Well, it was a milestone week for Major and the legions of readers and viewers who have followed the series – Takuya Mitsuda’s manga is finally ending it’s historic 16-year run in Shounen Sunday:
Major nears end
I believe that there should be enough material for one more final season once the final chapters have been released. Alternatively, the producers could decide to finish things off with another theatrical film.
In any case, we continue to be treated to an interesting and compelling 6th season. This time, the Hornets greedy owner has added a big name slugger – “Mad” Mike Murdoch – as a replacement for the injured Green. Another nickname Murdoch has picked up is “The Curse” as defeat and despair seem to follow him everywhere. The owner knows Murdoch’s history but doesn’t care, figuring that if he causes trouble he’ll be that much more of a gate attraction. Dreadlocks and all (even coming from LA) I had him pegged as a riff on Manny Ramirez, but in behavior he seems closer to Milton Bradley – surly, selfish and itchin’ for a fight. Which, of course, he almost gets in his first game. After being hit by a pitch, he demands Goro retaliate – which Goro declines to do for obvious (Dad) and smart (tying run at the plate) reasons. Yes, this is one of those “unwritten rules” that baseball is famous for and don’t always make sense, and it’s interesting to see it explored from the Japanese perspective. Was Murdoch hit intentionally? Does it matter? In any case, he calls Goro a coward and disparages the Japanese people, and immediately follows with an error – hinting that it was intentional – that costs Indiana and Goro the game. Goro calls him out and the two nearly come to blows, with two teammates injured in the melee, including Keene who sprains his ankle and is out for two weeks. Five straight losses and much ennui follow.
It’ll be interesting to see where the series goes from here. Fact is, there aren’t always two sides to these things – sometimes players really are selfish bastards, and losing seems to follow them. From the looks of things however, we’re more likely headed towards a “misunderstood” scenario with Murdoch, where we see his good side and he begins to gel with the team. Frankly, I hope not as I think it’d be much more interesting the other way…