The mystery only deepens in the latest chapter of Mix. Among the interesting developments here are the introduction of some names we haven’t heard before:
- Eisuke (Touma’s father)
- Ooyama Gorou (Captain of the Mesei Baseball Club when Eisuke was a member)
- Sawai (Souchirou’s mother’s first husband, and a member of the club two years behind Eisuke and Ooyama)
The funny thing is, I don’t remember any of those names from Touch, and a quick survey of the manga didn’t turn them up either. So either my memory is faulty, or they were members after (or before) the events of Touch. If that’s the case, what’s their connection to the events of Mix? At this point I honestly have no idea.
The mystery deepens on the field, too. The match with Mizukami takes a pretty predictable course – Nikaidou is awful on the mound even by his standards, and is quickly lit up for five runs. Meanwhile Nishimura proves himself a legit ace, and shuts down the Meisei attack without much fuss. The mystery part is, of course, just what the heck is going on with Nikaidou – why does the coach insist on using him (we have some obvious clues there, of course) and more interestingly, why does Nikaidou keep missing so much time? Why did he stare down Touma and smile for several heartbeats before he started pitching? My guess remains that he has an illness of some sort that’s being hidden from the rest of the team.
In any event, middle-school year two is over for Touma and Souchirou as far as baseball is concerned, as they meet the requisite failure that Adachi demands of his heroes in the first act of his manga. That seems to set the stage for significant changes in the story, either by shifting fully away from baseball for a while or forcing the baseball story to its next phase. I don’t think it’s going to be too much longer before there’s a confrontation on that front, especially as Souchirou seems to have reached the limits of his patience. Injustice is always a big part of Adachi manga, but they always move on to the struggle to succeed on the field soon enough.