Posted by SuperWooper on 17 June 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mix

Good news for all you Mix fans out there: the show is likely to be two cour, as the Wikipedia page for its timeslot doesn’t have a replacement listed until October. That means three more months of baseball, romance, and mystifying Japanese puns before Hero Academia S4 kicks Mix off the air for the fall season. I’m very glad for the extension, as the show has settled nicely into its high school phase, and is dedicating entire episodes to character work before kicking off the baseball season. Fans who got into this series for the home runs and double plays might be disappointed with its simple, conversational style, but I find every scene to be rewarding, both taken on their own and viewed as groundwork for the future.

Take Haruka’s character, for instance. After breaking out of love interest hell last week, we learn plenty more about her in the follow-up: her folks are living apart, she’s still in contact with her mom (who slips in and out of their apartment before Goro comes home), and she feels blessed to have two parents who follow their dreams. The scene where she and her dad discuss the surprise visit is funny, as Haruka repeats her mother’s claim that she could only write comedies while living with Goro. Then there was his attempt at subtly asking whether Mom left any money behind – another in a long series of jokes about his mooching ways. But it wasn’t all laughs, either. The scene also played host to a touching daddy/daughter moment, as Haruka affirms that she’s proud of her single dad for doing what he loves. On top of that, it’s worth noting that she turns away from him and back to preparing dinner before “I feel blessed” passes her lips. Though the music is placid and the mood sincere, you can read that she still struggles with her family situation, which I’d bet my bottom dollar will resurface in the future.

I just spent 200 words talking about Haruka, but two of the Tachibana kids have great stories built around them. Otomi’s anxiety about her dog Punch’s sickness is established early in the episode, but morphs into a meditation on her deceased father. Mix doesn’t spell out the link between the two subjects, but it’s there if you look for it. She’s afraid that Punch might die, which greatly upsets her; by contrast, she can’t remember her dad very well, and regrets that she wasn’t able to mourn him properly. Touma functions as a midnight sounding board for these worries, which is a perfect choice, since we know that he didn’t totally process his mother’s death when it happened, either. There’s already a romance brewing between the two, but the idea that they’ll be able to support each other as they come to terms with their past losses has major potency.

Similarly promising is the return of a plot point from episode three – that Souichiro wants to be a pitcher. He’s adamant that his brother got the flashier role in their battery because of a fateful rock-paper-scissors game, but this probably doesn’t tell the whole story. Touma just has a cannon for an arm, and Sou’s baseball smarts made him a great catcher. But as Coach Goro watches the older brother correct the younger one’s pitching form this week, he asks Sou to take a few practice throws, and is shocked at the result: he’s just as competent as Touma. This realization triggers a flashback to a Meisei team fresh off their Koushien win, where the fathers of both stepbrothers competed for the title of ace pitcher, and Sou’s dad won.

What could this mean for the future of the show? Mix is a series entrenched in the past, but will that obsession mean a repeat of what happened 30 years ago? Perhaps the better question is, how far will Souichiro pursue the ace position? His accumulated jealousy has been compounded by Haruka’s interest in Touma, and his insistence that little bro was just a lucky RPS player could signal his intent to compete for the #1 spot. Adachi fanatics can likely predict the outcome here, but I’m still curious, and looking forward to how many cards the show will put on the table with each new episode.

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