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Bakuman – 08

November 23, 2010

Oh yeah, now this is the Bakuman I know and love!  No cheesy teen romance, just pure manga fanboying and hard graft.  This week sees the boys strive for their next goal – the Tezuka Award.


You have to admire Takagi’s ability to fill entire notebooks with ideas for a new story – he really went all out trying to find an interesting story for Mashiro to draw.  It’s a major step forward for the duo that Takagi is now involving Mashiro in this first stage of the manga creation process, Mashiro’s feedback pushed Takagi to reach ever deeper to find that one story that leapt off the page.  Once again the most interesting aspect of the episode was just watching Mashiro & Takagi bounce ideas off each other and get increasingly more excited about the story there were creating (robots! swords! BEAM SABERS!!).  I do like this mix of showing Mashio & Takagi’s very mature approach to their work, and this childish, excitable side  of theirs that really shows their passion for manga.

As for the story the boys settled on, ‘One in a Million’ sounded like a very interesting concept, and Mashiro’s art has dramatically improved from ‘The Two Earths’, even Hattori was impressed with their speedy improvement and ability to take all his past criticism’s on board.  Hattori may have been a bit too complementary about the manuscript though – his lack of any real critique kind of threw Takagi & Mashiro, and further inflated their expectations for the Tezuka Prize….they are only teenagers after all, its extremely easy to get overly excited when you’re that age!

The boys are so distracted by the possibility of their winning the Tezuka Prize that all productivity fizzles out.  I found it strangely adorable how Takagi constantly goes back to the Dragonball series whenever he’s at a loose end – its like his security blanket! Takagi can’t concentrate long enough to write any new story concepts, and Mashiro even cuts back on trying to improve his art (his ancient Greek themed Azuki fantasy was hilarious though).   Unfortunately the boys’ manga fails to make the cut at the last hurdle, which completely crushes Mashiro and is a real knock for Takagi’s confidence.  I was pleased that this manuscript failed though – it just goes to further highlight how hard it is to get anywhere in manga.  Their manga may have been interesting, but there were other manga that were just better…….like Nizuma Eiji’s who took 1st & 2nd place, our duo still have a long way to go before reaching Eiji’s level.  Mashiro’s fragile self-worth was also further highlighted this week – he places the blame on his artwork for their failure to win.  Mashiro completely crumbles and it takes Takagi’s eternal optimism and passion to get him back on track – it’s a good thing they’re a duo, Mashiro would have no hope on his own if this is how he deals with rejection.

The drama in the final section of the episode felt a bit forced to me and didn’t really fit with the tone of the rest of the episode.  However it was interesting to see Takagi’s reaction as it highlights just how loyal he is to Mashiro, and how much faith he has in Mashiro’s talent.  I doubt that Takagi would have reacted in that manner if it was his story that was insulted – he’s far to self-assured to take much notice of that; but when its Mashiro being insulted its a completely different kettle of fish.  Takagi knows that Mashiro is his own worst critic, he also knows just how hard Mashiro pushes himself to constantly improve and above all he knows that Mashiro is painfully shy and won’t defend himself, especially if the abuse is echoing Mashiro’s own insecurities.  It just goes to show you how highly Takagi values their friendship, and just how close the two have gotten………it would be amazingly easy to ship these two you know! 😆

Next week should be a Takagi centric episode – his fist-fight in the school corridor’s won’t go unnoticed, nor will his slipping grades.  Iwase also rears her head along with Kaya in the preview – really looking forward to this episode, Takagi is so much more interesting to me than Mashiro! XD

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2010 1:50 am

    “I was pleased that this manuscript failed though.”

    You are so right! I was hoping they would lose, because that just means the competition is tough. In truth, if it were easy to win the award on their 2nd attempt to make a manga, then the activity would show itself as unworthy of being the subject of a show.

    I really liked the closing events. First it got the information out there, which is bound to have repercussions, including some remarks from the purple-haired girl who studies a lot. Also, as you observed, Takagi wasn’t beating someone up to defend his own project, he was doing it to defend his friend, which makes the whole thing quite noble.

    • November 23, 2010 8:49 pm

      It would cheapen the whole thing if the boys found success so easily – you need the hard work and disappointment to make the eventual victory sweeter.

      The final scene just seemed a bit forced to me – I kind of thought that in the manga too, but its a scene that needed to happen for some Takagi development and to highlight Mashiro’s overly self-critical personality.

  2. roghek permalink
    November 25, 2010 1:09 am

    Yes, this episode was the better so far, I even think that the animation was better but that might just be my imagination.
    Is very refreshing, after seeing all the “romance” in the previous episode, to see Takagi and Mashiro work hard for the sake of manga, and also making their friendship stronger in the process.

    And in the final showdown if this episode that friendship got tested and Tagaki started to beat up the annoying character, I wanted to beat him up myself so thanks Takagi and yes he is more interesting than Mashiro his spontaneitymakes him more appealing…. And megane xP

    • November 26, 2010 7:35 pm

      I think it felt like the animation was better since things were constantly changing in a kind of montage, rather than the static talking heads we usually have.

      Megane make everything better XD

  3. November 27, 2010 10:36 am

    Given that they are 15 year old boys, I found it COMPLETELY believable myself that is would come to fisticuffs like that actually. Before I sharpened my OWN rapier wit and polished my debonair charm, I was just a kid in a slightly higher percentile in terms of size. So, an occasional scrap was not out of the question up until high school.

    I think it’s interesting to note that adolescent males communicating with their fists over trivial matters such as this actually transcends cultures, and I don’t mean the kind of fight that anime oh-so-loves like one over the fate of the world or to affirm or defend one’s eternal love for another, but rather for something as simple as someone talking shit about another dude’s friend.

    I know that was definitely one of my buttons as a kid. Insult me, and I can ignore you. Make fun of the fact that my best friend can’t afford new clothes, and I will do my best to break your jaw.

    (not that I ever did break someone’s jaw, I just thought it sounded dramatic if I ended my comment like that. wait a sec-)

    • November 27, 2010 12:45 pm

      Having never been a 15 year old boy myself I find it difficult to really relate…..15 year old girls are generally two-faced bitches more likely to launch a mudslinging campaign behind your back than just come out and punch you in the face! 😆

      However I do completely get the ‘you can slag me off all you like, but mess with my friends and you’re in trouble’ mentality – that was a sure way to set off my temper when I was younger (still is to a degree), so I do like seeing that in Takagi.

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