Next week, Viz is releasing Cross Game, a manga series about life and baseball by Mitsuru Adachi.
The book will be available Tuesday, October 12, in an expanded edition that continues the first three Japanese volumes at a list price of $19.99 US. Future volumes will contain two books’ worth of content for $14.99.
Alternately, you can watch the anime series online for free at VizAnime.com. The publisher describes the series as
a moving drama that is heartfelt and true, yet in the brilliant hands of creator Mitsuru Adachi, the story delightfully flows with a light and amusing touch. The series centers around a boy named Ko, the family of four sisters who live down the street, and the game of baseball. This poignant coming-of-age story will change readers’ perception of what shonen manga can be. … realistic coming of age drama from one of Japan’s true manga legends.
I’m unfamiliar with the creator’s name, but he’s clearly a powerhouse, credited along with Rumiko Takahashi for “the phenomenal success of Shonen Sunday in Japan.”
One of the biggest names in the manga industry today, Mitsuru Adachi made his debut in 1970 with Kieta Bakuon in the pages of Deluxe Shonen Sunday. The creator of numerous mega-hits such as Touch, Miyuki, and Cross Game, Adachi-sensei received the Shogakukan Manga Award for all three of the aforementioned series. Truly in the top echelon of the manga industry, his cumulative works have seen over 200 million copies sold, and many of his series have been adapted into anime, live-action TV series and film. A master of his medium, Adachi has come to be known for his genius handling of dramatic elements combined with romance, comedy and sports.
You can read sample chapters online at the Shonen Sunday website. With the super-sized bargain releases, Viz is trying something new at a down time for the industry, which I applaud.