H2 (エイチ・ツー Eichi Tsū?) is a Japanese manga written by Mitsuru Adachi portraying high school baseball. It has been made into an 41-episode anime series and an 11-episode television drama series directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi.
During middle school, Hiro Kunimi (pitcher), Hideo Tachibana (third baseman and 4th batter), and Atsushi Noda (catcher) were teammates on the baseball team. Thanks to their exploits, their school achieved an unbeaten record on their way to consecutive national championships.
However, after an injury, a doctor told Hiro that if he continued pitching, his elbow would shatter in three months. Likewise, Noda was diagnosed with a career-ending waist injury by the same doctor, ending their dreams of Kōshien. Hiro chose to go to Senkawa High School, which lacked a baseball team. On the other hand, Hideo went to Meiwa Daiichi High School, one of the top-ranked high schools in the country, along with Hikari Amamiya, his girlfriend (and Hiro's childhood friend).
Hiro decided to join the soccer team, and Noda joined the swim team. After it was revealed that the doctor who "diagnosed" Hiro (and Noda) was a quack, Hiro and Noda return to playing baseball. Their first hurdle was to persuade their headmaster, who hated baseball. Haruka Koga, the manager of the baseball fans club, assisted them in their endeavors.
Through a family friend, Haruka managed to persuade the headmaster to allow the baseball club to be created if they managed to beat another team. The team chosen was surprisingly Meiwa Daiichi, Hideo's team. (one of the members of Meiwa Daiichi was the umpire and lied to make Meiwa Daiichi win)Although Senkawa ultimately lost the game, the headmaster allowed the club to be formed—also letting his son Yanagi return to baseball.
The headmaster also employed Fujio Koga, Haruka's brother, as the team's coach. Their first game as an official team was against Eikyo High School in a friendly match. Eikyo, a team with the famed pitcher Hirota, beat Senkawa easily.
In the second year, the new baseball club gains three notable members: Sagawa, Shima, and Ohtake. Sagawa was an old friend of Hideo's, while the latter two were relatives of Hirota. Although initially planted by Hirota in order to destroy Senkawa from within, they soon grow used to the friendly atmosphere of Senkawa. In the final game before the Koshien, Senkawa managed to defeat Eikyo.
Senkawa were set to meet up with Meiwa Daiichi after two opponents in the Koshien tournament. It would have been a fight between rivals Hiro and Hideo, except that Senkawa lost in the second round to Iba Shogyo. The loss was due to Hiro not being willing to injure the opposing pitcher and the opposing pitcher taking advantage of that injure while Hiro is pitching. Meiwa Daiichi went on to win the Summer Tournament. While this happens Hideo, Hiro and Hikari love triangle becomes evident and the two baseball players start growing apart and even though Hiro has feelings for Haruka he starts making his decisions to win Hikari's heart.
In the third year, Senkawa wins the Spring Tournament and then for Summer it matches up against Meiwa Daiichi in the semi finals in a game which will define one of the finalists but also if either Hiro or Hideo wins Hikari's heart. At the last inning with Senkawa leading the score, Hideo doubts Hiro and himself and misses a fastball losing the game but keeping Hikari. Senkawa goes on to play the finals and the manga ends.
- Hiro Kunimi (国見比呂 Kunimi Hiro?)
- Voiced by: Shinnosuke Furumoto
- Live action actor: Takayuki Yamada
- The protagonist, Hiro initially escaped to Senkawa in order to forget baseball. After his elbow was properly diagnosed, he strove to strengthen the newly created Senkawa baseball team as its star pitcher. Although he's blessed with a huge amount of talent since childhood, he's also hard-working and passionate about the sport. This combination results in one of the most monstruous pitchers ever created in the world of fiction. He's a fearsome batter(the third batter of Senkawa's line-up for most of the series) and a first-class fielder. Kunimi also displays inhuman amounts of stamina and focus(during his first Koshien game in the manga, Hideo states that "He could pitch 18 innings and even then get a no-hitter"). Although he throws a great fastball(152km/h by the end of the series), he has less control over his forkballs. However, since his failed forkballs turn out to be fastballs, it leads to a degree of unpredictability in his pitches. He has also developed a high-speed slider that may only be caught by a professional level catcher.Hiro was responsible for introducing Hikari to Hideo. He has belated romantic feelings for his childhood friend, Hikari Amamiya, and starts to also develop feelings for Senkawa's manager, Koga Haruka.
- (Birthday: January 16 (was retconned by author from January 28 to fit plot purposes)[Volume 20, Chapter 190, P.3])
- Hideo Tachibana (橘英雄 Tachibana Hideo?)
