With a look of intense focus, and the control of a precision-based machine, the pitcher eyes the figure facing him from across the diamond. The eyes across send a look, an equally piercing gaze as if the moment at hand was the potential last. Like a razor across the open field while the roaring crowd suddenly vanishes into liquid translucence. With bases loaded and two strikes, this is no longer about winning.
As another season comes to a close this last week, and the diamond is scorched with the hopes and dreams of another generation of players, I must openly admit that it’s been years since I actually watched a baseball game (live, or on the tv). Coming from a background of kids either playing soccer or baseball, it can be said that the game’s a part of my DNA whether I like it or not. And that feeling has slowly been aching back into view as this year’s Cross Game has given me flashbacks of almost feverish proportion. It seems to be something in the way that Mitsuru Adachi’s characters grab readers and viewers mutually that keeps us coming back to the ballpark. Perhaps it is in hopes of illuminating those dreams for another go-round? It’s been a rough and tumble year to be honest, and with a need to look toward more realistic heroes riding higher than ever, it’s very likely no coincidence that my marathoning of Cross Game led me into my first re-watch-a-thon of the 80s sports classic, TOUCH in well over a decade. And this time with a newbie like my roomie in tow, this along with Cross Game’s heartfelt, delicate storyline has given me some true hope for the future of the anime pastime.