|“||What? That's baseball? How dreadfully silly.||”|
—Anya Hepburn, Chapter 27 (Soul Eater NOT!)
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|The trio play a game of baseball.|
Three-Man Baseball! is the twenty-seventh chapter of the manga Soul Eater NOT! It was published as Chapter 19 in the third volume of the Yen Press English United States translation. This chapter was adapted as part of Episode 9 of the anime.
- Royal Joust (first appearance)
Girls' Dormitory, Backyard
The trio cannot figure out why a baseball, bat, and mitt are resting against the building. Because Anya Hepburn thinks the mitt is for hot kitchen work, Tsugumi Harudori explains to her that baseball is “the great American pastime,” popular as well in the Americas and Asia. Tsugumi is excited to play, having practiced with her older brother and dog, Pochi. Tsugumi convinces Anya to play by referring to the game as popular with commoners.
Meme Tatane assumes her position on the field will be “the fly,” confusing the terminology for a ball hit high. Struggling to explain the terms to Meme, Tsugumi gives up and says a capable meister like Meme can play the entire outfield.
When Anya thinks she plays with both the mitt and bat, Tsugumi teases “Lady Anya” as looking like a knight and that “crossing those streams” of a mitt and bat can destroy baseball itself. When Anya is disturbed by Tsugumi’s excited, the weapon blames her brother’s fascination with the sport.
Meme says baseball terminology is practically part of the Japanese language. Meme’s remark only causes Tsugumi to talk more about baseball, including how boys would flirt with girls by complimenting their “large strike zone,” before Tsugumi herself blushes and asks Meme about her strike zone. Anya, seeing both girls blushing, slams the mitt into Tsugumi’s face and begs them to start playing already.
Tsugumi demonstrates how to throw and hit the ball, which Anya finds to be a “silly,” pointless exercise that requires too many persons—18--to play. Tsugumi is flustered, not able to explain all the rules to answer Anya’s questions. Tsugumi finally grows decisive and challenges Anya to a “show-down,” but Anya’s agreement surprises her. Tsugumi doubts she is strong enough to face a meister like Anya, unless Anya’s inexperience with the game gives Tsugumi an advantage.
Tsugumi winds up, throws her pitch, hoping for a curveball. Anya witnesses the curve and attacks with the bat, held like a knight’s javelin, for a “Royal Joust.” The ball sails past Tsugumi’s head but is caught in the air by Meme, who dives for the catch. While Anya and Meme compliment each other, Tsugumi is depressed at her failure to learn her brother’s baseball lessons. She lapses out of her depression, however, when Anya indirectly compliments Tsugumi’s curveball and the fun of baseball.
The trio are interrupted by a call from the upstairs window: Kim Diehl tells them that the baseball gear is her own, and for playing that game, the trio owe her seven dollars per hour per person.
Manga and Anime Differences
- ”Three-Man Baseball” was adapted as part of Episode 9. However, Tsugumi’s long-winded explanations about baseball were condensed or, in the case of Tsugumi embarrassing Anya and Meme about “strike zones,” removed.
- Typical for Death City, Kim's baseball mitt lists the word "DEATH."
- In the English Yen Press translation, “crossing the streams” alludes to the popular fantasy/science fiction comedy Ghostbusters.