Manga Spotlight: Cross Over

Yup, this is my first spotlight/review, and today's one will be on Cross Over. I was looking through my manga-reading list (Basically, what Manga I've read...btw, I've hit the 70th series mark, though there are some one-shots there...if you don't count those, I'm still above 60), and I did't really want to pick an on-going series or one of my more favourites, so I settled on this one. Here's the breakdown:

Title: Cross Over

Author: Kouji Seo

Magazine: Weekly Shonen Magazine

Chapters: 59

Status: Finished

Synopsis: Ogata Natsuki is the best player on his middle school basketball team, scoring more than half of his team's points every game. He tries out for the number one high school for basketball, but despite making it through, he chooses a school which he sees getting beaten by them because of the difference in attitudes, and vows to overcome the top school. The story shows how the team builds up to challenge for the title of best.

Review: If there is one thing I love about this manga, and actually, all of Kouji Seo sensei's mangas is his artwork. Personally, I feel it is a cut above most manga's artwork (cough, Elfen Lied), even amongst Ecchi manga (This is ecchi, by the way). People looking for cute girls and a plot will find the story pleasant, and the girls cute. Yes, very cute/hot. Better than stuff like to-Love-ru even. The characters are also developed quite nicely, especially the main few (being Natsuki, some of the basketball players and their manager), and it is fairly realistic. Sports fans will be intrigued and partially impressed with some of the ideas that do come out (Though they are not very realistic, and basketball fans should read slam-dunk instead. I should too, actually, but I digress)

However, if there is one problem with the manga, it would be the story. More specifically,the length. The relationships developed are good and all, yes, and there is an improvement of the characters, albeit not the best way, but the story is simply too short; come on, 59 chapter isn't going to cut it for a good shonen series, especially a sports one. Because of the length, I felt at times there was just not enough of anything, and I felt Kouji Seo should have continued with the series and made more out of it. It certanly had potential, mind you. Also, the ending is so abrupt. I'm not spoiling it for you, but I felt that there was too big a gap, and everything kind of ended of too perfectly. The team loses TWICE the whole series, and to the same school at that. In that sense, there is a real lack of building up of the team, something other series had which made them so much better (Eyeshield 21 is a great example). Also, we don't really see any real relationships being made; I'm not saying they have to start dating or anything, but the development is kind of here and there, but not flowing. If it was longer and built up better, this manga would have been top class.

Summary: Great artwork, some great ideas here and there, but the plot doesn't gel at the end, and there is a real lack of development. Would have been much better if the series was longer.

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