With Cross Game getting back on track with this episode after what you
could loosely term as filler episodes, it does so by reminding us again
of the things that defined it at the start. And a lot of that definition
came in the form of Wakaba, the bright light of so many lives that was
snuffed out so early. As everyone has grown and changed, they've carried
her with them to the present day and she's an important part of them.
It's even reinforced in the opening sequence with her showing up in so
many sections of it. Being reminded of how she's inspired them, from
athletic ability to being a young and beautiful presence, is something
that the show does a simple yet effective job in showing us in just the
first two minutes of the episode.
With that opening in mind, this episode spends a good part of its time dealing with the past as we see Ko and Wakaba together. The two are certainly a cute pair and Wakaba has her heart set easily and firmly on him, to the point where she's able to call out to him about the fact that she kissed him. Of course, that surprises everyone else and Akaishi in particular does not like hearing that since he's got a big old crush on Wakaba himself. She's very much a young girl in this regard as we see her writing out a list of birthday presents she wants from Ko for years to come, culminating in her 20th birthday present which would be an engagement ring. Her simple smile and honesty about it shows her true emotions and love easily enough. And seeing Aoba's reaction to it is even more priceless. While it may infuriate Aoba, Wakaba's on her sleeve nature is really quite adorable as it shows us her true self.
This flashback to the days of Wakaba is a useful thing to have as we've only had a few minor mentions of her as of late. It's not that we need it regularly, but having something more significant to help flesh out the days of the kids prior to the accident, to show us more of their relationship, helps to cement it a bit more as we go fully into the second half of the series. Being reminded of the kind of bright light she was in so many people's lives is important as she's helped to push many of them more firmly into where they are now. With all of it coming rushing back for Ko at a time when he's starting to really figure out what it is that he wants out of life, at least at this stage of his life, a reminder like this is very important.
Source Here: http://www.mania.com/cross-game-episode-30_article_126158.html