The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Touch

Title: Touch
Genre: Drama/Romance
Format: 101 episodes
Company: Group TAC/Studio Gallop
Dates: 24 Mar 1985 – 22 Mar 1987

Synopsis: Asakura Minami, Uesugi Tatsuya and his twin brother, Kazuya, have been friends since childhood. Yet as they grow into young adults, Minami’s feminine beauty and charm becomes vividly clear, and no longer is she seen as just a childhood friend. While Kazuya is a rising ace pitcher and an excellent student, Tatsuya tends to slack off and take the back seat when it comes to competing with his younger brother. Although everyone pairs Minami with Kazuya, certain that the two exemplary students go together perfectly, Minami’s true feelings may lie with someone else. Eager for the love of their childhood friend, these twin brothers are be driven into a rivalry in which Tatsuya is forced to step up and take the plate.

The Highlights
Soundtrack: A blast from the past!
Animation: Rough and outdated.
Story: Dramatic story that keeps you glued.
Development: Flip-flops between romance and comedy, drama and sports.

Touch was certainly an interesting experience for me as a reviewer. At a glimpse, I was led to believe the series was a romantic comedy, yet as the series progresses it develops into a sports drama. Being my first title of this genre, I watched all 101 episodes with an open mind – but truly expected the worse. In addition, the age of the animation really shows, which further gave me reason to believe this lengthy series would prove to be a disaster. However, all-in-all I felt Touch delivered a strong performance.

With an aired run during 1985-1987 and based off a 1981 manga series by Adachi Mitsuru, the animation sticks out like a sore thumb. Although that’s not the only component an anime should be assessed on, as a form of visual entertainment it really detracts from the other qualities this series has to offer. The soundtrack is also unmistakably aged, but the songs are light-hearted, fun, and bring out the emotions of the series like none other. That being said, those unforgettable tunes are literally unforgettable – since they’re played repetitively nearly every episode. Whether or not that’s a bad thing is a matter of opinion I suppose.

As the story progresses, the happy-go-lucky romance and fun note that the series starts out on dies out with a large plot twist at the end of the first season. From then on, while there is still romance and some great laughs, the tone becomes far more dramatic and there’s more emphasis on baseball. The move really made me question the intent of the writers. One could see the first season as the prelude to the sports drama that develops, but whether it was necessary to drag the season out so long is another question I pondered.

Despite these discrepancies and the number of episodes, the plot does develop rather well and keeps the viewer hooked. Unfortunately, there are quite a few recap episodes, which I find quite irritating. Being an avid baseball fan, I had no trouble getting through the episodes, multiple episodes at a time in some cases, which comprised a single game. However, those who aren’t big on sports may find it difficult. Furthermore, the relationship between the main characters, which underlies the initial premise of the series, leaves off on a rather dull note. Happy? Yes, but very anticlimactic nonetheless. At the end of the day, Touch puts together a touching story synched with a quality soundtrack that, despite its length, will keep you entertained.

The Rating: 8
8/10

Reviewed by: Godai

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