Short Synopsis: Kou and Aoba find a creative way to catch a burglar.
Episode Rating: 7,5/10 (Good)
It’s interesting that, even though Adachi’s series are all about the same thing (talented guy playing baseball), the anime adaptations of his works all have these subtle differences that make them totally different series (or at least the ones that I’ve seen so far, being this one and Touch). It’s going to be a bit hard to talk about these differences due to my fear of Touch spoilers, but even though Touch and Cross Game look a lot like each other, I just don’t see them as rip-offs of each other, and they both have their own unique parts.
The big difference between the two lead males is that Kou of Cross Game has nobody to look up to: he’s already the most talented at baseball, and instead we see him in this episode pull everyone along, even though he isn’t actively playing baseball, whereas Tatsuya had Kazuya and was only able to come as far as he did because of his brother’s influence. I’m interested to see what’s going to happen when Kou enters high-school, as it seems that he’s going to be joining the same team as that arrogant baseball-guy whose name I can’t find, which seems to suggest that the baseball in Cross Game is going to be much more about rivalry, rather than commitments to the past like in Touch.
And while I can’t say this for sure, since Touch also took around ten episodes for the first real baseball match to occur, but according to the things I’ve heard about the manga Cross Game seems to focus a bit more on slice of life than Touch did, and you can hear that through the music as well: the soundtrack of Touch was very typical for a sports game: fast-paced, up-beat and overall cheerful, while you wouldn’t be able to guess that Cross Game was a show about baseball by solely hearing its soundtrack: the background tunes here more sound like that of a heart-warming slice of life series.
The sense of humour also feels more tongue-in-cheek than its predecessor: in Touch, you knew when to laugh and when to take the show seriously. In Cross Game, you only realize something funny has happened, two second after it’s already over, and it’s another example of the unpredictability of Adachi: while in Cross Game the overall plot might be easier to predict, this time it’s the humour that you can’t see coming.
In any case, this episode was a bit strange; I mean, how often do you see a burglar through a window in a house inside a metro in broad daylight? That thug must have been really stupid in order to allow for such a miss. And yet it had its purposes: we now know that Kou isn’t a complete lazy bum, and for some reason he also always carries a baseball ball with him. Something tells me that he doesn’t exactly know what he wants to do later, which in a way is typical of a teenager his age, especially after he had been scared out of the baseball club like the way he was three years ago.