Seikokai no Ichizon 5, Cross Game 30

You can’t really say Seitokai no Ichizon is in a development stage because there’s nothing to develop. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Lucky Star and Azumanga Daioh have similar structures, in which the characters interact in certain situations but there’s no plot to advance. (By the way, I just finished the first volume of Lucky Star manga. It’s horrible. The anime could do nothing but improve it.) Instead there’ll be a setup that they’ll riff upon. In this episode its the AC breaking down and the girls having to wear swimsuits, which they don’t want Sugisaki to see. So they stick a mask on him and later stuff him in a locker.

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Most shows of this nature don’t work well for me, but this one does. The characters are stereotypes but are also (mostly) aware of this, especially Sugisaki. More importantly, the jokes are usually good, or the banter is timed well enough to MAKE the joke work. And the voice actors are very good. When you bring in the references to other shows (Darker than Black makes an appearance this time, with a dash of Bakemonogatari) you have a show that has a variety of weapons to make you laugh. The show hasn’t let down the pace yet.

After saying Cross Game automatically jumps to the top of the queue I hesitated to watch ep30, knowing it was a flashback episode. And it was harder to watch than I had feared. You see, the first time around Wakaba’s death comes as a sudden shock. But this time we know what’s going to happen, which gives the scenes leading up to the terrible news extra poignancy.

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Awww ...
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Aoba learned how to disapprove at an early age.

Which is not to say the episode was a total downer. The early scenes were, and are, light and funny, the way this show usually is. And I was reminded of Kou’s indifference to baseball at that age, and his reaction to Wakaba’s death—complete befuddlement, until he sees the bully crying. I shed a tear watching it all again, and was reminded why I love this show. But enough tears! Bring on the new Wakaba!

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