Creator: Mitsuru Adachi
Length: 34 Volumes
Preview Series Here
+ Good characters
+ Humorous interactions
+ Unique artwork
4 out of 5 · Highly Recommended
H2 Manga Review
Written by: Karthon
Kunimi Hiro and Tachibana Hideo were members of the best middle school baseball team in Japan. Hiro was an elite pitcher while Hideo was an incredible batter. However towards the end of middle school a doctor told Hiro that he was suffering from a glass elbow, and that if he continued to pitch, his elbow would break in three months. As a result, Hiro gave up the sport he loved the most and joined a high school without a baseball team.
It turns out that the doctor was an unlicensed quack, and had lied about Hiro 's diagnosis. Unfortunately, Hiro's already enrolled in the high school, and so it falls to Hiro and his friend Noda (the former catcher of the same middle school team, whom the “doctor” had also misdiagnosed) to turn a high school baseball club full of unskilled players, into a team capable of competing in the Koshien (the national high school baseball tournament). Along the way they'll face many skilled teams, none greater than Meiwa Daiichi High School, where Hiro's old teammate Hideo has become the clean-up batter.
This is one of Adachi's works. He's famous for writing sports/romance mangas and this is one of his best known. Though the entire story revolves around baseball and going to the Koshien, there's a heavy dose of romance and love triangles involved. The characters are highly developed, and their interactions always border on slapstick comedy without going over-board. The art style is very unique, with highly detailed backgrounds and less detailed characters. This is alright because the text does a very good job of displaying the characters' thoughts, rather than relying on the facial expressions.
The plot is entertaining, although it's more about the journey than the destination. It's made fairly obvious from the beginning that Hiro and Hideo will have to face off at some point, but the fact that the manga can go on for 33 volumes is a testament to the amount of twists and turns that it will take along the way. As we follow the journey of Hiro, we get to watch each of the characters reveal their backgrounds and watch them all begin to change their attitudes towards one another. As opposed to most sports mangas where the emphasis is on the games itself, H2's plot focuses on the character interactions.
If you enjoy reading about high school sports with highly developed characters, I suggest this series. Even if it's not your cup of tea, I suggest you try a volume, as it most definitely doesn't fit the usual stereotypes of the genre.
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