Posted on 30 August 2009 with categories: Cross Game



A big episode for Aoba this time. Up till now we have really seen both her and Kou acting as directed Wakaba’s dreams, rather than for their own. And while that indeed is important for both of them to deal with her sudden death, it also really gets in their way at times. Especially in the case of Aoba, who despite being technically superior to Kou is doomed to stay in his shadow because he just happens to be able to throw faster.

In this episode, she finally did what I’ve been hoping for for a while now: participate in an actual game. In the past few episodes, you could really tell that she was pissed off being seen as inferior to Kou. She kept teasing him about how he was a year higher than she was, and was very sarcastic whenever she talked to him. There is such a thing as a lovers’ quarrel, like you often see in anime, but in Aoba’s case it’s much more than her simply being a tsundere. Especially the new batters, who kept comparing her to Kou hit hard.

But yeah, in this episode, Senda(what happened to the guy, by the way? We haven’t seen him in a while, have we?)’s friend pops up again, with a proposal for her to join the baseball team of her school. Obviously, she did this without the consent of the rest of her team, but in the end Aoba gets a part of a stand-in. Which of course is logical: the teamwork would have been completely disrupted if the pitcher were to change to some girl nobody heard of.

And you know, it’s still pretty obvious that Kou and Aoba are into each other, but after having seen a genuine smile from Aoba a couple of times now, I’m starting to think that the two of them really should spend some time away from each other. Something tells me that when they’re together, they only remind each other of Wakaba: I suspect that Kou keeps seeing Wakaba in Aoba, and he continues to put up a strong image in front of her. Aoba on the other hand is constantly reminded of the guy Wakaba was in love with when she was still alive, and therefore still feels hurt when remembering her. In fact, have Kou and Aoba actually talked about Wakaba when they were together? This may be my memory, but it seems to me that the topic of Wakaba has become some sort of a taboo between the two of them.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

9 Responses

  1. tealovertoma says:

    “A bit episode for Aoba this time.”

    big?

  2. psgels says:

    Ahem. Yes, big. *fixed*

  3. Bambi says:

    hmmm, “filler” episode :)
    or better to say Anime only, because this was quite nice character development for Aoba.

  4. SA says:

    A nice episode, even for a filler. I have to say though, I don’t agree with you on your Koh,Aoba, Wakaba theory. Koh doesn’t strike me a the shallow type that would look a replacement for his love one on someone else. Its more like he doesn’t know how to act around her because no matter what he says/does she always react angry. On the other hand Aoba acts like that, more out of habit than anger, and lately more to convince herself than she doesn’t like him. I think this is because she remembered some episodes ago that she promise Wakaba that even if she ended up liking Koh, she wouldn’t take him away from her.

  5. benevida says:

    Booo! Hissss! I didn’t like it. It felt forced. Incomplete. Like the gentle flow of the episodes was thrown out of whack. Someone put it best when they called it ‘filler’. Normally, a Cross Game episode is a self contained nuggett. While any one episode may not significantly advance the plot, they each have a message that is first created, then advanced, and finally expressed. Here, the expression was incomplete. One play from Aoba, and then the credits, leaves me an emptiness that expectation had created. Where’s the denouement? (the moments after the climax) They took a 45 minute episode and crammed it into a half hour. It may continue next week, but the beauty of Cross Game is that it doesn’t drag things out. I’m not happy.

  6. paj says:

    it’s not really a filler. It just expanded from what was mention in the manga. I don’t remember the exact chapter but then later on in the manga. . .Kou told Aoba not to leave the team.
    And I believe Aoba declined or didn’t finish with the try outs for the girls team electing to stay with Seishu baseball until they win the Koushin. That’s what I gather because it wasn’t really address in the manga.

  7. Irie says:

    paj: Agree with you. I got the exact same impression and I hope they follow through next episode.

    Here is my take. Kou understands Aoba better than almost anyone except her older sister. He understood that Aoba was upset with her perceived role and personal ambitions. The girls team was a perfect opportunity but Kou realized that she would not be happy. If you notice, he never smiled this whole episode.

    As to the relationship, I agree that Aoba uses her aggressive attitude as a protective mechanism. She is guilty over her feelings for Kou and it will take many more stories before those feelings are overcome. Assuming they are since the manga is still active.

    Kou hasn’t realized his feelings for Aoba and is focused on those birthday tasks, reaching Koshien and improving his pitching. I don’t think Aoba’s behavior is all that bothersome to him and it doesn’t change their relationship. Like Aoba, Kou’s self imposed task are similar to Hercules and his labors. They are done to alleviate his own guilt and once done, an epiphany should occur.

    Just throwing a few observations for discussion without going into what will happen in the manga.

  8. N. says:

    Great episode. So far Aoba hasn´t got a a chance to shine as a pitcher: we have been told over and over again that she is and awesome pitcher, but every time we see her playing is in some kind of practice game in which she purposely takes it easy. I´d like to see her play a game seriously for once: therefore, looking forward to the next episode.

