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Notables: Original Concept - ADACHI Mitsuru
Tatsuya and Kazuya are identical twins yet their personallities are very different. They have grown together with a girl who is their next door neighbor, Asakura Minami. And since they are of same age, always hung out together and when they were very young, they had tendency to break things, their parents built them a play house on the property line between their two homes. Kazuya has grown up as model student and a baseball pitcher. Minami always acts as comrade to him and behaves like a mother to the younger Tatsuya, who is an consummate idler and lazy boy.

101 episodes (aired on TV in the years 1985-1987)

Based on a manga series by Adachi Mitsuru by the same name. Adachi has also authored other popular sports manga series which have been animated - H2, Slow Step.

Read the translated manga online - compliments of MangaFox
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 6 5 6 5 7 7 Ggultra2764 [series:1063#1552]
Notable for being one of Mitsuru Adachi's most famous works, Touch focuses on the bond between Minami and the Uesugi twin brothers who grew up as neighbors and childhood friends with the trio having the desire for the twins to play baseball and make it to Koushien to play in the national high school finals. The twins have different personalities with older brother Tatsuya being the slacker not involved in any school activity and younger brother Kazuya the hard working of the duo and the star pitcher of the school baseball team. The series explores the developments of our three protagonists throughout the three years they are in high school with the characters gradually changing as episodes in the series progress.

The first quarter of the series starts off rather slow in its pacing as it serves to introduce the major characters of the series, explore the chemistry between Minami and the twins and lay the foundation of Tatsuya's gradual character changes as he grows out of his slacker ways to take part in a school club. A shocking plot twist comes along involving a major character in the series that results in a significant shift of the anime's plot direction that leads Tatsuya to become part of the school baseball club and where his character's growth occurs for the remainder of the series. Minami has her own developments as well where she takes part with the baseball club as their manager and begins to slowly integrate into involvement with her school's gymnastics club. A number of other characters are introduced throughout the series that get their own developments and back stories that become connected to Tatsuya and the Meisei baseball team's goals of making it to Koushien.

Praises aside, Touch does have its bumps in quality that keep me from wanting to rate it higher. The introduction of Coach Kashiwaba for later in the series as a replacement coach brings about a number of the later issues faced in the series as he is shown to be physically abusive to the players and drink while on the job. Yet despite these habits, the students and staff of the school don't take action on him nor suspect his questionable methods of coaching. The series also devotes a good amount of focus on Kashiwaba's character for a good part of the second half of the series by introducing back story to his character that is supposed to make his predicament seem like a parallel to Tatsuya's situation. However the results of this are a mixed bag as while his personality and actions are ambiguous enough to leave you wondering if he changed for the better, the back story and focus on his character isn't convincing to make him into a tragic character due to how malicious and abusive his character was and it occasionally hampers the anime's main focus on the developments of Tatsuya and Minami's characters.

Other aspects of the show's characterization are also a mixed bag. While there are characters who get a good amount of focus and development, there are others where you are left to wonder why they even exist in the series. Tatsuya's parents are mostly worthless as they only exist as comedic relief who are often seen openly flirting with one another and being somewhat irresponsible. After Tatsuya joins the baseball club, Harada's existence in the series becomes mostly pointless as he only exists to observe Tatsuya's actions with the team. Also, I was rather annoyed with Yuka's presence in the series as she only exists to add unnecessary hostility in Minami and Tatsuya's relationship thanks to the rather obvious crush she has on him (her main reason of joining Meisei's baseball team later in the series) and is a mostly selfish character.

Presentation-wise, Touch is obviously rather outdated in terms of its visuals and soundtrack. Scenery shots aren't so vast and character designs are rather simple in terms of detail, both having faded out color tones. The series quite often resorts to animation shortcuts, particularly during baseball games with cut shots, still shots and reused frames being a regular occurrence within the series. The soundtrack for the series is mostly a product of its time which does its part to enhance tense and comical moments throughout the series, yet doesn't have anything memorable that particularly sticks out.

While I don't regret having watched Touch throughout its 101-episode run, I think some of the praise it has earned among fans may be somewhat overhypped. It does do well with developing a number of its major characters and there is genuine tension played out in the baseball games that Meisei is involved with, yet suffers bumps in plot quality for its second half thanks to the presence and focus on Coach Kashiwaba and there are questionable elements to its characterization that had me questioning why certain characters existed in the series. Still, it is a decent 1980s anime that is worth watching if you don't mind anime focused on baseball and can tolerate the anime's long running time of 101 episodes.

Last updated Sunday, September 21 2014. Created Saturday, September 20 2014.
Buy 7 5 7 7 9 9 Anonymous #1969 [series:1063#1969]
Written by Adachi Mitsuru, this had 26 manga books, which was fully made into 100 episode TV series, a very successful one, and later condensed into 3 movies and had 2 spin-off OVA. It was the series that made Adachi Mitsuru a internationally recognized comic creator and had created huge boom of baseball comic book series in Japan and Korea. His artistic style relied heavily on proper use of space, a blank space or a pace setting cut that allowed the readers to fill in with their imagination. I wish not to go into details about the plot, for it would destroy one of the most powerful moment in manga history. The 2nd of movie series is actually praised as best of all the Touch production, as it totally rewrote the middle part of the series, focusing on the most important issue of the series, which divulging it here would destroy the most important plot twist that actually happens at the end of first section. Many actually criticized the plot as a cop-out of difficult situation. The 2nd movie finally made those critics to see the real struggle of the series and why that twist had to be. I will reveal more if there are other reviewers enter their views here.

Last updated Friday, May 20 2005. Created Friday, May 20 2005.

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