Posted by psgels on 28 March 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Cross Game




It’s easy to dismiss Cross Game as a baseball series, but make no mistake. This is much more a slice of life series about characters who just happen to play a lot of baseball. Cross Game is much more a tale of growing up, with a healthy dose of humour along the way. And it does this oh so well.

Seriously, in terms of slice of life, you can hardly get any better than this. The seemingly endless amount of wit with which the writers spice up the daily lives is incredible, and they love to play with this. Whenever you see a character do something seemingly out-of-character, there’s always some sort of very logical explanation behind this.Think about a character making an important confession at first sight, only to reveal that he’s talking about something completely different. The entire series is chock-ful of these moments that have a ton of fun playing with the characters in this way.

Obviously this gives the show an awesome cast to work with. We see them grow up through the series, from when they’re still small children to their third year in high school. As a viewer we really get to know who they are, and because of that the slice of life works so well: these characters rock right from the first episode of this series, so it becomes a really enjoyable ride to just see what they’re doing in their everyday lives.

The problem with this series is, in fact, the baseball, for multiple reasons. First of all, the slice of life is just that good. Every time a baseball match started, I felt like something was missing, and just kept hoping that they would wrap up as soon as possible in order to get more of the quiet moments in this series. That, and the baseball matches aren’t that good anyway. Especially when you compare them to other series, they’re poorly built up, hand together with cliches and the teams that our lead characters match against are hardly ever fleshed out properly. There’s no tension in them, and all you’re doing is waiting for them to finish.

Cross Game is based on a manga by Mitsuru Adachi, who pretty much can only write one type of series, but he can do that incredibly well. Cross Game is the same, and although I do prefer Touch (due to its longer length and because it did have excellent baseball matches, despite its lack of wit in the slice of life department), Cross Game nevertheless is excellent and its execution is one of a kind.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Wonderfully witty in its portrayal of the characters’ daily lives. Baseball matches suck, though.
Characters: 10/10 – Take perhaps a bit long to develop, but a lot of the cast members end up well rounded at the end of the series.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Nothing special, asice from a good soundtrack perhaps.
Setting: 8/10 – Not a fan of the way it portrayed baseball, but did a good job of the high school setting.

10 Responses

  1. shirokiryuu says:

    I never finished Touch, but I kinda felt H2’s ending was more complete than Cross Games. But the subtlely of Cross Game’s ending was nice, and I liked the characters much more. (Aoba’s better than most Adachi heroines)

  2. thomas says:

    I didn’t mind the baseball matches as much as you (perhaps because this is the first “baseball anime” I’ve watched?) but I did much prefer the slice of life, it was so good. And I would’ve totally watched this if it kept going for another 50 episodes. What a lovely ending, and this anime’s highly recommended. I gave it an “Excellent” on ANN, or 9/10.

  3. Watcherzero says:

    I was left a little dissapointed, the confession was well done, the pitch was left ambigious and it didnt feel wrapped up to me. However that could reflect its slice of life in that as in real life a story wont just be wrapped up completley and have a definitive end.

    However I like my anime to have just that kind of end as it makes it so much easier to move onto the next. With an ambigious or unconcluded ending your left wondering for days what really happened, or how it could have ended if the anime had been allowed to finish instead of being cut short.

  4. riddle says:

    best slice of life i watched. first base ball anime i watch not a big fan of sports anime. and this anime receives a well rounded 9.9/10 for me. the final ending was well done, not over the top and had a sense of finality.

  5. kriyn says:

    Cross Game is the only anime after Vision of Escaflowne that captured my heart and not just my emotions. And your insightful recaps and reviews made a wonderful companion for this journey.

    My heartfelt thanks.

    At the end of this series, I was in a long distance phone call to my younger series. I was mildly incoherent since I just saw KouXAoba hug and hold hands within the span of 15 minutes. So all I could shout across the phone was “It’s such a great anime because it’s about awesome stuff in life like youth, friendship, love and family”. To which, my sister replied, “Er… isn’t that what ALL shounen manga is about”.

    Which made me realize that Cross Game is groundbreaking because in this age of entertainment, it goes back to the heart. It’s about life and real people. And that’s awesome. And really brave.

  6. Nichokiu says:

    You know Psgels, I, like many, many others really really love this blog. Not only because it has by far one of the largest and best anime reviews, but because you really bring to light so many brilliant anime out there that would have fallen under our radar if it weren’t for you.

    This is just another anime like Toward the Terra, Phantom, Tokyo Magnitude etc etc. It’s another anime that I absolutely adore, and even though I’m only at episode 35, I just know it will be heartbreaking at the end of the anime, because it is so good, and it will take a while before I really get so immersed in such a great anime again.

    So I say thank you psgels, really love your blog, really love your reviews, it really has given so much more fun, excitement and happiness for many people out there like me, who would not have enjoyed such great anime if it weren’t for you!

  7. I just read cross game manga end that so fun

  8. Diasen says:

    Cross game getting the same score as touch? Well not that I don’t agree with you, material wise touch is much better, but it loses out adaptation wise. Cross game is a much much better adaptation. Even the fillers were interesting. On the other hand, touch was an awful adaptation.

  9. mdv says:

    yeh yeh Nichokiu speaks the truth

  10. J says:

    I only watched this anime due to this review and loved it so very much. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Mar 7. 2015 02:00 AM)
    @Vxien, Not sure who that recommend is for but whoever it is has seen death note. It’s like recommending Cowboy bebop. Anyone calling themselves an anime fan has likely already seen it and anyone that hasn’t…should watch it immediately.
  • Vxien
    (Saturday, Mar 7. 2015 12:41 AM)
    Might I recommend Death Note if you haven’t already.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:47 AM)
    I remember that same guy, during end of eva, pausing it over and over during that scene where asuka dies with all of those fast moving clips too.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:39 AM)
    I remember catching it also when I was young with a friend and we looked back on a fanservice scene with shinji and rei and he mentioned “You know if you think about it that scene is damn disturbing when you think she’s a clone of/modelled after you know who…”
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:36 AM)
    Before Eva, when I was 11 or so my image of a mech anime was Nadesico…then it was eva and then I was like…Whoah…whoah God halp! =O
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:34 AM)
    I suppose credit where I feel it due, the angel designs are excellent and I remember getting the shock of my life when shinji’s eva went nuts and then there was a bit with Bardiel infect Toji’s unit. I remember at least Masatos boyfriend being a likeable character.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:31 AM)
    I don’t think anyone was prepared for Eva, whether they liked the show or not, at 11 I can remember being horrified by end of eva and the series original ending as well as having my first moment of “Feck…theres a first…an anime that did something that scrambled my mind, I actually feel kind of thick now, this show is smarter than I am”.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:27 AM)
    It really wouldn’t have been that hard to put a satisfying ending to the original series, wrap up the threads nicely and put a pretty ribbon on the package to finish it off. But Anno and friends took a risk and went against the tide and end up becoming the trope-namer for the Gainax Endings. That took balls and made things unexpected and fresh, cuz god knows that ,good guys win the day ‘is tired and boring.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:26 AM)
    Requiem for a dream. I remember the guy who recommended that film saying to me “Even someone such as yourself who finds it hard to find/has high standards an emotionally investing film will get something out of requiem for a dream”
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:17 AM)
    @Emma: leaving a bad taste is pretty much the point of Eva, just as getting bummed out by Requiem For a Dream is the naturally intended effect. I don’t mind that you don’t enjoy Eva all that much Emma, l actually appreciate it over dishonest admiration. Just keep in mind that Eva deserves it’s special place in anime.

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