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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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Spoiler (highlight to view)
... the end just seems vague, but if you read between the lines, the whole storie shows that Hiro moved on his first crush, and is playing the villain to his best friends benefit (Hideo and Hikari). It got clear that he has moved on when he tells Koga 'I love you', don't you think? And further, that she (Koga) has to live a long life, and become a stewardess, and so on... Its a very good read with lots of fun between action and a tiny drama. I found this to be better than other baseball manga of the author.
I just woke up one morning and understood Adachi's brilliance. Since everyone is throwing their points on the story, here I go. Special thanks to Tensai's review.
I think what confused me the most at first was why Hikari kept crying in front of Hiro. Especially that lip service chapter. But, then it hit my like a freight train. She realized all along what Hiro was trying to do, and her own feelings about Hideo (That she loves Hideo). So, she's just acknowledging Hiro, and letting him know at that moment she "understands". But, I think the whole date with Hiro already pointed out that Hikari too, knew her feelings when she said "goodbye," I'm pretty sure it was "Sayonara."
And of course the "divine" wind. Hiro and Hikari loved "mom" so much and that's why Hiro was in tears. Because he knew along with Hikari, that their mom was watching over them, so that Hiro could accomplish his mission. Both loved her so much as shown through the constant flashbacks and Hiro deciding to accomplish her final wishes. (Go back and reread the whole scene where Hiro is on the stairs looking at the doodle he drew.) **tears** At this point, it also cemented the relationship between Hiro and Koga, because I believe Hiro realized he wants to be a pro. That's why throughout the final chapters he tells Koga things like live long and become a stewardess. Everything thanks to Hikari's mom.
For some that are wondering...there was never a real love triangle to begin with. Hiro openly speaks about his crush with Hikari and doesn't deny it. But he's trying to show that he's moving on. And for once, Adachi makes it blatant with the relationship between Hiro and Koga. Come on he actually said he loves her. After the scene where he receives "lip service" he brings food back for Koga. Just these little things, show that Hiro is serious about Koga. And the last scene...well that speaks for itself.
I still have to read Rough. I made the mistake of reading H2 first, which was published after Rough. I really dislike Hideo, and the character of Rough has the look of Hideo. Or rather it should be the other way around xD.
Anyways I learned my lesson and hope you guys do to, Really gotta pay attention when reading Adachi.
... Last updated on June 28th, 2010, 9:34am
Truly an amazing author. Like a perfect painting, everything, from start to finish, comes together and becomes one.
Spoiler (highlight to view)
The winner and who Hikari would end up with was very important. Throughout the whole manga, from the characters' personalities to the flashbacks to what Hiro and Hikari repeatedly said defined the ending. For Hideo to end up with Hikari, he had to lose rather than win as it would normally be expected.
To understand the ending, simply remember the relationships between these characters (Hiro, Hikari, Hideo, and don't forget Haruka) and everything else in between from start to finish and the ending should make sense. It's because everything is there, not just in one place, but throughout the manga.
The pairings at the end isn't really ambiguous either.
Hiro x Haruka Hideo x Hikari
Ambiguous but Amazing Ending
I just finished reading H2 the manga. I have to say that I was confused at the abrupt ending. But after reading Tensai_sakuragi's comment (he's really a tensai), it cleared things up so much (not all, but it helps a lot) and once it does, that when I realised why this series is so good. There is so much subtleties that adds up together at the end, that's what make Adachi such a great mangaka. He definitely fooled me into thinking who should win.
Amazing ending. Author left hints to deduce what happened, but open enough to let our imagination complete it. It was a very very satisfying closure. Like when you just finished putting together a puzzle of your favorite painting.
Spoiler (highlight to view)
Although I wish I could see Hiro hold Koga's hand one more time. I'll have to do it in with my imagination. Maybe that's why it's so good, cos I get to envision the way that Hiro express his love to Koga with his little actions and luckily, Koga gets them.
