Well…that was easier than I could have thought.
In all seriousness, Cross Manage was in a position where it could have come up with something at least creative in terms of getting Noto, Kato, and Nozawa back to the team, but instead took a different approach, which comes off to me as the least effort approach. After it was stated that the three quit the team because of practice (this sounds like a good time to make a practice joke), or the workload Sakurai was putting them through, surely it would take other means to convince them to come back to the team. Instead, the three show up to 6 A.M practice away from the team. Sense this makes it does not. I mean, it’s one thing for Kato to fall into the trap (however foolish it was of her), but it seems Noto and Nozawa were told by Misora what it was, and they still showed up anyways. What exactly did she drug them with to get them there? Whatever the case, they still ended up working out and doing exercises, before it was too late for Kato to point out the obvious. Even despite the reasons Sakurai mentioned — which is not wrong by the way to say — the setting and how they convince them to come back don’t work out to me. Surely Sakurai and Misora could have tried to get into their pasts a bit or used a different tactic other than exercise, the very thing the three wanted to avoid because of their fears? Overall, I didn’t like that part of the chapter.
What I did of course like is the reinforcement and support given by Sakurai and Misora. As I mentioned briefly in the Chapter 11 post, when on the field and in practice, you can be motivated to do more despite the challenge if everyone around you is doing the same thing, and you are being encouraged by those same people as well. That one key page in this Chapter of Cross Manage towards the end I feel highlighted that quality, as Kato began to enjoy running up those stairs with the lacrosse stick and in the end, they spent the whole day in training. For health reasons and in terms of realism, I’m pretty sure that’s impossible. But this is Shounen stuff, so it’s not a surprise. But with this being a sports themed manga, it has edged, and looks like it will mostly be, towards being realistic when it comes to the actual game. So now that the three are back in the fold, it’s time to finally gear up with how to make this Lacrosse Team better, and not distract us with anything unnecessary — unless a brand new character joins the team that can actually play Lacrosee (though it may be too late for that).