the same game with Ryuou. But the little memories that were interspersed with the action were terrible. And by terrible, I mean heartbreakingly awesome. One scene in particular, while Ko was up to bat, was what did me in.
The relationship between Ko and Aoba is also ambiguous straight through to the end of the volume. I forced myself not to peek, and that had me tearing through the book faster than the game did. Somehow, all the other characters knew what was on their minds more than I did. Aoba I did know. Ko, not so much.
The specter of Wakaba also hung over the afternoon. There was a short, wordless flashback that lasted several pages that also had me in tears. I can’t believe the Wakaba effect is still so powerful after 17 volumes, but here I was, crying over my copy of Cross Game.
I also loved where the story left off, re: Koshien. I can’t say too much, because it would be a spoiler, but it ended exactly how I hoped it would.
I would recommend this to anybody, really. I hope it sells well. The first volume has a relatively high Amazon sales ranking, so I hope that means something. I hope it means that it’s finding its way into everyone’s hands. Because it is unbelievably good. Touching, just the right amount of action, not too predictable (although… eh, a little bit), great characters, a real tearjerker, and, bizarrely, a massive page-turner. Plus, they play some baseball too! Normally I find omnibus volumes daunting, but I read these almost as fast as I would read a normal volume of something else.