Boy meets Girl ~Mound no Shoujo~ manga review

No, I hadn’t forgotten that I was on a baseball manga kick. I’m slowly weaning myself off it and reading other stuff in increasing amounts, but I’ve still got a mountain of baseball manga left to try. Currently on the chopping block: Boy meets Girl ~Mound no Shoujo~(~マウンドの少女~) by Natsuko Heiuchi.

It’s a bittersweet sports romance story about a short little leaguer named Fumitake Morita (Moritake for short) who has a huge crush on his little league team ace, a tall girl named  Shiori Kanzaki. Unfortunately Moritake suspects and becomes increasingly certain that Shiori has a crush on the catcher/clean-up of one of their rival teams. What, if anything, is he going to do about these feelings he has for her?

Along the way Shiori herself has to deal with the changing balance of power on the team as the boys reach puberty and begin to grow taller and stronger faster than she can keep up. Moritake especially starts out as a shrimp who can’t even hit a double, much less a triple, but by volume 2 he’s hitting home runs and batting better and running faster than ever before. Shiori meanwhile hits a slump and begins to contemplate quitting baseball altogether. And on top of all that there are rumors her family might be moving away soon. What’s going to happen to this hurdle-fraught relationship? Does Moritake stand a chance with Shiori?

BoyMeetsGirl#1_031Heh, find out for yourself, I’m not telling. :-p I recommend you read it for yourself, seeing as it’s only 2 volumes long with full furigana. Moritake’s character is well-fleshed out and easy to relate to while Shiori – and the rest of the cast, come to think of it – remains an enigma until the end, but that just makes Moritake’s feelings for her all the more understandable. He’s a kid trying to be an adult and stumbling in all the typical kiddult ways, it’s just too cute.

As a bonus the baseball action is pretty good as well. The ending of the final game was predictable as most baseball manga final games tend to be, but the matches are fun to read, the art is clear and simple and the action is always easy to follow. And there were some moments where I went “What’s gonna happen next?! *doki doki*” but since the focus in Boy meets Girl is on the relationships rather than the game, such moments were few and far between.

If I write any more I know I’ll end up spoiling the ending so I’m going to stop here. I enjoyed it as a short, sweet baseball romance series that made its point and got the feelings across without resorting to the constant arguments and unnecessary melodrama that frequently characterize other baseball romance series (*cough*Adachi*cough*). If you’re not looking for anything deep and just want something you can read, enjoy and forget, give Boy meets Girl a try and see if you like it.

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