10 Books/Manga Like Cross Game | TheReviewGeek Recommends

10 Books/Manga Like Cross Game

Cross Game is a fabulous baseball-themed manga with a dash of romance and comedy. It was written and illustrated by Mitsuru Adachi and was serialized 4 in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine from April 2005 to February 2010.

The manga spawned over 17 volumes and received immense praise for having well-developed characters, a gripping plot, and an excellent portrayal of friendship, family, and personal growth. It’s so marvelous that it won the shonen award at the 54th Shogakukan Manga Awards in 2009.

If you’re in the mood for more sports or drama books/manga that offers a similar vibe, fear not! We’ve gathered together 10 books/manga to check out when you’ve caught up with Cross Game. Of course, if you feel we’ve missed any of your favorites, do comment below and let us know!

Touch – Mitsuru Adachi

Similarities – Baseball & Romance

Touch is another baseball-themed sports manga by Mitsuru Adachi. It revolves around the daily life of two twin brothers named Tatsuya and Kazuya and their next-door neighbor Minami. Kazuya is known for being an excellent baseball player while Tatsuya’s known for stepping out of the spotlight to let his brother reap all the rewards.

Minami plays an equal role in the narrative, but the story leans toward Tatsuya being its prime protagonist. Touch offers Cross Game fans a new urban setting to glare at and appreciate. This area houses many hurdles for our protagonists to overcome by the series’ conclusion. Baseball is a sport tackled in both works, but the way they go about it is different.

Unlike Cross Game, Touch has our characters competing in competitive baseball which diversifies characters’ positions differently based on their skill levels. Our characters play by different rules and utilize unique techniques and strategies to win. However, if you’re looking for another fabulous baseball and romance-themed manga from the same author, Touch shouldn’t disappoint.

H2 – Mitsuru Adachi

Similarities – Baseball & Art Style

Mitsuru Adachi loves sports considering H2 is another well-crafted baseball manga from him. In H2, we follow a raunchy baseball enthusiast named Hiro. After receiving an elbow injury, Hiro quits baseball and attends a school that doesn’t offer it as an extracurricular activity. At another school, Hiro’s childhood friend Hikari wishes he’d attended her school.

At the same time, Hiro meets Haruka, a clumsy girl who happens to manage an unofficial baseball club. Hiro joins the soccer team but learns of their harsh treatment toward the baseball club and switches sides. We examine his new life playing a sport he never thought he’d return to. H2 offers more complex rivalries, friendships, and romantic relationships than Cross Game.

Each pairing receives adequate spotlight and development time. Furthermore, H2 explores themes like hard work, teamwork, and dedication as opposed to Cross Game which focuses more on family, loss, friendship, and personal development. With its boatload of romantic story arcs, handling of baseball, and genuine themes, Cross Game fans are in for a treat with H2.

Fuuka – Kouji Seo

Similarities – Themes & Romance

Fuuka offers a story centered around music and romance. While it differs significantly from Cross Game, it offers multiple themes that will resonate with its fans. This manga is about Yuu, a new Tokyo resident who bumps into a high school girl named Fuuka during a dinner outing. She thinks he tried taking upskirt pictures of her, so she breaks his phone.

Despite having bad blood for each other, Yuu and Fuuka become friends, form a band, and enter the music world. We examine their lives together as they strive for success. Fuuka and Cross Game offer well-developed characters who have likable personalities. One series leans heavily toward music while the other favors baseball.

However, both works touch upon romance, self-discovery, and personal development. The romance is handled more intensely and passionately in Fuuka as opposed to Cross Game. It also plays a central role in driving much of our cast’s actions and decisions. If you’re looking for a manga with similar themes but that offers a distinct approach, check out Fuuka.

Suzuka – Kouji Seo

Similarities – Sports, Romantic, Comedy

Suzuka is an additional sports manga Cross Game fans should add to their reading list. It offers a compelling romance, lighthearted humor, and a great emphasis on outdoor activities. While Cross Game favors baseball, Suzuka centers around track and field. Nonetheless, you’ll walk away feeling as passionate about these sports as the characters do in each manga.

Suzuka follows Yamato, a boy who lives with his aunt and other girls at her housing complex. He notices and gets impressed by one of the athletic female residents at the place named Suzuka. He learns she’s part of the track team and signs up in hopes of impressing her. With friendship and love on the line, Yamato plans to do whatever it takes to win Suzuka over.

Suzuka’s cast is extremely dedicated to track and field and must overcome numerous hurdles related to it. Both stories offer compelling love triangles to get non-sports fanatics interested in reading. Romance plays a central role in Suzuka, unlike Cross Game. Furthermore, Suzuka often delves into the complexities surrounding our cast’s relationships and personal struggles. If you’re okay with reading a serious sports manga with a different sport, check out Suzuka.

Living Game – Mochiru Hoshisato

Similarities – Slice of Life, Comedy, Romance

Living Game is full of silly, enjoyable romantic comedy scenarios that will warm Cross Game fans’ hearts. It’s a story that starts off goofy but transforms into something desirable and touching. In it, we follow a 25-year-old salaryman named Raizo. Due to some construction issues, his office buildings staff must move into his flat for the time being.

This includes a new employee named Izumi, a 15-year-old high school dropout. Readers will bear witness to the chaos and hilarity that ensues inside Raizo’s flat. The story offers fabulous pacing and natural events that will resonate with specific audiences. The characters’ actions and reactions to the situation feel authentic, too. These characters undergo wonderful growth and develop healthy bonds.