  9. beexsama says:

    I don’t think Ko ever say Wakaba in Aoba. It’s just that Aoba reminds him a lot about Waka, because of all the time they spent with each other. It’s not clear in the anime, but Aoba has always liked Ko since the very beginning. Even though she says she hates him and acts “mean” Ko saw through it every time. Ko originally became a pitcher, because he admired Aoba. But as he grew, it turned into something else. And Aoba has always loved Ko.

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Bam
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 05:06 AM)
    @Emma: good review, then it’s a good thing I haven’t seen the ONAs yet. I freaking adore Pale Cocoon!
  • Emma
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 05:02 AM)
  • Bam
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 05:01 AM)
    @Emma: many thx. Have you seen it?
  • Emma
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 04:46 AM)
  • Aires
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 04:45 AM)
    Love my anime
  • Bam
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 04:36 AM)
    Anybody know where I can find Patema Inverted movie or ONAs?!
    I loved Pale Cocoon and Aquatic Language; Yasuhiro yoshiura is a baws!!
  • Emma
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 04:21 AM)
    Good news if you were interested in the upcoming terraformars or like the manga, the ova for it is out now.
  • Anon
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 02:44 AM)
    @Raggers I hope it turns out that he’s the result of some secret government project or something. That’d explain his strange behavior.
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 02:41 AM)
    Anyway, I’m off to bed. Night!
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 02:40 AM)
    @Anon: yeah, perhaps the biggest plot hole so far is how bloody awful the actual soldiers are. At least Attack on Titan had a good excuse for this, but in Aldnoah these are supposedly soldiers who’ve spent 15 years preparing for war. Yet they’re worse than cannon fodder.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Clipboard03

Mushishi – 07

Now this was such a beautiful episode. We often see Mushi portrayed as parasites. In fact, they are pretty much based on the insects and viruses of their world. There probably are enough real viruses and insects living in the Mushishi world, but they just aren’t the focus of the series. Anyway, what they did […]

Clipboard04

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders – 06 & 07

This is where this arc gets weird. We’re still in adventure modus, however in these two episodes Jotaro not only meets some of the most bizarre Stand users, it’s also done in the most camp way possible. You can see a clear difference with the first two seasons of Jojo: there it was all about […]

Clipboard01

Ping Pong – 05 & 06

Episodes 05 and 06 are dedicated to character-development. It’s here where Ping Pong shows that it also knows its stuff in terms of storytelling; the develoment doesn’t start too early or too late, and these two episodes really added depth to all of the different characters, despite that there were no big matches. I’m currently […]

Clipboard01

Mushishi – 03 – 06

I have not forgotten about this show. Not at all. I just finished marathoning these four episodes, and holy cheeseballs on a stick! this is the best anime in years! This was everything I could have hoped for and blows just about everything else out of the water. Talk about raw, powerful storytelling. I now […]

Clipboard03

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – 03 – 05

Jojo really is not kind to its females. Every time a hint is even dropped to a girl kicking ass here, it comes with this weird plot-twist that undermines any fighting potential of them. In this arc, it’s the rule that says that your stand will kill you if youaren’t strong enough. And so, Joseph’s […]

Clipboard01

Ping Pong – 03 & 04

The opening of Ping Pong wasn’t done in time, so the first two episodes showed a sortof montage as a placeholder. Now we know why, with episode 03 and 04. The creators actually got the single best animator currently in the business to oversee it: Shinya Ohira. This guy understands animation like no other. The […]

Clipboard07

Ping Pong – 02

Yes, I know that more people here were involved in making this series beyond Masaaki Yuasa. It’s written by the creator of Tekkon Kinkreet, Taiyo Mashimoto. That guy is awesome. And the combination between those two makes this series even better. Because here’s the thing: anime is significantly different from manga or light novels. Beyond […]

Clipboard02

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders – 02

We can never quite get rid of magic fights at a school, now can we, Jojo. Ah well, I forgive it this time, just due to how hilarious it looks seeing these ridiculously bulky men walk around pretending to be high school students. It’s just so over the top, and yet Jojo sets itself apart […]

Clipboard01

Mushishi Season 2 – 02

Oh yes. This is it. This is what storytelling should be about: telling real stories about real people, all with their own problems that need to be overcome. And this show does that time and time again in just one episode. I still can’t believe how authentic this series is. The thing is, when I […]

Latest Reviews

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]

Clipboard01

Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Come wa Machigatteiru Review – 82,5/100

I like surprises, like when a series comes that just turns out to be good against my expectations. Yahari Blahblah from the outside had all the signs to turn into yet another one of those high school comedies: snarky male lead, pointlessly long title that fails at being witty, various other cliched side-characters. And they […]