Touch 1 (Japanese) by Mitsuru Adachi: B+

Book description:
The Uesugi and Asakura families have been neighbors for years and their children have grown up together. The kids are now in their third year at Meisei Junior High. The Uesugi brothers, twins Kazuya and Tatsuya, could not be more different. Kazuya is a serious and clear-headed baseball star who scores first in his class on exams while Tatsuya is a slacker who can never measure up to his younger brother. Their neighbor, Minami Asakura, is also a good student, and gets on well with the studious twin but is perpetually annoyed by the other.

Everyone assumes that Minami and Kazuya will end up marrying, but he may not be the only twin with feelings for his pretty childhood friend.

I really love the first chapter of Touch and the way it introduces the three main characters, but things go a bit downhill from there.

It’s still a very pleasant slice-of-life story, purely episodic at first but with more connected chapters later on, but some aspects of it are already wearing thin. In just this first volume, the twins impersonate each other several times and most chapters involve Tatsuya messing up or performing ineptly in some way. I get that the idea is to show him in contrast with his talented brother, but the point gets made many times over.

Adachi’s art is clean and cute. There’s an uncluttered, almost airy, feel to the panels that I like a lot. Facial expressions are mostly simplistic, but that just contributes to an overall mellow feeling.

This was a good start to the series, but I am already ready to see some growth from Tatsuya. Thankfully, it does seem like he might have potential to make something of himself, and I’m hopeful that the story will continue to move in that direction.

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  1. Please give the story a bit more time. There will be growth in directions you don’t expect from Adachi’s slice-of-life highschool sports family story. There’s a reason that this was a big hit in its day.

  2. Hi, Estara! Thanks for the comment. 🙂

    I definitely intend to continue with it. I do know one major spoiler (it’s hard not to hear any at all when discussing a classic like Touch), but that’s all, and the notion of growth in directions I don’t expect is a reassuring one. 🙂

  3. Hi Jun, thanks for your comment on my blog, I just found it, heh, since hardly anyone reads it (which is okay considering I hardly ever update anymore).

    I meant my comment in comparison with typical sports shounen manga like Captain Tsubasa or stuff like Prince of Tennis. Any Adachi has much more going on than just the sports and challenge stuff. But he didn’t reinvent the wheel either. I’ve bought everything of his in English I could get (not that he’s been published in Germany either) but have a better overview via scanlations.

    Sports and everyday life for characters (with one historical series) are his mainstay, together with humor. If you start liking his style, you’ll hardly ever be disappointed in any of his works.

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