The art style is immaculate. Although the character designs look simplistic on the surface, Hoshisato manages to draw out their emotions on each panel. The art fits with the manga’s wholesome tone, too. If you’re looking for a non-sports manga with great romantic elements and characters akin to those found in Cross Game, check this out.

Basketball Fighter – Takao Aoyagi

Similarities – Story & Themes

Basketball Fighter is a fun basketball manga that explores the fundamentals of its respective sport. It follows a protagonist who wants to make it in life and becomes a better player over time. Takao Aoyagi implements many authentic hurdles for his protagonist to overcome and these will push his protagonist to their absolute limits. The protagonist’s undying spirit is what will get people through this manga.

The way they compete in these exhilarating basketball games will impress you. Takao Aoyagi’s art style feels soft and compelling like Mitsuru Adachi’s work in Cross Game. Both series explore teamwork, personal development, and growth extremely well. They also contain some great lighthearted comedy to put readers’ minds at ease after their thrilling sports events. If you crave a compelling basketball-themed narrative with a strong protagonist, this one’s worth checking out.

The Knight In The Area – Shin Kibayashi

Similarities – Comedy, Themes, Sports

The Knight In The Area is an incredible sports manga with wonderful characters, excellent humor, and a fun story. It’s another story about a young protagonist who strives to become the best professional athlete in his respective sport. It explores themes like perseverance, dedication, and discipline, which are three traits any athlete needs to become an incredible ally.

The Knight In The Area’s Kakeru works diligently to achieve his dreams and must overcome numerous challenges to stand in his way. He’ll succumb to grave injuries and deal with self-doubt. However, he won’t let this get him down as he’s determined to improve his soccer skills no matter what. Both mangas highlight the importance of teamwork and illustrate the bonds that grow between their cast.

Cross Game and The Knight In The Area showcase the competitive nature of their sports. Shin Kibayashi likes to hone in on the emotion and tension that arises from specific rival groups. With rich character development, intimate relationships, and handling of deeper topics like self-discovery, life, and meaning, The Knight In The Area is a great manga to read after Cross Game.

1/11: Juuichi Bun no Ichi – Takatoshi Nakamura

Similarities – Sports & Story

1/11: Juuichi Bun no Ichi is a fabulous sports manga centered around soccer. It revolves around Sora, a middle school soccer player who lost his love for the sport after losing an important game. However, he meets Shiki, who represents Japan’s national women’s soccer team. After this fateful encounter, Sora will get roped into similar warm encounters with friends and strangers.

They’ll help him realize his destiny of becoming a phenomenal member of a soccer team again. Sora is a complex character who undergoes multiple mental and physical hurdles that will help him become the talented player he used to be. Many people will resonate with his character and the spiritual journey he embarks on.

The side characters receive nice development and will impact Sora drastically throughout the story. Although 1/11: Juuichi Bun no Ichi focuses more on soccer than baseball, this story presents readers with a lot of sweet instances to eat up. If you’re searching for a calm and intense sports manga to read after Cross Game, check this one out.

Kuroko’s Basketball – Tadatoshi Fujimaki

Similarities – Sports & Themes

Kuroko’s Basketball is an exhilarating basketball manga that blends basketball with the supernatural. Unlike Cross Game, the characters in Kuroko’s Basketball perform crazy stunts in the manga. You’ll think they came straight out of Dragon Ball or Naruto with the techniques they perform in their worlds. Nonetheless, both stories offer grounded narratives with touching themes.

In Kuroko’s Basketball, we follow Kagami, who joins the Seirin High School basketball team. He befriends a minuscule player named Kuroko and learns he was the weakest member of the well-acclaimed basketball team, the Generation of Miracles. This team was undefeated but split up due to their differences. Kagami realizes Kuroko’s only great at passing the ball in the blink of an eye.

With Kuroko’s bizarre skills and Kagami’s passion for the sport, the two plan to make Seirin High School’s basketball team the best team ever. Like Cross Game, this manga emphasizes teamwork, personal growth, and friendship. It offers a unique spin on the sport but maintains the core fundamentals of basketball to appeal to diehard basketball enthusiasts.

If you’re okay with a sports manga that offers a dash of superpowers to make things interesting, check this out.

Hajime No Ippo – George Morikawa

Similarities – Themes & Sports

Hajime No Ippo is a well-beloved sports manga. It offers excellent storytelling, funny and well-written characters, and stylish illustrations. The humor is all over the place from witty jokes to exaggerated facial reactions. Nonetheless, fans will adore this work more for its cast and the motivational dialogue they utter from their mouths and through their fists.

Our story follows a bullied boy named Ippo. He loves helping out his mother but gets bullied for being weak-willed. One day, Ippo meets Takamura, a well-acclaimed Heavyweight boxer. After discussing things with Takamura, Ippo trains diligently to impress him. When Ippo earns Takamura’s respect, Takamura introduces Ippo to his boxing companions and his coach.

Readers will examine Ippo’s quest to become a formidable fighter inside and outside the ring. Ippo’s story will strike a core with many sports fans. He undergoes severe training to become a better fighter. From sparring with Takamura’s coach to jogging in the heat on the beach, Ippo will endure intense training to make sure he’s ready for his matches. Both mangas offer excellent takes on personal growth and will inspire you to achieve your dreams.

So there we have it, our 10 books/manga to read after you’re caught up with Cross Game.

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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