The ending was so deep, and that is why some people don't like it. It is not obvious and it takes a lot of reflection to comprehend. in fact, I wonder if the anime's ending is the same? I don't think the kids are going to get it. They certainly did a poor job in the TV series that I watched some years ago, and that's why I didn't read the manga until recently. Don't waste time on the TV series.
in sum, it was addictive, well developped, thrilling, funny and complete.
... Last updated on November 27th, 2009, 9:22pm
Adachi strikes again with another ambiguous ending.
Most of his manga endings are usually ambiguous, and as a fan of Adachi's works, I wouldn't have it any other way. His method of subtly leaving hints along the way as the story climaxes to the ending is one of the major attractions for me to read manga initially, and I believe that this is one manga most serious manga readers will definitely enjoy, where subtlety, syntax and context in the story rule the day.
The subtle hints dropped along the way as to the feeling of the characters towards each other, while highlighting the bickering and arguments of the character, and the character's motivation towards achieving their goals in love and life, and the inner conflict, which are not explicitly stated, are the main draw for me in reading this manga.
The orderly progress which the story is written or drawn out is also interesting, as the romance portion of the story parallels with the characters progress in their sport career, and the Adachi's success in using the sports portion to introduce conflict (subtly at first) in the romance portion is superbly done and distinguishes it from the bread-and-butter romance plot lines we've come to identify a mile away from the obvious character progression.
As this manga has ended, I am left with a feeling of accomplishment that I have managed to read a (quite) long running manga to it's end.
... Last updated on October 17th, 2009, 9:49pm
Highly Misunderstood Ending. It DOES actually focus on Hiro
Just for clarification, Adachi Mitsuru is a writer who uses subtle dialogue to explain the context of the situation; this allows slightly open interpretations as to the specifics of the casts' thoughts. This means his stories (and specifically the H2 ending) are not spelt out or blatantly obvious, which often gives the reader a little leeway as to how they want to interpret what happens next.
The ending, contrary to popular belief, actually focuses on Hiro finding the will to
Spoiler (highlight to view)
let go of his first crush, Hikari, and help patch some of the holes between her and Hideo's relationship.
I highly recommend reading Tensai_Sakuragi's quoted spoiler explanation (which was extremely well done by the way) cuz this manga honestly had one of the most dramatic endings.
Though there was one thing with Tensai_Sakuragi's break down i don't completely agree with.
Spoiler (highlight to view)
When Hiro says "That's it Hideo. Don't forget. It's that idiotic, unwavering sence of honesty... that Amamiya Hikari fell in love with", i don't think he was referring to himself (his mission), but rather to how he wanted Hideo to act and what he wanted him to learn from all this. When he threw his final pitch to Hideo, Hideo second guessed himself and instead of hitting for a fastball, attempted to hit a slider resulting in a strike. After the game, Noda then comes up to Hiro and tells his " That was the slider sign", which Hiro responds to with " It didn't slide", but then wonders " And why didn't you move your mitt then" and Noda responds with "Because, I felt like it wouldn't slide". This all hints to how Hiro decided to ignore his earlier request to Noda, which was that he'd let Noda call all the pitches in the last inning, and decided to throw what Hideo was expecting (the fastball).
For those annoyed at the whole Hiro ending up alone thing, remember he DOES actually have feelings for Haruka.
Spoiler (highlight to view)
During that whole little ark with the judo team member who's family taught english, he saves her and then tells her "I love you" in english. Also during the Meiwa game, when Hiro heads back into the dugout, he strictly tells Haruka to become a stewardess (not asks, but TELLS); referring to her whole dream of becoming a stewardess and marrying a major league baseball player. This is again further confirmed when in the last chapter Hiro makes a paper airplane out of the newspaper article about his victory over Meiwa, featuring a picture of him pitching, and throws it out the window. Haruka then asks "where'd it fly to?" and Hiro responds "Just to the Big Leagues, for a bit" which she responds to with "Then, I'm the stewardess" and Hiro clinches it with "Yeah, you probably are". Again, subtlety and open ends allow the reader to imagine whatever they want; though i personally believe they ended up together.
If you were unsatisfied with the ending, you should consider rereading the last 10 chapters or so and think about the context when each character is speaking/thinking.
