Ace of Diamond (Japanese: ダイヤのA Hepburn: Daiya no A [Daiya no Ēsu]?, also known as Diamond's Ace) is a shōnen baseball manga written and illustrated by Yuji Terajima and published by Kodansha. It has been serialized by Weekly Shōnen Magazine since 2006. In 2008, Ace of Diamond received the Shogakukan Manga Awards for the shōnen category. In 2010, it won the Kodansha Manga Award for best shōnen manga. An anime adaptation was premiered on October 6, 2013.
Position: Pitcher Voiced by: Ryōta Ōsaka Eijun Sawamura (沢村 栄純 Sawamura Eijun?) is the main character. Eijun is a left-handed pitcher who has extremely erratic throwing motions. His body is naturally flexible with supple joints, allowing him to immediately change the pitch’s direction. Because Eijun has been playing baseball without proper instruction, his pitches normally change direction right before the batter hits the ball. However, this makes catching the ball difficult, as most catchers cannot predict where the ball will end up. He was initially unaware of this quirk in his throws. His knowledge about baseball is mediocre at best, but he strives to improve his skills and become Seidou's ace player.
Eijun comes from Nagano where he played baseball in his middle school. His team was below average, often making mistakes during critical moments and losing almost all matches. However, Eijun has an extremely strong spirit which, no matter how hopeless the situation got, inspired his teammates to continue playing their best. His childhood friend, Wakana, was the baseball team manager. Initially, after Eijun had been scouted by Seidou, he had planned to refuse because he wanted to keep playing with his friends in the same high school. However, his friends encouraged Eijun to go to Seidou despite their reluctant feelings because they felt as if they were holding Eijun back. Eijun eventually goes to Seidou and boldly declares that he will become the team ace.
Eijun’s strong points are his infallible spirit, bunting, infield defense, and his idiosyncratic pitches. His weaknesses are control, outfield defense, and batting. His personality is hotheaded and loudmouthed, often causing his teammates exasperation because of his stupidity. He has a rivalry/friendship with Furuya Satoru, a fellow first-year pitcher. Because his middle school team was so weak, he is extremely level-headed in critical times.
Position: Pitcher, Left Fielder Voiced by: Nobunaga Shimazaki Satoru Furuya (降谷 暁 Furuya Satoru?) is Eijun’s rival, Furuya is a right-handed pitcher with extremely strong fastballs and forkballs. Furuya’s pitches are so strong that no catcher in Hokkaido was able to receive them. As a result, he became alienated from his middle-school team because he was far above them in ability. After hearing about the genius catcher, Miyuki Kazuya, he applied to go to Seidou high school to play baseball with him, and immediately took respect when Miyuki easily caught his pitch. During the game of first years versus second years, Furuya jumped from the second team to the first team after only one pitch. After playing his first official game against Yokohama, Furuya became a living legend within the high school baseball world and is often described as a monster rookie.
Furuya’s strong points are his incredible pitching, outfield defense, and batting. His weaknesses are stamina and infield defense. Also, Furuya’s pitches are so powerful that they cause damage to his fingertips and nails, so he cannot pitch for very long. He is stoic and unsociable with a cool demeanor and often has an expressionless face. However, his aura completely changes while pitching, once being described as “a wild wolf who wants to pitch some balls”. He dislikes all other aspects of baseball besides pitching. However, he is surprisingly humble, once mentioning that he never thought himself better than Eijun. He respects Eijun to a certain point and often accompanies Eijun to do extra practice at night. Because he was an outcast in his middle school, he is happy about but unused to the Seidou upperclassmen’s friendly but bossy treatment towards him, being content when he was ordered to fetch them drinks and uncomfortable when they excessively praise him.