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Kunimi Hiro and his best friend Hideo were baseball wonders... Until Hiro found out his arm was permanently damaged, rendering him unable to play anymore. A frustrated Hiro goes through the trouble of specifically finding a high school with no baseball team... Only to later on find out the doctor who examined him was a quack and his arm is perfectly fine. Hiro is quick to reinstate his dream: Creating a baseball team for his school and getting to face off against Hideo in the Koshien... The number one premier league for high school baseball.
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H2 is simply an epic series by Adachi. What I generally like about Adachi sport manga's (except katsu) is that the MC is already skilled and experienced but still improves gradually unlike most shounen sport manga's.
The 2 factors that make this series stand out among other Adachi series are: A larger more defined cast. Most of Adachi's baseball manga depict only a few team players that actually have distinct personalities and abilities. H2 has a lot more. This results in a Well defined cast and adds more authenticity to this story. The second factor is the complicated love square between the characters especially the rich history between Hiro, Hideo and Hikari all leading to unpredictability as to how things will add up. The other thing I like about the manga is that the baseball team itself is probably the best team in an Adachi baseball manga. They have the best speed and athleticism in the series and also manage to win a title.
My personal ranking of Adachi Manga: H2 10 Miyuki 9 Touch 8.5 Cross Game 7.5 Rough 7.5 Nine 8 Hiatari Ryoukou 7 Itsumo Misora 5 Q & A 5.5 Nijiiro Togarashi 7 Katsu 5
... Last updated on March 19th, 2015, 8:09am
all is the best except ending
this manga was simply one of the best of adaichi, but not for ending cross game have more good ending feel bad for hiro and koga hiro love hikari so much (altough he love koga a little too), and koga love hiro so much hikari was uncertainly with her feeling along manga (she date with hideo but she was not comfortable when kiss hideo(hiro arond them) i was hope hikari and hiro will end up to be together or hiro will express that he love koga more and be together it so painful for me to see hiro sacrifice himself to make hideo and hikari was known how deep they feel each other, to let hikari together with hideo
... Last updated on November 11th, 2014, 8:36pm
2 Heroes, 2 Heroines, all at once
At first, I thought this was going to be Adachi's weakest large baseball manga work. How can you top Cross game, not even touch did. Plus it didn't have a huge hook like the the others. Well I'm basically just setting it up to say I was wrong.
Without a hook this ends up being a story of four people, all equally good. The title is explained as two heroes, though it also has two heroines. Though one girl is more of a heroine after awhile, and even a side girl gets more pages and story. Overall it's like a more subtle(mature because the author has matured) version of Touch, that doesn't rely on death.
I really can't overstate how that impacts what a good read it is, the fact that both guys are there from the beginning, and both are people you can like. The girls at first are also equal but one seemingly doesn't get as much written about.
Still, I don't really like the ending. It seemed like it was going in an interesting, unexpected direction but then it just ends up where we already were the entire time. The main character never really fights for one of the girls. How is a baseball game going to resolve anything. It doesn't change the fact that she does have growing feelings. I didn't mind at first, but it grows and grows as the story goes on, so it gets irritating.
Another thing about the ending is that it's classic Adachi, he doesn't save time for it or bother with it. So after spending volumes on baseball, he can't spend anything more than a couple of panels with the characters talking about where they are and going with the aftermath. Not since his early, less than ten volumes works, have things been left so unresolved(think Hiatari Ryoukou).
Poor ending, overrated in general
The ending largley ruined it, and not because it was a "subtle masterpiece" but because it felt, and arguably was, simply lazy. Adachi uses similar ending so often that he feels not so much an artistic choice but a cheap cop out because he is incapable of writing a satisfying ending. Though usually they arent quite as bad as H2 which doesnt so much end as simply stop, I'm also leery of how much "artistic" merit there is in deliberately misleading the reader. Emotional manipulation isnt clever (thought people often mistakenly think it is) its cheap.
I also find it amusing that the "defence force" here in the comments are continuously trying to paint those who dislike the ending as idiots who failed to grasp its "brilliance". H2 is neither Shakespeare nor rocket science, I suspect the majority of people who dislike the ending understand it just as well as those who like it, they just happen to have a different opinion of it.
Just finished rereading this...
...Because I wanted to find out which Adachi work is the best: this or Cross Game. 51 volumes and more than half a year later, I finally have the answer.
H2 is definitely Adachi at his best.
Not to take away anything from Cross Game; it, too, is great, not to mention that it also has arguably the most memorable confession scenes I have ever come across in manga (IMHO, but if you know manga with equally or even more awesome confessions, suggestions are welcome. Especially if they're shounen or seinen).
But H2 is just on a different level. Amazing is Adachi's subtlety in this one that - unfortunately - if you don't get it, you'll definitely hate it. And deciphering his subtleties is really rewarding, especially on the second read. So yeah, reading Adachi requires a bit more analysis than your typical fare, and that's what makes him so great.
Probably another thing going for H2 is it's length (it's fricking double that of Cross Game). Not only does this mean more Adachi subtle storytelling, but we also get more exciting games that are really fleshed out. Adachi may not be a technical baseball mangaka, but he knows how to make the most of the tension in the games. And that kept me reading even more. Although I have to say the final game between Senkawa and Meisei felt a bit lacking in execution outside of Hideo's at-bats; I felt the first official Senkawa-Eikyo game was more thrilling (as well as Cross Game's Seishu-Ryuo in the end, though looking back at it I feel that it was unnecessarily drawn out for Koh's at-bat, but that is a story for another time).
So in summary: Adachi is a freaking great storyteller and H2 is - for me at least - his best to date. Might add more to this comment in the future when I get to organize my thoughts better.
