Now that I have finished the legendary 3 Adachi’s Baseball series , let’s do a retrospective . First thing first ,for those that think  that Adachi can only churn out carbon copies of slice of life baseball series with the same character design , then you must have not really watch any of them at all.  Without  further ado ,let’s start our retrospective by going into details onto each series . Of course , there are full of spoilers but don’t you worry , I watched and read all 3 of them while knowing their spoilers but it doesn’t spoil any of my enjoyment . They aren’t series that focus on the result but rather , the process so no amount of spoilers will hinder the enjoyment for any of them. I also take it that you have watched and read all of them as I won’t provide any plot synopsis.

Character Interaction:

All three series have really great and realistic interaction with the  constant use of dry humour and subtle dialogues. The true intention of each and every characters aren’t obvious and you do need to read between the line to understand the motive and feeling behind each characters. Blatant exposition is rare so deciphering the true meaning is the biggest pleasure one can gain from Adachi’s series. The character interaction showed how true and realistic all the three works are. Seldom is there any dramatic climax and like I said in my “Touch” post , natural and subtlety is the key .

Touch touches on the relationship and interaction between sibling where an inferior elder brother tried to manage the stress and criticism of living under the shadow of his superstar brother. The portrayal of the sibling competition was heated up with a female childhood friend whom is also the love interest for the sibling. Though the real interaction doesn’t start until the death of the younger brother . The remembrance of the death while moving forward to the future were done through great human interaction . The final product of this interaction is definitely a satisfying ride which urge me to want more.

H2’s interaction was between two best friends and again , one similar love interest. The interaction was heated up by the doubt of the heroine and this is where most of the complains come from . However , to me , it was a great journey of realising oneself and the truth of friendship where the characters tried their best in maintaining relationship while competing with one another.Their deadpan humour is the most hilarious out of the three as well .

Cross Game handles its interaction by crossing path between characters. Pit in two characters that aren’t true to themselves and let their interaction bloom naturally . Hilarious and heart warming interaction ensure. Not to mention , the linkage of the past to the future was done beautifully and the side characters build it up .I enjoyed Cross Game interaction the best out of the three , followed by Touch then H2.

The unpopular comedic relief:

Touch doesn’t really have that first batter , arrogant comedic relief but I guess Isami Nishimura is the only one that fits in the bill . He is like the hybrid of Senda and Takuro Oikawa(The pitcher for Ryuoh) . He was quite hilarious and undergoes interesting development. One of which is his interesting romantic side story . In terms of baseball skill , he should be the best among all three.

H2 has the best comedic relief arrogant first batter , Ryuutaro Kine. He is the prototype of Senda but 10 times funnier and useful than him . His love interest is the most well done one and his character development make him one of the  likeable character in H2. His performance in Koshien best 8 where he pitched all 9 rounds with all his might while having flashback of his childhood bring a tear down my cheek . His final winning pose of excitement and the hard work he put in touches the my heart and make him shine the most . Till this day , I still remember the panel where he raised up his hand after his victory and it never failed in making me having goosebumps of happiness.

Cross game has the loner Senda . He has his wacky and funny moments but the downside is that unlike Ryuutaro Kine , he never learn even though his character do develop . Though due to him , I understand how great Ryuutaro Kine is so he at least did some good . He is the most useless baseball player among the three but his quirk do make up to it .

Without saying , Ryuutaro Kine from H2 wins.

The  Catcher :

Touch has Kōtarō and of course , he run very slow but he isn’t the childhood friend of the main character . He is a reliable player and do play a part in comedic relief. I can’t remember what he did  but I do remember that he plays an important part of accepting Testuya .He also play a part of the fatty that eat too much .

H2 has Noda Astuchi and of course , he run very slow  and  is  the fatty that eat too much . He is a childhood friend of Hiro and his advice is always precise and to the point . He is the advisor and is one of the most skilful player among the 3 catchers due to his batting and catcher skills.  He helped to direct the flow of the complicated relationship web between the characters and played a very important part in the story . Between him and Akatsuki , I can’t decide who is the better character.

Cross Game Akastuki is of course a great character. He is the first catcher that doesn’t play the part of the fatty that eat too much . He is an interesting hybrid of the advisor , the bully and the catcher. His interaction with Akane and his promise with Wakaba is one of the highlight of the series . I enjoyed his moment so much so I can’t decide whether Noda or him is the better character. So in the end it is a tie between both of them.

The Adviser:

Touch’s Harada Shouhei is everything a side character is . He is the advisor for Testuya and play quite a huge part in helping Minami and Testuya relationship. His side story of the boxing arc was heart-warming and great at the same time . Nothing much to say about him but he is my favourite advisor , partly due to his insightful and sometime humours dialogue.

H2 has Noda . I guess I had talked enough about him .

Cross Game has an interesting mix of advisers . Azuma  , Akastuki  and the Tsukishima families all play the part of advising and directing the story flows .   Each of them has values and lesson for you to learn and contribute to the overall story so it is hard to pinpoint down one real advisor.

