Friday, June 7, 2013

Not a SPORTS ANIME (Cross Game Anime Review)

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Cross Game 

This is an entry from
I'll try my best not to spoil the story. This is my first review at MAL after my long anime hiatus.

Anyway, the reason why I watched this anime was because of Ookiku Furikabute, another baseball anime. Cross Game is on top of its recommendation list that is why I got curious and started to watch it. Ookiku was so great and very recommendable. It's a great example of a sports anime that is why I expected a lot from Cross Game, hoping this new one is as superb as the former. But now that I'm close to finishing it, I can say that it's totally a different anime than I expected.

If you're a hardcore sports anime fan or the kind who looks forward to seeing thrilling and exciting sports action, you might not enjoy this one. Cross Game, as for me, is 30% baseball, 70% human drama. The story includes a "past character" whose presence is all over the show, which appeared to me like the effect of Sasuke to Naruto (character and show itself). It is heavy in human drama which I think most fan girls will love. When I say human drama, that's romance for you. Well, I kind of liked it too but for a sports anime to be overshadowed by another element called romance is a bit off. Maybe because this is something new for me as I'm always used to seeing the sports and action to be the main ingredients of the show. I also feel that the two elements are kind of frustrating to watch because it's not clear to me the focus of the story. You will be presented with episodes of baseball actions then after that, a series of slice of life dramas. I mean, if you want to reach Koshien and be the best in Japan, practice, practice and practice 'till you vomit blood and not let your idle time be spent in endless bickering. Well, maybe the bickering and LQs are there because it's more human drama than sports after all. Because of that I felt that the baseball element is not so important to the show, the "who's-gonna-end-up-with" part appeared to be more essential.

As per the characters, the hero is not your underdog type of character ( Ippo, Sena, Mihashi) nor the arrogant one (Sakuragi, Ryoma and Toua). Hmmm..a very average yet the type who only comes once in a decade kind of pitcher, he is. So if you're also the type who wants to see an awesome and cool main character, don't try this one. Yes, I think he's great but not that "great" (in the fanboy kind of way). I think he doesn't have that 100% sports resolve that you normally hear from other sports heroes. I mean, he doesn't wish to be a great baseball player, his goal is not that clear. For another character there's Aoba, the next main lead, a cute girl who mentored the hero. She is part of the love train. Anyways, I like her free spirited character but I'm annoyed by the responses she gets from the male characters of the show. Hmmm.. is she really that pretty/cute? The baseball team is crazy for her. As for the rest of the cast, hmmm...they are likable in the fangirl kind of way. If you're up for the thrills, there's no SUUPEER sports player you can totally cheer for (well, as for me anyway).

Overall, Cross Game is a decent anime. I think it's still better than the popular titles these days. It's not boring but will not excite you either. Well, there are cute moments that can make you smile and the question of "who's-gonna-end-up-with" is enough for you to continue watching the series. But still, A TRUE SPORTS ANIME FAN (or even a shounen-action fan, can that include me?) will not fully enjoy this. Nevertheless, it doesn't hurt to try this one.

After watching the LAST EPISODE, I can say that this is truly a FANGIRL SERIES. It is barely a sports anime. I enjoyed the last part, because it’s really cute. But then again, the “baseball” is really the side dish. Don’t hope for it to be the next ____ (write your fave sports anime here), or else you’ll be disappointed. Watch Cross Game as a human drama anime and not as a sports anime.

Till then,

From someone-who's-frustrated-of-the-anime,
ME ^-^