What They Say:
Chapter 2 – A Heart That Trusts, Chapter 3 – A Trustworthy Mitt
It is said that there is a legendary catcher who can turn any pitcher he forms a battery with into a star. But this catcher requires something in return—the pitcher’s soul. That is why the catcher is also known as the Grim Reaper. The pitcher will throw his soul into each pitch until that pitcher dies. But for down-on-his-luck pitcher Ryo Arakami, this may be the deal he was looking for after all!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Buddy Strike’s next two chapters continue much like the first one progressed. Rather than continuing the story directly, KAITO chooses instead to do it in a much more roundabout way. Chapters two and three could, largely, be put into one without much loss in content; however, the extra pages for comedy are much appreciated in a manga that’s sure to be full of it.
Chapter two solidified that Arakami is missing a catcher, or that he just got lucky. But there’s something more to him that the third chapter revealed. He’s been playing baseball since elementary school, but no one’s been able to catch his pitches since fifth grade. He’s been well above the curve with his fastball for going on four or five years now and he’s unconsciously or otherwise stopped throwing to the mitt for fear of hurting the catcher. When he’s faced with someone that can actually catch, it’s taking him a while to get accustomed to throwing to him.
The problem with it is that they go to the same device they did last time. He challenged the best guy in the school then the best guy in high school, or at least close to. Of course there has to be growth through the games and practice, but this feels cheap. There’s an argument that they’re getting better on their own, seeking out their own match ups against stronger opponents à la the Rogue Pitcher from Taisho Baseball Girls with less dramatics. But there’s also the argument that just jumping to them in high school would be better, à la Ace of the Diamond and Sawamura.
I wanted more out of Buddy Strike, which is both a slight and a praise. It could have done more, but not much in just three chapters. What I really want is to keep reading it, which is more important in the grand scheme of things. Buddy Strike laid a solid foundation for something that could be really cool. What they’re doing is something I can get on board with, and that’s establishing the battery before they bring in the rest of the seven guys on the field. I want to see the team that Arakami and Ado create for themselves.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B+