A new rivalry starts to enter the picture as we're introduced to the character who has something of a history with Azuma. Though it's impact will come later, it's good to see some seeding of old rivalries coming forward in the world of competitive sports since there's plenty of that in high school. At this stage of the game, much of Cross Game is about the smaller moments of moving forward though as we see the characters just going through their daily lives. Aoba's still conflicted about what she wants out of life and is doing her best with her homework with a bit of help from her cousin while Ko and Azuma are just focusing on their training for the next game against Sannou High. Ko's trying to get more of a feel for other teams they'll face, but it's amusing to see Azuma telling him to knock it off and leave that kind of thing to Akashi.
Cross Game does thankfully spend some time in the game itself so we get to see Ko getting his pitching going and the way the team is coming together. What's different this time around is that the Seishu team is starting to get a bit more known after what's happened so far so they're being scouted out. The reports are getting back to the teams that are playing things smart so they know who their competition is and Seishu is facing a bit more of a challenge this time. Even worse is that Ko is coming across as rather off in his game, unable to make catches and not up to his usual potential. When Ko's on his game, he's at his best, but when he's off and questioning everything, including what Nakashi is telling him, he's unfocused and almost wild with his play .
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