The first two things I learned about Cross Game were that it’s from manga author Mitsuru Adachi, known for doing the uber-classics Touch, H2, Nine, and more, nearly all of which are about baseball, this show included, and that the first episode was already being heralded as a masterpiece as well as fairly sad (No Name was evidently in tears or something.) I was eager to watch it, though I doubted I would love it as much as people were touting it to be.
It’s amazing. Plain and simple. An absolutely spectacular first episode. It begins humbly enough, introducing us to some fun characters in their child years and the kind of tone the show is going to have. It’s nothign totally unique, but very well-written and very enjoyable – but the real clincher is a surprise twist in the episode that, well, ‘hits the ball home’. It’s not simply what happens, but the excellence of presentaton, reaction, and perfect choice of music that make it instantly memorable. I highly suggest watching.