MadInkBeard by DerikBadman

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A page from Cross Game

Mitsuru Adachi’s Cross Game isn’t my normal fair, but during my baseball comics series I really enjoyed his H2. When I saw Viz was serializing this other baseball manga at their Shonen Sunday site (print volumes soon), I started following it.

It’s pages like the above that really get me. Adachi uses a lot of these pages that are more about scenery, weather, and seasons than any particular narrative plot or scene setting. They are very much like the “pillow shots” used by Ozu in his films. There is an excess to them that is refreshing, not excess as in visual excess or thematic excess, but an excess of narrative concision. Adachi doesn’t need to include these pages (or sometimes just a few panels), but they add to the atmosphere in an intriguing way.