Well first off I will apologize as it has been a while. But I just managed to get through a 2-day complete marathon of the Cross Game anime. A quick wiki summary of the series,

“Cross Game is the story of Ko Kitamura and the four neighboring Tsukishima sisters, Ichiyo,
Wakaba, Aoba, and Momiji. Wakaba and Ko were born on the same day in the same hospital and are
close enough that Wakaba treats Ko as her boyfriend, though nothing is officially declared,[7]
while Aoba, one year younger than them, hates how Ko is “taking” her sister away from her. After
Wakaba dies, Ko and Aoba slowly grow closer as they strive to fulfill Wakaba’s final dream of
seeing them play in the high school baseball championship in Koshien Stadium.”

Now let me start off this “review” by saying that I am no means a baseball fan (or wasn’t one before watching this series) and am not really into physical sports at all.

Cross Game was one of those “wild card” series that I had heard aboout for awhile, but was honestly put off by the art. Competing with shows like Guilty Crown or Fate / Zero makes it hard for a series with such a 1970s style to appeal to me, but on a Sunday night I decided I would start watching, and with few obligational exceptions, I didn’t stop until it was done. Anime is an enjoyable media to me, but I’ve come to realize that I don’t really “dislike” that many series. So I’ve come to terms that only series I can marathon through without “forcing” myself are my absolute favorites and are gems for anyone. (Quite possibly these series are the best series that anime has to offer)

Fortunately, cross game is one of them. The baseball series appealed to me because of the love story that it hinted at on the cover. But let me tell you that it intertwines with the baseball of the story so well that it feels completely natural. Kou is a laid back protagonist that I feel was only able to do amazing things because so many people believed in him, mainly due to the influence of his first love, Wakaba.

Since the death of Whitebeard in One Piece, that I watched a few months ago I haven’t cried in an anime. But Wakaba’s death, though expected, made me shed a tear. Throughout the 50 episode series I felt a connected to Kou as we watched him, and the people around, cope with and move on after Wakaba’s death. One particular thing I really enjoyed was how her death was used to strength the characters and keep them connected toward a single goal, going to Koshien Stadium. Sounds a bit chummy, but one of the things I really dislike about series that focus on a main girl dying (Anohana etc) is how the girl’s death is used as a weakness and keeps the characters frozen in time.

Kou’s words that he spoke in his lost state, after realizing Wakaba was dead, “What should I do now?” really struck a cord with me. If the one person who believed you could do anything, be anything, passed away, how would you cope? I’m not sure I have someone like that anymore, but I’m sure I would be devastated and lost. After-all, my clock seemed to have stopped years ago too.

All in all, Cross Game definitely makes its impression on me as one of the greatest anime of our time. Definitely for anyone and everyone, even if you don’t like baseball or the artstyle. Who knows, this anime may make you appreciate baseball much more than you ever thought you could.

5/5

P.S. Music wise, I loved the OP and ED songs of the series and they have both become staples in my playlist.

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