Manga of the Month: Ace of the Diamond

Ace of the Diamond by Yuji Terajima

I can go on for a long LONG time about how much I love Ace of the Diamond. That podcast is a spoiler minefield by the way. Yet, I haven’t put that love into writing here on the blog before. In fact, the only time I talked about it on Reverse Thieves proper, I wasn’t actually very taken with it. It is a series with a slow roll; after giving it a second chance, I discovered it pays off big time.

Eijun wasn’t planning on playing baseball seriously, he just wanted to spend time with his friends. But after he is invited to see a major high school team’s practice, everything changes. He gets to pitch a few, piss nearly everyone off, and gets recruited thanks to star catcher Miyuki and coach Kataoka.

Eijun, however, is not the ace of the Seido baseball team. He dreams it. He wants it. But he isn’t it. You might think it is obvious that Eijun will become the ace, but the series has a lot of uncertainty. As I see it, there are many aces of the diamond because this, as with all good sports series, is about a team and not a single player. Different moments have different aces.

At first, Eijun is hard to like. He begins the series as a sincere baseball lover but also a bullheaded jerk. More than likely you’ll be like me and become very passionate about the stories of catcher Miyuki, captain Yuki, injured Chris, the Kominato brothers, and the many other players. However, Eijun, for all his flaws, learns so much in the early parts of the series thanks to the stellar cast. It doesn’t take too long (but certainly more than a couple of volumes) for him to realize the error of his ways and start down his true path.

And finally what keeps me glued to Ace of the Diamond for the long haul is the emotional resonance. The series is top-notch when it comes to showing the determination and heart of the Seido team. I have cried harder, cheered louder, and raged more fiercely when it comes to Ace of the Diamond than I have for any other sports series.

So you may not like Eijun at first. And the series is more than 50 books and climbing (Ace of the Diamond is 47 book, Act II is 8 and ongoing). But I am here to tell you that it is absolutely worth the investment.

I’ve been beyond elated with the recent offerings of sports manga in English. Ace of the Diamond is another series that is getting a digital release which is a great way to go with these long-running series.

~kate

Ace of the Podcast

miyuki

narutaki_icon_4040 I was lucky enough to be invited on the Taiiku Podcast to share my final thoughts about the massive, over 100 episode, Ace of the Diamond TV anime which just wrapped up. I joined host Kory along with Chris and Jared to get out all our feelings about this epic tale of baseball boys! Oh and SPOILER WARNING.

Taiiku Podcast Episode #18
Ace of Diamond Second Season

The Speakeasy #068: Garden Elixir—The Art of Translation, Armada, Over the Garden Wall, Othering

over-the-garden-wall
Drink #068: Garden Elixir
The Art of Translation, Armada, Over the Garden Wall, Othering

Ongoing Investigations: Over the Garden Wall, Armada by Ernest Cline, Ace of the Diamond S1, Disney shorts.

Topics: Compensating Panelists, The Art of Translation, and the “Othering” of Manga.

(Listen)

And now your helpful bartenders at The Speakeasy present your drink:

Garden Elixir

  • 1/4 cup gin
  • 5 cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth, preferably Noilly Prat
  • 1/2 tablespoon green Chartreuse
  • 3 tablespoons apple juice, preferably fresh
  • 1 tablespoon celery juice
  • Dash of fresh lime juice
  • Nasturtium flowers, for garnish (optional)

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the gin and cilantro and shake. Add the vermouth, Chartreuse, apple juice, celery juice and lime juice and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with nasturtium flowers.