Cross Game - Season 1 - Episode 2 - Review: "I Hate You!."

After the events of the first episode that definitely played things in an interesting way to give Ko motivation, the second episode shifts the storyline forward a few years as Ko and his friends are now in junior high school. The tragedy with Wakaba has certainly had a lasting effect but she's not out of the picture entirely as there are some nice flashbacks that show her family life with her sisters as well as the way she was so in love, in that child-like way, with Ko that it's incredibly endearing. And it is like that because it's not cloying, disturbing or over the top. It's an earnest childhood love, which makes it all the more tragic.

Life goes on however, and Ko is a fairly average kid at this point who hasn't been involved in much. He didn't keep up with baseball and isn't involved in any sports or clubs at this point. What he does continue to do though is ask how the baseball team is doing from Aoba, Wakaba's sister, and he spends plenty of time in their batting cages when he swings by on work related things. With the two families being close, they often spend some amount of time together but there's a bit of an adversarial relationship between the two. Aoba's just a year younger than Ko but she's been on an intense training routine for years now and it's only added to her tomboy image. Just about everything that Ko does ends up frustrating her, though they have their tender moments here and there as well.

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