Major is a sports manga by Takuya Mitsuda, which was serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday from 1994 to 2010. It was adapted to a TV anime series, which aired from 2004 to 2010 for 154 episodes.
The story follows the life of Goro Honda, from kindergarten to being a professional baseball player, seeking and overcoming tremendous challenges.
Major 2nd is a sequel series starring Goro's son, Daigo.
Major provides examples of:
- 1000 Origami Cranes: Goro is forced to make these as part of his "training". As it turns out, it's actually to force him to rest properly.
- Abusive Parents: Coach Usami of Honmoku Little browbeat his son into playing baseball, and physically abuses him whenever he makes a mistake or doesn't do what he says.
- Baseball Episode: It's probably easier to name the chapters/episodes where this isn't the case.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Goro and Kaoru after the Time Skip. They Do.
- Casualty in the Ring:
- The dead ball Goro's father takes in the head ends up killing him the following morning.
- Shizuka's eldest brother Takeshi collapsed dead due to overworking himself during his final match.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Indirect example, Goro lets Coach Usami have it for physically and verbally abusing his son during their match. Both the unpire and the spectators follow suit.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Goro and Kaoru.
- Crippling the Competition: Happens a few times in flashbacks, with players who intentionally injure their rivals in practice matches to get the title spots. Protagonist Goro Shigeno finds himself on the receiving end when Egashira orders his players to intentionally injure him during the Kaido vs. Seishuu match, as revenge for Goro not accepting to be Kaido's star like he wanted. While Kaido wins the match, Egashira is recorded gloating about it and gets fired for it.
- Expy: The Okamura triplets from season 1 bring to mind another famous trio that wore black.
- Friendly Rivalry: Goro and Toshiya have it between each other, having met through playing catch ball and often playing in rival teams. Out of the field, though, they're very close friends despite their opposite personalities.
- Happily Adopted: Goro for Momoko and eventually Shigeno after his dad dies
- Loophole Abuse: With Egashira using his influences so no school with a baseball team accepts Goro (as revenge for not becoming the star of Kaido like he wanted), Shizuka suggests that Goro attends a school that doesn't have a baseball club and start it himself.
- Love Triangle:
- Minor one in Season 1: Goro gets a small crush on Ryoko Kawase for a while and Kaoru likes Goro. Goro loses the crush when Ryoko talks down on Shigeharu Honda not being able to dodge Gibson's pitch.
- Season 3 has Goro and Kaoru being chased by Miho and Fuji respectively.
- Please Wake Up: Goro at first doesn't realize that his dad is dead and tries to wake him up, until he grabs his hand and notices how cold it is (something similar happened to his mom a few years back).
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: To an extent, the teams Goro plays for in the early seasons are this. Notably in Season 1, where he had to gather people to have enough players in the Mifune little, and Season 3 where Seisshun had no baseball club and he had to start one himself (in a school that was previously all-female, and thus has very few male students, to top it off).
- Rivals Team Up: Goro and Toshiya decide to go together to Kaido after Goro suffers a horrid defeat against their team in the regional tournament, realizing that neither can challenge them alone.
- Solomon Divorce: After divorcing each other, Joe Gibson stays in Japan with Junior, while his wife returns to North America with their daughter.
- Tall Poppy Syndrome: During the training camp in Kaido, the coaches take notice of Goro's talent and how he inspires the other aspirants to keep going despite the harsh regime (which is aimed to reduce them to just a few). They decide to increase the harshness for him, but it backfires since he's not one to lie down in the face of difficulties.
- Teacher/Parent Romance: A rare instance where the child supports the relationship. Goro tells his dad that he would like if Momoko became his new mom. They do have to wait until Goro graduates from kindergarten before they can begin to date each other officially. Tragically they don't get to tie the know due to Honda's death.
- There Are No Therapists: Averted. The series practically goes out of it's way to avoid Poor Communication Kills as much as possible by having a surprising number of problems talked out.
- Time Skip: Happens in between seasons 1 and 2.
- Training Montage: A whole bunch of them are in just about every season. It's a sports anime, so...