Because of the legend left by Tatsuya Uesugi, Meisei Academy High School was well-known for their strong baseball team. But 26 years after their glory, the team has not been able to keep their record and has since lost their fame. Two stepbrothers, Souichirou and Touma Tachibana, aim to revive of the once-strong Meisei Academy baseball team and enter the National High School Baseball Championship. Souichirou and Touma are second years in Meisei Academy Middle School. Both boys are talented baseball players. Souichirou has shown excellent skill as a catcher and batter. Though having an extraordinary skill as a pitcher, Touma no longer pitches due to a certain reason. Once the two enter high school, they pair as a battery and aim to enter the National High School Baseball Championship! (Source: YTV, edited)
I am not generally a fan of sports anime, but the one major exception is Cross Game, a story about love, loss, and baseball which I would call one of the greatest anime of the 2000s, with the most emotionally potent first episode (and one of the strongest finales) I’ve ever seen in anime. That’s highly relevant because Cross Game, like Mix, is based on a manga by Mitsuru Adachi, which should be immediately obvious to anyone who has seen both series. Indeed, the character designs between the two titles are so similar that it almost looks like the cast of Cross Game was just ported over and reskinned to populate the cast of this one. (It’s also worth noting that Mix is a spinoff of Adachi’s even earlier baseball manga Touch, which portrays the 1986 trip to Koshien described in the narration and flashbacks; Adachi borrowed heavily from it for Cross Game as well.)
The inescapable comparison to Cross Game doesn’t do Mix’s first episode any favors. It definitely does not start out like the powerhouse that was Cross Game, although admittedly that’s a high bar for comparison. Instead, this is generally a more lighthearted introduction that focuses on establishing the the setting and premise. Two step-brothers on a middle school baseball team have the talent to form an excellent battery, but their pitcher is being overlooked in favor of the scion of a wealthy family. The implication is that the coach may be beholden to higher powers on this one, as he also ignores an incoming first-year who has considerable talent as a pitcher, and baseball isn’t being taken seriously enough at their school for the team to return to Koshien after a 30-year absence. Hence there’s a fair amount of potential for drama going forward. The first episode also remains dodgy about the relationship of the Tachibana brothers; they’re indicated to have been born at different hospitals but only a few minutes apart, which suggests that either one is adopted or they are stepbrothers who came to live together when one’s father married the other one’s mother. (The other option – that the father almost simultaneously impregnated two women – seems unlikely.)
There’s also at least some potential for romance. The hotshot newcomer has an interest in the brother’s younger sister, and she seems to have a passion for watching the brothers play baseball. She’s also designated as one of the protagonists, so we’ll have to see how that shakes out. The technical details on the baseball pitching are expected for a series like this, though the animation as a whole isn’t anything spectacular. Overall, the first episode isn’t bad by any means, it has some interesting gimmicks like being framed as a video that is occasionally fast-forwarded, and it certainly establishes its premise well, so it’s off to a relatively solid start. It’s just not on the level of its predecessor yet. You can also free Mix anime watch online and free anime download.