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Old 2009-08-28, 17:16   Link #801
joeboygo
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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Hmm... Categories and genres are more of a marketing concern, and perhaps one of the reasons Cross Game isn't as popular as it should be is because it defies easy classification: people aren't sure how to sell it, not just to others but also, for some, to themselves.

If you are among those that couldn't figure out exactly what to call Cross Game and can't sit pretty until you do, might I suggest a simple test: go to the manga and count frames. It's really simple. Count every frame devoted to the romance (i.e. any frame with both Kou & Aoba, or any romatic rival with Aoba, Kou with Waka, spoiler removed, or even by themselves addressing the other out of frame, etc.). Then count every frame devoted to baseball (and remember, Kou training with the dumbells, jogging, counts in this category). Then count the frames devoted to "slice of life"(whatever the heck that is; I suppose this is where you put the landscapes - they ARE the most detailed illustrations in the entire manga - but not landscapes of baseball stadiums, you know where those go). And do the same for every other genre you can think of (example: mecha:0, mystery/detective: 3... I think...see the one involving the stolen leotards, perhaps more if you include... those). There will be some overlap, so feel free to count the same frame twice or more. Then divide each by the aggregate number of frames in the entire chapter. By my own reckoning, more than 95% of the frames per chapter are devoted to romance, and just very slightly less to baseball.

I'm not being facetious here. The manga ka labors under strict deadlines, and has to budget time and effort to just those frames that are necessary for the story he wants to tell. And there's a hard limit on the number of pages in the weekly that his manga can occupy. A master like Adachi san will not waste precious ink or space on the page on a frame that doesn't do anything for his story. Hence counting frames is a fairly accurate method of figuring out the kind of story he wants to tell.

Last edited by monir; 2009-09-04 at 22:57. Reason: removed spoilers
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Old 2009-08-28, 17:25   Link #802
Proto
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Kind of agree with you, (though I still think it;'s a big of an over simplification) but I have not read the manga (nor have the intention to do so since the anime adaption has such a high degree of loyal adaptation), and I have the feeling that you have managed to squeeze a spoiler there of a character that hasn't appeared and who would have appreciated not to know of, so if you could edit your post a bit to weed out the manga spoilers i'd appreciate that.

In any case, I'll think on what you have said and reply later today. (did you got that 95% right? Did you meant 45%? Because otherwise you are going even beyond me and saying this is a romance series for all matters and purposes )

(and BTW, slice of life is not about the pretty backgrounds, but whatever, I don't want to get into that discussion again)
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Old 2009-08-28, 17:37   Link #803
joeboygo
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Yes, guilty as charged of oversimplification. But if you think about it, isn't that what happens whenever we try to shoehorn a complex story into some preconceived mental slot like a genre? I think it's a silly thing to butt heads over, but I guess for some people it's a necessary process.

I do apologize about the spoiler. But do read the manga. At least once in this life. You can thank me later.
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Old 2009-08-28, 18:04   Link #804
Proto
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In that case I may read it. After the anime ends airing though, I don't want to spoil myself. Just for the record, how is the manga better than the anime? Pace? Characterization? Storytelling? Are there sections that were cut/simplified?

Quote:
I think it's a silly thing to butt heads over, but I guess for some people it's a necessary process.
As you said yourself, the main reason is marketing. How do you present this title to other people? I almost missed this title because of its somewhat simplistic sports-slice of life tag, if someone hadn't told me about the degree of high quality characterization this thing got.
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Old 2009-08-28, 19:00   Link #805
joeboygo
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Originally Posted by Proto View Post
Just for the record, how is the manga better than the anime?
Let's see. In this one case, it's not an issue of one being better than the other. Both manga and anime exploit their respective mediums masterfully to tell the same story in its own way. I realize that's too abstract, but if I explain in detail that's a whole wall of text you won't want to read.

I can enumerate several specific reasons that will speak to you on a gut level to let you know what you are missing, but I think laundry list style persuasion is intellectually lazy and ineffective.

So let me pick just one and run with it.

I think I can speak for my fellow manga readers here in stating that we know Wakaba - and miss her so much more - than you ever will.
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Old 2009-08-28, 19:03   Link #806
Proto
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I'm used to WOT, I'm a producer of those myself so don't let that be a deterrent.