Baseball Match:

Touch doesn’t really focus too much on the baseball match . That’s not saying that its match isn’t exciting but rather , due to the low amount of matches , it stayed interesting and cleverly written where you can’t predict who will win . The purpose of the match embodied the values of living for the  deceased and yourself . The intention of each match is really deep and full of subtlety .

H2 has the most exciting baseball matches. While Touch and Cross Game is more of a slice of life series rather than a sport one , H2 is the true sport series where lots of focus is on the baseball matches . The matches embodied the true values of friendship .

Cross game baseball matches are the most predictable and unexciting one out of all three. The last match was great and heart pumping though . The match embodied promises . The promise of going to Koshien , the promise of a 160km/hr pitch , the promise of Wakaba and the marriage promise.

All three of them have a deeper meaning behind their baseball matches and they are all equally important and heart warming . However , the excitement for each series differ and H2 managed to churn out the most heart pumping matches out of the three , followed by Touch .

The Batter

Akio from Touch , I have nothing much to say about him . He compete with Testuya to fulfil his desire to play with Kazuya . His liked Minami as well and formed the love triangle , similar to Azuma from Cross Game . He is your usual cool guy .

Hideo is different because he is the childhood friend of Hiro , the main character. His intelligence , trustworthiness and sometimes naivety is a joy to watch . He is the only one that win in the romance match .

Azuma of course is my favourite batter . Firstly , he is the first non rival and his deadpan humour and interaction with Kou is simply genius . Although he is the inside the love triangle , he acted as the advisor and pushes the final couple in the end . Simply one of my favourite characters out of the 3 series.

The Death:

Kazuya death helped Testuya do grow because he gave a purpose to Testuya life. This allow Touch to have the best character development among all 3 of them . Nothing much can be said about it.

Hikari’s *** death is the most sudden one and it was quite a cheap shot . Her death is just there to manipulate your emotion to add up the impact of the story . Of course , I am being manipulated and got emotional with the flashback.

Wakaba’s death is the best one because her constant flashback helped to progress the storyline and build up the relationship between the main couple . The appearance of Akane is a genius move because it showed how important Wakaba is to everyone around her. Her death really teaches us to value the memory of the deceased and learn from those memories while carrying on forward with life.

The Female Characters:

Minami from Touch is everything you can ask for as a female character . Remember how I said that I liked strong female characters that also showcase s great feminine quality? That post is actually inspired by Minami . She was strong , great at studies , good at sport , popular , not arrogant , sensitive to small details and a great support for Testuya. However the interesting thing is that the support isn’t a one way trip because Testuya is as “needy” as her . In others words , they shared a mutual trust and is constantly supporting one another. It isn’t far fetch to say that she is the ideal female character that every other heroine should imitate.

Koga and Hikari from H2 is one interesting pair . Both of them are actually the less developed one due to the need of focusing on both of them equally. Hikari is the hybrid of Aoba and Minami . She is ambitious but also the “tsundere” one that causes much of the conflicts. I can see how she is actually the worst among all the female characters because I myself don’t really like her at all . On the other hand , you can say Koga is the most shallow one because she is as moe as Adachi’s can get . She has great result and good at sport but she was sort of the yamato nadesico where her wish is to be a pro-baseballer wife.  Too add-on , she was clumsy and did play a part of the damsels in distress . However , her klutzy personality make her great to watch , so much so that she is up there with Minami as the best female character in Adachi universe. Maybe I am just a sexist that wished for a cute wife who dream is to be my wife or I am just helpless with klutzy character.

Aoba is masculine  but she remain as a female in the end . Some might lament to the fact that she gave up on the World Cup just to watch the Koshien but I thought that it was a great move to show the tender side of Aoba and give her the final push towards the relationship with Kou . Is that bad ? Not at all actually because this helped to display great feminine quality that balance up the character strength to make her the believable and ideal heroine . Also , she isn’t weak at all , her great baseball skill and her mentor status show the power of dominance as well . So the feminine side of her is more of an icing of the cake rather than degeneration . Not to mention , Kou was as needy as her yet again . You see , there isn’t any dominance between both of them , both of them need one another and gave their support to each another constantly . This is actually how characters should be like and Adachi constantly push out these characteristic because it is as perfect as a character can get.Aoba is also the best type of tsundere that won’t get weak and turn needy for her man .

All the female characters are great and one of my favourite so I can’t really decide which I like more.

The Main Character:

This is easy , every one of them is the same and by same , I really mean same . So there isn’t any need to de-construct them . They are all the laid back and cool baseball boy who can pitch very fast.

With that , my retrospective end and I will say that each series has its own unique greatness . Touch has the character development and awesome slice of life, H2 has the comedy and baseball matches while Cross Game has the character interaction and the most satisfying ending.  It is hard to say which is better because all of them is just as good . Also , let me superimposes this again , they might have similar themes and characters , they are totally different works with different values and different plot .

Sport series is one of my favourite genre and I have never been disappointed by any of them. I have watched and read 6 different baseball series and all of them is of a different tangent with the same hot-blooded excitement . Those that said that watching real sports is better are those that never give sport series a chance.Sport series are all the same shit with long drawn predictable match? Watch more before you make that blatant lie.  For one , Adachi’s subtlety show all those pretentious “intelligent” series who is the real genius of deep and clever plot.

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