The course of several months pass in episode six of Mix: Meisei Story, and with the passing of time come SO MANY DEVELOPMENTS:
- We meet Haruka, the girl from the opening and Sou’s apparent love interest…
- Who is the daughter of Tou’s father’s drinking buddy…
- An also the former captain of the Meisei squad and new manager of their high school team
- The new manager and Tou’s dad allude to Sou’s surprising role as a catcher instead of pitcher
- Speaking of which, Sou becomes the new number one and finally pitches…
- Which includes throwing a no hitter
- Meanwhile the setup for Tou x Otomi continues…
- While the fan service is ramping up (with some heavy doses, it looks like, coming in episode seven)
Perhaps the least important development, though, is the one on which the episode spends most of its time. As I mentioned previously, the series dropped little hints here and there to show that Nikaido and his father aren’t the villains they’re portrayed to be, and the full explanation is given this episode. The reason why he didn’t show up during the last game is because he was undergoing an operation where the prognosis was negative. His dad is his biggest cheerleader, and despite the overbearing aura, is a well-liked man who has always seen Nikaido as supremely talented and encouraged him through illness. Unable to break the old man’s heart, the team manager continues to let the younger Nikaido be the ace pitcher. Nikaido also wants to support his father, though he understands his limitations; meanwhile, all this explains Nikaido’s limited practice time due to health concerns.
Mix has a fairly light tone, and Nikaido’s story is presented that way as well. So there’s not a whole lot of commentary on the situation, but even though Nikaido and his father are presented in a positive light, it is also emphasized that his father should know better. Nikaido is almost apologetic and the team manager goes as far as to resign.
All this reminds me of the on-going Lori Loughlin college bribery scandal. The outcry against her has been pretty unanimous, though I wonder, if Loughlin was just someone in your community who wasn’t so rich, wasn’t so famous, and didn’t bribe with so much money, would you feel differently? Would you still decry her actions while also understanding them a little more?
I don’t know how I would respond in that less intensive scenario. I’m pretty judgmental, so I might think the same as I do now about her lack of character, hypocrisy, and l use of unfair methods that kept two worthy students out of college in lieu of her own daughters. But then again, if I’m considering the plank in my own eye, I might remember that at times, I feel like the worst parent in the world. As twisted as her methods may have been, Loughlin did what she did out of love; I sometimes do what I do as a parent out of pride, impatience, or anger—I just don’t have the resources or fame that would lead to my actions being judged.
The blind love shown by Nikaido’s dad is somewhat similar to Loughlin’s, and it’s debatable whether what he’s doing is okay. What I do like, though, is the way the kids respond to how Nikaido’s dad drove this whole situation. His son, in the most respectful of ways, says this:
The best way to thank my father in the limited time I had was to stand on the mound wearing the number one uniform for as many games as possible.
It’s a selfish decision, yes, but it’s one not salted with hypocrisy; there’s heart there, as misdirected as it might be. As for the players affected (like the college applicants affected by the bribery situation), Sou is the one who is hurt utmost, but his response is also gold: He forgives Nikaido, but he won’t ask for forgiveness for all the badmouthing he did.
The truth is, both Nikaido and Sou ultimately choose love as a response. It’s not always right—neither of their responses is perfect, and the love that Nikaido’s father has is blind in an unfortunate way. But sometimes love is the best we can do, right or wrong; and if so, that’s not a bad foundation to build from.
That goes for parents, whether you’re a business executive, a famous celebrity, or just Joe Schmo like myself; children, whether an ace pitcher, Instagram model, or diligent student; or those of us just responding to what we see and hear. If you choose love, you may not always be right—but erring on that side is more easily forgiven, since it, too, is forgiveness, and that’s both something which we all want, and a kind of love we all need.
MIX: Meisei Story is available to stream on Crunchyroll. Below are screen captures from episode six:
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6 thoughts on “Mix Episode 6 and the Case for Lori Loughlin Parents”
No matter what the heart for the actions might be, I cannot justify the actions of the college bribery parents at all. If they truly loved their children, they would make them work for their college acceptance, and if they fail, live with the consequences, because that is an important part of growing into an adult. Not to mention, getting into a school through bribery means the kid will likely be unprepared for the level of education at the college, meaning they will ultimately be hurt in the end. And that’s to say nothing about all the flak those kids are getting now that the scandal has been revealed, for something that likely isn’t any of their fault. (My heart definitely goes out to those kids.) The whole situation just reeks of the high-class culture that thinks they can solve all their problems with money.
Since I was not directly impacted by the bribery scandal, I don’t really have anything to ask forgiveness for, but if what if I were, say, the parent of someone who was rejected from the college someone else bribed their way into? While I would “forgive” to the extent that I would not seek any personal vengeance and will let the court of law handle any punishment, I don’t believe that “forgiveness”, in the form of interpersonal reconciliation, should happen unless the offending party expresses repentance for their wrongdoings. In this way, I would be willing to reconcile with Felicity Huffman, who has pleaded guilty and expressed remorse for what she did, but not Lori Loughlin, who refuses to admit she did anything wrong. I would, of course, try to support their children as much as I can (as long as they haven’t done anything to outright support the bribery); also, I would not try to shield anyone from whatever punishment the law hands to them.
I agree with you completely—not only were her and her husband’s actions unjustifiably wrong, they’re also detrimental to her kids. They ill-prepare them and teach them that influence and money is more important than doing the right thing. Still, I feel for her…just a bit. Just a weeeee little bit haha, because if I had that kind of money and influence, I don’t think I would have as much character as I do now (as much as that is); I would be far more influenced by the world around me, and I think I would be a lesser parent for it. It’s unfortunate, though, that she hasn’t eaten her cake like Felicity Huffman, who I think is looking at four months jail time. Admit your guilt and you’ll be able to start moving forward, as painful as the consequences are—and you’ll also teach your daughters the exact opposite of what you did by getting into this situation in the first place.
I’ve been waiting for you to talk about Mix more lol, I was starting to think you’d dropped it because I mentioned Adachi had written a romcom about step-siblings. It would have been a shame if you had, cause Mix only picks up from here, although it’s ultimately not as focused as his three big baseball manga (aka Touch, H2 and Cross Game).
By the way, if you haven’t already I heavily recommend reading H2, as it’s Adachi Mitsuru at the top of his game. It doesn’t have a big dramatic hook like Touch or Cross Game, but it’s got a very compelling romantic through line. It also takes care to make sure that all aspects of it (from the side characters’ personalities, character dynamics, rivalries, to the games themselves) are fully realized, in a way that his more inexperienced writing in Touch and his more concise writing in Cross Game just can’t match.
Although I’m disappointed, I’m not real sure there’s anything that’ll get me to stop MIX. I’m just not as likely to blog on it every week haha.
And thanks for the rec. I’ve heard such good things about H2, and have been wanting to try it out for a long time!
While Touch and Cross Game are in my opinion Adachi’s masterpieces, I actually have always liked H2, mainly because of the romance.
I remember when I was reading it, I was told that the romantic matches didn’t turn out the way they should have, and so I had a lot of trepidation in reading it, because I was worried about that. Only to discover that the romance turn out exactly as I thought it should.
That’s actually when I started to realize that a lot of people see romance and love as being about ending up with the person you “belong with.” While to me romance is all about ending up with the person you choose. We choose who we love.
Which is why I liked the romance in H2.
How very well put!