In this week’s Cross Manage, two schools of thought, or in this case, two different types of cultures, clash and become the focus in Chapter 11.
The first school of thought is realistic expectations. In what you normally know of when you hear of realistic expectations, it has to be an attainable goal a person or group of people can reach, and what everyone, including yourself, expects you to get to. It’s something that cannot be out of the realm of possibility. In Chapter 11 of Cross Manage, three characters: Noto, Kato, and Nozowa fall into this defined school. They each had realistic expectations when they originally joined the Girls Lacrosse Team, only for it to suddenly change once Sakurai decided to manage the team on a full time basis. They knew before what their skills were prior to joining the team; now their skills seem meaningless as the team attempts to actually compete in the Spring Tournament by actually practicing and working rigorously. With expectations changed considerably, they no longer feel they can reach the expectations they had already set for themselves or for the team, so with their interest in Lacrosse waning, they do what they think is the sensible thing: they quit. This is not exactly news; this happens in the lower levels of sports (high school, middle school) on a common basis in real life, so it only makes sense it’s explored in Cross Manage. Actually, it makes even more sense since it’s been established at least all of the players on the team have not played any other sport or is that interested in sports in the first place because they were merely put together thanks to Misora.
The second school of thought brought forth in Cross Manage is band of brothers, or in this case, band of sisters (since it’s all girls). In sports, I’ve seen this term mentioned by a number of players (college or the pros) in interviews where they have this warrior mentality on the field, court, etc, but also in practice as well. The reason why this is the case is because they spend much of their daily lives with the same people on a day to day basis, so all the two-a-day practices or games they get into, they share a certain amount of camaraderie that pushes them each and every day. It seems way too early to mention this in Cross Manage, but Komatsu’s comment on how she’s motivated to keep practicing despite the hard work because everyone else is practicing and competing too was something that resonated with me to a degree. Unfortunately, one of these schools of thought will have to win out since now the team is short on members (again), but chances are the three that left will eventually be inspired to come back. How they come back…I can only imagine one of the tactics Sakurai and Misora can use is understanding who Noto, Kato, and Nozawa are beyond Lacrosse. After all, that’s all we, as the readers know them of, but we don’t know them after it.
…Now whether we will care or not, that’ll depend on how the chapter’s drawn and told. But well, who knows what grand idea Sakurai and Misora will have in mind anyways.