On a side note, Adachi Mitsuru is a really great writer, a little confusing at times, but great none the less. His comedy is witty, the story runs a lighthearted vibe, the characters have depth, and the drama is genuinely dramatic. He also often adds a serious undertone by killing-off notable characters in his stories which adds more meaning to the whole experience the casts undergoes. Maybe because he specializes in my favorite genre, school life comedy dramas with a bit of sports, that I'm so content after reading his works. I highly recommend reading this, and definitely Cross Game (which is currently my favorite out of his series) if you're into a good school life comedy. 9.8 for me just because Kunimi Hiro looks exactly the same as Kitamura Koh (Cross game), and it didn't stop bugging me till about half way through the series. I mean he coulda at least changed his hairstyle.
... Last updated on August 29th, 2009, 4:05am
Uh...I think you guys don´t QUITE get it...
Spoiler (highlight to view)
This is a fucking masterpiece. The baseball games, the humor, the fantastic interaction and romantic tension...Adachi is the man.
I´m kinda surprised to see that people don´t quite...uh...GET the ending of this manga, though. What´s all this bullshit about "right couple", "bad choice", "disappointing" ???
Did you people really read it? Did you really PAY ATTENTION to the details? Gosh. Go reread the last 20 chapters or so. DO IT.
Hiro didn´t plan to "steal" Hikari from Hideo from the beggining. It was the opposite: he was trying his best to make them UNDERSTAND each other.
Hideo and Hikari are similar: they´re TOO strong. In mind and spirit(as Hiro said once: "You´re a couple of strong-minded workaholics"). That was starting to HURT their relationship - Hideo was starting to become TOO proud("I want to be strong. Stronger than anyone"). To the point where he couldn´t be honest with his feelings, or even to the point where he would not want Hikari´s help whenever he was in pain(the whole "eyesight problem" plot. It was there for a reason, you know?).
Sooner or later, Hideo´s ego would hurt the relationship badly. Hiro knew this(as he said to Noda during the Senkawa x Meiwa last match: "Since it was his idea, he will give up if he loses...the idiot"), and then he made his best to prove to Hideo that HE WAS NOT THAT SPECIAL. That he was still a teenager, too. A person who can lose, commit mistakes(he didn´t trust Hiro in the end and swung to hit a slider...when that last pitch was, in fact, the fastball down the middle he was expecting for the whole game) and show his weaknesses to other people, hug his girlfriend when he´s feeling down.
It was an act of FRIENDSHIP. At the same time, he knew that Hikari would never be "complete" by his side. Her love for Hideo was not as small as she herself had thought at some point(and she also realizes that during the game). Hiro, however, tried all he could to make those two UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY FELT.
That´s also an act of love(YEAH, girls. Sorry if unselfish love also exists in this world. It´s not all about "punching your rival to steal the heart of the girl you love" or "grabbing her hand and snatching her away". Welcome to the real world. Mitsuru Adachi mangas are not as simple as 90% of shoujo manga out there, ya know... ^___^).
And it wasn´t easy for Hiro to do all that, damn it. He said it himself: he LOVES Hikari. Letting her go(and even HELPING her relationship work out) was painful. He even faltered in some scenes: when Hideo hit a homer off him, he considered being the loser - and he KNEW that Hikari would choose him if he lost. Hideo would not learn his lesson, then, and would not be able to show his weak side to Hikari.
But then, the miracle happened: the wind turned the homer into a foul ball(I know it was you, Hikari´s mom. ^_^)
What did Hiro say, then? Did he feel happy? Hell no. He said: "Fuck it all. You just HAVE to make me win, don´t you?"
See? In the end, he could not get away from his role. He HAD to beat Hideo and set him and Hikari together. That was his mission.
"Don´t forget, Hideo. This idiotic sense of justice...Hikari fell in love with it."
...if you guys couldn´t figure that out by reading the manga once, I really recommend you to read it all again. Or hey, don´t do that and keep saying "Oooh, but it was so horribly and sad that Hiro and Hikari didn´t end up together. This sucks..." ^__^000
If you want to understand things a little better, you can also reread the last chapter:
"I couldn´t believe myself.", Hideo says, showing weakness for the first time. "It´s always locked up. My place is in that part of you.", Hikari answers. She means that it´s because of that side of him that she just can´t leave him. That´s what trully makes she love him.
