Posted by psgels 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 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.

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  • hal
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 11:48 PM)
    Just for example, when I had a hard day, watched an episode of the show and then go onto some anime blog to read about it and then there’s some 1000+ words review about it, I’d really LIKE to read but just don’t have the attention to do it, I won’t bother at all. And I believe an impression about an anime episode can be put into way fewer words than that.
  • hal
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 11:45 PM)
    @Aidan: Nonono, that’s just a plus of shorter reviews. That’s not the main reason I’d like them. Of course I only read reviews of shows I DO watch, to listen to another opinion, because reading something you don’t know a thing about is pointless. Regarding episodic reviews at least. However I do enjoy reading a review of a show I like, I hope you didn’t misunderstand that. I guess I didn’t really put it into the right words.
  • ninjarealist
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 11:11 PM)
    @K-Off You know it.
    @Bam NTR finds a way.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 10:46 PM)
    @Hal, So to summarize. You want the reviews to be shorter so that you don’t have to read them and can take in whether a show is worth picking up? In that case your problem isn’t with the reviews. It’s that there’s not a rating at the bottom.
    If need be we can bring that back.
  • hal
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 09:11 PM)
    The thing is, aside from disliking reading long texts on screen, I looked over some texts about shows I didn’t watch sometimes, to see if they’re worth to pick up (That’s also the reason why I actually miss the rating system. I picked up some shows only because psgels rated one episode as fantastic and I got curious) I don’t know if other people do the same, but short reviews are easier to look through for interesting developments.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 09:09 PM)
    @K-off: not sure how NTR works under incarceration, someone steals their prison-bitch I guess? lol
  • hal
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 09:08 PM)
    concerning the length discussion, it is true, that reading walls of text on the screen are a pain. As I said 500 words should be the absolute maximum for an episodic review. A full review on a series can be longer of course. You should also think about breaking the text down into smaller paragraphs of 4-7 lines each. It’s much easier to read longer texts that way.
  • k-off
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 08:53 PM)
    @Bam make that ntr for ninja.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 08:45 PM)
    @K-off: oh lord, fanfic and SAO? You just named two of the best sources of intellectual nourishment. And I was operating under the impression that Kiroto has no ass; well … life is learning. Now off to write a fanfic about how the cast of SAO get thrown into prison where everyone wants a piece of dat “firm ass”.
  • k-off
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 08:38 PM)
    @Bam There was this SAO fanfic some dumbass posted a while ago, with the lines “Sinon looked at Kirito’s firm ass and felt excited” or some shit like that… Yeah, I’m not too fond of fanfic, good or bad.

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