Bakuman – 11
Apologies for the extremely late post – my time has been severely limited this week, and I wasn’t particularly enamoured of this episode anyway so kept putting it off But I thought that I’d better get something written up before the next episode comes out tomorrow!
This week once again highlights how unnatural Mashiro & Miho’s relationship is compared to other – I mean Takagi & Kaya aren’t the most normal of couple’s either, but they’re at least somewhat relatable! Oh and there was some manga stuff too……
I hate to keep repeating myself, but the romance in Bakuman really is boring. The only enjoyable things about the Mashiro/Miho relationship is the weird faces Mashiro pulls when Takagai suggests anything outside of Mashiro’s comfort zone (you know, like engaging the object of his affections in conversation/going to see the christmas illuminations). Otherwise its just a parade of dullness. The sooner Miho moves to the back-burner in this series the better – she couldn’t even give the fella her Valentines chocolate in person!
In stark contrast, Takagi & Kaya’s relationship moved up a step as the two went on their first real date. Fairly standard dayto stuff, but it’s a bit more interesting than Mashiro/Miho crap. I like Kaya, she may be pretty one-dimensional, but her bubbly personality suits Takagi well and he seems to appreciate how thoughtful and supportive she can be. However for Takagi at this moment in time, manga will always come first – Kaya may say she understands, but it will be hard on her in the long run I’d imagine.
In other, more interesting news – the boys finally got their big break and are getting their latest one shot ‘Money & Intelligence’ published in NEXT. Hattori kind of keeps them grounded by saying that they may be just getting published as a kind of comparison to highlight Nizuma Eiji’s talent; but Mashiro & Takagi are determined to take advantage of this big break. It’s nice to see how much Hattori is helping the boys out – he’s encouraged them by going over various drafts of their one-shot before finally accepting the version that will be published in NEXT.
I have to say that I really do like the concept for ‘Money & Intelligence’, but as Takagi discovered this week, its a concept that can easily get away from you – going too far with the whole buying thoughts thing, can drag you into very interesting high-concept stuff that isn’t really suited to a shounen publication. Takagi also shows his wit by going over the stats Hattori presented them with in regards to getting through the backdoor to popularity, Takagi notes that even if it is the backdoor, it’s still very difficult to get people to love your work to vote for it over the mega-popular Shounen Jack staples.
Eiji also gets a bit more screen time this week at last. He’s a strange fella, but its impossible not to like him. Eiji’s entire world revolves around manga, and he’s constantly looking for inspiration, so much so that he doesn’t really know how to interact with actual people and he admits to his new editor that crowds unnerve him – Eiji is only 15 after all and he’s just undergone a major relocation to the city from the sticks. But yeah, Eiji is still an odd sort completely lacking in traditional common sense and clearly doesn’t grasp common social norms (like not playing music at ungodly levels when you share walls with strangers!), you kind of have to feel sorry for Yujiro, his editor, for being charged with dealing with him. But then again, given how gifted Eiji is, Yujiro also has a pretty easy time of it in terms of providing critique and guidance on storylines the way Hattori does for Mashiro & Takagi…….I doubt Eiji would listen to anything Yujiro has to say anyway!
So a pretty slow week for Bakuman, next episode doesn’t promise great things either given the shots of a depressed looking Mashiro and an irate Kaya. However in more positive news, Bakuman has been given a 2nd season, so we will be getting more time for the good stuff (when it eventually happens – I swear it didn’t take this long in the manga).