It was a pretty quiet chapter this month for Mix. We got a little classic Adachi self-promotion, a few cryptic callbacks to Touch, and our most extended baseball action – but it definitely had the feel of a setup chapter, which can be a bit of an issue for a monthly manga.
There are basically two major threads at work here. The first is the impending conflict over the obvious corruption surrounding the middle-school baseball club, and the other is the impending conflict surrounding Touma’s budding romance with Otomi. The latter seems especially ominous, given Souchirou’s paternalistic tone towards his sister – and he he seems to have no clue that Touma is starting to see Otomi as something besides a sister. That one could get ugly – I don’t especially like Sou to be honest, at least so far. He comes off as a bit of a condescending and arrogant brat.
The direct connection to Touch still proves elusive. There’s mention at the beginning of the chapter that Meisei hasn’t been back to Koushien since the “one time” 22 years earlier, and the relics of that year sit forgotten in a corner of the school. And then there’s that #1 uniform that Touma and Otomi found with his father’s things. Touma refuses to ask about it, professing a fear that his father might have stolen it because he “always said he wanted to be the #1, at least for a day” – though I wonder if he knows more than he’s letting on.
The adjunct to that, of course, is that it’s Touma who should be wearing #1 for the middle school – Otomi is certainly fiercely proud of his skills – but the Chairman’s son continues to be the “ace” with the help of the corrupt coach, and to generally act the annoying bully. We’ve seen this before with Adachi, certainly, and there’s obviously going to come a time when Touma has had enough and decides to take things to a head in that heroically-stoically low-key Adachi way. What isn’t so obvious is how this is going to be tied directly with Tatsuya and Minami, in indeed that’s where the connection is going to lie.