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H2
by Invincible on January 1st, 2007, 10:55pm

Rating - 8.8 / 10.0

User rating of this review - 4 out of 5
Story/Plot - 5 out of 5
Characters - 5 out of 5
Drawing Style - 3 out of 5
Enjoyment - 4 out of 5
Overall - 5 out of 5

Click here for series information

Plot/Story
H2 tells the story of four main characters, Hideo, Hiro, Haruka, and Hikari and their love square. Hikari and Hiro are long time childhood friends, their parents refer to them as siblings. In middle school, Hiro introduces Hideo and Hikari and they begin a relationship that has lasted through all of that time to high school. Haruka meets Hiro when he enters high school. Hideo and Hiro were both baseball stars on the premier middle school team, but at the end of middle school, Hiro (the star pitcher) and his catcher, Noda, are both falsely diagnosed with career ending injuries. Because of this, they both decide to go to the only school without a baseball team. Soon enough they find that they are in fact fine and begin their journey to the Koushien. The beauty to this story is the rivalry between best friends Hideo and Hiro as they both find great success in their High School baseball careers and battle for the love of the women around them.

Characters
Hiro, Haruka, Hideo, and Hikari are all very well developed characters, you find yourself attached to all of them trying to find the best life for each. Because of this, it is a very great manga since they are all conflicting with each other over who they end up with. It lasts until the very last chapter and even then you have your doubts. Adachi does his magic as always writing his characters to a perfection with internal conflicts, doubts, and mistakes. These all lead to a very familiar and close to home feel as we can all find something to relate to the characters in their lives. Because of this, you wish for the best in them and become very attached to them. This is why I so enjoy Adachi's work, his characters are beautiful things, people, not just a stereotype or a character, but real people you can almost find somewhere out there.

Drawing Style
Adachi has always had a sort of old school feel to his characters with a sort of cartoonish feel to them, he strips away all that detail that can give a certain impression of a character and all that is left is distinguishing characteristics and emotions. The drawing style itself is not hard to get used to. It is very uniform, you see all that is meant to be seen and fill in the gaps with what you think it will ultimately look like. It leaves a lot of room for interpretation and yet speaks words of the activities at the same time.

Enjoyment
It is a very enjoyable manga, long enough to keep you busy and yet it goes fast. Adachi chapters are short on words because so much is spoken with just expressions and scenes. He goes through the story with a very broad approach with very little being fortold. You cannot assume anything will happen throughout most of the story because he doesn't seem to have his mind made up as he writes it. Some of the baseball scenes are a bit long winded but they always seem to find ways to draw the regular story into it. If you are not a baseball fan, i still recommend this, there is little talk about baseball and the scenes with it are simple and easy to enjoy. The dynamics between the characters are simple in a real life sense and yet still have some of the complexity you would expect in your life.

Overall
It is a very enjoyable manga, one of Adachi's longest and most complete. Coming to the end I keep wishing I had never read it because I feel so bad to see it come to an end, yet I still enjoy every minute of having read it. It is a truly beautiful expression of the lives of these characters as they go through high school and experience all the things there is in life. In the end, it is very simply a manga about the relationships of these four characters and how they revolve around baseball and each other.
 
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Nicely summed up by Sosseres on January 12th, 2007, 8:48pm Rating: 4

I think the review in itself takes up almost everything of relevance concerning the manga. A small comparison to his other works or to some other mangaka to get a better feel of the art/style might have been nice.

The reason I withhold one point is paragraphs. You have very long paragraphs for a this compact text, splitting some of the different sub headings into smaller parts might have been a nice idea.
 
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