Gyakkyou Nine volumes 5 & 6 manga review (ending spoilers)

It’s been a while since I finished a series that was longer than 1 volume long ^.^ And it’s probably been even longer since that ending was an actual good one. Of course given the nature and message of the series, the ending of Gyakkyou Nine was a given from the start, but the whole point was to see them overcoming all kinds of challenges and adverse conditions on their way to victory.

It seems like the author had to overcome some sort of adversity himself around the volume 5 point, because both the art and the story took a sudden nosedive in quality. It’s pretty obvious he’s cutting corners in a lot of places, and a lot of the characters – Fukutsu Toshi in particular – look seriously off-model half the time. Things improved somewhat in volume 6 (or my eyes got used to it). Note that Toshi cuts his trademark hair at the start of the volume!! It’s really weird seeing him without the hair, but like all other things I adjusted.

0003Story – volume 5 can pretty much be skipped IMO. Naturally Toshi fights back against all odds to take the team through to Koshien. The only thing worth noting is that Sakakibara-sensei leaves, since he was originally a substitute teacher to begin with, and the original useless club adviser comes back. The only reason to note this is so you don’t get confused when you see some blonde bimbo in volume 6.

Most of volume 6 has the Zenryoku 9 blowing away all their opponents thanks to Fukutsu’s unhittable ‘otokodama’ pitch. But it isn’t Gyakkyou Nine without a final challenge, is it? And so disaster strikes! Right before the finals! Fukutsu fends off a final approach from Kuwabara-chan only to run into the opposing pitcher Muteki, who is like him in every way, but better. And he has an ‘otokodama’ too! And they’re being coached by Sakakibara-sensei, who has told them all the weaknesses of the Zenryoku Nine!

But it gets even worse when the taxi Fukutsu is riding in collides with a truck and is totaled right before the game. I was afraid Shimamoto might pull an Adachi and kill off his hero for the tearz, but luckily Fukutsu survives… with amnesia! Can any team possibly pull a win out of these impossible odds?!!!

gyakkyou nine movieHaha, if you’re still wondering at this point then you haven’t been reading the same series I have. It’s pretty cool how at the very, very end, the final adversary Fukutsu and the team have to conquer is ‘Adversity’ itself. Fight on, team! Makeru na!

Now it’s done my final thoughts on Gyakkyou Nine are highly positive, the slowdown in volume 5 notwithstanding. The earlier volumes are the best because the team faces the greatest challenge then – their sucky selves. Once they become a team that’s actually good, the problems they face become ever more far-fetched and the hot-blooded speeches ever more long-winded. It’s still fun to root for them and see how they resolve situations, and the series is pretty good from start to finish.

As a baseball series… well, this isn’t really a baseball series. It would work almost as well with just about any other team sport, so there isn’t much focus on the actual play-by-play aspect of the game. But it’s plain to see what the point of the series is from the very first chapter, so no complaints here. Gyakkyou Nine is a good series. If you can’t find the manga, there’s a 2005 movie which is supposed to be very funny. Either way I recommend the series.

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