In any case, is the issue sections that were cut then? I may decide to go ahead and read the manga if that's the case, however if it's subjective appreciation I'd prefer to wait for the anime to finish airing so I can judge it on its own.
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Old 2009-08-28, 20:34   Link #807
Proto
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I read the first volume so that I could compare, and if the differences you are referring to hold for the rest of the series, I'd say that it's mainly presentation, and a written medium inherent ability to adapt to the optimal pace that the reader needs to reach full empathy. Something like that. Is that what you were referring to?
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Old 2009-08-28, 22:44   Link #808
joeboygo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proto View Post
I read the first volume so that I could compare, and if the differences you are referring to hold for the rest of the series, I'd say that it's mainly presentation, and a written medium inherent ability to adapt to the optimal pace that the reader needs to reach full empathy. Something like that. Is that what you were referring to?
[facepalm]

We really shouldn't talk about "optimal pace." You read the entire volume in mere hours, if it took you that long at all. Those of us who have been following the story from the day 1 raw release lived with Wakaba for ten or so odd weeks before she became a permanent resident of flashbackland. Optimal pace is a relative concept, something the reader adjusts according to his/her requirements. But you see, we can't always count on the individual reader to know how quick is too quick now, can we? That's not something we can credit to/blame on the manga.

Let me share with you when I first understood that the thing Waka and Kou had between them was real. It's when he went ahead to the matsuri they were supposed to attend together. He had absolutely no clue what to do with himself without her, and he went to the festival because that was the only thing on his agenda. Unfortunately, it was also the last. So after that, he was just lost; up until that point, Waka was the one managing his day planner. That moment may have whizzed past you like a fastball because you had the benefit of having seen the anime episode where Kou up and said aloud that he loved her. But for us manga readers at the time, we did not even expect to have to deal so early with the "is it real or just puppy love" issue because we had been expecting Waka to stick around. Waka, more than any other character up to that point, was the one living in the future ("I look forward to seeing what kind of a grownup you'll be;" "20th birthday gift: engagement ring" etc.).

From this point, I think this disussion is more properly had in the manga thread. But if you'll take some advice from me, I would suggest NOT READING IT NOW. Wait until the anime has finished and has been out of your head for a while before revisiting the manga. And go easy this time.
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Old 2009-08-28, 23:26   Link #809
Aquifina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proto View Post
In any case, am I the only one waiting for Momiji to give Aoba a "Make your move or I'll make my own" ultimatum?
Seriously, if Aoba had kept on with the whole "I hate him" schtick, Kou's only chance at happiness would have probably been a grown up Momiji far in the future. If Aoba had always stayed standoffish, Kou probably would have kept on buying gifts for Waka and stumbling along in life dedicated to nothing but her memory (with or without baseball) until Momiji grew up. Momiji would have probably dealt better than Aoba with the whole problem of dealing with the whole question of Waka's legacy--heck, Momiji's in a lot of ways more emotionally mature than Aoba, even though she's five years younger. If it wasn't for his electric fastball, Aoba would never have started to recognize Kou's good points--stuff Momiji knew about as a kindegartner.
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Old 2009-08-28, 23:42   Link #810
Aquifina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeboygo View Post
[facepalm]

From this point, I think this disussion is more properly had in the manga thread. But if you'll take some advice from me, I would suggest NOT READING IT NOW. Wait until the anime has finished and has been out of your head for a while before revisiting the manga. And go easy this time.
I would disagree a bit here--I think reading the manga allows one to appreciate the anime *more*, and think that it would be overdoing it to wait for the anime to finish. The manga tends to be more subtle, because I think animation sometimes forces them to show things more explicitly, and the original subtlety is worth seeing. However, the anime is so well done and true to the spirit of the story that I've never felt any of the angst manga readers sometimes have when viewing anime adaptations.
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Old 2009-08-28, 23:50   Link #811
Proto
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Quote:
We really shouldn't talk about "optimal pace." You read the entire volume in mere hours, if it took you that long at all. Those of us who have been following the story from the day 1 raw release lived with Wakaba for ten or so odd weeks before she became a permanent resident of flashbackland. Optimal pace is a relative concept, something the reader adjusts according to his/her requirements. But you see, we can't always count on the individual reader to know how quick is too quick now, can we? That's not something we can credit to/blame on the manga.
I was crediting it on the medium rather than the manga itself though, but aw well. The main point is that you seem the think that having followed this series week by week gave you a definite emotional advantage in terms of empathizing with what the author was trying to convey. While I won't discuss at all that this reading pace did work for you, I'd be hard pressed to accept that this should hold true for every reader out there. It took me less than 20 minutes to read the volume (I didn't skim over, I have to read and understand large chunks of information for a living so I'm used to it) but I don't think that puts me in an inferior footing in terms of emotional involvement in the series. By the end of the volume I accept that the conclusion hit me harder than the anime equivalent). How did it differed? Presentation. The fact that the manga lets you focus and pause in the moments that matter to you (personal pace), so that you can assimilate everything at your own rhythm. That's all its about. Certainly having long periods of time between each chapter lets you digest everything over, however if you empathized from the first around it's not going to do you much good. There's no need to call by arcane names or make something complicated out of something so simple. :/

