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Mix: Meisei Story – Nidome no Natsu, Sora no Mukou e – 21

Rather cruel making us wait an extra week for that.

This plot twist is kind of a thresher for Mix viewers.  The wheat and the chaff are old Adachi hands and new viewers (though I don’t sense there are that many of the latter).  We kind of knew this was coming, because Adachi gonna Adachi.  Though there have been allusions to a long-past event, it belonged to another series.  Mix is not Touch, and in his big series (especially baseball) the old scoundrel does like his tragedies.  He usually works them in earlier than this, but once the flags started getting hoisted on Seinan game day, you sensed what was going on.

The way this was all staged was rather effective, I though.  An uneasy calm, which created an atmosphere of intense foreboding.  Then, unannounced, we were in a changed world where Eisuke had departed.  Adachi doesn’t, as a rule, give his characters the chance to grieve on camera.  The one obvious exception was young Kitamura Kou in Cross Game, where the act of grieving was the whole point (which is why that was one of the most emotionally powerful scenes in anime history).  But that was very much the exception, and what we saw here is far more typical.

I don’t think this was the very first reference to Tatsuya by name in Mix, but it was probably the most overt.  Naturally enough the news types would be all over the old Sumi Tech connection, even with Kenjou the name on the uniforms.  It was a fitting time for it I suppose, and with all the attention on this long-fated rematch, surely someone at some point is going to play the “where are they now” card.  If Tatsuya (and Minami for that matter – she got a cameo here too, and we know they won’t have to pay cab fare for the seiyuu) aren’t still alive, we’ve been given no indication of that.  And if they are, Tatsuya at least is very relevant at that moment.

The way all this played out was pretty shameless, even for Adachi.  That “cross traffic” bit with Touma (which happened before the bombshell had been confirmed) was especially egregious.  All of the survivors we see are behaving more or less normally, which may just be denial, or it may mean something much more.  Like, for example, that considerable time has passed – that’s inferred to an extent, I think.  And especially with the narration at the end, it seems very possible that the Meisei-Kenjou match has already been played – with the Tachibana brothers absent and Kenjou winning, most likely.

To say that would be an anti-climax is an understatement, even with the rules of engagement pretty much dictating that Kenjou was going to win.  Adachi has been known to pop the bubble that way though, and it sure seems as if that’s the reality we’re looking at.  That would raise some interested questions for what the final few episodes of the season will look like, with their natural dramatic climax having been stolen from them.  Alternatively I could be completely misreading the situation and all that could have been taking place a couple of days after the Seinan match (though it doesn’t feel that way).  And, not to be maudlin, but as much as he loved Meisei I really think Eisuke would have wanted his boys to play.

In any event, we now know what that “12:50” business was all about.  That scene where Shouhei took Touma to his family’s house was an interesting one (that alone suggests the passage of some weeks).  It struck me that in his clumsy alpha male way, Shouhei was trying to comfort Touma – at the very least to distract him for a few moments.  Eisuke passing away has to have impacted Touma a lot more than he’s revealing here, which fits with his unflappable personality, and Shouhei seemed to be trying to draw something out of him.  It was a bittersweet end to a very melancholy episode, one which leaves us with more new questions than answers to old ones.


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