Selasa, 06 Desember 2011

Cross Game

Name:     Cross Game
Alternate Name:    ??????, ?????, ??? ??
Year of Release:     2005
Status:     Completed
Author:     Adachi, Mitsuru (Story & Art)
Artist:    Adachi, Mitsuru
Reading Direction:     Right to Left
Genre:     Comedy Drama Romance School Life Shounen Sports Tragedy

Cross Game (クロスゲーム Kurosu Gēmu?) is a romantic comedy baseball manga series byMitsuru Adachi that was serialized by Shogakukan in Weekly Shōnen Sunday between 11 May 2005 (issue 22/23) and 17 February 2010 (issue 12). It is collected in 17 tankōbon volumes, with the final volume published in April 2010, shortly after the end of the anime series. It received the 54th Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen manga in 2009, and has been praised internationally as quietly brilliant and a great success. The series was adapted as a 50-episode anime television series that aired on the TV Tokyo network from 5 April 2009 to 28 March 2010. The first episode of the anime, which covers the time frame of the first volume of the manga, received high praise, even outside of Japan.
Cross Game is the story of Ko Kitamura and the four neighboring Tsukishima sisters, Ichiyo, Wakaba, Aoba, and Momiji. Wakaba and Ko were born on the same day in the same hospital and are close enough that Wakaba treats Ko as her boyfriend, though nothing is officially declared, while Aoba, one year younger than them, hates how Ko is "taking" her sister away from her. After Wakaba dies, Ko and Aoba slowly grow closer as they strive to fulfill Wakaba's final dream of seeing them play in the high school baseball championship in Koshien Stadium.
The manga is divided into multiple parts. Part One, which consists of volume one, is a prologuethat takes place while the main characters are in elementary school, ending with Wakaba's death. Part Two starts four years later with Ko in his third year of junior high and continues into the summer of his third year of high school. Part Three continues the story without a break, ending with Ko and Aoba traveling to Koshien.

At the start of Part One, Ko Kitamura, son of the owner of Kitamura Sports, lives in the same neighborhood as the batting center run by the Tsukishima family. Due to their proximity and the relationship between their businesses, the Kitamura and Tsukishima families have been close for many years, and their children go back and forth between the two homes. Because Ko and Wakaba are the same age and always together, Aoba is jealous of all the time Ko spends with her older sister. Aoba is a natural pitcher with excellent form, and Ko secretly trains to become as good as she is, even while publicly showing little interest in baseball. Then Wakaba dies in a swimming accident at a summer camp during fifth grade.
Part Two starts with Ko in his third year of junior high, as he continues training in secret. When he enters Seishu High School, he joins the baseball club along with his childhood friends, Akaishi and Nakanishi. However, the interim principal (the regular principal is on medical leave) has brought in a new head coach, and he in turn brings in transfer students from other schools as ringers just to play baseball. This team, led by their star, Yūhei Azuma, is the clear favorite of the school. Because the three friends refuse to take evaluation tests to join the first-string team, they are placed on the second-string "portable" team under the former head coach, Maeno, who has to use the Seishu Junior High School field for practice. This causes a rivalry between the two parts of the team. In the first summer practice scrimmage between them, the portable team loses by only a narrow margin.
During the summer vacation, while the first-string team plays in the prefectural qualifying tournament for Koshien, Maeno has the portable team practice at a recently closed elementary school with the support from a mysterious old man. The portable team also has six practice matches with other local high schools, all of which reached semifinals or higher in the regional preliminaries. Near the end of summer vacation, the interim principal decides to dissolve the portable team. However, Coach Maeno asks for a rematch scrimmage with the first-string team, after which the losing team would be dissolved and that coach would leave. The portable team, playing with Aoba, wins a narrow victory. The first-string team is dissolved, and the head coach and the interim principal leave to work at other schools.
In the spring, Ko becomes a second-year student and Aoba enters Seishu High School. Yūhei, who stays at Seishu despite having been on the former first-string team, moves in with Ko's family after the first-stringers' dormitory is closed. The reformed Seishu team goes on to prove themselves by defeating Sannō High School in the first round of the summer prefectural qualifying tournament. However, they lose to their second-round opponents, Ryuō, in overtime, ending Seishu's hopes of Koshien for the year. Ryuō subsequently reaches Koshien, advances up to the semifinals where they are narrowly beaten. However, Ryuō then goes on to win the spring invitational Koshien tournament later that same year.
As Ko and Aoba enter their summer break, a girl named Akane Takigawa with a striking resemblance to Wakaba moves in next door to Ko. This causes mixed feelings among the various characters, particularly Ko, Aoba, and Akaishi (who had also liked Wakaba). Akane soon becomes friends with Ko and Tsukishimas, and begins working in the Tsukishima cafe. As another year begins, the romantic subplots further solidify when Yūhei expresses an interest in Aoba. Meanwhile, Seishu gains a new assistant coach in the form of Yūhei's older brother Junpei, after Ichiyo agrees to marry him if Seishu makes it to Koshien.
When the prefectural summer baseball tournament starts, Seishu starts with a dominating shutout against its first-round opponent, Matsunami Municipal High School. In the second round, they face Sena Municipal High School led by Tatsumasa Miki, a former Seishu first-string player, which in the first round defeated the team headed by Seishu's former head coach. Seishu wins with a nearly perfect game, ending Part Two of the story.
Part Three starts with the prefectural tournament still in progress. After another win by Seishu, Akane is hospitalized due to an unspecified illness. Initially, Akaishi's play is affected by worrying about Akane's condition. Ko continues to perform well and promises Akane to go on a date with her if Seishu reaches Koshien. However, Akane's illness is more severe than expected, and she is scheduled for surgery on the morning of the prefectural final against Ryuō. Before the game begins, Ko tells Aoba he loves her more than anyone, but in such a way she thinks he is lying until after Seishu wins in extra innings, clinching a Koshien berth. In the final chapter, the morning before traveling to Koshien, Akaishi visits Akane recovering in the hospital and Ko and Aoba head for the train station holding hands.

