Adatchi Mitsuru’s H2, I am sure any diehard anime fan would have watched this anime at one point of their lives.
And I am sure that there are plenty of reviews out there. But my review on this relic is going to take a slightly different angle of view.
I am going to talk about the anime version mainly since it is the most accessible one. Manga does go further than the anime but the conclusion is the same.
H2 is basically a romance series under a disguise of sports. In fact, Mr. Adatchi’s works have been pretty much identical in his whole life. The gist of his works has always been romance under a false pretense of being sports series.
What sets H2 different from his other works is that it deals with women’s regrets instead of men’s. This fact is actually quite rare in anime. After all, it is generally men who ends up being abused or crucified at least in the world of anime and manga.
The main character of the series is Kunimi Hiro who chose to enter a high school that doesn’t have a baseball club in order to escape from baseball. He was told by a doctor a year ago that his throwing arm was basically glass and it could shatter at any day. Basically, he had to give up on baseball.
Sadly for him, the high school has a small local team that has been pushing hard to make their baseball club an official one, and Hiro is eventually dragged into their affair. The dude loves baseball after all. He can’t help it.
Eventually, he finds that his arm is fine even after some mild workout. It soon turns out that the doctor was a fraud. And he vows to make the baseball club an official one.
Above is the story of H2. However, in reality, the real plot is Amamiya Hikari’s constant regret of overlooking Hiro, and Koga Haruka’s blossoming affection toward Hiro.
You see, in middle school, Hiro was a midget. He was a tiny guy. And, In 1990’s Asia, for men, his height was very important. The general rule was that a man had to be taller than his girlfriend/wife.
Therefore, while Hiro had feelings for Hikari in his middle school days, he could never confess since he was a midget.
In the end, Hiro ended up introducing Hikari to Tachibana Hideo who is another close friend of his. Then, a year or so later, Hiro entered his growth stage and became much taller, even taller than Hikari. Alas, it was too late. Hideo and Hikari became a close couple, and those around them expect them to eventually get married.
Since then, Hiro has moved on. However, Hikari has not. She, too, had feelings for him. But he was a midget and her feelings wasn’t that strong.
As they enter high school, seeing Hiro becoming quite a man starts to sow a sense of deep regret in her. She does not plan to cheat on Hideo but she constantly reminds herself that she lost out on a good man.
They remain to be as close as siblings and will probably remain so, but Hikari will likely have an eternal regret.
Now, let’s move onto Koga Haruka. She is the manager of the baseball club Hiro is trying to revive. She is a bit of an airhead but nevertheless a good natured girl. She initially dismisses Hiro since she is mostly interested in “famous baseball players”.
Well, Hiro is a famous baseball player, at least within high school baseball circles. In fact, he is considered one of the best pitchers. Haruka is quite slow to catch on that fact but, when she does catch on, she starts to grow significantly stronger feelings.
That is precisely when Haruka starts to notice Hikari’s attention on Hiro. She realizes quickly that Hikari is not looking at Hiro as a mere friend and begins to be afraid that Hikari might take Hiro away from her. Once that realization sets it, she starts to make a run at Hiro, desperately trying to become his girlfriend.
The series ends where everything is starting to go toward a climax. Why end the series there? Well, if you know Mr. Adatchi’s works, you should have expected that. It’s his style where he leaves the end part to viewers’ imaginations.
In the end, H2 is quite a unique series within romance genre in mainstream anime. In general, it is men who go after women. But it is the opposite in H2. It is women who go after men, and one of them is having so much regrets for letting a guy go too soon.
Baseball? Nah, H2 has very little to do with the sport. It is the driving force but not the focus. The real focus of the series is Hikari’s constant regret as well as Haruka’s fear of Hikari snatching Hiro away from her.
I can see why Mr. Adatch named this “H2”. I believe it comes from Hikari and Haruka. And there is Hideo and Hiro. Everyone’s first name starts to a H interestingly. Why not H4 then? It’s probably due to a fact that this series is mostly about Hiro and Hikari.
Ultimately, Hikari holds the ball. If she chooses to do so, she can whack pretty much everyone around her by choosing to ditch Hideo and choose Hiro. It is highly unlikely that she will do that however.
Do you think above is an impossible scenario?
You think it’s impossible, don’t you?
H2 in a nutshell.
If the art style of H2 feels too outdated for you, I can suggest Cross Game which exists in FHD. It is another masterpiece of his which relies on fate instead of a girl’s whim.