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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  • Bam
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 02:39 AM)
    @Aidan: but specially the powerloss. The overly rich and powerful tend to seek pleasure in different ways.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 02:37 AM)
    Even here in ME!ME!ME! he seems to be criticizing the otakus with the female Eva figures that he himself makes good money on with no apparent sense remorse; that’s the ultimate troll.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 02:35 AM)
    Though they also seek power fantasies even when not faced with real life consequences. People just like to feel powerful.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 02:34 AM)
    @Aidan: well a good animator that has a great and unique eye foe animation can be rightfully called a visionery. Anno bullshits, I know this, but even his bullshits are made meticulously and with thought which is something you can’t say for the majority of directors out there.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 02:30 AM)
    There was also a small section where it focused on how when people are faced with real life consequences that make feel powerless they then look into power fantasies to reconcile that in their mind. This was portrayed with the mecha and FPS scene.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 02:29 AM)
    Anno is a good animator. I will give him that but I hate it when people claim that there’s some higher meaning to his work. I honestly believe that end of Evangelion was created with the intention to say a giant fuck you to Eva fans.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 02:27 AM)
    @Aidan: that’s what I mean, I’m not digging in for answers in the dark that WAS the main theme of the piece.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 02:26 AM)
    @Bam, I got that. It was fairly obvious. Figured it out within the first minute. It was so obvious that I was like “Nah, can’t be that simple” and tried to find something else in it.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 02:26 AM)
    Now unto watching PP2 finale and get on your guys’ level, with very low hopes riding in.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 02:14 AM)
    I know Anno enough from his works and interviews to know which parts are just for show, and this had some bits that were just that, but the overall package was certainly thoughtfully produced.

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