“You Should be Nice/She’s in Class, Right?”
No, I haven’t forgotten about Mix, though it seems like years (it’s actually six months almost to the day) since my last post. In fact I missed the fact that a couple of chapters were released in September – an occupational hazard when covering series that are sporadically updated.
Infrequently updated or not, Mix continues to get more popular in Japan, and an anime adaptation seems very likely sooner or later. It’s a bit of a nostalgia boom at the moment with Mitsuda Takuya following Adachi-sensei in returning to his roots with Major 2nd, another popular manga getting very erratic releases in translated form. That’s another series I’d consider blogging if we were getting chapters more regularly (I quite like it so far) but one of those is frustrating enough – I’m not signing on for any more.
It having been half a year, I once again had to reread the last releases to remember where we were in the story. It’s definitely baseball mode in Mix now, with the first five innings of the Meisei-Kenjou game taking up the entirety of both chapters. There’s a strong sense of deja vu with Mix, and not just because the faces are so familiar even Adachi was unable to tell them apart in a lineup – we have a loveable and precocious first-year protagonist shocking a favored opponent, but having trouble with the one member of that team that’s on his talent level.
In effect this game is a two-on-two battle – besides Touma-kun and Akai, only Souma and the Kenjou sidearm lefty pitcher really matter. There are a few singles sprayed here and there by others, but it’s only the brothers who do any damage for Meisei – Touma homers in his second at-bat – and only Akai who dents Touma’s pitching (he doubles, then hits a two-run homer). Like his Adachi predecessors, Touma has the flaw of being unwilling to work around the other team’s best hitter – he relishes the showdown too much – and like them, he pays a price for it. If form holds true, I would suppose Kenjou will win this game and give Meisei a chip on their shoulder to carry for the next two years.
If there’s’s a flaw here, it’s that this is pretty familiar stuff, as entertaining as it is. I think Mix will distinguish itself from its predecessors more when the specifics of the premise are finally revealed, but for now the appeal is mostly the comfortable way the action fits like an old shoe. And there’s always the trademark Adachi self-referential humor – like the dig at his editor (“Besides breaking the scale?”) and the line about a commotion being cause by a “famous mangaka and a crowd of onlookers following him”.