Mix – 02

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“I’m the older brother and you’re the younger brother”

OK, I’m hooked.

Simply put, this was a much more engaging chapter than the first – hardly surprising, really, given the weight of exposition in the first chapter.  Adachi-sama doesn’t milk the suspense for too long, giving us answers to most of the riddles of the first chapter, and in the process delivers a chapter full of wit and foreshadowing in vintage fashion.

To get it out of the way, Touma and Souchirou are stepbrothers, and Otomi is Souchirou’s sister.  Touma’s mother and Souchirou and Otomi’s father both passed away (this is Adachi, after all) and the surviving spouses remarried when the boys were six, and Otomi five.  I’m starting to wonder if Adachi is ever going to run out of ways to tweak the traditional family unit, but be that as it may, that’s what we have here.  Touma’s stepmother calls him “Touma-chan”, which he hates, and Souchirou lords it over him that he was born ten minutes earlier (according to separate hospital records, anyway).  But apart from that, the family seems to be close-knit and happy.

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Now does this mean our eventual romance pairing in Mix – and this being Adachi, we have to have one – will be Touma and Otomi?  Even step-incest is a bit edgy for Adachi-sensei, but these are the 2010’s, so I guess anything’s possible.  Natsuno-kun would certainly like to intrude on that, I suspect.  As for the baseball side of the equation, this actually feels more like a Cross Game than Touch scenario so far.  We have injustice in the school baseball club, with the boys effectively doing their own thing when the coach’s back is turned.  The cause is that the team is effectively sponsored by local businessman Nikaidou-san, old friends with the coach, and it’s his son who’s the only pitcher despite not being very good.  And the son seems to especially dislike Touma, too.

What really made this chapter snap was the trademark Adachi self-referential humor and a twinge of “Touch” wistfulness.  For example, the Nomo sweatshirt the grade-schooler Souchirou wears (in flashback).  And my favorite, Otomi saying she named her puppy “Punch” because a “weird guy” appeared to her in a dream – and we see the man, wearing a G-pen strapped to his back like a samurai sword and holding a giant sign saying “NAME HIM PUNCH”.  The thing with Adachi is he makes his readers feel like they’re in a private club – constantly winking at them and poking fun at himself in the process.  I’ve yet to see a mangaka use self-referential humor – which can be wearisome in the wrong hands – as well as Adachi does.

When the “real” practice begins after the coach and Nikaidou-kun go home and Natsuno-kun notices the music “from that baseball anime that used to air on TV – they play it at Koshien!” emanating from Otomi’s classroom, you get the sense that Mix has officially started.  “Will Otomi ever get to play “that” at the Summer Koshien again?”  Will she indeed, Adachi-sensei – I’m certainly keen to find out.  The magic of Adachi is that he can keep returning to the same themes over and over, yet continue to make them feel fresh.  Despite my worries, I suppose if there was ever a mangaka I’d trust to do a sequel right, he’d be the one.

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11 comments

  1. t

    "Even step-incest is a bit edgy for Adachi-sensei"

    Here's part of the synopsis of "Miyuki" published in the 80s before touch and while of course it wasn't as popular as touch it was popular enough to get an anime adaptation and put him on the map.

    "He and his sister Miyuki are living alone together, and he is troubled by his conflicting emotions: filial and romantic feelings toward a sister who may or may not know she is not related to him by blood."

    See!Adachi was 30 years ahead of the LN industry!!

    Jinbei also had Step father/daughter step-incest but that was more of a side project.

    Despite that I don't see any romantic chemistry between the two of them in these couple chapters so I'm not betting on it for now,maybe that'll change later.

  2. D

    Well, these character designs…don't look similar at all to Cross Game.

  3. There are basically 2-3 character designs of each gender in Adachi's quiver, so yeah – they do. They also look similar to Touch, and H2, and Over Fence…

    totoum, I forgot about Miyuki, you're right. "Less popular than Touch" isn't a big leap since almost every manga in history is, but Miyuki won a bunch of awards, I believe. Haven't read it myself.

  4. K

    Now I wonder if I should read this or wait for the anime (Am I being too hopeful to expect an anime).

    I actually still need to finish reading touch. I have about 50 chapters to go. That might be my first project to add to the new E-reader I just ordered.

    And speaking of Adachi the last volume of Cross Game will be released by Viz next month (so sad it's ending again but forever thankful it was actually licensed).

  5. K

    What I find the most funny is the one brother looks like Kou the other like Tatsuya XD

    Of course I haven't read any of Adachi's other works so those are just the characters I relate them too.

  6. If the manga follows through on the sales promise shown by the first issue of the magazine, you could easily see an anime. But given that this is a monthly it could take several years.

    If it were me, Kim, I'd probably finish Touch (which you should do anyway) and then start Mix, but I wouldn't wait for an anime that may never come.

  7. l

    I'm waiting for someone to die before starting this.

  8. Two people died already. They just died offscreen.

  9. l

    Does that count for Adachi?

  10. Look inside yourself and you may find the answer.

  11. e

    You Delphian wiseman you…

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