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Bakuman – 04

October 25, 2010

If last week was clueing Takagi in on how to get the name planned out, this week was all about Mashiro getting to grips with completing a proper manga manuscript.  Bakuman continues to steadily lay its groundwork both in terms of character development and technical terminology.  The pace is pretty slow, but we are getting places now.

I’m utterly clueless about art, I can’t draw to save my life and never really used anything past coloured pencils and poster paint.  I therefore found it really interesting to learn all about the various pens, inks and templates that a manga artist needs to use, and the various stages they have to go through to create their manuscripts – you can really appreciate what a big committment pursuing manga is.

In this episode Mashiro is shown to struggle to get used to the tools of a professional, it’s all very well that he has a talent for art and a fully equipped studio – if Mashiro can’t get used to the pens and processes then he won’t be able to do anything.  He once again comes to appreciate the advice his uncle passed on to him, that manga requires hubris, effort and luck.  Mashiro takes the effort aspect to heart as he devotes himself to polishing his skills and adapting his drawing style to the tools he needs to use, forgoing sleep and study in his quest to get as comfortable with the pens as quick as possible.  Still Mashiro is at least better off than another of his classmates aiming to be a mangaka – even Kaya picked up on his lack of technical skill!

Mashiro has definitely been the more active of the pair thus far; Takagi may have the drive, passion and hubris required, but Mashiro has the knowledge and dedication to put in the effort required to make the pair successful.  Mashiro has even decided to go for a high school with lower standards/closer to the studio in order to free up more time for polishing his skills, especially since without assistants he will be responsible for all stages of the creative process.  Takagi is slightly taken aback (especially since with his test scores he could go for any school), but decides to follow Mashiro’s lead since the two being in the same school is more time efficient.  Mashiro also hands a duplicate key to the studio over to Takagi so he can come and go as he pleases – the manga in the studio provide invaluable source material for Takagi.

Having come to appreciate just how much work they need to put in, and how they need to at least try to secure the support of an editor the boys decide that they will get a manuscript together by the end of the summer to take to a publisher.  They get a further kick in the backside by discovering that a 15-year-old has come runner-up in one of the prestigious manga awards in Jump – Eiji Niizuma.  Mashiro & Takagi get pretty fired up by the fact Eiji is only a year older than them and already firmly on route to get serialised – rival status activated!  With the introduction of Eiji the series will definitely kick up a notch.

The rest of the episode was just about Mashiro & Miho’s ridiculous courtship – I am so glad Takagi finds their relationship every bit as strange as I do!  The sooner Mashiro & Miho progress past lingering stares, blushing and attempting to ignore each other’s existence the better!

Next week will have the boys continue to strive towards their goal of having a complete manuscript by the end of the summer, and it will also properly introduce Kaya Miyoshi, Miho’s best friend who’s much more interesting than Miho herself.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 26, 2010 1:30 am

    I hope you are right about taking it up a notch, now that a rival has appeared. I’m enjoying this show so far, but I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt, because we really are still in an introducing characters and basic terms phase. Of course, I like the terms and the tools and the processes, so more of that is fine by me.

    I did really like the sound of their plan for the Summer. That was actually a very good plan for a number of reasons. It has all the characteristics of a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-based). Plus it should ensure they get to work, which is what I want to see.

    • October 26, 2010 1:10 pm

      All this set up is pretty necessary, but its undeniably slow going to get through. Eiji’s introduction will be a positive thing, and the fact they boys are making good short-term goals will help the show kick up a notch – brainstorming and the creative process are fun to watch, and once they start meeting with editors the series will be in full swing.

  2. October 26, 2010 5:38 am

    I’m only still at episode 3 and it hasn’t appealed to me that much just yet, though I heard somewhere that this series was supposedly sexist though I cannot really see it anywhere. 2 cents, Caraniel?

    • October 26, 2010 1:07 pm

      There is a definite male filter on Bakuman – there’s lots of ‘women don’t understand men’s dreams’, ‘I’ll do this or I won’t be a man!’ and ‘writing manga is man’s romance!’ fired into the show and the women in the series generally fall into two types – harpy or shrinking violet.

      Still it never really bothered me at all when reading the manga, it was only when everyone started kicking up a stink at ep2 of the anime that I really tried to form an opinion.

      Basically you’ll see the sexism if you want too – I can see it now that I’m looking, but choose to pretty much ignore it as ‘the stupid things men say’ 😛

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