This was pretty much Adachi at his most shameless. No, I took no liberties with the chapter title – that’s it, complete with the little heart. He starts with a reflection on windy days and uplifted skirts, and ends with “In this country, from times past, though there are manuscripts that are never ready…” I don’t know if in fact this chapter was late in its original publication (it’s been a while since we’ve had one translated) but it would be classic Adachi to make light of it that way if it had been.
As for the chapter itself, there was a fair amount of seemingly low-key time wasting, but there seem to have been a couple of important developments. First off we have Nan-chan, the gokiburi-phobic slugger who followed the deadbeat coach from Kyuushu, showing up at the Tachibana residence after having been told by Ooyama that he’d be fed there. There are a lot of hints of some major event in the past – Nan-chan says quite clearly that Ooyama “saved his life” and there’s a lot of hilarious poetic musing (ignored by Touma and Otomi) on how it happened on a rainy day just like this one. It’s also revealed that Nan-chan’s family is in Saitama, which has me wondering if Ooyama is scheming to have him live at the Tachibana house.
The other seemingly significant development is the introduction of Mita Hiroki, a legendary pitcher from Toushuu High, who’s being interviewed in the same family restaurant where Souichirou and his harem de jour have taken shelter from the storm. He seems most likely to fall into the “respected rival” category, as (in contract to his annoying little sister, Otomi’s classmate) he seems quite grounded and has even seen the Tachibana Brothers in action. That sister is yet another potential pairing for Souichirou, though (assuming he isn’t Adachi’s ritual sacrifice) I still give Ooyama’s daughter Haruka the inside track there.
Adachi is still very much in the developmental stage here – he’s busily adding more riddles and doesn’t seem keen on getting down to answering any of them anytime soon. If he were releasing Mix weekly we’d be on about 35 chapters by now, so it’s still early – Tou and Sou have just started high school – but the nature of a monthly manga is different than a weekly one, and I wonder if he might start to show a few of his cards in the upcoming gaggle of chapters.