In 1981, mangaka Mitsuru Adachi (Cross Game) started writing and drawing what would soon become one of the most popular Japanese comic books of all time, the award-winning Touch (aka タッチ, pronounced Tatchi). The manga lasted 26 issues, ending in 1986, and was quickly adapted into an animated 101 episode TV show in 1985. In addition, five animated movies were produced, three for cinemas, two for television, as was a live-action TV mini-series . Finally, in 2005, Touch was made into a live-action movie for cinemas, adapted by Yukiko Yamamuro (A Long Walk) and directed by Isshin Inudou (Josee, The Tiger And The Fish). The film stars twin brothers Shota and Keita Saito (Kids War 4) and the charming Masami Nagasawa (Godzilla: Final Wars) among others.
Roughly adapting the manga’s first 8 issues, aka slightly less than 1500 pages of material, Touch loosely retells the source’s first, and best-known story arc. Identical twin brothers Tatsuya and Kazuya, and their next-door neighbor Minami have known each other since birth, sharing joys and pains, likes and dislikes. Now in their mid-to-late teens, they are still as close as ever, but other feelings are thrown into the mix as Minami’s blossomed into quite a lovely young girl. As for the twins, Kazuya is loved by all, studious, and the star pitcher of the high school’s baseball team whereas Tatsuya is more of a slacker and generally regarded as the inferior brother. Whoever eventually wins Minami’s affections, they all dream of seeing Kazuya and his team make it to the Kōshien, the finals of the National High School Baseball Championship. Exclusive subtitled trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading