I guess they have resolved my pending questions in episode 92: Minami clearly states that she’s liked Tatsuya for a long while, and it won’t change even with Kazuya around. I think this was a smart move by Adachi, because it did not make the series sappy with romance. It didn’t deal with a girl vacillating between two exemplary men, and thus did not waste time on that unnecessary matter. The series instead focused on building up the extant hero and heroine and progressing their characters. I still believe that it’s taken them a long while to arrive at that point, however, although the hints were already scattered throughout the series: 48 episodes is a long while.
I have never liked bathos, however, and I think that as a compromise it’s better than drenching the series with tears and with broken hearts. I think of Touch as a good series because it avoids such cliches. I only like romance when it’s well-made: Honey and Clover, for example, while essentially a slice-of-life series, is a great romance because while it has its share of tears it doesn’t denigrate itself with fulfilled love. It even shows that life can make one suffer with unrequited loves, but people move on.
Touch is merely a story of enduring love. Unlike Cross Game, however, it focuses a lot more on the game itself than the subtleties of relationships among its characters. After 83 episodes, the main duo kiss once more and Tatsuya finally overcomes his selfless tendencies to confess to Minami that he’s loved her all this time. While the games themselves were intense and highly watchable, I feel that the character department of this show was lacking, even with its exemplary story. Its diffuse nature allowed for more of the series’s characters being fleshed out, but also loosened the story’s focus. I recognize the series as a great series, although I have some doubts as to whether to peg it as great or as a masterpiece primarily because I liked Cross Game more, personally.
How would you guys rank Touch, anyway?