In any case, as I had guessed it's about personal preference for the medium rather than any concrete inferiority from the anime version, so I'll take you up on your suggestion and check the manga later.
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Old 2009-08-28, 23:56   Link #812
joeboygo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquifina View Post
I would disagree a bit here--I think reading the manga allows one to appreciate the anime *more*, and think that it would be overdoing it to wait for the anime to finish. The manga tends to be more subtle, because I think animation sometimes forces them to show things more explicitly, and the original subtlety is worth seeing. However, the anime is so well done and true to the spirit of the story that I've never felt any of the angst manga readers sometimes have when viewing anime adaptations.
I would normally agree, but if he does a marathon of the manga right now, so fresh from a marathon of the anime, he can't help but roll over those delicate subtleties like a freight train.

On another point, I understand your impatience with Aoba's attitude towards Kou. But if she sees the light, wouldn't that end the story right there? That would leave us with nothing but the baseball. Isn't the game between Aoba and Kou THE central conflict of Cross Game?

Proto:

I didn't see your response before posting, but if you read the above comment, you'll see where I'm coming from. Aquafina is right: the Manga approach differs from the anime in that it relies on the skillfull use of subtlety and vagueness to use the reader's own repertoire of emotional responses to tell the story. Adachi is the master of getting you to tell his story to yourself. The anime, on the other hand, relies more on timing: between the two, it is the anime that requires expert pacing. If you read the manga so soon after watching the anime, you can see how the ready-made pacing of the anime can interfere with the full appreciation of the manga. Also, the manga IS meant to be read at a languid pace, with pauses for reflection in between chapters, because it is so densely packed with details. The compilation of weekly chapters into a single tankoubon is convenient, and is a commercial necessity, but it's not necessarily conducive to a proper appreciation of the manga.

Last edited by joeboygo; 2009-08-29 at 00:14.
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Old 2009-08-29, 00:47   Link #813
cheshire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquifina View Post
Seriously, if Aoba had kept on with the whole "I hate him" schtick, Kou's only chance at happiness would have probably been a grown up Momiji far in the future. If Aoba had always stayed standoffish, Kou probably would have kept on buying gifts for Waka and stumbling along in life dedicated to nothing but her memory (with or without baseball) until Momiji grew up. Momiji would have probably dealt better than Aoba with the whole problem of dealing with the whole question of Waka's legacy--heck, Momiji's in a lot of ways more emotionally mature than Aoba, even though she's five years younger. If it wasn't for his electric fastball, Aoba would never have started to recognize Kou's good points--stuff Momiji knew about as a kindegartner.
What exactly is Aoba supposed to do? Contrary to some people's thoughts here, Aoba's feelings for Kou are much more complicated than her initial tsundere-ness (oh how I loathe the term) make it seem. There's a ghost in both of their past preventing them from ever being honest to each other and to themselves, and there lies the joy in watching them overcome that (slowly, yes, but realistically so) as we are seeing from Aoba's side (Koh's much more ambiguous to my annoyance and doubtful to their supposed imminent couplehood).
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Old 2009-08-29, 01:07   Link #814
Aquifina
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Originally Posted by joeboygo View Post
On another point, I understand your impatience with Aoba's attitude towards Kou. But if she sees the light, wouldn't that end the story right there? That would leave us with nothing but the baseball. Isn't the game between Aoba and Kou THE central conflict of Cross Game?
Oh sure, I see your point. And don't misunderstand me--Aoba's development is part of what makes Cross Game so great. But part of that development is that she starts out as rather obnoxious and unlikeable--and despite my current fondness for her character, I stand by that point.

