(Koichi Chigira, 1990)
The story of a young man hits up the clubs with his friends looking for love. I swear that about half of it is pure 80's neon cheesefest music video masquerading as an OVA. And the other half is totally boring nonsense about the main dude losing his virginity and learning life lessons or whatever. Whenever this is at its most abstract music video imagery, it shines. Sadly, it isn't enough.
I gave up on Touch
around episode 30 or so because I thought it was a little too
slow but I could tell the sensibility was right up my alley (despite my total disinterest in anything to do with baseball). So I approached with Cross Game
hoping it would be good. What I didn't expect that it would fantastic. In fact, it pretty much completely outshined anything else I've seen in a while. This has to do with the incredibly patient and subtle approach to the storytelling. The characters are given room to breathe and we observe them rather than them having to voice out everything they're thinking. It's also another show that understands the importance of time to deal with suffering. In the very first episode, we're witness to a tragedy (the scene where the main character realizes what happened is one of the best scenes I've ever seen in an anime), and it's that absence that provides an anchor to the show and what makes everything after it happen. It's also a show that gives great importance to objects and their significance as time passes (just think of the clocks that the main character uses or the list that he has hanging up on his wall) that's worthy of Ozu. Honestly, it's shows like this that make me believe in the beauty of long-form narrative storytelling. You just can't do something like this in a movie. The final episode's realization, thanks to the years of pain and suffering, of glances, of small encounters, hits you like a ton; and then the final image is perfect, a metaphorical simplicity that is just beautiful, anything is possible. Why must you know more? Beautifully realized, impeccably written, a small miracle. Will you believe?