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Manga: Diamond no Ace

Diamond no Ace (ダイヤのA), or, in English, Ace of Diamondnote  is a shōnen baseball manga written and illustrated by Yūji Terajima and published by Kodansha. It has been serialized by Weekly Shōnen Magazine since 2006. In 2008, Ace of Diamond received the Shogakukan Manga Awards for the shōnen category. In 2010, it won the Kodansha Manga Award for best shōnen manga.

Sawamura Eijun is pitcher from rural school Akagi Junior High, where the school's baseball team was fairly badnote . Despite this, Sawamura thoroughly enjoyed playing with his teammates, and was dead set on entering high school with them and continuing their journey to Koushien there. However, he's scouted by a manager from an elite private school in Tokyo. After some deliberation and encouragement from his junior high teammates, he decides to carry their dreams with him as he moves to Tokyo to join Seidou High School's powerhouse baseball team. Unfortunately for him though, what he finds there isn't quite what he expected...

An Anime adaptation by Madhouse and Production I.G has premiered as part of the fall season.

This series contains examples of:

  • The Ace: Seido has no "true" ace, and the ace number is the ultimate goal for Tanba, Furuya, Eijun, and Kawakami; as they are the four first-string pitchers, and the ultimate premise of the series. Tanba is chosen as the ace, but sustains an injury before the summer tournament, when jerseys are handed out, he is given the ace number, thus making him the ace. The reporters mention this as the main reason why Seidou lost against Inashiro on the road to Koshien.
    • After the loss against Inashiro and the third years graduated, jerseys were redistributed to the first string players, Eijun was given 18, Kawakami stayed at 10, and Furuya was given the ace number, 1.
    • In terms of batting, Haruichi boasts the highest avg on the team at .571 (meaning he hits the ball 57.1% of the time), the next closest to him is Shirasu with .333 (33.3%, hits a third of the time).
  • Affectionate Nickname: Eijun was called "Ei-chan" by his Junior High team and he calls Haruichi "Harucchi" (which basically means "Little Haru-chan") fondly.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Ryousuke is this to Haruichi.
    • Big Brother Instinct: Ryousuke was very close to Haruichi when they were younger and protected him from bullies, however, their relationship became estranged when Haruichi took up baseball and they played the same position. Currently, they are still estranged, but Ryousuke shows that he still cares and looks out for Haruichi, just not as openly as before.
    • Big Brother Worship: Haruichi really admired Ryosuke since they were little kids. In fact, it's his worship of him that makes him decide to use wooden bats, in order to catch up to Ryosuke, and have Ryosuke acknowledge him. He does, in their decisive match against Inashiro Tech.
  • Big Little Brother: Downplayed, but played straight; Haruichi is roughly an inch taller than Ryousuke, who is two years his senior
  • Bilingual Bonus: Shunshin who speaks fluent Japanese as well as his mother language Taiwanese, even speaking in Taiwanese at his at-bat during the Seido-Akikawa game.
  • Blinding Bangs: Haruichi.
  • Broken Tears: Mei, after Inashiro lost at Koshien.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Chris, who is half-American.
    • Averted with Shunshin, who is 100% Taiwanese and is from Taiwan.
  • Confusion Fu: Sawamura's specialty. His pitches lack the speed and control of most of the other pitchers, but because of his unique pitching style, the trajectory of his pitches shift, even if he uses the same pitch over and over. And the shift can be subtle or wild, depending on how hard he pitches. Thanks to the lower speed of his pitches, he's easier to get hits off of than, say, Furuya, but because it's completely impossible to predict the ball's trajectory shifts, it's damn near impossible to get a decisive hit off of him. This makes him harder to score off of than the other pitchers, despite them being harder to hit off of.
  • Curtains Match The Windows: Haruichi.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Miyuki, all the time.
  • Delusions Of Grandeur: Eijun, who seeks to be the "Ace" of the Seido High baseball team, despite not really knowing the first thing about baseball apart from the basics...
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Haruichi has been noted many times that he looks like a girl.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Chris. It gets better when Eijun starts to grow on him.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Isashiki's "Spitz of Seido" title, don't call him it.
  • Embarrassing Haircut: Masuko accidentally shaves a huge streak in his head when he forgot to change the setting on his razor, as a result, he had to shave his entire head to even it out, when he walks into breakfast, the reaction from the team is predictable.
  • A Father to His Men: Kataoka, if he only cares about one thing, it's his players. The best example being him being the first one to run onto the field when Tanba got hit with a pitch.
  • Fragile Speedster: Furuya, who has the fastest fastball of all of Seido pitchers, has weak nails and poor stamina, even worse in Summer, as he hails from Hokkaido.
  • Fragile Speedster: Haruichi is an all-around amazing baseball player, being able to pick where and how far he hits a ball at bat, can jump up and catch a ball and throw it while still in air, and has incredible speed, all in all, his skills surpass his first-string, third year, older brother, Ryousuke; but like Furuya, he lacks in stamina.
  • The Gadfly: Miyuki loves to mess with people. Just because he can and it amuses him.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Chris's shoulder, which he's trying to rehab. Also his former teammate from middle school Zaizen suffer a leg injury.
    • Right when Tanba solidifies his spot as The Ace, he gets hit in the jaw from a wild pitch during a game, the game was called as a result from the injury and he was out for several months with a fractured jaw. As a result from the injury and recovery process, Tanba was benched for the first few games of the summer tournament.
  • The Heart: Tetsu's role as the team captain.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Eijun and Chris.
    • Miyuki and Satoru.
    • Basically find any two players on the team that are close and they fit this.
  • Heroic BSOD: Sawamura suffers one after he hits one of Inashiro's players in the 9th inning. It's made even worse when he gets relieved by Kawakami and he blows the save.
    • Eijun also suffers this during the Seido vs Yakushi game, Raichi hit a homerun off him after Eijun vowed not to let Kataoka down, he manages to stay calm, but is mentally crushed and is then relieved by Kawakami when he allows two more runners on base. Kawakami also suffers from this in the same game while on the mound, due to the memory of Raichi's homerun scored off of Eijun replaying mind, affecting his usual control.
  • Hot-Blooded: Eijun, even by manga and anime standards.
  • Idiot Hero: Eijun. Along with the Delusions Of Grandeur and Hot-Blooded tropes above, this is what largely causes almost everyone to write him off thinking that he's just another baseball star wannabe. Furuya also isn't too bright, but he's a lot quieter about it.
  • Important Haircut: Tanba, the Ace of Seidou as punishment for failing the challenge imposed by his teammates. Though he didn't fail, he was injured by a dead ball before he could properly attempt challenge:
  • Irony: Eijun initially wanted to form a battery with Miyuki upon arriving at Seido, and he was borderline furious that he was to form a battery with Chris, however, after bonding with Chris, Eijun wants to keep the battery with Chris alive and is actually upset that he has to partner up with the person he originally wanted to be his catcher; he slowly comes to accept Miyuki, however, but still desires to be in a battery with Chris.
    • It takes him a while but he starts remembering more frequently that he actually only came to Seido because Miyuki left such a big impression.
  • Jerkass Fašade: Chris
  • Luminescent Blush: Haruichi is highly prone to this.
  • Manly Tears: Eijun as well as other members of the team.
    • Also when a Team is defeated in a tournament.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Eijun gets this reaction after finding out about Chris' Game-Breaking Injury after he insulted him.
  • The Napoleon: The Kominato brothers are the shortest two players on the team, Haruichi being marginally taller than Ryousuke, both are below average height for boys their age and they are 164cm or roughly 5'4 (Haruichi) and 162cm or 5'3 (Ryousuke) in comparison to the rest of their team who are in the 170+ centimeter range.
  • The Nicknamer: Eijun comes up with a nickname for many members of the team; such as:
    • Haruichi - "Harucchi", Ryousuke - "Nii-san", Jun - "Spitz-sempai" and "Beard-sempai", Tetsu - "Leader", Kataoka - "Coach Shades" and "Boss"
  • Passing the Torch: With the third years graduating, a lot of first and second years took over the empty positions, the most prominent being Haruichi taking his brother's position, number, and batting spot before moving into the clean-up batters.
    • Tanba's ace number is passed to Furuya.
  • Put on a Bus: The third years after the summer tournament, justified as they are graduating.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: In the anime, Seido and their opposing team are depicted with red or blue coloring, it's used to show both state of mind of the individual showcased players and the team's personalities in comparison to the other.
    • It was best shown during Raichi's second at-bat against Eijun; Eijun was blue and Raichi was red, Eijun was calm, collected, and focused on doing well for his coach and team while Raichi was eager and focused on hitting the ball because he wanted the challenge rather than doing it for the team.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Miyuki
  • Sempai Kouhai: Miyuki doesn't seem to give a rat's ass about seniority when he's giving advice or calling a game (though he would complain occasionally when Eijun shows alot of respect to the rest of his seniors except him). This seems to tick a fair number of people off; Tanba simply seems irritated by it, but a few of Miyuki's seniors in junior high were planning to beat him up over it. Only Chris is an exception.
  • Sexy Spectacles: The female reporter from Baseball Kingdom admits to having a glasses fetish. She gushes over Miyuki, and acquires a Luminescent Blush when she observes the bespectacled pitcher from Akikawa Academy.
  • She's Not My Girlfriend: Eijun says this word for word whenever Wakana is mentioned.
  • Shout-Out: In episode 45, Mei laughs going "Upupupu" and talks about instilling despair into Sakurazawa, clearly Mei is a fan of Monobear
  • Shrinking Violet: Haruichi is the shyest and least outgoing member on the team off the field, and surprisingly, Tanba was this during his first year.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Ryousuke and Haruichi; Haruichi is the shy, sweet, kind, and mellow younger brother in comparison to Ryousuke who is borderline sadistic, violent, and condescending at times; they also seem to have a Red Oni, Blue Oni kind of bond.
  • The Southpaw: This is a pretty big part of Eijun's role in the series, apart from his sporadic pitching, the fact he's left-handed helps with his opportunity to join Seidou and is the only lefty pitcher Seidou has.
    • Also, Inashiro's ace, Mei Narumiya, is a southpaw and this along with his prodigious pitching helps solidify Inashiro as one of Seidou's main rivals.
  • Stealth Mentor: Chris.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Haruichi looks like a younger Ryousuke, just with bangs.
  • Taught by Experience: Sawamura has no formal baseball training. Whatsoever. In fact, he hardly knows some of the basics of the game, but this lack of instruction actually helped him to develop a unique pitching style.
  • Tears of Joy: Eijun.
  • Took A Level In Jerk Ass: Furuya, after receiving the ace number his arrogance grew, and on more than one occasion thought, "I want the team to need me more."
  • You Suck: Most of the first story arc is about Eijun struggling to be accepted, despite being told this (especially by Chris) in some form or another.
    • Later on, we get a flashback of the seniors in their freshman year being told they suck as well.

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alternative title(s): Diamond No Ace
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