No question about it, an Adachi baseball manga in a monthly magazine is a bit of a torture.
Mix, as best I can describe it, continues apace. It’s excellent – vintage Adachi, and he’s clearly invigorated being back on his most familiar ground. But we’re no closer to finding out the truth behind the Touch connection, and given the pacing Adachi normally followed in his weekly series, it could be quite a while before anything really gets out in the open.
One thing I’m pretty convinced of – someone is going to die. Not just because it’s Adachi, but because it fits. Souchirou, undeniably, fits most of the flags. He’s smart, he’s popular, he’s “the good brother” and he doesn’t have the natural chemistry of the true lead. Plus, I’m getting a strong vibe that the team captain will end up being Touma’s catcher – it feels very Adachi, and the scene between he and Nakaido in his chapter only feeds that vibe – and that could seemingly only happen if Souchirou weren’t in the picture. Of course it could be Nikaido too, who I think has something more going in than his ogre façade is letting on.
A funny thing happened in the midst of all the righteous brotherly indication – Meisei actually won their block, and advanced to the Tokyo middle-school championships for the first time in 20 (heh) years, and they did it with Nikaido pitching a shutout. He’s undeniably a tool and he treats everyone like crap, but he’s the one character here who doesn’t neatly fit any Adachi profile.I’m certainly curious to see where Adachi goes with the character.
The other interesting track that’s been a constant is the dynamic between Souchirou, Touma and Otomi. Sou actually encourages Touma to enter into a bit with another bottom-feeder on the final exam results, with the stakes being a bet with Otomi. It’s hard to know just what Sou had in mind here, as he’s normally so overprotective – it’s easiest to guess that he either Sou pushed Touma to take the bet to motivate him, or because he knew his sister was safe, and Touma would never lose the bet. And indeed he didn’t, climbing all the way to #5 in the class – earning a strong expression of admiration from his brother to Otomi. Whatever Sou is up to here, it’s clear that Tou has inherited the classic Asachi male lead gene – the hyper-talented layabout, the boy with innate decency and honor who doesn’t go out of his way to show others how special he is, but always ends up standing out anyway.