Short Program 2 by Mitsuru Adachi: B+

From the back cover:
Love and life are programmed in
* Is the life of a cute, young private detective on the line?
* Can love be found only half-way down the line?
* Will life change in a coffee shop?
* How can an earthquake shake up a relationship?
* Is destiny all it’s cracked up to be for a baseball loser?
* Will a playwright balance loyalty against love?
* Was it really that great in the good ole’ days?
* Can a manga artist watch baseball and meet deadlines?

Eee! I got to read this without spending $60+ on it! Thank you WorldCat!

I didn’t enjoy this collection quite as much as the first. I think the primary reasons were that many of the stories were really short and also that many of them featured baseball. I know Adachi is a big fan, but it kind of got to the point where I’d groan inwardly if the title page for the next story featured a kid in a baseball cap.

My two favorite stories had nothing to do with baseball. The first, “Spring Passes,” tells the story of a guy who had been persuaded to give a friend a lift on his motorcycle and then had a wreck. There was more to it than that, and though it was kind of predictable, I still liked its melancholy feel.

The other I particularly liked was called “The Road Home” and was told in two parts, each featuring a little boy that found himself whisked to another time, one forward and one back. I especially liked that the first half had no real resolution, and I think that’s kind of what I liked most about “Spring Passes,” too. The romantic comedy ones were cute with their nice endings, but the ones that really stood out did not take such well-trod paths.

Ultimately, I would like to own a copy of this for myself, but now that I’ve read it I will be able to hold out for the reasonable price that surely will present itself one of these days.

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