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REVIEW: Cross Game GN 1




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jmfsilenthill



Joined: 31 Aug 2009
Posts: 1863
Location: Chinese cartoons are srs biz
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:10 am Reply with quote
Really looking forward to reading this. My manga collection definitely needs more from the sports genre. Great review as well.
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moridinakadeath



Joined: 07 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:23 am Reply with quote
Adachi is easily the author I read most. I don't know if I'd say he's the best author, but his works are like my comfort food. I've read most of them a minimum of 5 times. I'm already forcing anyone I know who would enjoy this to buy it so we might get more of his works. Crossing my fingers for Katsu or Rough some day.
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Keyl



Joined: 21 Feb 2009
Posts: 142
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:31 am Reply with quote
It's so weird that it's only now someone have picked up a Adachi Manga. Considering how big he is in Japan you'd think some of his work would get translated. Didn't also know that they were doing the 3-in-1 manga, that's awesome.

Also i noticed ANN weren't the only ones that gave the first volume a A-.
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Moomintroll



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 1600
Location: Nottingham (UK)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:47 am Reply with quote
I was enormously impressed by Cross Game. I have very little patience left for high school settings and zero interest in baseball but I found it to be absolutely charming (and Adachi's art is even better here than the stuff of his I've seen previously - he has a real knack for conveying gentle movement that makes him stand out from most of his peers).

Keyl wrote:
It's so weird that it's only now someone have picked up a Adachi Manga. Considering how big he is in Japan you'd think some of his work would get translated.


This is actually the third of his titles that Viz has released. Short Program was released about ten years ago in flopped format and Short Program 2 followed four or five years later in unflopped format.
I agree we need to see more of his work released though - let's hope enough people buy Cross Game that Viz are encouraged to take a chance on more Adachi titles in the future.

---

[Zac: Lissa Pattillo is the best manga reviewer ANN has ever had (by a fairly wide margin) but she could really use a good proof reader. I know Vash has already mentioned the typos and I don't want to belabour the point but they're more than a little distracting.]
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:26 am Reply with quote
Moomintroll wrote:
I[Zac: Lissa Pattillo is the best manga reviewer ANN has ever had (by a fairly wide margin) but she could really use a good proof reader. I know Vash has already mentioned the typos and I don't want to belabour the point but they're more than a little distracting.]

Yeah, I'm not even bothering anymore. I just try to overlook them because her substance is so damn good.

Quote:
Despite any waiting eyes, this opening arc ends with an unexpected bang and it sets the story at a new melancholic angle.

Unless you've seen the first episode of the anime. Or any other melodrama with a boy and his childhood crush. It's very expected, and very cliched.

That said, the fact that it comes at the end of an arc in the manga rather than an episode in the anime is enough to have me placing a hold on it at the library. The way I see it, that pacing will probably give me more characters that I like and actually make me want to continue it. In the anime, spoiler[once Wakaba died I didn't see a point in continuing; she was the only developed character, and now she was dead.] The end. Wipe away a tear thanks to maudlin ending credits, and then I'm done. The manga, though, sounds like it focuses on a whole bunch of characters right away, plus having all 600 pages there will encourage me to keep reading.
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:56 am Reply with quote
vashfanatic wrote:

Quote:
Despite any waiting eyes, this opening arc ends with an unexpected bang and it sets the story at a new melancholic angle.

Unless you've seen the first episode of the anime. Or any other melodrama with a boy and his childhood crush. It's very expected, and very cliched..

Could you list off a couple manga/anime titles that have the same "unexpected bang" then? Cause I really enjoyed Cross Game and wouldn't mind reading some others that share more or less the same theme.

I'm also hoping that enough people buy this so that it may get Viz to license some more Adachi stuff. Or perhaps even release the anime in DVD sets... though it is Viz =\
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:54 am Reply with quote
Megiddo wrote:
Could you list off a couple manga/anime titles that have the same "unexpected bang" then? Cause I really enjoyed Cross Game and wouldn't mind reading some others that share more or less the same theme.

Bridge to Terebithia was the biggest thing that I found myself thinking of as I watched the first episode. It's a very good book, and you should totally go read it. Awful examples include Love Story and A Walk to Remember. My Girl was a gender-inversion.

Most of the examples I was thinking of weren't from anime and manga, which is why I didn't specify anime and manga. But I think this was basically Zorro's backstory in One Piece. Oh, and it was gender-inverted in Solanin, with an older cast.

If any happy couple are making plans for their future, spoiler[the death of one of them is imminent].
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:36 pm Reply with quote
Ah okay, that makes a bit more sense. If you broaden it out to literature of all types then I can certainly see why you think it's cliche, cause I certainly haven't come across it before in any of the anime/manga I've read. So at least, for anime/manga, it's not cliche.

Also, in One Piece, Kuina is Zoro's rival. They make a promise that one of them will be the world's greatest swordsman. They are not crushes nor are involved romantically by any means. They merely fight eachother, with Kuina being completely motivated to show that just because she's a girl doesn't mean she will eventually lose to Zoro.

