The True Ace (ホントのエース, Hontō no Esu) is the first chapter of the manga.
Nishiura's formation and meeting with the coach, Maria Momoe, and advisor, Tsuyoshi Shida. Abe is challenging Hanai in a three-at-bat game while thinking about making Mihashi gain some confidence. At the end of the game, Momoe confronts Mihashi to change his personality if he wants to become the ace of the team.
Mihashi is seen walking around Nishiura while there is a scene where his old teammates discuss Mihashi's transfer to another school. Mihashi walks towards the baseball field and is surprised to find it empty. He suddenly feels a hand on his shoulder and turns around to see Coach Momoe's smiling face.
She drags Mihashi to another area while Mihashi asks her to stop. Mihashi is introduced to the new players of the Nishiura baseball team and is asked what position he plays and he replies that he is a pitcher. Coach Momoe says that they've been looking for one and now their team is complete.
Hanai says that he changed his mind about joining due to the Coach being a female, at which Coach Momoe shows everyone how skilled she is with a bat impressing everyone, especially Hanai who never had a baseball coach that was even close to being decent at baseball.
Coach Momoe decides to make the team some orange juice by squeezing fresh oranges with her hands, freaking everyone out. She gives some to Hanai as he struggles to accept it. Afterwards Abe asks Mihashi to show him how he pitches. Mihashi suddenly realizes that he didn't intend on joining the baseball team. He starts to cry and kneels on the ground saying that he only got the Ace position in Mihoshi because his grandfather owns the school. He also says that his pitches are slow and that he refused to step of the mound causing his team to lose for 3 years in a row. Abe tells him that pitchers should never step off the mound and he likes that in Mihashi even though Abe thinks he's a bit of a douche.
Mihashi eventually agrees to show him what he can pitch. When he does, Abe is impressed by it. He asks Mihashi what pitches he can throw and Mihashi tells him quite a few. Abe challenges Hanai to a 3 at-bat and Hanai agrees.
Abe asks Mihashi to sit on the bench next to him and asks what signs he is used to so Abe could remember them and it would be easier. Mihashi tells Abe that he has no signs that he is used to since the catcher disliked him and refused to give him any signs. Abe tells Mihashi to stick by his side and he'll make him a true ace. All he has to do is follow all the signs Abe gives him and never shake them off.
Soon after, the 3 at bat challenge starts. Abe gives a sign for a fastball which makes Hanai swing and miss. Afterwards Abe calls for a curveball in the low outside corner. Hanai manages to hit a grounder but gets an out.
Abe calls for a fastball down the middle which Mihashi is reluctant to throw. He remembers what Abe said to him and thinks that Abe believes in him so he throws it. Hanai misses and falls down shocking Mihashi.
Mihashi continues to follow Abe's sign and Hanai struggles with Mihashi's pitches. Mihashi throws a high fastball which confuses Hanai. He grabs Mihashi and asks him how's that that the pitch looked like it floated. Abe explains that since it didn't drop like expected it looked as it floated. Mihashi also told him that he split the strike zone into 9 parts which even all the pros can't do. Abe thinks Mihashi can help the team go all the way to Koushien.
Mihashi mutters that it is impossible. Hanai starts yelling at him while Tajima tries to stop him. Coach Momoe tells him that if he wants to be an Ace then he has to think like one, and that she won't give the title of ace to someone who will bring the team's morale down by saying something like "It's impossible". She tells them that during golden week they'll go to training camp and afterwards a practice game against Mihoshi. This causes Mihashi to have a scary flashback and he freaks out. Coach Momoe hits him with a bat and yells at him to change his personality.
The team thinks that they shouldn't change Mihashi's personality as it would be very difficult. Abe thinks that treating Mihashi like a puppet would be easier instead. Coach Momoe crushes another orange with her hands and tells him that if he wants to be their ace he'll have to prove to her that he has some self confidence.
Characters in Order of AppearanceEdit
- Ren Mihashi
- Mihoshi Unnamed Members
- Maria Momoe
- Azusa Hanai
- Yūto Sakaeguchi
- Yūichirō Tajima
- Tsuyoshi Shiga
- Ai ( Dog )
- Takaya Abe
- Kousuke Izumi
- Shintarou Nishihiro
- Fumiki Mizutani
- Shōji Suyama
- Yūichirō's grandfather
- Shūgo Kanō