Cross Game Episode #26 Anime Review

In a way, I'm much of a fan of what happened in the previous episode where the Seishu team essentially handicapped themselves so they could get in a bit of practice against Sannou before playing to some of their actual potential. It's one thing to do that when you've got little league teams playing and things can get terribly unbalanced. But this is high school sports and Sannou, in my opinion, deserved to be treated with respect by playing against them with their full potential. When Ko does start to turn things around with his pitching, it doesn't have an uplifting feeling to it because the Sannou team wasn't playing badly, they weren't gloating and they were playing the game with some amount of respect towards the Seishu players.

As the game plays out and Seishu essentially crushes the Sannou team, putting their research to shame to be certain, it's not all that much fun. There are some good bits as we see Ko and Azuma's quiet rivalry play out and there's the nice bonus at the end where Ko gets a bit of fame over the speed of his pitches, but the game itself is weak. You knew they were playing under par in the last episode and there was no challenge in the team they were facing, so seeing them go big didn't excite. There is some mild material given in the midst of the game to the upcoming threat from the Ryuou team they'll face once they cinch this easy victory and that may give them the challenge they need that feels more warranted.

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