Main characters
Ko Kitamura (樹多村 光 Kitamura Kō?) Voiced by: Miyu Irino
One of the two protagonists, Ko is in fifth grade in Part One and enters Seishu High School early in Part Two. Despite their age in Part One, he and Wakaba are very close and their families treat them as if they are a couple. While he shows little interest in baseball to outsiders, he has practiced daily at the Tsukishima Batting Center in the 60-mile-per-hour (97 km/h) cage and above since he was old enough to swing a bat. Ko is described by several other characters, including Ichiyo, Yuhei Azuma, and Junpei Azuma, as very like Aoba. In particular, they say the two are both very competitive, and Junpei attributes their frequent squabbling to their similarities. After a sandlot game against Aoba's team in elementary school, Ko is inspired by her pitching form to become a pitcher himself, and at Wakaba's urging secretly adopts Aoba's daily training regimen. Although he does not play baseball in junior high school, Akaishi and Nakanishi convince him to join the high school baseball team. With his changeup pitches, control, and incredible fastball, he becomes the ace pitcher in Seishu High School, as well as a strong hitter. Ko describes himself as having no self-confidence and an excellent liar. Despite being at odds with one another, Ko and Aoba share a deep bond through their love for Wakaba. Ko takes to heart what Aoba has to say and values her opinion more than others.

Aoba Tsukishima (月島 青葉 Tsukishima Aoba?) Voiced by: Haruka Tomatsu
The other protagonist, Aoba is the third daughter of the Tsukishima family, one year younger than Ko and Wakaba. Aoba is seen as a tomboy by other characters, one who loves baseball very much. Her father has played catch with Aoba since she was little, thus grooming her into a strong pitcher. She has a poster of Ryota Igarashi, a famous fastball pitcher, on her bedroom wall, and when she was young Aoba told Wakaba she was only interested in a guy who could pitch a fastball over 100 miles per hour (160 km/h). She has an excellent pitching form, on which Ko based his own form, and she has a wide variety of pitches. Although as a girl she cannot play in official inter-school games, in practice games she plays center field or replaces Ko as pitcher. Many younger members of the Seishu baseball team are inspired by how much effort she puts into baseball and coaching them, and work hard to not disappoint her. Ko claims she is secretly disappointed that she will never be able to pitch in an official game, and Yuhei Azuma points out that she is using Ko as her proxy to get to Koshien.
Aoba is very close to Wakaba in Part One, and according to Ichiyo jealous of how much time Wakaba spends with Ko. She frequently reiterates her intense dislike of Ko throughout the series and often squabbles with him. Despite this, she is very like him in behavior and talents, as several characters comment. After Ko becomes the ace pitcher of Seishu High School, Aoba slowly comes to admit his qualities as a player, and becomes less reluctant to offer advice and even teaches him new breaking pitches. Eventually she admits she has faith in his ability to fulfill Wakaba's last dream, in which he pitches at Koshien. She is often teased about her similarities with Ko in their behaviors and habits. Her name means "green leaf" or "fresh leaf".


Volume 5
Volume 13
Volume 14

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