Touch is one of the most relaxing and subtle manga I ever read. Everything just flows naturally and nothing seems forced. Even the ending ends with a life goes on story without a definite end . This ending truly embed the whole spirit of Touch where natural and subtilty are the keys.

The Good

Touch has one of the best character development I had seen . The transition of the characters doesn’t go from A to B just because something big happened. Rather , it goes slowly without you noticing from A to B to C to D then subsequently and finally went to Z . Every single event that happened counts and add-on to the progress but there isn’t a case where an event hasten any progress dramatically.

To draw a comparison , let’s mention Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann . Simon jump from ‘A’ the whinny character to ‘B’ the angst one then finally to ‘C’ the manly one just because of one big dramatic event – the death of Kamina . However ,Uesugi from Touch doesn’t progress much even after his brother’s death . He jumped from ‘A’ the slacker to ‘A+’ the motivated slacker . Yes , he was motivated by his brother death but his characteristic didn’t face a 360 degree turn . He was still a slacker after such a huge event happened.

To illustrate the progression , let’s use the range of 1-100 to determine the character progression , Simon turned from 1 to 50 after Kamina death then went directly to 100 after saving Nia  and ended there. In other words , Simon have a 360 degree of character change just because of a few big events.

As for Uesugi , he started with 1 and then go to 10 after his brother death . He then joined the Boxing club and went to 12. He  still have similar characteristic but you can sure feel that there is a subtle change within him; he is slacking , but he slacked less. Then he progressed so slowly and naturally, he went to 15 after joining the baseball club . After that , a few words with Minami caused him to increase to 20 . Then lots of events , regardless of small or big continue to make him progress . However ,  no matter how dramatic or huge the event is , it doesn’t increase his progression by a lot . In other words , his progression won’t shoot up from 10 to 50 just because of one event . Not to mention , even after he reached 100 , he is still himself.  This is really difficult to elaborate , it is obvious that he had changed but his personality is still unique to himself is the best explanation I can give. This is what I really like , the perfect kind of development in story telling .

Second thing that I like is the  humour . You really need lots of imagination and wits to understand the jokes because most of the time the characters are being sarcastic without obviously being sarcastic . Adachi doesn’t use any cheap exposition to explain what the character is feeling . Not to mention , please remember that this is a manga and there aren’t any obvious actions nor tone to determine whether the characters are being sarcastic or not . So you really need to pay attention to the hint .

The fourth wall breaking is really good as well . Something I am really baffled at why certain dialogue exist . It is not until I had a careful read that I noticed the characters are actually breaking the fourth wall by using those dialouge. Also , the tons of cameo appearance by Adachi himself is pure genius . I like how he love taking a jab of himself. Sometimes he even come out and reveal plothole .

The transfer from Boxing to Baseball take only one signed board. Great referance to Urusei as well

Third thing that I liked is how laid back and relaxing the whole setting is . Even when tension is building up , Adachi knew how to throw in some laidbackness without obstructing the pace . Not to mention , there isn’t much  climatic sence , except for the last baseball match . It is truly the epitome slice of life series with a sport series background .  In other words , it is actually a slice of life series that uses the sport genre as a disguise.

Fourth , Touch’s baseball matches have enough tension , my heart pumped when Uesugi faced off with Akio and that is enough for a baseball manga . Nothing much can be elaborate for this one .

The final thing that I liked is how everything is so easy to read. There are tons of scenery arts spreading for a few pages without any dialogue . Even when there are dialogues , Adachi doesn’t use any cheap exposition to explain thing . This means that the story isn’t dialogue heavy and everything is explained by the drawing and this is what Manga really should be – draw to explain . The problem with some manga  is that there are full of lazy expositions . Even in a fighting scene , they need lots of explanation to tell you what’s happening . That isn’t good writing but rather an insult to your intelligent like hell no can l understand how good the author’s fighting scene is without blatant explanation. In other words , they are using words to explain , not drawing .

Of course , there are always exception for this because some manga such as Monster really need that amount of dialogue to make it work . My beef is when they take the exposition too far like what happened with Deathnote . For instance , at the ending of Deathnote , Near explained how he tricked Kira with lots of redundant dialogue. The drawing already show what is happening but Near just need to detailed out everything for the readers.

The Bad

Not much climate. That’s all. Even Kazuya’s death isn’t climatic at all . To others , this might be bad because it doesn’t hype  anyone up but to me , this is what a slice of life series should be – subtle and natural.

In conclusion , I really like Touch the manga . I have no complain for it but there is something lacking- the excitement . However , I know that the lack of excitement is due to the nature of the manga so all is good . I don’t mind placing Touch as my favourite manga because it was really good and one of the best slice of life series , seconded by Aria . Now I have the urge to reread every chapters again to immerse myself more into it even when I just finished it ; this is my love for Touch.

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