There might be a lot of forward momentum in the future of digital manga but I’m still rooting for the print-team and omnibus editions really seem like the way things’re going. No complaints from me however, more manga for less money and a hefty read time makes me a happy consumer and fan. One of the most recent series to start from the gate in omnibus form is Cross Game from Viz Media. I reviewed the first volume (making up the first original three) over at AnimeNewsNetwork.
I bought Cross Game while I was down at New York Anime Fest and the book lasted me almost the entire time I was waiting to board my flight back home. It clocks in at just over 600 pages, and while in hindsight I wouldn’t recommend reading the whole thing in one sitting, it is really hard to put down once you’ve been drawn in. The hook moment hit me at about the 1/3 point after a big plot event occurred that really caught me by surprise.
Predomiantly it’s Mitsuru Adachi’s notorious muted character writing that makes this title so interesting. Being so accustomed to over-the-top reactions, screaming, flailing and wailing in manga, reading something as subtle and calm as Cross Game is like settling down into a cold bed – it’s a bit awkward at first but once you settled in and warm up, it’s absolute bliss. My strange analogies aside, it’s a very different experience and I highly recommend it.