Cross Manage is an inspiring lacrosse manga that has worked its way into the hearts of the SJ staff, and many fans. It's the story of a young man looking for his place in the world and the unlikely lacrosse team that helps him find it. The manga is filled with memorable characters that give their all to turn a hopeless team into something real. The result is a remarkable journey filled with drama both on and off the field.
Its recently finished its run in the magazine, and so let’s honor the inspiring characters of the manga with some end-of-the-season awards!
Best Team – Choran Lacrosse Team
Top dog team led by the indomitable Namine Chihara, Choran wowed with expert lacrosse moves. Fujioka had more guts, but Choran undeniably had more skill. Or, as Sakurai thought the first time he saw them, “This is lacrosse.” Congrats to Choran, and here’s another award to add to their many.
Most Improved – Fujioka Lacrosse Team
When they started, Fujioka’s lacrosse team didn’t even have enough players, let alone aspirations of playing real games. But by the end of the season, they’d transformed through Misora’s encouragement, Sakurai’s tough practices, and a never-give-up attitude into a real rival to Choran, the league’s best team! Every single member of the team improved, sometimes dramatically. If we mentioned all the ways, we’d be telling the whole story over!
Spirit Award – Misora
Here is a player who embodies positive thinking! Even though she stinks at lacrosse, Misora never stays down for long, even when things get really tough. She is the captain of the team in no small part to her enthusiasm (definitely not her skill!). Her beaming smile is a beacon of inspiration to her teammates and Sakurai.
Best Manager – Sakurai
Well, he’s about the only manager other than his mentor Chiumi, but that doesn’t mean he wins the award by default! Clever strategies like the Spear and Shield, tireless research on his opponents, even buying and fixing equipment for the team – Sakurai always goes above and beyond. Congrats on a job well done, Sakurai! Now maybe think about relaxing on a date sometime…
#1 Fan – Ryu
No one’s a bigger fan of Misora than Ryu. While he can be a little creepy and possessive of his angelic “little sister,” he’s cheering at every game. Honorable Mention: Nachi’s loud-mouthed brothers.
Best Athlete – Nachi
No question, Nachi is the athletic heart of the Fuijoka lacrosse team. The only one with enough physical power for the “laser beam” pass, as a midfielder, Nachi’s endurance is also crucial. Without a powerful player like Nachi, Sakurai’s strategies couldn’t be carried out.
MVP – Shinobu Komatsu
Fujioka’s ditsiest player is also its most reliable one. Though sometimes it seems like she can barely string a sentence together off the field, Komatsu makes some impressive saves in the goal box. When defense fails, Komatsu saves the day!
Student Athlete – Yurika
A well-rounded player, Yurika’s smarts allow her to catch on to new techniques quicker than the other girls. But her fear of attempting anything she doesn’t think she can master right away holds her back. She’s also got a bit of an overactive imagination, which leads to her think Sakurai’s hitting on her…
Honorable Mention #1: Biggest Flirt – Aya
No contest here—the biggest flirt on Fujioka’s lacrosse team is Aya! Teasing is a sport for her, and she’s a pro, always managing to fluster Sakurai with innuendo or draping herself over him. Of all the awards, she wins hers by the largest margin.
Honorable Mention #2: Best Comedy Duo – Seki & Wakamoto
Every good lacrosse team needs…a comedy duo? Happy-go-lucky Seki and straight-man Wakamoto are Sakurai’s friends who support him being manager. Seki’s antics tend to earn deadpan responses from Wakamoto. Between the two of them, they keep Sakurai and the team’s spirits up, and help remind him that it’s all about having fun.
That’s all for the awards!
Cross Manage digital volume 01 is availavble from VIZ.com!
by Hope Donovan