Mix – 14

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“When Spring Comes”

Mix may be a linear sequel to Touch, but in some ways it’s playing more like a pastiche of several of Adachi’s earlier series.  I see elements of Cross Game, Miyuki and especially H2 here, among others, and he’s even included a few names that are puns based on character names from his earlier works (and those of his buddy Rumiko-sensei).  No one plagarizes themselves more than Adachi-sensei, so maybe this is a fitting development at this stage of his career.

This is a setup chapter, but the story is moving along at a decent clip (thankfully, as it’s a monthly).  The big development here is the revelation that Ooyama – the doofus who was the Meisei baseball captain – is ticketed to be the next coach of Meisei High School’s baseball team.  Looks like we have another in a long line of oddball coaches in the Adachi canon, and he’s rather fond of the bum archetype too.

Ooyama-san has a daughter as well, we know – though he tells Touma’s dad (he’s invited himself over to eat and get drunk) that she’s staying in Kyuushu until Spring.  Either he lied, or she’s gone back home for a while.  In any event, Sou has developed quite an interest in the girl who lives above the Ramen Dragon, and Ooyama has quite in interest in Sou for obvious reasons.  That could prove interesting in multiple ways.

My favorite scene of the episode was the little flashback sequence at the end, a classic Adachi wistful moment where Otomi recalls the “ace contest” between her brother and step-brother.  Otomi is looking back on a meeting with Touma, at the bottom of the local slope, slick with snow.  She slips (barely) and begs him to carry her, which he does – and it turns out he slipped on that slope rushing to meet her and tore a toenail, leaving his shoe filled with blood.  A classic Adachi hero move, and yet more evidence that Touma and Otomi are ticketed to be the headline couple of the series.

I’m beginning to suspect that Mix may follow the pattern of some of Adachi’s more slice-of-life works, and focus on the relationships more and tragedy less.  In this story there’s already been considerable loss before we even met the cast, and that’s just what we know – there may be sadness attached to the main cast of Touch and their role in this series (Tatsu and Minami remain the elephants in the room as far as Mix is concerned).  I was worried for Souchirou and still am, a little – but it may just be possible that the cast of Mix may escape Death’s grim touch (pun intended).

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  1. B

    I can't imagine anything happening to Souichirou right now, at least. Given Haruka's "introduction", it'd feel really random to have him taken out of the picture so soon.

    That said, one can never be sure with Adachi, haha. Also, gotta say I am incredibly curious and maybe even a bit anxious for any sort of clue regarding Tatsuya and Minami. I thought it was great that Adachi didn't make anything so obvious from the start as having their kid(s) be the main character(s), but I must confess I'm a bit wary of this whole silence about those two.

    I mean, we've had Nishimura popping up, and he saw Touma pitching, which in a way is very reminiscent of Tatsuya, who was also very focused on fastballs and nothing else. If he /wanted/, I'm sure he could have added some small comment about Tacchan there, because I don't buy Nishimura forgetting such a big rivalry, given his personality and all. And yet… we got nothing.

    For how talented Tatsuya was, even winning the Koushien and all that, a mere reference to his name in that Koushien plate is definitely not enough so far, haha.

  2. l

    We'll probably get to know something about Tatsuya and Minami later when both Sou-chan and Tou-chan are in Meisei high school proper as schools tend to have some information on its past students who have excelled for the school. For Tatsuya, it was being the lead pitcher that took them all the way to win Koushien. For Minami, it would be their top rhythmic gymnast who went close to become a Japanese representative.

    If the movies are canon, Tatsuya and Minami are likely to be living in the US as Tatsuya left Japan to play pro baseball in America (refer Touch: Crossroad).

  3. B

    I'm fairly certain the movie(s) didn't have Adachi's involvement in the plot, and to be fair, I somewhat wish that's the case because I remember not really enjoying those movies. The series' ending was so perfect, and the movie kinda felt a bit cheap trying to come up with yet more drama such little time after it.

    Still, even if they do find out about their exploits, I'm not sure how much information will come at that time. It does seem like he's trying to keep it very vague on purpose, and seeing everyone's… uninterest, to put it that way, with the current Meisei, maybe only someone close to the events of 26 years ago would be able to shed some light about it.

    But boy, I'm curious, lol. Minami and Tatsuya are probably one of my favourite couples, so I reaaaaaaally hope everything turned out for the best. As odd as it may seem, at the current stage of MIX, I'd say it'd be a bigger blow to reveal something happened to either Tatsuya or Minami than something happening to anyone from the 'curren't cast. For me, at least!

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