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Cross Game, Vol. 8 Paperback – November 13, 2012
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About the Author
One of the biggest names in the manga industry today, Mitsuru Adachi made his debut in 1970 with Kieta Bakuon in the pages of Deluxe Shonen Sunday. The creator of numerous mega-hits such as Touch, Miyuki, and Cross Game, Adachi Sensei received the Shogakukan Manga Award for all three of the aforementioned series. Truly at the top echelon of the manga industry, his cumulative works have seen more than 200 million copies sold, and many of his series have been adapted into anime, live-action TV series and film.
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A specific example of added story and insight not in the anime has to do with filling in a gap of time between the story's early core event and Ko's progression from novice to ace pitcher. In the anime there's one flashback scene of Aoba noticing a crying Ko pitching a ball against a brick wall, but it gives little context for the scene. The manga explains much more of what is going on there and suggests how important it actually is.
An example of the expanded comedy of the manga comes in the final game in which you get more of the play-by-play commentary in the booth between the impartial commentator and the pompous Ryuō supporting commentator who gets steadily more upset as Seishu refuses to be beaten.
Both great ways to experience a truly wonderful coming of age story of baseball, coping with the loss of a loved one, and being honest with your emotions.
I'm glad I got to read the collection, now someone has to make the anime series available to own. I thank Viz for giving us legal ways to stream the show but greatly desire a version without 500 Geico commercials interspersed within.
[edited more than a year later when I reviewed it and realized I had made a couple really stupid mistakes in the description.]
** This review contains NO plot details of any kind and NO spoilers for ANY volumes of the series. **
Cross Game is, simply put, one of the most exquisitely told stories I ever read. It unfolds at exactly the right pace, hitting exactly the right notes, in exactly the right ways. I have never gotten caught up along with the characters the way I did in this series. I have never wanted things for characters the way I wanted them for the Ko and his friends. From art to humor to drama and everything in between Adachi's coming of age baseball epic works perfectly. And, as I've mentioned in reviews of other volumes, I don't even particularly like baseball.
Cross Game is easily one of my favorite pieces of literature (yes, literature) of any form. It certainly won't be so for everyone, but I will gladly agree to disagree on the point.
Highest possible recommendation. And then some.