Honestly, I didn't expect it at all. I figured that Wakaba and Kou would end up together at the summer festival, cause that's how it has always happened in pretty much everything else I've read/watched.

And given your spoiler, do you see the same in the future for one of the cast of Bakuman? They're engaged after all. Something tells me you're taking something that happens a tiny fractional percent of the time and saying that it's a constant.
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:30 pm Reply with quote
Megiddo wrote:
And given your spoiler, do you see the same in the future for one of the cast of Bakuman? They're engaged after all. Something tells me you're taking something that happens a tiny fractional percent of the time and saying that it's a constant.

I've never read Bakuman so I can't be sure, but my impression from other posters is that it isn't as relationship-centered as Cross Game, that it's way more "boys are awesome and write manga!" than it is invested in the relationships.

As for a "tiny fraction"... admittedly maybe you and I read and watch different sets of things, but the tragic romance where one person dies right after everything seems peachy is everywhere. I wouldn't call it a "constant," but it happens frequently enough that when adorable little Wakaba started adorably talking about her adorable hopes for the future, my first reaction was to groan and think, "Ugh, spoiler[she's going to die, isn't she?]"

Other options might have been "moves away suddenly," another cliche which will usually result in her arriving back later in the story to cause romantic complications with whoever he is then with.

Meanwhile, let me turn the question back on you: how many series can you think of with this same setup where something tragic or upsetting doesn't happen between them? "Happy couple lives happily every after" doesn't happen in this kind of story.
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:16 pm Reply with quote
You mean where two kids make a promise of engagement and it actually occurs?

Ai Yori Aoshi, Love Hina, and Dragonball (fulfilled in Z) for three I can recall off the top of my head
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DerekTheRed



Joined: 19 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:44 pm Reply with quote
vashfanatic wrote:
If any happy couple are making plans for their future, spoiler[the death of one of them is imminent].
It's kind of like how the soldier who talks about his plans for when he gets home usually dies in the WWII movies.

Anyway, I don't usually read manga, but I was planning on picking this up because I think the anime is the best thing since sliced bread (Touch is also my number one anime, so I guess that makes me kind of like an Adachi fanboy). Color me surprised to find out that a piviotal event that happened in the first episode of the anime takes 200 pages to play out in the manga. :/ Not sure if that means the pace will be too slow for me or not...
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Kuromamushi



Joined: 16 Oct 2007
Posts: 13
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:29 am Reply with quote
I just finished reading my copy of vol. 1, and it was a great read even though I've watched the anime. Adachi's magic is still as strong as it was in the 80's. Hopefully Cross Game does well enough for Viz to release Adachi's other works as well. If not anything else, then they should at least release Touch. While Cross Game is already great, Touch is a real masterpiece.
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Emerje
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Joined: 10 Aug 2002
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:09 am Reply with quote
vashfanatic wrote:
of the anime. Or any other melodrama with a boy and his childhood crush. It's very expected, and very cliched.


Here are two reasons why I disagree about it being expected (and I've read the first omnibus and watched the entire anime).

First off while I do agree that it does happen often enough in stories it's rarely while the two are still in elementary school. Middle school, maybe. High school, all the time. But 5th graders? Not so much. So what starts as a sweet childhood romantic comedy turning tragic was not something I was prepared for. If it had happened after they got into middle school I probably wouldn't have been so shocked, but to be honest it kinda put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day after watching the anime and even reading it again in the manga almost made me tear up.

Second reason is the format of the manga. The few chapters of the first volume of the manga, unlike the anime, borderlines on being a gag manga. It spends a lot of time breaking the 4th wall, making puns and word plays, plugging other manga, and self insertions from Adachi himself. When it finally gets to "that point" of the story it doesn't just change the tone of the story, it stops it cold, there isn't a laugh to be had for the rest of the volume. If I had read the manga first I know I would have been completely floored by how quickly it changes from a gag filled comedy to a stone cold tragedy. I don't know how anyone could say that kinda of presentation is predictable.

Megiddo wrote:
You mean where two kids make a promise of engagement and it actually occurs?

Ai Yori Aoshi, Love Hina, and Dragonball (fulfilled in Z) for three I can recall off the top of my head


Truth is, the majority of stories out there just don't go far enough to tell us, usually leaving it up to our imagination. There are many times where we think the two end up happily ever after, but the credits roll before we find out for sure.

DerekTheRed wrote:
Color me surprised to find out that a piviotal event that happened in the first episode of the anime takes 200 pages to play out in the manga. :/ Not sure if that means the pace will be too slow for me or not...


You'll often see people pointing this out as why the anime is inferior to the manga, but now that I've actually read the first volume I don't think it's a fair argument. Like I said above, the first volume of the manga relies heavily on gags of all types. The first episode of the anime basically removes all of them leaving only whatever comedy is directly part of the story and the actual story itself. It's no so much that it condensed the story, it just trimmed the fat and went right to the meat of it. It also spends many pages in silence, just watching characters quietly go through their routines or showing off the scenery, stuff that only takes a few seconds to animate, but sounds impressive in page count. That 200 or whatever pages seems like a lot, but you can easily breeze through it in 15 minutes or so, it's very light on dialogue.

Emerje
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