Viz Launches Cross Game With Omnibus, Free Anime

Next week, Viz is releasing Cross Game, a manga series about life and baseball by Mitsuru Adachi.

Cross Game cover
Cross Game
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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.

6 Comments

  1. Adachi is one of my favorite manga creators, despite the fact I care for real-life sports not at all, and I’ve loved pretty much everything I’ve read of his (the only things previously officially released in English as far as I am aware are the two volumes of short stories called Short Program, but his longer stuff is better). He definitely has certain tropes he returns to, and it’s probably fair to warn new readers that sometimes characters die, although none of the series are ultimately tragedies.
    Of course, the only reason I’m a fan is because of those ebil, ebil scanlation sites, so I’m torn. Should I side with the pirates, and pick up this long awaited series? Or should I side with the publishers, who manifestly wish I’d never heard of it, let alone read it and fell in love with it?

  2. That is an interesting observation. I’ve noticed it too, that manga companies may need to step up their marketing if they don’t want to rely on readers already having familiarity with properties or creators from activities they don’t want happening. Tokyopop, for example, has been doing a lot for the Hetalia launch, but the underlying message from what they’re doing seems to be “we’re bringing you an official version of what you already know”.

  3. I read the sample chapters and enjoyed the series. I hope more people also pick this up because sports manga/anime doesn’t do well here in the US. This reminded me of Friday Night Lights (tv series), as it is more about the characters and the games are just used to advance the story.

    I bought Shonan Junai Gumi (GTO: the Early Years)because it was 360+ pages for $12.99. I bought because I thought it was a good deal, and the best part was that I actually enjoyed reading it (though Tokyopop lost the License after volume 10). Hopefully there will be people that give Cross Game a chance because of the price.

  4. I picked it up from Amazon at $13.59, and devoured it at a single sitting. It was every bit as good as I remembered. Adachi has an amazing way with silent panels to convey mood, place, and season, and he’s a great cartoonist to boot. I even dig the silly little asides, breaks in the fourth wall, and self-insertion. “Readers have no idea….”

  5. This title was the best manga purchase I’ve made in several months and I’ve been very pleased with my manga purchases. I hope this sells well. I’d love to get more books like this on shelves, I think they cover a wide enough set of themes to pull non typical manga fans into the genre.

    -A

  6. I bought Shonan Junai Gumi (GTO: the Early Years)because it was 360+ pages for $12.99. I bought because I thought it was a good deal, and the best part was that I actually enjoyed reading it (though Tokyopop lost the License after volume 10). Hopefully there will be people that give Cross Game a chance because of the price.

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