- Voiced by: Mitsuru Miyamoto
- Live action actor: Koutaro Tanaka
- Hiro's best friend and greatest rival in baseball, they were in the same baseball team in middle school. Hideo has been dating Hikari since middle school, and aims to enter the professional baseball leagues after he graduates from high school. Like Hiro, he's a natural-born genius when it comes to baseball, but that doesn't stop him from working very hard to become even better. A fantastic batter, he becomes the clean-up hitter for Meiwa Daiichi High as a first-year, quickly becoming a national star after that. There's a scene in the manga where Meiwa's coach states that "Letting Hideo face off against high-school pitchers with an alluminium bat in his hands is almost cheating". That only goes to show how skilled Hideo is as a batter.
- (Birthday: November 6)
- Hikari Amamiya (雨宮ひかり Amamiya Hikari?)
- Voiced by: Keiko Imamura
- Live action actor:Yui Ichikawa
- Hiro's childhood friend and Hideo's girlfriend, Hikari dreams of becoming a journalist. She is a member of the archery club, but has once come in as a temporary manager for Meiwa Daiichi's baseball team during the Koshien by Hideo's request. Although she seems happy with Hideo, she seems to have feelings for Hiro as well.
- (Birthday: August 16)
- Haruka Koga (古賀春華 Koga Haruka?)
- Voiced by: Masami Suzuki
- Live action actor: Satomi Ishihara
- Daughter to the businessman whom Hiro's father works for, she was a high school baseball enthusiast. A hardworking baseball club manager, she played an instrumental role in creating and supporting Senkawa's baseball club. As time goes along, her feelings for Hiro grow more apparent, but Hiro chooses not to respond. She dreams of being an air flight stewardess as well as a professional baseballer's wife.
- (Birthday: March 3)
- Atsushi Noda (野田敦 Noda Atsushi?)
- Voiced by: Kenjirō Tsuda
- Live action actor:Akiyoshi Nakao
- The catcher that makes up Senkawa's battery, Noda is the third person in the friendship of Hideo and Hiro. Fat and lazy, Hiro still acknowledges that Noda is a good catcher: able to make decisions about fielding and understanding the general condition of the team. Likes to joke around a lot and make bad puns, but it's actually a wise and clever person, becoming the captain of Senkawa's baseball team as a sophomore. Noda is Senkawa's clean-up hitter, and although his performance is inconsistent, he's a great batter with a good balance of strength and timing.
- Ryūtaro Kine (木根竜太朗 Kine Ryūtarō?)
- Voiced by: Shinichi Takenaka
- Live action actor: Yuuma Ishigaki
- Used to play for the Hakusan Angels in primary school until Hideo replaced him. He turned to soccer instead, his athletic ability helping him. He tries to persuade Haruka to give up on her baseball ambitions, but later joins the baseball team in order to get closer with Haruka. Kine acts as leadoff batter and center fielder, and was also pitcher when he was in the Hakusan Angels. As a homage to Kakefu, he does left-handed baseball swings. As Haruka and Hiro's relationship gets better, he plots with Miho in order to split them up. Often used as comic relief by Adachi, he's also portrayed as a good player with a great baseball sense(and a lot of luck). Likes to brag, but also works pretty hard when motivated. Kine is also the best center fielder shown in the series.
- Miho Osanai
- One of the managers for Meiwa Daiichi, she joined in order to get closer to Hideo. However, she fails in this due to Hideo's loyalty to Hikari. She attempts to break them up, but continually fails. She later plots with Kine in order to break up Hideo and Hikari. Their plotting results in both Miho and Kine getting closer.
- Miho does not appear in the anime.
Notable baseball teams
- Coached by Fujio Koga, Haruka's brother, the Senkawa team was newly created. However, the presence of Hiro, Atsushi, Yanagi and Kine soon proved that Senkawa was a threat to be considered. In Hiro's second year of high school, 3 notable players joined Senkawa: the fast Osamu, the boxer Ootake, and the shortstop Sagawa Shuuji, a friend of Hideo. In Hiro's third and last highschool year, several well acknowledged first-year players joined Senkawa, but none were focused on explicitly.
- Meiwa Daiichi
- Hideo and Hikari's school, Hideo is the star player. Miho is one of the managers of the team, but Hikari sat as manager during the team's Koshien games although she was just a temporary manager. The coach is understanding, and gets along well with Hideo.
- Eikyo's star pitcher, Hirota, is considered one of the best pitchers in the Koshien with his 142 km/h left-handed fastballs. With the backing of the calculative Coach Shiroyama, they were considered serious contenders for the Koshien. Hirota aimed to get to the pros. However, Shiroyama's calculative strategy kept their best catcher, Oogura on the bench.
- Iba Shogyo
- The star pitcher, Kohei Tsukigata, and the star hitter, Jin Shimizu, are both fans of Hiro and Hideo respectively. Tsukigata's pitches, and his curveball in particular, are extremely well controlled, and he had the potential to be considered a genius if he had started training early. They defeated Senkawa in the Koshien tournament as Hiro was willing to sacrifice his own leg in order to not hurt Tsukigata's hand.
These are titles with a similar theme of baseball.