Some of the changes going on in Cross Game can leave you uncertain about
where the future will take these characters. And that's definitely an
appealing factor. As I've said previously, there are a couple of
configurations that relationships can take here, including nothing
coming of any of them, but having it a bit more open and realistic like
this is fascinating to watch. While we see Ko and Akane getting closer,
along with Azuma and Aoba, Akaishi himself is showing more and more
interest in Akane, especially now that she's working at the Clover to
earn some money and gain experience outside of the family shop since it
doesn't pay. You can envision things shaking up fairly easily with a
revelation coming to someone and interests shifting suddenly.
With Aoba, she's coping with the invitation she's gotten for the women's national team where she could be an advisor of sorts and participate in what's going on even though she's unable to actually play because of her injury. It was heartbreaking seeing her get injured and to have her dream pulled away from her, at least for awhile, but seeing this path open up before her adds a lot of potential for growth. Aoba's views on others are changing as well when she discovers something of a stalker in the area and sees how Ko deals with it, while remembering some things that Wakaba had told her several years earlier about how Ko deals with barking dogs. It's things like this that play into each other as she continues to see Ko in a different light with shades of personality that weren't always visible before.