She continues: "So he was trying to keep the door open." Here, she is saying that Hiro stopped Hideo from getting too conceited, too proud, and stop being honest with his feelings.
"Did Hiro say that?", Hideo asks.
"No. She just struck you out, that´s all.", she answers.
...see what Hiro did there? ^__~
Then Hideo remembers that Hiro said: "Didn´t you know? I love Hikari". And THAT´S when he gets it. "I love her, that´s why I´m doing it. That´s why I´m setting you together".
Quite deep, isn´t it? Love this shit. That´s what I call a true love act. But I can see why people could get it all wrong by not paying attention when they read the manga...^^00
So, yep. One of the best mangas I´ve ever read.
Ah, and Ansatsu2478...if you think a 2-0 score is "one-sided" in a baseball game, you really have no idea what you´re talking about.
Granted, Meiwa x Senkawa was not nearly as intense as Meisei x Sumi Tech(Touch´s final game), but it was still quite badass(I mean, c´mon, INOUE, the nobody 3rdBaseman with a poorly drawn face, made a Fine Play! Hiro saying "I´m sorry" to him was fucking hilarious...).
Ass: Tensai_Sakuragi, Adachi Fan.
not sensei's best work imo
Spoiler (highlight to view)
I have had this series for ages but never get to finish it so I ended up re-read it for a few times until now and i am so disappointed. Being a faithful fan of Adachi sensei I have to say the ending was pretty depressing and confusing in a way. Not that I am rooting for the "seems like to be" FAVORITE COUPLE OF CHILDHOOD FRIEND. Oh no, I would despite this series if it ever ended up like. Throughout the series in my eyes Hikari is a selfish and un-reasonably popular heroin, she kept leading Hiro on the cut him off then on again and off and I am surprise that everyone seems to agree to every excuses of her unfaithful acts, and Hiro, I love him but what the hell is going on with his leading poor Koga on time and time again then turn his back to her to search for HIkari ??? ? Aren't they just a oh so selfish couple ??? ? I guess he was too close to Hikari and get that from her. I love every single characters of sensei's work but giving them this ending is simply cruel toward fans, and poor HIdeo and Koga being manipulated throughout the series, talk about fools in love. Anyway except for the length and hateful ending again my opinion only, i am still a big fan of sensei, me being here blabling about is proof. I HATE HIKARI!!!!!!!!! KOGA ... sniff sniff sniff
The ending is pretty bad and horribly executed. I don't see why the author didn't decide to alter Hiro's love life if the ending was going to be like that. It seemed as if the ending was extremely rushed, giving you little time to understand what was actually going on. His childhood friend seemed to be leading Hiro on throughout the entire story and near the end just decides to break off any chance between them. While, on the other hand, Hiro and the manager rarely have any intimate moments, and when they do, Hiro just plays it off, acting as if he isn't affected by her. There is no compensation whatsoever for Hiro and his love relationship at the end. It felt as if the main character was either Hikari or Hideo towards the end and the ending just proved it. In fact, I hated Hideo, Hikari and Hiro after the ending. Why create a challenge if the challenger is going to be in a win win situation either way, especially for a critical point of the story? Why invoke and convince readers of a love relationship between the main character and childhood friend if it isn't happening? Why even have a manager who likes the main character when Hiro doesn't even return her feelings and ignores her to pursue his childhood friend? Why have a shitty ending where ultimately, people who were only reading for the baseball aspect of it, would be moderately happy about? I read through the entire manga with the notion that it would all end well and happy despite how much of a douchebag Hiro was to Koga and many of the other little things that I disliked throughout the manga. In all honesty, if I knew the ending beforehand, I would not have read this.
8 at max
Hmm... Lots and lots of chapters. It could have been better or shorter. Then I'd buy it without any second thoughts or regret. It's good, but only if you have time to waste.