I agreee with Udders (except for last line ;p)
Btw, about Hikari crying......
Guys, tell me when will ya be in awe: "A guy u aren't expecting to win (Hiro): wins or The person whom u cant think can lose (Hideo): wins?"
and Ofcourse she loved him (tender love for best childhood friend), so her eyes gave in for him.
Only time she cried for Hideo was when He lost! (those last tears were for him! not for Hiro)....
Welll and all other thing is Adachi's great story-telling and your own views.
Not for the shallow-minded
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
I'm guessing the reason why H2 is rated lower than Cross Game is because 90% of manga readers are mindless idiots who are only satisfied with good art and sappy, childish plots. Unfortunately for them, this story is very subtle, and it takes some deep reading (or rereading) to truly understand what the author's trying to tell you
As for the people who insist that "the ending sucks and is incomplete", ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Seriously, who cares about the results of the championship. It was obvious from the start that the only real contenders were Meiwa and Senkawa. And if Hiro did lose the next game, it's not like it would've mattered. Maybe for the members of the team who hadn't won a Koshien yet, yes, but everything important to Hiro was settled through his showdown with Hideo: his giving up of Hikari, the mending of his best friend's love life, his future plans (joining the MLB, Haruka)
As far as Hikari/Hiro goes, I too found myself second-guessing the aftermath of their relationship. To me, it would've totally made sense if Hiro decided to be an jerk and steal the girl he loved, or if Hideo ended up distancing himself from Hikari because of his pride, despite all the hints that pointed towards the real outcome. The fact that Adachi could leave his readers in the dark for 300-some chapters and then perform a satisfying/unpredictable(?) ending in the last few is fucking brilliant.
In short, H2: not for people looking for a cheesy, comforting story Also the best of Adachi's works BY FAR. Cross Game doesn't even come close =\
... Last updated on August 9th, 2011, 1:44am
A Perfect Masterpiece
To me, this is definitely the masterpiece of the great Mitsuru Adachi. I've read it over countless times and as many have pointed out, there's always something new to discover.
To me, the debatable ending is perfect because Hiro sacrifices himself in order to open up the eyes of Hideo and Hikari through the last ball that he threw in that semi-final match. As he loves Hikari, he gave his best to bring about what was missing in both Hideo and Hikari, for Hikari's happiness. However, the honey was already beside the bitter cake because Haruka was already waiting all along for Hiro and when Hiro's heart lost a significant piece, Haruka was ready to heal it. And so, the perfect H2 relationship.
What happens in that last ball is something that can only be understood after reading it over and over again (at least for me). As Hideo's straightforward honesty was tested, the fact that he wavered and missed meant that deep within, aside from all his other characters and loyalty to Hiro and Hikari, he couldn't take losing Hikari; something that Hideo only realizes himself when he swings his bat and misses... Meanwhile, Hikari has never seen and believed she would not see Hideo losing; something which she has seen in Hiro. It was only when Hideo finally loses, that the final piece missing between her and Hideo was sown. Something that Hiro had and Hideo didn't, was given up in that last ball. When the final ball was thrown, two pairs of eyes were opened, and one was closed in tears.
Adachi sieves emotions slowly and deeply so much so that I felt Hiro's pain as if my own. The loss amidst the friendship with Hideo and more-than-friends Hikari is not something that anyone can just take in easily. And that's where Koga comes in. Her patience and willingness to care for Hiro even though she knows Hiro's ongoing relationship with Hikari is the pillar that Hiro can lean on as he gives up a big piece of his heart.
And so, H2: Hiro Hikari was replaced with Hideo Hikari and Hiro Haruka... The heart-piercing, yet perfect ending to the series.
... Last updated on March 29th, 2011, 2:54am
Amazing - Give it a try.
I'm on my fourth (or maybe fifth?) reading of H2 and I'm still catching new things here and there. Adachi MItsuru's works seem to be a hit or miss based on the comments I see around here.I love almost all of his works that I've read, and H2 is my absolute fave, hands down. It's a beautiful story about love and friendship.
His endings usually seem open and incomplete, but if you read carefully, you can spot the main point woven throughout the story. Pay careful attention to the background, scenery, dialogue, and side stories because EVERYTHING adds up in the end. Even from the very first chapter. It's hard to catch on the first reading, so I highly recommend rereading several times. Adachi Mitsuru is a master at this. I also recommend checking out some of the reviews here if you don't quite get it, because they definitely help.
Spoiler (highlight to view)
Personally, I'm highly upset that Hiro didn't end up with Hikari. I know, from the beginning, Adachi Mitsuru never intended them to end up together. Hiro grew up too late, as he mentioned over and over again. Yet, still, there was/is this major part of me that still wishes they could be together! There's just so much love and understanding between them that you just can't not want them to be together. In one of the later chapters, Hiro mentions that the reason Hikari will never choose him even if she wasn't with Hideo is because she loves him (Hiro). And Hideo agreed that it made sense, even if it sounded weird. I think that sentence pretty much defined the Hikari-Hiro relationship. Such a shame, really ): I didn't particularly like Koga's character, either. There was a lot missing from her character development, and the whole time I get the sense that she was just used as a plot device and back-up for Hiro so it doesn't seem like he ended up with nothing in the end...
... Last updated on March 13th, 2011, 1:45pm
stupid ending scene
damn, was waiting for the
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ending scene and it was a f***ing
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paper airplane scene and "yeah, you PROBABLY are."
adachi is wicked, im not going to read any of his works again. -1
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anyway, at least the
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option is explained in the comments. Readers like me just can't read to deep.