The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Touch: Cross Road

Title: Touch: Cross Road
Genre: Sports / Drama
Format: 1 movie
Company: Group TAC
Dates: 09 Feb 2001

Synopsis: Pursuing his own dream of becoming a major league baseball player – and not just a shadow of his younger brother – Tatsuya Uesugi travels to America to play in the minor leagues. While Asakura Minami back in Japan explores her newly found passion of photography, the two endure the distance as best they can. Tatsuya strives to find his true self on the pitcher’s mound, working towards the day that he and Minami can finally be together.

The Highlights
“Picture perfect” ending as the saga finally comes to a close.
Story: Playful and fun; more emotionally involved.
Baseball: Déjà vu of childhood memories; lack the attention-grabbing action from the series.

With another tacked-on episodic adventure, the tale of Minami and Tatsuya finally comes to a close. While there are many hit-and-miss aspects that boldly stick out, Cross Road achieves the sense of self-discovery and emotional hardship that its predecessor Miss Lonely Yesterday has hoped, yet has failed, to accomplish. Although the predecessor is lacking as far as content is concerned, this is not the case with Cross Road. All considered, this movie is commendable enough to be worth your while.

Despite another anticlimactic confession of love at the end of the previous movie, the main characters are still not together. Although it irks me to see the drama further drawn out, the result of Cross Road is a deeper insight into Tatsuya’s true feelings, not only for Minami but for his deceased brother as well. With this understanding of Tatsuya: not wanting to be under the shadow of his brother’s memory, a premise for the movie arises! His desire to escape this label and find his own niche where he can give fruition to his baseball talents. Tatsuya’s personal developpment along with the progress of his relationship with Minami make the addition of the movie worth having.

Despite the fact that baseball is the underlying premise for Touch, it’s the character development that makes the games interesting. However in the movie, entire games are represented by a few pitches. While this gives more time for character development, the short game length really dampens the mood, especially during the apparent climax. On the contrary, the exploration of Tatsuya and the Emeralds through the minor leagues in America is quite nostalgic. In real life, baseball has lost its following over the years, and showing the empty stands in the anime during the first few games really bring that out. The portrayal of community pride and severing through hardships further adds to the intensity of the emotional palette that Touch has to offer.

A couple tracks played were worth mentioning, namely the melancholy tune that plays for both the opening and ending theme. With a catchy beat and lyrical poetry, it certainly made the MP3 list. Fans of the television series will enjoy a few remixed themes brought back, which synch well enough to give the soundtrack a passing grade. Hopefully viewers did not shun away from Touch: Cross Road because of Miss Lonely Yesterday, for they’ll be rewarded for their diligence.

The Rating: 7

Reviewed by: Godai

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