I’ve hinted at it somewhere before that I haven’t really watched the new Adachi adaptation in what can be perceived as the correct way. While the first episode of the series was probably in the top 2 or 3 episodes of the spring, I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I did the actual baseball.I began watching this at about the time it aired, with no sort of opinion on Adachi’s style going in. Despite Touch being the most well known of Adachi’s works, my only exposure to him in anime form was a few episodes of Miyuki. As far as I can tell, the character designs have barely changed since 1983.
Anyway, after a fine first episode from a neutral’s point of view. Characters developed as Kou prepared for high school. Then, the acting principle spent a bunch of money on a coach and brought in a bunch of recruits to try to get to Koshien (and had them inexplicably lifting in a weight room wearing full baseball uniforms). These episodes seemed to just be a simple way of passing time for me. Maybe I was even on the verge of dropping it.
Then came time for the first game between the prefab team and the official (if you can call it that) team. Three episodes covering one game of baseball would be the best way to describe it. The only character development was really only being baseball related, but I enjoyed it more than I had the first episode. The question is why?
Perhaps it was because it allowed me to ask absurd unanswerable questions like, “What is Azuma’s OPS in the series thus far? 2.800?” or “How bad was the top of the order as to have Aoba hit leadoff in episode 16?” Unlike something like Major, which looked like it was way too serious, at least with this series I can have a little fun with it.
It also explains why I can enjoy Taishou Yakyuu Musume more than what is likely the general opinion of it. I’m starting to think of it more as light-hearted escapism than actual quality.
In the end, it appears that my taste in baseball fiction is more Major League than Field of Dreams…Until Azuma channels Roy Hobbs at least.