Posted by SuperWooper on 19 May 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mix

What’s with all the A-list seiyuu in Mix? The four main characters are voiced by some of the biggest names in the industry right now: Yuki Kaji, the Uchida siblings, and Kana Hanazawa as new character Haruka. I tend to dodge a lot of the shounen and harem series that feature Mr. Kaji, and the Uchidas haven’t made a big mark on my anime consciousness yet, but there’s no denying their popularity. HanaKana is a favorite of mine, though, and I’m a bit worried about how Mix is set to utilize her. Haruka is the show’s girl next door, and she seems totally aloof regarding the boys’ fixation on her. They all rush to chat her up on the first day of high school, and even after they’re beaten back by her childhood friend Nangou, she maintains a puzzled facial expression. The camera even creates opportunities for the Tachibana brothers to do some ogling, from a relatively tame upskirt shot to a fresh-out-of-the-bath pose when Touma walks in on her. The pleasant ring of Hanazawa-san’s voice is wasted on assurances that he “barely missed the show,” or not to worry because she’d already put on her panties.

Maybe none of this is really important, and I’m just reaching for things to talk about regarding this episode. It’s certainly light on baseball and heavy on juvenile romance, with Haruka’s appearance cementing a love square between herself and the mixed Tachibana kids. The title of this episode comes from a conversation between Otomi and Haruka, when the older girl asks whether Otomi is worried that she might steal one of the boys away. It’s a subtle but effective way of cutting right to the heart of the younger girl’s crush on her stepbrother, but it comes a bit too soon in their relationship. Sure, the kids’ parents are longtime friends, but Haruka has only just met the Tachibanas. Adachi’s characters are usually too mature for their age, but for a girl to banter with a new acquaintance about her incestuous feelings just a day after meeting her is preposterous. Did we skip a bunch of chapters from the manga here? It doesn’t help that their whole visit feels strange, from the convenient bath breakdown to the peppy guitar and recorder-led tune that overstays its welcome.

It’s not enough that the high school hormones are flowing in tropey fashion, either, as Otomi has to pull double duty as a romantic interest in a middle school story that felt superfluous. The next episode preview indicates that the new middle school girl has a baseball-playing brother, so maybe Mix will leverage this new love triangle in order to get back to the diamond soon. It’s funny, though – my favorite parts of Cross Game were always those spent away from the baseball field, and now I can’t wait for Mix to head back there. Everything to do with the new middle school characters felt like a distraction, though I can see where we’re headed. Some of the younger kids need to age up before the definitive Meisei comeback year, so the story is biding its time until then. I just wish that sense of playing the waiting game wasn’t so evident in the show’s pacing and choice of subject matter.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar Nimroth says:

    I wouldn’t put too much hope in the story focusing on the baseball aspect, the manga could end up with them getting to the Koshien, but ultimately it is an ongoing story with possibly a long way left still.
    This is one of those stories where I really wish they had waited a couple more years before adapting.

    • Avatar SuperWooper says:

      I’m not sure what to hope for, if not more time spent playing baseball. This episode certainly didn’t instill confidence in the multiple romance plots the show has brewing. Maybe some slice of life stuff between male teammates could work for its benefit? We could also use some more info about Haruka’s participation in gymnastics (apart from every man in the vicinity trying to get an eyeful of her in a leotard).

      Not having read the manga, it’s frustrating to take a series this slow one episode at a time. Might just go back and watch Touch, since it’s got 100 episodes lined up and waiting to be marathoned.

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