I also am not sure I'd totally agree with you in saying that Aoba vs. Kou is the central conflict of Cross Game. First off, while Kou teased Aoba, the conflict was pretty one-sided. Early on, Kou seems rather indifferent to everything, except for his devotion to Wakaba. If there's a central conflict, I think it's between the future and the past--I originally was going to say between the living and the dead, but because Waka would have wanted Kou to be happy and move on, that's not true. The issue is really Kou's and Aoba's memories *of* Waka than Waka per se. Even the dream of the Koshien is in some profound way bound by the past, whether it be Waka's dream or Azuma's desire to do what his brother was unable to do. I think Cross Game wants its characters to be inspired by and strengthened by the past, but I also think it wants its characters to truly live for the future too.
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Old 2009-08-29, 01:17   Link #815
joeboygo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquifina View Post
If there's a central conflict, I think it's between the future and the past--I originally was going to say between the living and the dead, but because Waka would have wanted Kou to be happy and move on, that's not true. The issue is really Kou's and Aoba's memories *of* Waka than Waka per se. Even the dream of the Koshien is in some profound way bound by the past, whether it be Waka's dream or Azuma's desire to do what his brother was unable to do. I think Cross Game wants its characters to be inspired by and strengthened by the past, but I also think it wants its characters to truly live for the future too.
Good observations you have there. What do you think about this: a lot of people think Wakaba is an obstacle to Aoba and Kou hooking up. But wouldn't it also be true to say that Waka is the reason nobody else can get between Aoba and Kou?
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Old 2009-08-29, 01:36   Link #816
Aquifina
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Originally Posted by cheshire View Post
What exactly is Aoba supposed to do? Contrary to some people's thoughts here, Aoba's feelings for Kou are much more complicated than her initial tsundere-ness (oh how I loathe the term) make it seem. There's a ghost in both of their past preventing them from ever being honest to each other and to themselves, and there lies the joy in watching them overcome that (slowly, yes, but realistically so) as we are seeing from Aoba's side (Koh's much more ambiguous to my annoyance and doubtful to their supposed imminent couplehood).
I don't want to write a long post about how much Aoba irritated me early on triggering some larger debate, but I do want to comment on Kou's rather enigmatic portrayal--I personally think this is pitch *perfect*. First off, his generally steady keel conforms to all sorts of baseball truisms, especially with regards to pitchers--Kou's mound presence reminds me of Hideo Nomo, who epitomized stoicism and hardly showed any sort of emotion on the mound. But Kou's also a truly *great* pitcher, and part of that greatness comes with being an enigma--in that sense, he reminds me of Sandy Koufax, who also had a rep for being something of a cipher, and who in his hall of fame address thanked all his catchers, because pitchers were, if I remember his words right, a "different breed," which made them difficult to work with.
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Old 2009-08-29, 07:37   Link #817
Kirarakim
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Originally Posted by Aquifina View Post
If there's a central conflict, I think it's between the future and the past--I originally was going to say between the living and the dead, but because Waka would have wanted Kou to be happy and move on, that's not true. The issue is really Kou's and Aoba's memories *of* Waka than Waka per se. Even the dream of the Koshien is in some profound way bound by the past, whether it be Waka's dream or Azuma's desire to do what his brother was unable to do. I think Cross Game wants its characters to be inspired by and strengthened by the past, but I also think it wants its characters to truly live for the future too.

I completely agree and this is a perfect way to describe Kou and Aoba's relationship and their memories of Wakaba. But as you said it also describes other characters such as Azuma and also Akaishi.


And while Wakaba and Kou certainly did have something special they were just two grade school kids. I almost wonder if Kou and Aoba still would have happened (even if Wakaba was alive) as they grew up and realized they were more alike. And even if that had happened I think Wakaba would have been happy for them.
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Old 2009-08-29, 10:36   Link #818
Guardian Enzo
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How much do I love this show? Every time I've needed respite from some pretentious, over-wrought and overrated series that everyone else was raving over (Bakemonogotari, Eden) I turned to an episode of CG to ground me. When a show I loved let me down terribly (TM8) it was CG that I craved, and started counting down the seconds until the next release. It's a solid dose of direct, honest and brilliant writing and the cure for what ails you.
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Old 2009-08-29, 11:22   Link #819
MeoTwister5
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
How much do I love this show? Every time I've needed respite from some pretentious, over-wrought and overrated series that everyone else was raving over (Bakemonogotari, Eden) I turned to an episode of CG to ground me. When a show I loved let me down terribly (TM8) it was CG that I craved, and started counting down the seconds until the next release. It's a solid dose of direct, honest and brilliant writing and the cure for what ails you.
Sunday/Monday cannot come soon enough for the subs, methinks.
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Old 2009-08-29, 12:17   Link #820
Proto
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You know what's your problem, GE? you set your expectations too high. Tone them down and you'll be able to enjoy things much more.

Well, in any case, I share your sentiments on your last sentence. More or less.
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